Different sects of Budhism

Buddha had opposed any tendency among his followers to deify him, and yet by the first century A.D., his image was carved in stone and worshipped as that of a god. 

There appeared different sects in Buddhism. The more orthodox Buddhists maintained that theirs was the original teaching of the Buddha and they were called the Hinayana sect of the followers or the ‘Lesser Vehicle’. Those that accepted the new ideas were called the Mahayana sect or the followers of the Greater Vehicle. 

Eventually, the Hinayana Buddhism found its stronghold in Ceylon, Burma and the countries of south-east Asia, whereas Mahayana Buddhism became the dominant sect in India, central Asia, Tibet, China and Japan.