Definitions for theravadaˌθɛr əˈvɑ də
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Theravada, Theravada Buddhism(noun)
one of two great schools of Buddhist doctrine emphasizing personal salvation through your own efforts; a conservative form of Buddhism that adheres to Pali scriptures and the non-theistic ideal of self purification to nirvana; the dominant religion of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand and Laos and Cambodia
A school of Buddhism widely practised in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world.
Origin: From थेरवाद, from स्थविरवाद.
Theravāda is the oldest surviving branch of Buddhism. The word is derived from the Sanskrit sthaviravada, and literally means "the Teaching of the Elders". It is relatively conservative, and according to Dr. Rupert Gethin, it is closer to early Buddhism than other existing Buddhist traditions. For many centuries, Theravāda has been the predominant religion of Sri Lanka and most of continental Southeast Asia. Theravāda is also practiced by minorities in parts of southwest China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia, while recently gaining popularity in Singapore and the Western world. Today, Theravāda Buddhists, otherwise known as Theravadins, number over 150 million worldwide, and during the past few decades Theravāda Buddhism has begun to take root in the West and in the Buddhist revival in India.
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