Buddhism is a religion and a philosophy taught by Sakyamuni Buddha or Gautama Buddha in the 6th century B.C. (around 2,600 years ago). He left us with 7,000 sutras.
Today there are two major schools of Buddhism, the Theravada and the Mahayana. Despite the variety, these two schools still share the common elements of tradition, attitude, and core teachings of Buddhism. Like a deeply rooted tree that have developed branches.
Theravada, the oldest surviving form of Buddhism, is largely practiced in the Southern Asian countries of Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, and Thailand. This maybe the most orthodox school of Buddhism as it holds the earliest teachings of the Buddha. It places little or no emphasis to deities. The goal of its teachings is to achieve Nirvana or a state of bliss free from the bonds of the never ending cycle of rebirth.
Mahayana is practiced in different forms mostly in Japan, Korea, China and Tibet. We say different forms because Mahayana is not a single group but a variety of schools such as Zen, Pureland and Tibetan, to name a few. Several Mahayana schools honor a variety of Buddhas.