Mahayana Buddhism emerged as a more tolerant, easy to get to and available to all religion as compared to Theravadan Buddhism that was in existence at that period. It was available to all with no regard to an individual’s economic background (Suzuki, 2004). The Mahayana and Theravada Buddhists differ in various aspects of their religion.
Moments in Buddhas Life
During Buddha’s journey of meditation, he made his first sermon at Sarnath where he encouraged people to follow the middle way and avoid being extremists. This fact forms the basis of Mahayana Buddhism belief on the idea of life and how it can be achieved. Whilst the Theravada Buddhists aim to become perfect saints, Mahayana Buddhists believe that this is only possible for monks and nuns who have devoted their lives fully to God. The followers should only work to live a monastic life.
It is narrated that Buddha had been staying in the palace for the whole of his life and he used to live a luxurious life. One day, he opted to go on a journey to seek the cause of suffering in the world. After a time of fasting and meditation, he reached a point of enlightenment and he became Buddha. He then did not leave it at that point but he sought to help others to attain it. He resorted to teach others what he had learnt. From this, Mahayana Buddhists believe in becoming boddhisatvas who after attaining sainthood try to help others to attain it as well. They teach that enlightenment can be attained by every individual (Williams, 2009).
Mahayana Buddhists celebrate various ceremonies, rituals, rites and observe the use of various images and objects in their worship as founded by Buddha. It is considered more religious than its counterpart. The practice of mantra is very significant among the Mahayana Buddhists. It involves the invocation of supernatural powers believed to be of great help in the society.
Buddhism is a religion that is highly found in various parts of Asia. Mahayana Buddhism is considered more liberal and has more followers as compared to its former counterpart Theravada Buddhism.