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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.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
(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).
Mahayanist or Amidist forms, claiming minds by virtue of its idealism and
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.
(12) Moreover, according to the seventh-century Chinese Buddhist monk, Yijing, Dvaravati was the country in which a famous Chinese Mahayanist monk named 'Mahayana Pradipa' or the 'Light of Mahayana' received his ordination.
His use of "ahimsa" is reminiscent of the Pauline "agape" (unconditional/reconciling love) and the Mahayanist "mahakaruna" (great compassion).
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.
(35) The ancient nature of the practice is indicated by Mahayanist East Asian sources, such as the great Chinese vinaya authority Daoxuan's (596-667 AD) vision of an ordination platform in which the indakhila is specifically described as taking the form of a dome-shaped reliquary (caitya) containing relics of the Buddha (36) while the indakhila's significance has carried down to the modern period to the extent that in northern Thailand it is often paraded around neighbouring villages in an elaborate fashion before being finally planted in the centre of a newly created monastic sima.
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.
(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." Yinshun (1981: 580-81) observes that the two Chinese translations of the Lallwvistara, the Puyao jing (T 186) and the Fangguang da zhuangyan jing (T 187), present a biography of the Buddha that is consistent with the Millasarvastivadins' biography, i.e., their Safighaltheda-vastu.
In order to counter any impression that Xuanzang may leave that Vajrapani's transformation into Garuda belonged only to the Gautama biographies of early Buddhism, it is perhaps worthwhile here briefly mentioning the broader and current Mahayanist theme of Bodhisattva transformation.