From Sanskrit and Pali, a term used incorrectly to describe the introductory level of spiritual instruction, and is often mistranslated to mean "smaller vehicle." The Sanskrit components are yana, "vehicle" and hina "despicable," thus the literal definition is “vehicle of despicable quality.” This is a very disparaging, rude term used by opponents of a long lost school of Buddhism. That school was ridiculed because it focused only on the introductory aspects of the teaching, thus the term has been associated with the modern introductory schools, properly called Sutrayana, Theravada, Shravakayana, or Foundational Vehicle.

“According to Hinayana, the so-called “Smaller vehicle,” whose practitioners seek nirvana for their own sake, the mind should be trained to exercise a will strong enough to renounce samsara. The practitioner should pursue religious ethics and simultaneously practice meditative absorption and insight so that delusion and its seeds may be purged, ultimately, never to grow again. Thus, we attain nirvana.” - The 14th Dalai Lama

In other words, the Introductory Path is concerned only with oneself. In the next two phases of instruction (Mahayana and Tantrayana), the focus shifts towards benefitting others.

Share This Page:


  • I am so very grateful for you all and what you have done in my life to help me realize myself and what path it’s actually wise to tread and stay on. Thank you I honestly cannot thank you enough.

  • I cannot thank you enough for all that you are doing and providing to spread the opportunity of true Gnosis. I have greatly benefited from the information on the website...

  • Your lectures, books, practices, etc. have radically changed my life in a profound manner. Especially putting into daily practice the teachings from the lectures... Your efforts making the lectures and everyone involved who makes it possible are a true blessing to humanity and beyond.

  • These books have helped me changed my whole reality,..... Tragic and beautiful that pendulum we swing,...

  • Your books, lectures and courses have made the last years of my life complete. When that final hour comes, I know I will land in the right place.

  • What you guys are doing is really wonderful. You have helped me understand in my spiritual practice. I am truly grateful that your works is changing lives. When the student is really ready, the teacher has finally arrive to guide.