Several present discussions here are bringing up historical school topics. For some time I’ve been looking for a comprehensive flow chart showing the evolution and branches of the schools of Buddhism from the Buddha to today. Most are incomplete, focus on certain branches, aren’t really correct for various reasons or are not aesthetically functional. Does anyone have a good resource?
The most comprehensive summary of the different genealogies of Buddhist sects that I know of is found in Bareau’s book I mentioned in another thread. He creates some tables and charts to illustrate what the different accounts say.
The difficulty with creating a single flow chart is that the history is sketchy and the texts that try to lay it out disagree with each other about how the later schools descending from the earlier ones, especially some of the schools that descended from the Sthavira branch. Some have a group of them branching off from the Sarvastivadins, and others have them as an independent tradition called the Vibhajyavadins. So, a single flowchart gets difficult to make as you go forwards in time. The different accounts start contradicting each other or don’t mention schools that others do. It was probably due to geography as much as the amount of time that had passed. Northern Buddhists and Southern Buddhists didn’t seem that aware of each other’s later history.