Theradava means the ‘the way of the elders,’ meaning it is the oldest of the Buddhist traditions and most closely associated with the teachings of the historical Buddha. The teachings are collected in the Tipitaka, which are three collections of texts which include the earliest teachings of the Buddha. They are also known as the Pali Canon.
Theravada has a strong monastic tradition; however, the Buddha also established ethical guidelines for lay practitioners. Theravada practitioners study and practice to fully follow in the Buddha’s footsteps and realize enlightenment.