Three Vehicles of Buddhism
Geshe Lobsang Dawa, a teacher at Buddhist Dialectics Institute Dharamsala, explains the three primary branches of Buddhism or ‘The three vehicles of Buddhism’ which often go by the name of Theraveda, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. Geshe-la says, Theraveda or Hinayana literally means Lesser Vehicle and was taught in the Pali language. Mahayana which was taught in Sanskrit means Greater Vehicle and it differs from Hinayana by way of its broader motivation - thinking of overcoming suffering not only for oneself but all sentient beings. Vajrayana which was taught in Sanskrit language is also known as Tantrayana Buddhism.