Definition of Hinayana in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌhiːnəˈjɑːnə/
(also Hinayana Buddhism)


[mass noun]
A name given by the followers of Mahayana Buddhism to the more orthodox schools of early Buddhism. The tradition died out in India, but it survived in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) as the Theravada school and was taken from there to other regions of SE Asia. See Theravada.
Example sentences
  • An example can be found in Buddhism itself, where people try to discriminate between Hinayana and Mahayana.
  • The Buddhist thought of the Three Kingdoms does not seem to have gone much beyond research into the texts of Hinayana and Mahayana.
  • But even if one is practicing Hinayana or Mahayana practice, the entire goal is to actually realize the ultimate Dharmata.


From Sanskrit hīna 'lesser' + yāna 'vehicle'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Hi¦na|yana

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