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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
(4) See Gregory Schopen, "The Phrase 'sa prthivipradesah caityabhuto bhavet in the Vajracchedika: Notes on the Cult of the Book in Mahayana," Indo-Iranian Journal 17 (1975): 147-81.
The two names, and the compound they form, have been used broadly to designate the second scholastic branch of Mahayana Buddhism--the first branch being Madhyamaka.
The volume contains twenty-nine articles, assembled under the following topics: "Introduction to Buddhist Faith," "Buddhist Studies," "Buddhism and Jainism," "Abhidharma Literature;' "Jataka and Avadana Literature," "Mahayana" and "Ritual Texts." Some of the pieces here will be of interest to readers today primarily as historical pieces, such as the article, "Buddhist Studies in Recent Times," published in 1956 on the state of the field at that time.
Suramgamasamadhisutra; the concentration of heroic progress, an early Mahayana Buddhist scripture.
Wright argues that for Zen to find its moral bearings and be relevant to a modern context it must engage in critical thinking and reflection, and recover elements in its Mahayana roots that support such considerations.
Explanatory and subjective, utilizing neither traditional Buddhist nor modern Western methodologies, incorporating translation terminologies and explanatory essays going back a hundred years, this essay on "the arising of mind" (sic) adds nothing to our understanding of Mahayana Buddhism or the text in question.
Bodhisattvas of the forest and the formation of the Mahayana; a study and translation of the Rastrapalapariprccha-sutra.
Bodhisattva Archetypes introduced seven major figures in seven chapters--Sakyamuni, Manjusri, Samantabhadra, Avalokitesvara (Guanyin in Chinese, Kannon in Japanese), K.itigarbha (Jizo in Japanese), Maitreya, and Vimalakirti--preceded by introductory overviews on the bodhisattva ideal as benefiting beings, the major sutras and schools of the Mahayana tradition, the ten paramitas (what Leighton calls the "transcendent practices"), and concluding with a short chapter inviting the reader to awaken to and sustain embodiment of the bodhisattva ideals in our time.
Pagel confesses in his introduction to the book that he is certainly not the first person to have noticed references to the Bodhisattvapitaka in the post-nikaya Buddhist literature, noting such eminent scholars as Etienne Lamotte, Jean Przyluski, Alex Wayman, and Anthony Warder who have mentioned this source; and to Priscilla Pedersen and Nancy Schuster (in the 1970s) for having explored some of the references in the wider context of Mahayana literature.
He begins with the origin of Buddhism in India and discusses the Mahayana branch, major doctrines and practices, and the four orders of Tibetan Buddhism.
As the birthplace of the historical Buddha and one of the main centers of Mahayana Buddhist tradition, Nepal has long drawn the attention of eminent Buddhist scholars around the world.
Taking Avalokitesvara, perhaps the most popular of bodhisattvas in Mahayana Buddhism, as a focal point, John Holt raises the issue of "how elements of one religious culture are assimilated into another and then legitimated" (p.