As Buddhism spread, further splits occurred than those that happened at the first council and eventually a new and distinct form of Buddhism emerged
- This new form of Buddhism is known as Mahayana or the 'Greater Vehicle'
Mahayana Buddhism is characterised by the following:
- An emphasis on the bodhisattva path rather than the path of the arhat
- A new and extended Buddhology that saw the Buddha as a glorious being and played down his historical side
- New sutras claiming to be utterances from the still extant (still in existence) Buddha
- A focus on karuna (compassion) to balance prajna (wisdom)
- The idea that merit could be 'turned over…