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Mahāyāna; also called 上乘; 妙乘; 勝乘; 無上乘; 無上上乘; 不惡乘; 無等乘, 無等等乘; 摩訶衍 The great yāna, wain, or conveyance, or the greater vehicle in comparison with the 小乘 Hīnayāna. It indicates universalism, or Salvation for all, for all are Buddha and will attain bodhi. It is the form of Buddhism prevalent in Tibet, Mongolia, China, Korea, Japan, and in other places in the Far East. It is also called Northern Buddhism. It is interpreted as 大教 the greater teaching as compared with 小教 the smaller, or inferior. Hīnayāna, which is undoubtedly nearer to the original teaching of the Buddha, is unfairly described as an endeavour to seek nirvana through an ash-covered body, an extinguished intellect, and solitariness; its followers are sravakas and pratyekabuddhas (i.e. those who are striving for their own deliverance through ascetic works). Mahāyāna, on the other hand, is described as seeking to find and extend all knowledge, and, in certain schools, to lead all to Buddhahood. It has a conception of an Eternal Buddha, or Buddhahood as Eternal (Adi-Buddha), but its especial doctrines are, inter alia, (a) the bodhisattvas 菩薩 , i.e. beings who deny themselves final Nirvana until, according to their vows, they have first saved all the living; (b) salvation by faith in, or invocation of the Buddhas or bodhisattvas; (c) Paradise as a nirvana of bliss in the company of Buddhas, bodhisattvas, saints, and believers. Hīnayāna is sometimes described as 自利 self-benefiting, and Mahāyāna as 自利利他 self-benefit for the benefit of others, unlimited altruism and pity being the theory of Mahāyāna. There is a further division into one-yana and three-yanas: the trīyāna may be śrāvaka, pratyeka-buddha, and bodhisattva, represented by a goat, deer, or bullock cart; the one-yāna is that represented by the Lotus School as the one doctrine of the Buddha, which had been variously taught by him according to the capacity of his hearers, v. 方便. Though Mahāyāna tendencies are seen in later forms of the older Buddhism, the foundation of Mahāyāna has been attributed to Nāgārjuna 龍樹. “The characteristics of this system are an excess of transcendental speculation tending to abstract nihilism, and the substitution of fanciful degrees of meditation and contemplation (v. Samādhi and Dhyāna) in place of the practical asceticism of the Hīnayāna school.”[Eitel 68-9.] Two of its foundation books are the 起信論and the 妙法蓮華經 but a larnge numberof Mahāyāna sutras are ascribed to the Buddha。.