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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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Mahayanist - an adherent of Mahayana BuddhismMahayanist - an adherent of Mahayana Buddhism  
Mahayana - a major school of Buddhism teaching social concern and universal salvation; China; Japan; Tibet; Nepal; Korea; Mongolia
adherent, disciple - someone who believes and helps to spread the doctrine of another
References in periodicals archive ?
In other words, this teaching is provisional and intentional (abhiprayika), and testifies to the Buddha's skill in means (upayakausalya)--a ubiquitous Mahayanist hermeneutic device.
This may seem to be an especially liberal Mahayana perspective, but if we consider the Milindapanha, which explicitly advocates torture, scourging, amputation and the death penalty as punishments, the Mahayanist approach here is actually much less harsh.
In order to consider the validity of this "abundance" model, we need to examine how salvation is broadly understood in the Mahayanist traditions.
176) The Mahayanist School acknowledges the Pali Canon, but also adds other transcriptions often written in Sanskrit.
This is somewhat of a revealing perception by a Mahayanist of Theravada which is the only extant example of so-called Hinayana Buddhism, largely believed to be other-worldly and anti-social.
But also in the Samyutta Nikaya [12:15], the Sasta (teacher himself has called exactly the Mahayanist so-called "Sophistic Nihilistic" view as the middle way (Majjena).
For Mahayanist altruism this signifies the religio-ethical threshold between karmic dualism and a non-dual surrender, an a-causal and trans-karmic access, to Buddhist awakening.
His use of "ahimsa" is reminiscent of the Pauline "agape" (unconditional/reconciling love) and the Mahayanist "mahakaruna" (great compassion).
Gier and Kjellberg seem to acknowledge the more restricted interpretation when they state: "The definition of karma as volitional action is not only good Pali Buddhism but it is also the position of the great Mahayanist philosopher Vasubandhu: 'karma is will (cetana) and voluntary action (cetayita karanam).
80) Ruegg (2004: 38) comments: The Lalitavistara, a biography of the Buddha, is also described in its title as a Mahayanasilira; but very much of the work is far from being specifically Mahayanist.
Buddhism and the Freedom of the Will: Pali and Mahayanist Responses.
As these became more isolated from centers of Mahayanist orthodoxy, the Buddhist heritage of the temples "became less and less obvious, while their specifically Lahu, G'uisha-centered, character became ever more pronounced" (p.