Theravada


Theravada
/ther'euh vah"deuh/, n. Buddhism.
Hinayanist name for Hinayana.

* * *

Major form of Buddhism, prevalent in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.

It is the only survivor among the Hinayana schools of Buddhism, and it is generally regarded as the oldest, most orthodox, and most conservative form of Buddhism. It is relatively uninfluenced by other indigenous belief systems. It is believed to have survived intact from the 500 Elders, who followed in the tradition of the monks of the first Buddhist sangha. Theravada has no hierarchical authority structure, though seniority is respected in the sangha. It accepts the Pali canon (see Tripitaka) as authoritative scripture. Theravadins revere the historical Buddha but do not recognize the various celestial buddhas and ancillary gods associated with Mahayana Buddhism.

* * *

Pali“Way of the Elders”

      major form of Buddhism prevalent in Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.

      Theravada, like all other Buddhist schools, claims to adhere most closely to the original doctrines and practices taught by the Buddha. Theravadins accept as authoritative the Pali canon of ancient Indian Buddhism and trace their sectarian lineage back to the Elders (Sanskrit: Sthaviras; Pali: Theras), who followed in the tradition of the senior monks of the first Buddhist sangha, or community.

      During the early centuries following the death of the Buddha, the community broke up into several sects that, in the beginning, differed little from one another, as far as is known (see eighteen schools). The first separation occurred in the 4th century BCE at the time of the second council, when a group broke away from the Sthaviravadins and became known as the Mahasanghika. A second major schism occurred when the Sarvastivadins (who hold that “all is real”) separated from the Vibhajyavadins (adherents of the Doctrine of Distinctions), presumably the Sthaviravadins. Those Vibhajyavadins that were distributed geographically in southern India and Sri Lanka became known as the Theravadins (the Pali form of Sthaviravadins). During the reign of the emperor Ashoka (3rd century BCE), the Theravada school traveled to Sri Lanka, where it divided into three subgroups, known after their monastic centres as the Mahaviharika, the Abhayagirika, and the Jetavaniya. The Theravada form of Buddhism gradually spread eastward, becoming dominant in Myanmar in the late 11th century and in Cambodia and Laos by the 13th and 14th centuries.

      The ideal of Theravada Buddhism is the arhat (Pali: arahant), or perfected saint, who attains enlightenment as a result of his own efforts. The role of the layman and monk are clearly differentiated by the Theravadins, who do not consider it possible to attain enlightenment while one is living the life of a layman. Theravadins profoundly revere the historical Buddha as a perfected master but do not pay homage to the numerous buddhas and bodhisattvas that are worshiped in the Mahayana.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Theravada — (Pāli: थेरवाद theravāda (cf Sanskrit: स्थविरवाद sthaviravāda ); literally, the Teaching of the Elders , or the Ancient Teaching ) is the oldest surviving Buddhist school. It is relatively conservative, and generally closest to early Buddhism… …   Wikipedia

  • Theravada — Theravāda es una de las 19 escuelas nikaia que formaron el budismo original. Se desarrollaron en la India durante los siglos subsecuentes a la muerte de Buda (420 368 a. C.). El nombre theravāda significa ‘la palabra [doctrina] de los… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Theravāda — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Theravāda es una de las dieciocho (o veinte) escuelas Nikaya que formaron el budismo original. Éstas fueron desarrolladas en la India durante los siglos subsecuentes a la muerte del Buda. El nombre Theravāda denota… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Theravada — es una de las dieciocho (o veinte) escuelas Nikaya que formaron el budismo original. Estas fueron desarrolladas en la India durante el siglo subsecuente a la muerte del Buda. El nombre de la secta denota el significado de aquellos que apoyan las… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • theravada — THERAVÁDA s. v. hinayana. Trimis de siveco, 13.09.2007. Sursa: Sinonime  THERAVÁDA s. f. hiuayana. (< sanscr. theravada) Trimis de raduborza, 15.09.2007. Sursa: MDN …   Dicționar Român

  • THERAVADA — THERAV DA Du vivant du Buddha, les disciples s’affrontaient déjà à propos de l’interprétation à donner à tel ou tel de ses enseignements. Ces querelles prirent plus d’ampleur encore après sa mort et l’histoire du bouddhisme primitif est celui de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • theravada — (izg. teraváda) ž DEFINICIJA fil. rel. nauk ranog budizma, održao se u zajednicama na Šri Lanki i Indokini, usp. hinajana ETIMOLOGIJA pali theravāda ← skr. sthavīravāda: govor starih učitelja …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Theravada — [ther΄ə vä′də] n. a major form of Hinayana Buddhism, which emphasizes asceticism, contemplation, and the monastic life …   English World dictionary

  • Theravada — Dagoba (Colombo, Sri Lanka) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Theravada — Bouddhisme theravāda Religions Védisme Brahmanisme Hindouisme Ajîvika Ja …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Theravâda — Bouddhisme theravāda Religions Védisme Brahmanisme Hindouisme Ajîvika Ja …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.