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Theravada

“ Doctrine of the Elders “


 the school of Buddhism that draws its scriptural inspiration
from the Tipitaka, or Pali canon, which scholars generally
agree contains the earliest surviving record of the Buddha's
teachings.
 For many centuries, Theravada has been the
predominant religion of continental Southeast Asia
(Thailand, Myanmar/Burma, Cambodia, and Laos) and Sri
Lanka. Today Theravada Buddhists number well over 100
million worldwide.
 In recent decades Theravada has begun to take root in
the West.
•Theravada Buddhism is strongest in
Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos,
Myanmar (Burma) and the Mekong
Delta areas of Vietnam. It is
sometimes called 'Southern
Buddhism'.
• Theravada Buddhism stresses spirituality, the
enlightenment of the individual, self-discipline, the
importance or pure thought and deed, the importance
of the monastic life and the strict observance of the
ancient Vinaya code It has distinct roles for monks and
lay people, emphasizes that each individual is
responsible for his or her salvation and takes the position
that only monks are capable of reaching nirvana.
HISTORY OF THERAVADA BUDDHISM

• Theravada Buddhism was one of 18 schools that


existed in centuries after The Buddha's death. It
spread from India to Sri Lanka and then to Southeast
Asia and remained close to the original Pali canon.
The other 17 schools disappeared when Muslims
swept into northern India and destroyed the Buddhist
monasteries that existed there. Theravada Buddhism
is sometimes referred to in a somewhat dismissing way
as Hinayana (‘Lesser Vehicle’) Buddhism by
Mahayana Buddhists.
• By the third century B.C., Buddhism had spread widely in
Asia, and divergent interpretations of the Buddha's
teachings had led to the establishment of several sects.
The teachings that reached Ceylon (present-day Sri
Lanka) were given in a final written form in Pali (an Indo-
Aryan language closely related to Sanskrit) to religious
centers there in the first century A.D. and provided the
Tipitaka (the scriptures or "three baskets"; in Sanskrit,
Tripitaka) of Theravada Buddhism. This form of Buddhism
reached what is now Thailand around the sixth century
A.D. Theravada Buddhism was made the state religion
only with the establishment of the Thai kingdom of
Sukhothai in the thirteenth century A.D.
THERAVADA BUDDHIST BELIEFS
• The Noble Virtues of Therevada Buddhism are loving
kindness, understanding, serenity and satisfaction for
others’ well-being. Theravada Buddhism doctrine stresses
the three principal aspects of existence:
1.) dukkha (stress, suffering, pursuit of desire, disease,
impurity);
2.) anicca (impermanence, transience and temporary
state of all things): and
3.) annayya (the illusion and non-essentiality of reality
and the non-existence of a permanent ‘soul’).
THERAVADA BUDDHIST BELIEFS ABOUT
MERIT AND ALMS GIVING
• The most effective way to work actively to improve
one's karma is to earn merit. Any act of
benevolence or generosity can gain merit for the
doer. Cambodian Buddhists tend to regard
opportunities for earning merit as primarily
connected with interaction with the sangha,
contributing to its support through money, goods,
and labor, and participating in its activities.
• Some of the favorite ways for a male to earn
merit are to enter the sangha as a monk (after
the age of twenty) or as a novice, or to live in
the wat as a temple servant; in the case of a
female (usually the elderly), the favorite way is
to become a nun.
• Earning merit is an important aspect of
Buddhist life. Buddhists earn merit by giving
money, goods, and labor to the temples, or by
providing one of the two daily meals of the
monks. Children often look after the fruits trees
and vegetable gardens inside their local wat,
or temple. Boys can earn merit by becoming
temple servants or novice monks for a short
time. Most young men remain monks for less
than a year.
THERAVADA BUDDHIST BELIEFS ABOUT
HEAVEN, HELL AND THE LIVES OF THE
BUDDHA
• Theravada Buddhists insist that Gautama,
both as Siddhartha and The Buddha, was a
man, not a god or myth or legend, and was
subject to the same pain and suffering as
other humans but sought a transcendent
state beyond human life.
• According to Theravada Buddhism. there are 31
planes, or forms of beings, 6 floors of heaven. and 7
floors of hell. They are:
• 1.) 20 planes of Brahmas. or higher spiritual beings;
• 2.)6 planes of Nats or Devas. or lower spiritual
beings;
• 3.) Human existence;
• 4.) Animals;
• 5.) Peta. Apaya beings-in-woe;
• 6.) Asuraka. Apaya beings in-semi-woe;
• 7.) Hell. beings-in-torment. composed of 8 floors.
• The last 10 lives of Buddha is most prominant. and
many wrote about these in the past. They are:
• 1.) Prince Taymi;
• 2.) Zanekka;
• 3.) Thuwunna Tharma;
• 4.) Nay-mi;
• 5.)Prophet Mahaw-tha-htar;
• 6.) Bu-ri-dut;
• 7.) San;
• 8.)Nar;
• 9.) Widura Minister;
• 10.) King Weithantayar .
• Buddha taught the followers that there are
other planets. other different types of beings...
Buddhists believe that there are 5 Buddhas on
this planet earth. Out of the 5. four Buddha has
came. and one more is to come:
• 1.) Kotekathan Buddha;
• 2.) Kawnargon Buddha;
• 3.) Kuthapha Buddha;
• 4.) Gawtama Buddha;
• 5.) Areinmadeya Buddha (the up-coming
Buddha).
• Theravada Buddhists sometimes make wishes to avoid
certain places in their everyday prayer. They are:
1.) four lower beings (hell, animal, ghost,demon);
2.) three disasters (starvation, war and plague);
3.) eight places one can't reach (Nivirna, hell, animal,
ghost, paganism,retarded, living where no god exist);
4.) Five Enemies (water, fire, king, thief, who hates); four
defects ( being in nether worlds,birth defects, being in
bad society, doing only the bad);
5.) five great losts (lost of relatives, lost of wealth, lost by
disease, lost by misbelief, lost by misbehavior).
An introduction to Theravada Buddhism
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