Mahayana is renowned as one of the two main existing schools of Buddhism. It is an expression for categorization of Buddhist philosophies and practice. Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren Buddhism, Shingon, Tibetan Buddhism and Tendai are the names of the main schools of Mahayana Buddhism. Mahayana was first founded in India and later the name was used in three main senses.
Mahayana is greater than the two other major traditions of Buddhism existing today, followed by Theravada. This classification is chiefly acknowledged by all Buddhist schools.
Origin of Mahayana Buddhism:
Mahayana is referred as the level of spiritual motivation (also known as Bodhisattvayana), as per Mahayana scheme of Buddhist classification of philosophies. The alternative approach is known as Hinayana (Theravada Buddhism), or Arhatyana, according to this classification. Mahayana is recognized and considered as very relevant for practice of Buddhism.
Mahayana is one of the three prior routes to enlightenment, as per Vajrayana scheme of classification of practice paths. This categorization is a major segment of the teachings of Vajrayana Buddhism. Though the movement Mahayana traces its origin to Gautama Buddha, according to scholars it originated in India in the 1st century CE. Today, Mahayana has spread throughout the entire East Asia. China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam are particular countries which practiced Mahayana Buddhism.