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One of the major schools of Buddhism, traditionally active in much of Nepal, Tibet, and East Asia and emphasizing compassion and the possibility of universal salvation.

[Sanskrit Mahāyānam, greater vehicle (as contrasted with Hīnayānam, lesser vehicle; see Hinayana) : mahā-, great; see meg- in Indo-European roots + yānam, vehicle; see ei- in Indo-European roots.]

Ma′ha·ya′nist n.
Ma′ha·ya·nis′tic adj.


a. a liberal Buddhist school of Tibet, China, and Japan, whose adherents aim to disseminate Buddhist doctrines, seeking enlightenment not for themselves alone, but for all sentient beings
b. (as modifier): Mahayana Buddhism.
[from Sanskrit, from mahā great + yāna vehicle]
ˌMahaˈyanist n


(ˌmɑ həˈyɑ nə)

one of the two major schools of Buddhism, characterized by a belief in a common search for salvation. Compare Hinayana.
[1865–70; < Skt =mahā- great + yāna vehicle]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Mahayana - a major school of Buddhism teaching social concern and universal salvationMahayana - a major school of Buddhism teaching social concern and universal salvation; China; Japan; Tibet; Nepal; Korea; Mongolia
Buddhism - a religion represented by the many groups (especially in Asia) that profess various forms of the Buddhist doctrine and that venerate Buddha
Mahayanist - an adherent of Mahayana Buddhism
2.Mahayana - one of two great schools of Buddhist doctrine emphasizing a common search for universal salvation especially through faith aloneMahayana - 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
Buddhism - the teaching of Buddha that life is permeated with suffering caused by desire, that suffering ceases when desire ceases, and that enlightenment obtained through right conduct and wisdom and meditation releases one from desire and suffering and rebirth
Yogacara - one of the main traditions of Mahayana Buddhism; holds that the mind is real but that objects are just ideas or states of consciousness
References in periodicals archive ?
More than 1,000 bhikkus representing Theravada, Mahayana, Thanthrayana, Vajrayana and Sen Buddhism will participate at this summit.
A meditating Buddha, enthroned on the coils of a giant serpent, multi-headed and-hooded, emerged as a Mahayana icon in Sri Lanka in the 8th century, then among the Mons of the Peninsula, and reached the Khmer empire in the 10th century, where it would eventually be reproduced on a massive scale and erected as the supreme icon in the central sanctuary of the Bayon, Angkor's first Buddhist state temple built by King Jayavarman VII.
It also contains separate editions of fragments of four Mahayana sutras in these pressmarks by experts on the respective texts, uniting them with fragments of the same folios from other collections.
com)-- Bhutan Mahayana Tours is organizing a bird watching tour of 13 days that will celebrate the occasion of the birth anniversary of his majesty DrukyalZhipa.
cummings' Buddhist prosody, the Zen anarchism of Gary Snyder and Philip Whalen, the influence of Ernst Haeckel and Arthur Schopenhauer on Samuel Beckett's How It Is, Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior as Mahayana meditation, and Buddhism and quantum theory in contemporary nonfiction.
Students read the book at the end of the term as a review of Mahayana and brief introduction to Vajrayana Buddhism.
From a Mahayana Buddhist point of view, the closest equivalent to the term "salvation" is samyaksambodhi, or perfect liberation, the attainment of buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings.
Alia stated that an education system firmly based on the Buddhist culture, thrived for several centuries, while the Mahayana order of Buddhism gave a new impetus to the education of monks and the laity.
Faces of Compassion: Classic Bodhisattva Archetypes and Their Modern Expression: An Introduction to Mahayana Buddhism" explores the Bodhisattva Archetypes and their presence in the modern day.
What Z is a form of Mahayana Buddhism which began in China in about the 16th century AD?
3] The most pleasant surprise in Tron: Legacy is its proficient use of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy.