Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism | World History | Khan Academy



78 Responses

  1. Ginnaliye

    March 17, 2017 1:29 am

    In Theravada Buddhism "bodhisathwa" is a person who develop some skills (like generosity ) necessary to be a Buddha. It's a difficult practice that most people easily would give up. If someone wants to end the Samsaric journey (going life after life which has no end otherwise) they can still do it without becoming a Buddha. Anyone can attain The Nirvana or the enlightenment by following the way found by the Buddha. They are called an "Arahanth".

  2. Helenshipsships

    March 17, 2017 4:47 pm

    I wondered what happened to the Hinayana sect (we learnt in school that the sects were Mahayana and Hinayana). Hinayana is supposedly the older version of the Theravada (according to the internet).

  3. khine wai

    March 30, 2017 1:41 am

    In Theravada Buddhism, Bodhisattva has different meaning. Let's say, Gautama Buddha, he took a vow from one Buddha 4 followed by 140 zeros worlds ago from one Buddha. He was inspired and wanted to do the same thing like Buddha. During his journey to become Buddha, he met 28 other Buddhas during the time of 4 followed by 140 worlds plus 100,000 worlds.
    550 life stories are highlightened and learned.

    During the period, taking a vow to become a Buddha and before being enlightened and become a Buddha, Buddha was called Bodhisattva. Bodhisattva means he who is aiming and practicing to become a Buddha. He's already taken a vow and get a prediction from previous BuddhasΒ  … like which world, which clan, which period, he will become a Buddha. Gautama Buddha is the fourth Buddha in this world and the fifth will come many million years later. After that, there will be many billions of zero worlds. Zero world means no Buddha at all. The world can have five maximum Buddhas. After that, the world will be gone, the universe will be gone. And new universe and new world will begin. Theravada tradition,Β universes are infinite and beings are infinite.

  4. Atipat Lorwongam

    April 12, 2017 8:04 am

    Actually, Bodhisattva means someone who are becoming/Will become a buddha. If all focus to be Buddha – (Bodhisattva), there will be no one to help nor achieve Nirvana. So there is a direct straight way to Nirvana,There also is another loop for you to lock you there never get to nirvana. so choose wisely ^ ^

  5. Hardik Kapadiya

    May 18, 2017 11:22 pm

    πŸ‘†πŸ» * The killer Brahmin Pushyamitra Sugang, who was assassinated under the conspiracy of the 10th judicial emperor of the Maurya Empire Great Duryodhana Maurya … ✍🏻 *

    * ΰ€•ΰ₯€ In Pataliputra, the capital of Magadha in Akhand Bharat, the murderer of the 10th Judge of the Maurya dynasty, King Mahendrath Maurya, was the son of Lord Chakraborty Maurya and emperor Ashok Mahan, the creator of Akhand Bharat, who was deceived by his commander Brahmin Pushyamitra Sung, and himself Was declared king of Magadha. *

    πŸ‘†πŸ» * When he became king, he had destroyed all Buddhist monasteries from Pataliputra to Shyalkot and openly slaughtered many Buddhist monks. Pushyamitra Shung used to torture the Buddhists and the people here, and on the strength of strength, the character (Hindu) religion was accepted by them as Manusmrtha composed by Brahmins.

    πŸ‘†πŸ» * Greek King Milind had the right to the north-west region. King Milind was a follower of Buddhism. As soon as Raja Milind discovered that Pushyamitra Shung was torturing the Buddhists, he attacked Pataliputra. The people of Pataliputra also set up a revolt against Pushyamitra Sung, after which Pushyamitra Shung fled and saved the followers of Jain religion in Ujjaini *.

    * As soon as this incident happened to King Kharwail of Kalinga, he declared his independence and attacked Pataliputra *. * Pataliputra pushed the Greek King Milind to the North West. *
    πŸ‘†πŸ» * After this Brahmin Pushyamitra Shung Ram joined with his supporters in the middle area of ​​Pataliputra and Shialakot and made his capital Saket. Pushyamitra Shung changed his name to Ayodhya. Ayodhya i.e.-built capital without war … *

    πŸ‘†πŸ» * After making the capital, Pushyamitra Shung Ram announced that any person who brings the heads of the Buddhist monks, will be given a reward of 100 gold coins. Thus, the slaughter of the gold coins has led to the massacre of Buddhist monks across the country. The heads of Buddhist monks started coming to the capital. After this some drivers used to steal their brought head and take the gold mud by showing the king again. The King came to know that people are also cheating on this, then the king kept a big stone and seeing the head of the monarch, the monk, killed him on the stone, and wasting his face. After this, the head of a Buddhist monk was thrown into the river Ghaghra *.
    * There were so many heads of Buddhist monks in the capital Ayodhya that the name of the river with the shredded heads was named Sarvorda, which has now become "Sarai" in the present.
    πŸ‘†πŸ» * On the banks of this "Sarayu" river, Rajavi Valmiki of Pushyamitra Shung wrote "Ramayana". Describing the Maurya emperors as Pushyamitra Shung and Ram as "Ravan", in which Ram had praised his capital Ayodhya and received much more awards from the king. Not only this, the composition of many fictitious Brahmin religious texts like Ramayana, Mahabharata, memories, etc. also happened in the Ayodhya of Pushyamitra Sung, on the banks of "Sarayu" river.

    πŸ‘†πŸ» Due to the massacre of Buddhist monks, all Buddhist Vihars have become empty. Then the Arya Brahmins thought, 'What will happen to these Buddhist monasteries that the coming generation never know what it was in the past years *
    * Then they changed all these Buddhist monasteries into the temples and established their ancestors and fictional characters, gods and goddesses in the form of God and opened these shops in the name of worship.

    πŸ‘†πŸ» Note that before the killing of the great Maurya Maurya, there was no word of temple in India, nor this kind of nature. At present, there is a tradition of breaking the coconut by killing stones at Brahmin religion. This tradition is a symbol of killing the head of a Buddhist monk of Pushyamitra Shung.

    πŸ‘†πŸ» * Periyar Ramaswamy Nayakar also wrote "True Ramayana" book which went to Allahabad High Court Case No. * 412/1970 in the year 1970-1971 and Supreme Court between 1971-1976, Case Appeal No. 291/1971 *.
    * In which Supreme Court Justice PN Bhagwati Justice VR Krishna Iyer, Justice Mutjah Fazil Ali, on Dec 16.99 976, decided that the true Ramayana is correct and all its facts are correct. The true Ramayana book proves that all the texts in the country known as "Ramayana" are all hypothetical and they have no archaeological basis.
    πŸ‘†πŸ» * i.e. 100% is fake and hypothetical *.
    πŸ‘†πŸ» * A historical truth that anyone knows … *
    πŸ‘†πŸ» * Stay awake, make awareness and share as much as possible … *

  6. Boon Paul

    August 2, 2017 2:04 am

    In Theravada Buddhism, they tried to preserve the original of the Buddha's way of practicing and wanted to do the same thing like Buddha(Tathāgata or Gautama Buddha)

  7. Anjumul Hoque

    August 5, 2017 8:06 pm

    No Mahayana is about more spiritually and personal journey than Theravada. Zen Buddhism, Chan Buddhism, Nichiren, New Land all of them are part of Mahayana Buddhism. While Theravada is more about Pali scriptures and the monks, I have seen the Theravada buddhists to be more materialistic and after possessions contrary to their beliefs than Buddhists who are part of Mahayana. Temples in Myanmar, Thailand etc are mostly made of gold and other things while the Mahayana temples in Korea and Japan are more simplistic, they are made out of woods and the monks know what they are teaching instead of blindly teaching people one thing and then contradicting themselves like the Theravadas does because they dont translate their teachings instead learn without knowing the meanings and sometimes not even the practioners what they learnt. Its useless there is no spirituality nor sense of spirituality in Theravada Buddhism.

  8. Inclusive Outsider

    September 17, 2017 4:59 am

    I was raised as a Theravada Buddhist and this video was fairly accurate, however, the definition of a Bodhisattva isn't totally accurate according to the Theravada tradition. A Bodhisattva is the term used to describe a being who will become a Buddha in a following life, more specifically it is used to describe Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) in his previous lives. Also, it is true that an Arhat (Arahanth) is a being that attains nirvana (enlightenment and ends their cycle of suffering and rebirth upon their death) and a Buddha is an Arhat/Arahanth, because they also end their cycle as well upon death. The difference is that the Buddha teaches and helps others to get on the path to Nirvana. Basically the definition you used for a Bodhisattva is the definition we use for a Buddha and a Bodhisattva is this person in his previous live.

  9. jac ap

    October 6, 2017 11:24 pm

    what was the purpose of buddha 84k methods of teaching? to benefit all sentient beings.
    why not 1 method of teaching to all sentient beings?
    because every individual capacity of understanding were different.
    theravada or mahayana? pure mind see all equal.
    happy learning people ))

  10. Raymond Lai

    October 21, 2017 9:12 pm

    Thank you, Khan Academy for taking your time, energy and effort to upload and share this video. I appreciate it.

  11. Chris M

    November 30, 2017 10:45 pm

    Thanks for the video, I kicked drugs after 7 years from a teacher who taught bhuddism he did a lot to wake me up to life and he never made me feel like I was to give blind trust cus everything he said seemed like forgotten common sense

  12. The Light

    December 22, 2017 7:06 am

    It is unfortunate that Chinese monks have received the Mahayana sutras from India, fake dhama? but they still continue rewrite from Buddha words, more wrong when they were transmitted to Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan …

  13. Seize IMmUnITy

    January 2, 2018 1:32 am

    So are the celstial beings mentioned in the Mahayana list considered gods? Or are they like power gylphs on which to focus to gain enlightenment?

  14. Lunejun

    January 23, 2018 11:57 pm


  15. Peta Gonkyi

    January 29, 2018 10:01 pm

    The ultimate aim of Mahayanist is Buddhahood which is far beyond Nirvana. Arhat has already achieved Nirvana – escape from cyclic existence – aka Samsara.

  16. Peta Gonkyi

    January 29, 2018 10:26 pm

    In India Buddhist were absorbed into Hinduism plus the repeated Turkic invasion of India lead to the collapse of Buddhism in India and Bangladesh etc from 10AD onwards.

    In fact most of Central Asian countries including Pakistan and Pakistan were Buddhist they were first to succumb to Arab invasion since 7AD. The founder of Zen, Chan Buddhism practiced in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam is Buddhist monk brothers Γ„sanga and Vasu Bandu from Peshawar, Pakistan around 4AD.

    The founder of Tibetan Buddhism hails from Swat region of Pakistan who escaped Pakistan following the religious persecution and moved east wards towards India and Nepal and finally came to Tibet via Nepal at the invitation of Tibetan king in 8AD.

  17. Michael Wright

    February 3, 2018 3:09 am

    Shakyamuni Buddha is the main focus in many temples of Mahayana Buddhism. Amitabha (aka Amida) is the main focus in many Japanese schools, but this is much less common in other areas. It's also worth noting that many Japanese schools have deviated in very significant ways from mainstream Buddhism and some are rejected altogether. Tibetan (one type of Vajrayana) Buddhism is a mix of Buddhism and Bon, the indigenous religion of that region. Buddhism has been persecuted and shunned in India due to it clashing with the caste system (and therefore threatening the amount of power and control some groups have), and this was a big factor in Buddhism's decline in India.

  18. Udara Gamage

    March 12, 2018 1:36 pm

    Buddha has said there are two main objectives of Buddha's teachings. 1. Opening the path of Nirvana or ultimate happiness 2. helping humans and gods to be reborn in a heavenly realm. Mahayana does not fall in any of those two objectives of Buddha. Therefore Mahayana is not a Buddhist teaching. It is something later created by a group of people as a religion. Mahayana is a fake form of Buddhism.

  19. nabin maharjan

    March 12, 2018 3:36 pm

    Better to explore a bit about the history of Nepal- where we have ample of Mahayana as well as Hinayana practiced and developed. Many historical evidences suggest that Mahayana and Hinayana- originally spread across Asia from the Nepal (especially Kathmandu Valley) many Hinayana Buddhism Practices.

  20. MBC Suren.K

    May 17, 2018 8:13 am Theravada are learned from Mahayana. Theravada looks 'the tiny boat' contain one people, self-solved, but not been reached the enlightenment. That's why always reincarnation between the six realms.
    Mahayana looks 'the giant ships' contained everyone, all beings, animals, six realm, up to formless realm, down to desire realm. Theravada monks eat meat, they wants to be Arhat. It's fine. Mahayana monks are full vegetarian, even can't be Buddhas, at least become the Bodhisattvas. No attachment,wandering thoughts, discrimination. Namo Amitabha!

  21. Damn Cuber

    June 25, 2018 1:22 pm

    It's a big good karma and bless so I can born as a Buddhism and to learn both of that tradition.😊 Sabbe Satta Bhavantu Sukhitatta , Amitabha

  22. Shaun Das

    July 24, 2018 8:41 pm

    Pronunciation is pretty good. Some of the words and names are generally mangled but not here.

  23. Tips Xpertz

    August 10, 2018 5:19 am

    I see you yet to learn lot. You are connecting everything with Hinduism. First study about Jainism then come to decision. Though Hinduism claims Jainism and Buddhism are branch or Part of Hinduism that doesn't mean they are telling truth. If Hinduism is the oldest religion on earth then why ancient whole world was known as Bharat Kshetra who was Jain? If don't study Jainism then you will never be able to get to the truth. That's why Hinduism is trying way TOOOOOOOOO hard to Pull Jainism into Hinduism to hide the truth. As per Hindism Brahma is from Vishnu's Nabhi. But truth is it's Bharat Chakravarti who was grandson of king Nabhi Raja which was Thrillions of years ago. Their sages changed Bharat Chakravarti to Ramayan's Bharat who was cousin of Ram. So first you compare Jainism and Buddhism or Mahayana or Shinto or even Hinduism it self and you will finally see the actual reality. Mahayana and Jainism Tirthankar idols are similar too if you look at carefully where Hinduism is far away from anything you are trying to connect. Also we Jains don't believe in God creation theory neither in any God and so does Buddhism also for your kind information Sidharth himself was originally belonged from Ishwaku Dynasty which was the first Dynasty in Jainism. Known as Kulakar. Also Jainism don't believe in any Avatar theory which Hindism spread rumours around to gain the popularity and if that's the case why not Moses, David, Jesus were Avatars? They have copied all the religions texts and created a giant Religion. Rama, Krishna all were actually belonged from Jainism.

  24. Garron Houbert

    August 10, 2018 8:19 am

    Mahayana buddhist and proud…still you made is seen as if Shakyamuni wasn't that important in mahayana…but he's actually the center of the Triple Gem…still most about mahayana is accurate

  25. wrong notes

    September 12, 2018 7:43 pm

    Do not try to separate two great tradition of Buddha dharma.Both Theravada and Mahayana tradition contains great teachings and wisdom.We should embrace each other rather than trying to find out differences because both teachings came from the one and only mahayogi,mahapurus Tathagat (Siddhartha Gautama)..

  26. JizzingTiger SquirtingDragon

    September 18, 2018 10:51 pm

    Theravada is the original name of Judah the tribe that Jesus is from. Yahawadah/Thawadah aka Theravada.

  27. Michael

    November 4, 2018 11:45 am

    Not sure why it is always said that Theravada is personal. The practice is not escape from the world, but directly confronting dependent co-arising in the world. both internally and externally. No one can go on the path for another, so intrinsically it is dependent upon oneself (or shall I say one non-self–haha). It says as much in the Pali texts, and though I am not sure of the similar ones in Sanskrit and the subsequent ones translated in the Chinese, I imagine it says the same.See the following based on the PTS (Feer) edition. To my mind, there is nothing selfish about it at all since it affects the world by your interaction in it. Who else can do it for oneself if not you yourself?

    "Monks, be islands unto yourselves,[1] be your own refuge, having no other; let the Dhamma be an island and a refuge to you, having no other. Those who are islands unto themselves… should investigate to the very heart of things:[2] 'What is the source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair? How do they arise?' [What is their origin?]

    "Here, monks, the uninstructed worldling [continued as in SN 22.7.] Change occurs in this man's body, and it becomes different. On account of this change and difference, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair arise. [Similarly with 'feelings,' 'perceptions,' 'mental formations,' 'consciousness'].

    "But seeing[3] the body's impermanence, its change-ability, its waning,[4] its ceasing, he says 'formerly as now, all bodies were impermanent and unsatisfactory, and subject to change.' Thus, seeing this as it really is, with perfect insight, he abandons all sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. He is not worried at their abandonment, but unworried lives at ease, and thus living at ease he is said to be 'assuredly delivered.'"[5] [Similarly with 'feelings,' 'perceptions,' 'mental formations,' 'consciousness'].

  28. Jared Young

    November 27, 2018 8:59 pm

    The Pure Land/Amitabha sects do not represent all Mahayana teachings. I would say they are probably the worst among Mahayana teachings.

  29. Lypu khalay

    November 29, 2018 11:29 am

    2:55 "Bodhisatta" I think you refer to "Buddisat" such as "Giun Ing", the holy goddess known to all Mahayana Buddhists. 😊 Nice research

  30. Lypu khalay

    November 29, 2018 12:03 pm

    Hinayana is defined by some as a bad term since Mahayana means "yana", vehicle & "Maha", collosal, thus collosal vehicle; which makes hinayana means "destruction vehicle" because "hin" means decay or abomination. However, hinayana can also defined as small/self vehicle. Hence, hinayana=theravada, both means personally believe to find oneself a middle way towards Nirvana (according to my understanding).

  31. Tsukuyomi no Mikoto

    January 6, 2019 1:42 pm

    You didn't mention how theravada kinda stopped meditating because they thought it was pointless until maitreya came

  32. Believer

    January 8, 2019 7:16 am

    The true historical fact regarded by historians is that buddhism declined in india because buddhism rejected brahmin cast system and blind faith and devotion to many gods which was a threat to brahmin dominancy…
    Later some muslim invaders also destroyed buddhist university..

    Buddhism rejects the concept of reincarnation and atma by stating there is no evidence. It rejects concept of Brahman and thereforr rejects the concept of Moksha which is the ultimate spiritual goal in Hinduism.
    So this didn't go well with brahmanism(Hinduism)

    The vast difference between brahmanisim(hinduism) and buddhism was the reason why jainism was acceptable to the hindu brahmins but not buddhism in ancient india…

    Infact jains had more religious and cultural connection with hindus than buddhist with hindus..
    Jains survived beacause they assimilated with hindus and accepted brahmin caste dominancy…

    While buddhists didn't accepted..
    Had buddhists accepted brahmin caste dominancy and assimilated with hindus…..Buddhism would have easily survived in india like jainism. ..
    But that was not the case….

  33. sudarshan sawale

    February 6, 2019 7:56 am

    You have to research again and put actual figures about India. There are million Buddhist alone in Maharashtra state in India. Who denounced Hinduism and became Buddhist.

  34. Frag_

    July 20, 2019 8:09 pm

    I enjoyed it , it a good information but extremely generalized and a lot of mixed facts. But again thank you for your effort.

  35. mahesh s

    August 20, 2019 2:41 pm

    Question: in mahayana, why should I hold off from attaining Nirvana to help others? The Gotama attained enlightenment, before teaching others.

  36. I Play 2 Win Truth Seeker

    August 24, 2019 4:16 am

    Devadatta was the one who try to split the monks in to two look up Devadatta and you will understand the two.

  37. AVATAMSAKA Vegan

    September 15, 2019 7:50 pm

    How can Polytheistic Hinduism compare itself to Non-Theistic Buddhism; especially Mahayana Buddhism? The two are like chalk and cheese (vegan cheese).


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