Theravada Buddhism

Topics: Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, Pali words and phrases Pages: 2 (396 words) Published: December 6, 2012
Theravada Buddhism

Main core beliefs

* The main goal for a Theravadin is to become an arhat, which is a perfected saint who has achieved nirvana and will not be reborn again. * There are four stages to becoming an arhat:
* 1.Sotapanna ("stream-enterer") - a convert, attained by overcoming false beliefs * 2.Sakadagamin ("once-returner") - one who will only be reborn once more, attained by diminishing lust, hatred and illusion * 3.Anagamin ("never-returner") - one who will be reborn in heaven, where he or she will become an arahant * 4.Arhat ("worthy one") - one who has attained perfect enlightenment and will never be reborn * Mahayana Buddhists refer to Theravada Buddhism as the "Lesser Vehicle" (Hinayana). * In Theravada, they think it is highly unlikely, maybe even impossible, that a layperson can achieve liberation.

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2 Questions:
1. What is Theravada’s manual of faith?
2. What is the main goal in a Theravadin’s life?

Manual for the faith

* Their manual of faith is the Pali Canon, it’s an early Indian collection of the Buddha's teachings. * The Pali Canon was taught by Buddha Sakyamuni. They are a set of three: The Suttas, The Vinaya, and The Abhidhamma. * These three works are traditionally called the Tipitaka in Pali or Tripitaka in Sanskrit. * Tipitaka means 'three baskets', and Pitaka means 'basket'. * The Pali Canon document still exists today and is the only surviving Buddhist scripture from this early period. * The first basket is the Sutta Pitaka.

* The suttas are the teachings of Sakyamuni over the forty-five years that he traveled and taught. * There are five nikayas or collections of suttas:
* 1.Digha Nikaya, the Long Discourses.
* 2. Majjhima Nikaya- The Middle-Length Discourses.
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