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Definition Of:

Mahayana

Buddhism Dictionary
Mahayana means "The Great Raft" or "The Great Vehicle." It is the largest and most influential of the three main forms of Buddhism (the other two being Theravada and Vajrayana ). It is practiced in China, Japan and Korea. Vajrayana derived from it and shares many similarities with it. Mahayana emphasizes the idea of the bodhisattva over that of the arhat . The goal of an individual is therefore not to pass out of this world into nirvana, but to attain enlightenment--with the wisdom, understanding and power that goes with it--and then to show compassion by returning to this world to help those in need. Amitabha Buddha did this to establish Pure Land Buddhism. In comparison to Theravada , Mahayana Buddhism emphasizes the help that gods and bodhisattvas can give to people to help them escape samsara . It has elaborate descriptions of how this works and emphasizes prayers and rituals that enable people to seek this help. Zen is another branch of Mahayana Buddhism.
Buddhist Glossary
Sanskrit; literally, "the Great Vehicle"; one of the three major schools of Buddhism which developed in India during the first century C.E.; it is called the "Great Vehicle" because of its all-inclusive approach to liberation as embodied in the bodhisattva ideal and the desire to liberate all beings; the Mahayana school is also known for placing less emphasis on monasticism than the Theravada school and for introducing the notion of sunyata.
See also: CHANDOGYA , GITA , PURANA , Panna , Japa

 

Buddhism Dictionary INDEX:

List of Terms: Terms beginning with "A", Page 1

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

A: Page 1 of 9.

ABHAYAM
ABHIMANA
ABHYASA
ADHIKARI
ADHISHTHANA
ADHYASA
ADHYATMIC
ADHYAYANA
AGRAHYA
AHANKARA
AISVARYA
AJARAM

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