Posted by David on December 09, 1998 at 11:32:48:
In Reply to: Help with a paper over Mahayana vs. Theravada posted by Rhett on December 08, 1998 at 15:53:01:
Good question Rhett! I'm still working to figure this out myself.
Based on the Sutras (or Suttas) of both traditions I have read, the only significant difference I can see is the vow of the Mahayana Bodhisattva to return this or other samaric worlds to help other beings obtain liberation prior to the Bodhisattva's own attainment of Buddhahood, whereas the Theravada Arahant strives to achieve the non-returner state where he or she may abide in the Pure Abode non-samsaric celestial realm, practicing in seclusion, until Buddhahood is obtained. As Buddha, each will return once as a Buddha to a world to establish the Dharma for the liberation of beings.
Other than this difference and the resultant subsequent methods and/or teachings, they both originated from the same source (of Shakyamuni Buddha) and thus essentially the practices and doctrines are the same. By essentially, I mean the principle and objective is the same.
Now this is not guaranteed correct. It is just the best I have figured thus far.
Good luck with that paper.
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