The Mahayana teachings are based on the ideal of the Bodhisattva. The Bodhisattva is a being whose activity is dedicated to the benefit of all sentient beings. On the Mahayana path the primary concern is not ones own liberation. Rather a Bodhisattva strives for the liberation of all beings. Like all teachings of the Buddha this part of the doctrines is based on the Four Noble Truths. The practice also includes ethical conduct, meditative absorption and the development of wisdom.
The term “Mahayana” consists of the parts with the following meaning: “Maha” means “Great” and “Yana” means “Vehicle”; so one speaks about “The Great Vehicle”. One of the most important scholars of Mahayana is Nagarjuna.