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n. Buddhism
A conservative branch of Buddhism that adheres to Pali scriptures and the nontheistic ideal of self-purification to nirvana and is dominant in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.

[Pali theravāda : thera, an elder (from Sanskrit sthaviraḥ, old man, from sthavira-, old, venerable; see stā- in Indo-European roots) + vāda, doctrine (from Sanskrit vādaḥ, statement, doctrine; see wed- in Indo-European roots).]


(Buddhism) the southern school of Buddhism, the name preferred by Hinayana Buddhists for their doctrines
[from Pali: doctrine of the elders]


(ˌθɛr əˈvɑ də)

the earlier of the two major schools of Buddhism, still prevalent in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, and Cambodia, emphasizing personal salvation through one's own efforts.
[1875–80; < Pali]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Theravada - one of two great schools of Buddhist doctrine emphasizing personal salvation through your own efforts; a conservative form of Buddhism that adheres to Pali scriptures and the non-theistic ideal of self purification to nirvana; the dominant religion of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand and Laos and Cambodia
Buddhism - the teaching of Buddha that life is permeated with suffering caused by desire, that suffering ceases when desire ceases, and that enlightenment obtained through right conduct and wisdom and meditation releases one from desire and suffering and rebirth
Hinayana Buddhism, Hinayana - an offensive name for the early conservative Theravada Buddhism; it died out in India but survived in Sri Lanka and was taken from there to other regions of southwestern Asia
References in periodicals archive ?
Realizing that the dual ordination given by the Chinese bhikkhunis might not be accepted by the orthodox Theravadins back in their own homeland, the ten senior monks from Sri Lanka who attended the dual ordination arranged yet another ordination.
(2) On the other hand, Aung-Thwin's suggestion that as a paradigmatic example of 'righteous victory' (dhammavijaya), Aniruddha's story won favour among devout Theravadins of many ethnic backgrounds makes sense, and helps explain its popularity not only in Burmese, but in later Tai chronicle traditions.
The basic view of this school of Buddhist scholars was that only the Pali tradition as represented by the Theravadins was the true form of Buddhism and all other forms of Buddhism were distortions or adulterated.
In separate studies, Richard Gombrich and Donald Swearer have noted that one of the most striking changes in Theravada Buddhism is that lay Buddhists in Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Burma have reinterpreted Buddhist meditation to speak to the needs of their modern world.(54) Even though "A fortiori, [meditation] is certainly not to be regarded as an instrument for any form of worldly welfare or success,"(55) in the present, lay Theravadins in Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Burma meditate, not to attain nirvana - though this may be construed as their ultimate goal - but because they "feel better for it." Indeed, among those modern settings in which Buddhist meditation has adapted itself is Tallahassee, Florida.
Baggage Buddhists span the full range of schools and national origins, ranging from Theravadins from Cambodia to Mahayanists from Korea to Kalmyck Mongols of the Vajrayana school.
by previous translators like Nanamoli) of ayuhana as "accumulation" is misleading because it has the connotation of a "heaping up" of kamma, which was denied by the Theravadins. Instead, she says, "the translation of ayuhana as 'accumulation' should be interpreted, not as appropriating and preserving something so that it continues to exist, but as the production of a multiplicity of deeds that entail manifold karmic consequences and bring about rebirth" (348), and, most usefully, "ayuhana signifies the mind's function of striving to garner the necessary mental resources in order to produce an abundance of goal-oriented acts" (348349).
The Pali texts are well preserved by the Theravadins still prevalent in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.
Also it might be of their concern if the ordination in Bodh Gaya would be considered nanasamvasa (mixed sanghas) by the strict Theravadins back in Sri Lanka.
The extreme importance of the issue of altruism in asserting the superiority of Mahayana ethics has not gone unnoticed by modern Theravadins. Walpola Rahula, for example, says,
The Theravadins' Vessantara, the Mulasarvastivadins', Arya Sura's, and Ksemendra's Visvamtara, Valmiki's Rama, as well as the puranic Hariscandra, have in common that their stories end well because they are ultimately bound for kingship, resolving and yet containing the tragedies that unfolded along the way, as David Shulman and following him Steven Collins have pointed out.
The Theravadins consider the Chinese bhikkhuni lineage to be Mahayana, this also needs clarification.