What is difference between Hinayana, Mahayana Tantrayana and Theravada

Lord Buddha taught a philosophy to get Nirvana . His teachings founded Buddhism in India . Gradually differences of opinion among his followers about his teachings led to founding a different sect in Buddhism.

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Thus 3 vehicles or 3 sects of Buddhism were founded. In order to clarify the variations between the many different schools and traditions of Buddhism, the schools are often divided into the 3 Yanas, meaning 'Vehicles' or 'Paths'.

These 3 are: the Hinayana , Mahayana and Tantrayana. Within the various vehicles, much variation can still exist, which is further explained in the pages that deal with the traditions, like Zen Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism.

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Reason for development of different schools or sects of Buddhism

A major reason for this development of different schools within Buddhism may be that the Buddha taught for decades. Given the vast amount of teachings it is not easy to unanimously decide what the exact interpretation of all teachings should be, or even how to summarize them logically. Moreover, native traditions and Hinduism influenced the beliefs and philosophy.

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Usefulness of different paths of Hinayana Mahayana and Tantrayana

Depending on whom the Buddha would be teaching to, the explanation would be quite different and sometimes seemingly contradictory. This can be understood as skilful means; a satisfying explanation to a learned philosopher is probably too complex for an uneducated person. On top of this, the Buddha clearly stated that he did not just intend to teach a doctrine, but intended to show the path that people can follow for their own development. This intention ultimately leads to the point where every individual has to decide which practices to follow and how to interpret the teachings, rather than adhering to a fixed doctrine.

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