Mahayana is the second of the three great Buddhist sectarian traditions, the other two being Theravada and Vajrayana. Emerging with the growth of new literature – the so-called Mahayana sutras – from the 1st century BCE to the 2nd century CE, the Mahayana developed new and interesting ideas such as emptiness, Buddha-nature, interpenetration and representation only. From these beginnings, it would come to influence most of East Asia and metamorphize into the more commonly known sects in the west such as Zen/Chan and Pure Land Buddhism.

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