Devotion and meditaion
Text is written by MYRTLE LANGLEY
AS BUDDHISIM SREAD OUTWARDS from India it developed into two different branches. They are often called "vehicles" since Buddhist Dharma (teaching or law) is thought of as a raft or ship carrying people across an ocean of suffering to Nirvana - a "Beyond" of salvation and bliss. Theravada, the "Little Vehicle", is manly found in Southeast Asia. It emphasises the life of meditation lived by the monk, and its teaching tends towards the view that people are essentially on their onw efforts.
Mahayana, the "Great Vehicle", is dominated in Tibet, China, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. Mahayana Buddhists believe that people are not alone and must help one another.
They can also receive help from the Buddha, and other Buddhas, and from bodhisattvas (almost-buddhas who have paused before Nirvana to help others). Salvation is available to all through faith and devotion.