Definitions for mahayanaˌmɑ həˈyɑ nə
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a major school of Buddhism teaching social concern and universal salvation; China; Japan; Tibet; Nepal; Korea; Mongolia
Mahayana, Mahayana Buddhism(noun)
one of two great schools of Buddhist doctrine emphasizing a common search for universal salvation especially through faith alone; the dominant religion of China and Tibet and Japan
A school of Buddhism widely practised in China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia. It literally means "Great Vehicle" and teaches universal salvation with emphasis on social concerns.
Origin: From महायान.
Mahāyāna is one of the two main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice. Mahāyāna Buddhism originated in India, and some scholars believe that it was initially associated with one of the oldest historical branches of Buddhism, the Mahāsāṃghika. The Mahāyāna tradition is the largest major tradition of Buddhism existing today, with 56% of practitioners, compared to 38% for Theravāda and 6% for Vajrayāna. According to the teachings of Mahāyāna traditions, "Mahāyāna" also refers to the path of seeking complete enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings, also called "Bodhisattvayāna", or the "Bodhisattva Vehicle." In the course of its history, Mahāyāna Buddhism spread from India to various other Asian countries such as Bangladesh, China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Bhutan, Malaysia, and Mongolia. Major traditions of Mahāyāna Buddhism today include Zen, Chinese Chán, Pure Land, Tiantai, and Nichiren. It also includes the Vajrayāna Buddhist traditions of Shingon, Tendai and Tibetan Buddhism, which add esoteric teachings to the Mahāyāna tradition.
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