WHAT are Differences Between Mahayana Buddhist and Theravada Buddhists ?

Mahayana Buddhists claim their doctrines are rooted in early teachings of Buddha and say they do
not reject the beliefs of Theravada Buddhism, but have just expanded on them. Theravada
Buddhists view Mahayana Buddhism as a corrupted form of Buddha's teaching plus see it as too easy. Theravada Buddhists are taught that one must “work out one's own salvation with diligence”
whereas Mahayana Buddhists believe faith is enough to earn all believers eventual salvation.
Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism differ greatly on the matter of Bodhisattvas.
Mahayana Buddhists recognize many of them as well as many Buddhas. Theravada Buddhists
recognize just one, The Buddha.
The tenets of Mahayana Buddhism are more vague and all-encompassing than the strict tenets of
Theravada Buddhism, but its followers often conform to a very regimented routine as is the case with
Zen. Mahayana Buddhists believe in a multitude of heavens, hells and descriptions of nirvana and
have great reverence for Bodhisattvas—Buddhist "saints" on the verge of nirvana who stopped short of attaining it, so, like Buddha, they could teach their method to others.
Mahayana Buddhists believe that salvation is accessible to all those who have faith and regard their
religion as a way of life that can be embraced by any one. They also enjoy philosophical discussion
and intellectual gymnastics and enlist the help of female deities and magical forces and worship a
pantheon of gods, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Mahayana Buddhists see The Buddha as the sum total of everything there is; discount his historical
personage; view his life on earth in magical and transcendent terms; and have Bodhisattvas and
Buddhas that address issues important to ordinary people. The Supreme Buddha became an all
knowing force that pervaded every part of the universe, like a creator God.
Mahayana Buddhism places an emphasis on the process of attaining nirvana through the purification
of the consciousness and has been “expanded” to respond to the needs of local people it severed.
Its followers a number of mythologies and ontological doctrines. They see true reality as ‘Emptiness;’
define ten stages which Bodhisattvas must pass through to reach Buddhahood; and see everything
being connected by a kind of cosmic thread rooted in true reality.

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