Basic vehicle

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Basic Vehicle (Skt. Hīnayāna; Tib. ཐེག་དམན་, tek men, Wyl. theg dman) — literally the 'Lesser Vehicle', but perhaps more accurately understood as 'Vehicle of Lesser Result'. What principally distinguishes followers of the Basic Vehicle from those of the Great Vehicle (Skt. Mahayana) is their motivation. They aspire for the personal liberation of nirvana, and lack the courage to pursue the greater fruition of the Mahayana—this being the enlightenment of all sentient beings.

It comprises both the Shravakayana or vehicle of shravakas and the Pratyekabuddhayana or vehicle of pratyekabuddhas.

Alternative Translations

  • Fundamental Vehicle
  • Individual Vehicle

Further Reading

  • Chögyam Trungpa, The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma, Volume One: The Path of Individual Liberation (Shambhala, 2014)