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Term Definition

(skt.: hinayana; tib.: theg men) Small or lesser vehicle. It refers to one of the two general divisions of Buddhism. Hinayana is a collective term for eighteen Buddhist schools, only one of which is currently extant, Theravada. Some of the other schools are: Ekavyavaharika, Lokottaravada, Kaukkutika, Bahushrutiya, Prajnaptivadin (also Prajnaptivadin), Chaityavadin, Aparashaila, Uttarashaila, Mahasamghika, Mahishasaka, Kashyapiya, Sautrantika, Dharmottara, Bhadrayaniya, Sammatiya, Shannagarika.

Motivation of Hinayana pracititioners for following the Dharma path is renunciation of samsara and their goal is personal nirvana. This is also why this school is called lesser vehicle - because the motivation is smaller than in Mahayana. There are two kind of Hinayana practitioners: hearers and solitary-realizers.


Words of Wisdom

"O friends who would follow my tradition: Do not permit your minds to wander aimlessly. Constantly be mindful of your thoughts and try by every means to remain on the direct path to Enllightenment."
- 1st Dalai Lama

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