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Sthaviravāda. One of two early Buddhist schools into which the community split at the Buddhist Council of Pātaliputra, the other being Mahāsāṅghika. The cause of the split is uncertain, but probably concerned proposals to extend the vinaya rules, so that traditional practices could be formalized as obligatory. The conservative majority, Mahāsāṃghikas, resisted innovation. Traditionally, the split was over the exact status of arhat. According to the Mahāsāṃghika, he is still subject to temptation, can still make progress, has not overcome all ignorance; according to Sthaviravāda, he is no longer ‘human’ in those ways. But this account seems to reflect later debates.

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