Would it be true to say that cultivation of a non-dualistic view is more important in Mahayana Buddhism than Hinayana?

  • What's Hinayana?
    – Lowbrow
    Jun 2, 2015 at 4:18
  • I used the term Hinayana to refer to the earliest schools of Buddhism. As mentioned by @Samadhi below, even although Theravada is associated with the early schools of Buddhism it is not the same as Hinayana. Mahayana (Greater Vehicle) Buddhist thought was a later historical development and the Mahayana commentators referred to earlier Buddhist schools as Hinayana (Lesser Vehicle). There are no Hinayana schools left.
    – Devindra
    Jun 2, 2015 at 8:41
  • Nice discussion of the term here - buddhism.stackexchange.com/questions/2949/…
    – Devindra
    Jun 2, 2015 at 8:46
  • I am inclined to answer your question, but I would like to know what you mean by 'view'. Do you mean (1) 'perspective', or (2) 'realization', or (3) something else? Dec 29, 2015 at 17:59
  • @Tenzin Dorje by 'view' I mean - the understanding that unfolds about the true nature of reality as realization deepens. So in this sense it's a combination of 1 & 2 but I'm also alluding to the emphasis placed right at the very beginning of practices in Mahayana that full enlightenment is a human beings fundamental state i.e. nothing to polish or refine.
    – Devindra
    Jan 2, 2016 at 13:15

2 Answers 2


The two traditions are different in that Mahayana uses a transformation process, that is, we try to "be" a bodhisattva which means incorporating their virtues and their mind. So we try to have a non-dualistic view. We don't get it in the beginning so we continue to refine our views. Question what do we do with hate and craving in Mahayana?

In the Theravada (which is similar to, but, is not hinayana) tradition it is a development process which means we deal with greed, hate and delusion until we eventually automatically come to posses a non-dualistic view.

Some people find transformation easier, rewarding and enjoyable, while others find development easier, rewarding and enjoyable.

Which do you prefer tea or coffee to quench your thirst?

nb similary with Vajrayana.

  • So, in Theravada you're occasionally aware of greed, hate and delusion, and deal with them as they occur, and therefore end up with a non-dualistic view? And how is that different in Mahayana: is it that in Mahayana we try to incorporate their virtues, whereas in Theravada we try to eliminate the 'three poisons'?
    – ChrisW
    Jun 1, 2015 at 16:11
  • To deal with greed, hate and delusion, or to eliminate the "three poisons" requires the purification of views, by seeing the 3 marks of existence, anicca, dukkha, anatta and obtained the view of no-self. etc..See the Seven Stages of Purification. In Mahayana in incorporating their virtues we have to have a non-dualistic view so can be equanimous or compassionate.
    – Samadhi
    Jun 1, 2015 at 16:28
  • Put it another way incorporating their virtues involve refining views and conduct until the three poisons are eliminated and that requires wisdom. To put it in yet another way you either sculp (Mahayana) or you assemble(Theravada) to end up with a "noble being".
    – Samadhi
    Jun 1, 2015 at 16:34

Non duality is to be realized rather than "cultivated".

Non duality and emptiness are the same.

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    – user2424
    Dec 15, 2015 at 17:36

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