great vehicle ［大乗］ ( daijō): Also, Great Vehicle. The Mahayana teachings. The Sanskrit word Mahayana means great vehicle. Great vehicle indicates a teaching capable of carrying many people to enlightenment. The term is used in contrast with the lesser vehicle, Hinayana, a name given by Mahayanists to the more conservative monastic forms of Buddhism of their time and indicating a teaching that can carry only a limited number of people to enlightenment.