The Mahayana (Large Vehicle) is a main direction of today's Buddhism aside from the Hinayana (Small Vehicle). It sees itself as the second Rotation of the wheel of the doctrine.
The Mahayana was solidified by Nagarjuna and Asanga and was taught as such about 500 years after Buddha's death.
In the Hinayana the practitioner desires to obtain salvation from suffering. In the Mahayana there is the wish that all beings are attain a true spiritual solution.
This Bodhisattva-Yana was initially not a new line, but a view of variuos monks in the existing nikāyas. The splitting took place after the second buddhist council.
The path of the Mahayana developed two lines through the visions of Asanga and Nagarjuna:
Among the teachings of the third rotation of the wheel of the Dharma are the Vajrayana and the explanations of the Buddha nature in the Uttara-Tantra-Shastra.
Mahayana - Sutras
The Mahayana, during its spread, produced a series of his own writings which include :
* the Prajnaparamita-Sutras,
* the Aṣṭasāhasrikā-Sutra,
* the Pañcavimśātisāhasrikā-Prajñāpāramitā-Sutra,
* the Heart-Sutra,
* the Diamant-Sutra,
* the Lotus-Sutra ,
* the Vimalakirti-Sutra,
* the Avatamsaka-Sutra,
* the Nirvana-Sutra,
* the Lankāvatāra-Sutra,
* the Samadhiraja-Sutra,
* the Sutra of the golden light(Arya-Mahayana),
* the Samadhinirmocana-Sutra,
* the Lalitavistara-Sutra as Buddha-Biography of Mahayana,
* the Brahmajāla-Sutra,
* the Śūraṅgama-Sutra,
* the Ullambana-Sutra,
* the Medicine-Master-Sūtra,
* the Plattform-Sutra.
Furthermore, the three sutras of the Pure Land, ie. the Sukhāvatīvyūha-Sūtra, the Sutra of Immeasurable Life, the small Pure-Land Amitabha Sutra, the Amida Sutra, the Amitāyurdhyāna Meditation Sutra and the Contemplation Sutra, as well as the five Buddha Maitreya writings on Asanga and Vasubandhu:
In addition to Prajñāpāramitā, an adapted form of the indian Tara - cult was introduced.