Buddhism had a good effect in many countries. It was a religion of peace. Buddhists did not attack members of other religions. The main aim of Buddhism was to show each person how to lead a better life. As a result of the influence of Buddhism, rulers and people built temples, schools, monasteries, roads, bridges, hospitals, universities and parks. Buddhism helped improve education. Monks could teach people about mathematics building, farming, medicine and other subjects. Buddhist monks travelled to other countries and helped to spread knowledge. Some Buddhist monks were famous scholars and teachers.
Buddhism also improved life for people in some countries. For example, Buddhism offered a better life to the untouchables in India. The untouchables were outcasts who did not have any status in society. Buddhism helped them because it taught that al people, whether nobles or untouchables, are equal and should help and love each other as brothers. Buddhism also asked people to work hard, to be honest and not to tell lies. Buddhist rulers such as Asoka and Emperor Shomu of Japan were good to their people.
The different forms of Buddhism can be understood by becoming familiar with the two major schools that arose out of the Buddha's basic teachings: The two major schools of Buddhism, Theravada and the Mahayana, are to be understood as different expressions of the same teaching of the historical Buddha.
In the Buddhist countries of southern Asia, there never arose any serious differences on the fundamentals of Buddhism. All these countries - Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand, have accepted the principles of the Theravada school and any differences there might be between the various schools is restricted to minor matters. The earliest available teachings of the Buddha are to be found in Pali literature and belongs to the school of the Theravadins, who may be called the most orthodox school of Buddhism. This school admits the human...
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