Buddhism

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Buddhism

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Buddhism

In the 5th century, Mahayana Buddhism spread into Sumatra and Java from northern India. Mahayana teachings aim at enlightening all individuals. Adherents of the Mahayana tradition venerate both the Sakyamuni Buddha and bodhisattvas.

From Sri Lanka, Theravada Buddhism spread in to Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia from the 11th until the 14th century. Following the Pali Canon and worshiping Sakyamuni exclusively, Theravada Buddhism emphasizes the monkhood where all males are expected to enter a monastery before getting married. Indigenous spirit systems, such as nat in Myanmar, phi in Laos and Thailand, and neak ta in Cambodia continue to play a function in everyday life.


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