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Is Theravada Buddhism the closest to what Buddha taught?

Like Zen is just a rip off of Taoism and Tibetan Buddhism mixes in the old Tibetan religion. So is it accurate that Theravada is the most correct?


  1. Well I don’t know about all that.
    I do know that there are many differing methods of teaching Dharma because there are many different kinds of people.
    None usurps the other in the what ‘the Buddha taught’ as the teachings always remain the same.

  2. Theravada came from (or is) the only remaining ‘hinayana’ school, which were the earliest set of schools. Ven. Upali recited the Vinaya Pitaka and Ven. Ananda recited the Sutta Pitaka soon after the Buddha’s passing. These texts became the cornerstone of Theravada.
    I have read claims that the sakya school of tibetan Buddhism is the ‘purest schools’ but I’ve not been able to work out what that actually means.

  3. I would disagree with the statements about Vajrayana and Chan. To be honest, even the Pali Canon was committed to writing a few 100 years after the Buddha passed away and some scholarly work has shown that one sutta in particular was most probably translated into Pali. One of the important things is the Vinaya and it is quite consistent in all traditions. Also consider that the texts fromt he Pali Canon also have their equivalents in the various Mahayana canons. All traditions share the same foundation and ring true of Buddha’s teachings.

  4. Zen got very little to do with Taoism because Zen gets nothing to teach. See the section “Different Levels Have Different Laws” of the Zhuan Falun Lecture on the web.
    You may consider Theravada Buddhism the closest to Buddha Shakymuni’s teaching relative to Zen. See the section “Buddhist Qigong and Buddhism” in the same lecture.
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  5. If one is studying Buddhism then its a good idea to start with Theravada first to understand the basic teachings of Buddha. Mahayana should always have the 4 Noble Truths and the Eightfold path within the teachings.
    It is incorrect to say that Tibetan Buddhism mixes in the old Tibetan religion. Tibetan Buddhism came from India and there are lineages of teachings and instructions which have been carefully preserved and which are direct transmissions from Indian siddhas as well as from the Buddha’s teachings.


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