With reference to the religious history of India, consider the following statements:
- Sthaviravadins belong to Mahayana Buddhism.
- Lokottaravadin sect was an offshoot of Mahasanghika sect of Buddhism.
- The deification of Buddha by Mahasanghikas fostered Mahayana Buddhism.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2020 Prelims]
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
- Statement 1 is incorrect as the Sthaviravadins belong to the Theravada tradition.
- Statement 2 is correct as the Lokottaravada was a subgroup that emerged from the Mahasanghika sect of Buddhism, according to Mahayana doxological sources compiled by Bhaviveka, Vinitadeva, and others.
- Statement 3 is correct as the Mahasaṅghikas believed in a plurality of supramundane (lokottara) buddhas and were known to patronize Mahayana Buddhism.
Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.