The Theravāda Abhidhamma is a scholastic systematization of the Theravāda school's understanding of the highest Buddhist teachings (Abhidhamma). These teachings are traditionally believed to have been taught by the Buddha, though modern scholars date the texts of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka to the 3rd century BCE. Theravāda traditionally sees itself as the vibhajjavāda, which reflects the analytical (vibhajjati) method used by the Buddha and early Buddhists to investigate the nature of the person and other phenomena.
Theravāda is the most commonly accepted name of Buddhism's oldest existing school.
The school's adherents, termed Theravādins, have preserved their version of Gautama Buddha's teaching or Buddha Dhamma in the Pāli Canon for over a millennium.
The Pāli Canon is the most complete Buddhist canon surviving in a classical Indian language, Pāli, which serves as the school's sacred language and lingua franca.
In contrast to Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna, Theravāda tends to be conservative in matters of .