Mahayana (Skt. mahāyāna; Tib. ཐེག་ཆེན་ tekpa chenpo; Wyl. theg pa chen po) — the great or universal vehicle. The essence of the mahayana is the aspiration to attain buddhahood as the only means to help all beings find liberation from suffering. This aspiration is called bodhichitta, the ‘heart of enlightened mind’, and is realized on both an absolute and relative level.
Mahayana sutras include large texts such as the Avatamsaka Sutra or the Lotus Sutra, and the important collection of Prajnaparamita sutras. The most important Mahayana treatises are those composed by Nagarjuna and Asanga.
- Great vehicle
- Universal vehicle (Robert Thurman)