1. Mahayana Buddhism
The religion of Buddhism was founded by a person named Siddhartha. Later in his life he was known as Gautama. He traveled with a guru for a while and then he practiced as asceticism. He did these two things to find enlightenment. These things did not lead to enlightenment so he ate and sat down to meditate under a fig tree. He received enlightenment through a vision and he received the title Buddha. After Buddha died, his followers disagreed about the meaning of his teachings. They had two councils and after the second council Buddhism was divided into two camps. One camp is called Hinayana and they are conservative. The other camp is liberal and they are called Mahayana. Mahayana Buddhism has three principles that they believe. The first principle is Buddha did some teachings in secret to a few followers, who could comprehend these secret teachings. Mahayanists use the example that Buddha picked up a handful of leaves. The leaves in his hand are less than all the leaves in the forest just like his public teachings are less than the total of truth that was given in secret. This belief allowed the Mahayanist to add different conclusions to the concepts that Buddha thought. I will now discuss the second principle. Another principle of Mahayana Buddhism is that Gautama was more than a man. This principle asserts that Gautama was almost divine. Due to his love for humans, this almost divine being came to earth looking like a man in order to help humans. The Mahayanist had a third principle, which is that there are other Buddhas besides the Gautama. The Mahayanist teaches that in different areas of this planet and in the heavens there are Buddhas that exist. These other Buddhas have the ability to help humans, who are seeking enlightenment. This idea made the religion of Buddhism more desirable. A benefit of this third principle is that missionaries could go into other countries and not ask the native to give up...
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