Buddhism is a philosophy with a wide variety of traditions, beliefs, and practices that are largely based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha. Two main branches of Buddhism are recognized: Theravada ("The School of the Elders") and Mahayana ("Greater") vehicle.
Theravada, the older branch, has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Mahayana has a large following across East Asia and encompasses the traditions of the Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Shingon, Tendai, and Shinnyo-en. While Buddhism is the most popular in Asia, the two branches have now spread across the entire world.