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Mahayana, what means the 'great(er) vehicle', is a Buddhist tradition (school, stream) whih also is named as the Northern Buddism (Northern in Asia). It is situated mainly in the countries of Tibet, China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Korea and Japan.
 
Tibetan Buddhism (Lamaïsm) and Vajrayana Buddhism (the Diamond Vehicle"', also called Tantrayana or Esoterical Buddhism), situated mainly in Tibet and Japan (Shingon), are part of Mahayana Buddhism, but sometimes are considered as an separate vehicle (yana).

dalai-lama-tenzin-gyatzo-foto-wikipediaTibetan Buddhism became widely known and got support in the West as a result of the political history of Tibet with the Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatzo), its political authorithy and spiritual leader. China incorporated Tibet as an 'autonomous province' and in 1959 the Dalai Lama fled to India with about 80.000 Tibetans, to setlle in exile in Dharamsala. Since then many Tibetan temples have been establisched in Western countries.

Since the sixties Zen Buddhism of Japan became famous and developed itself in the West with many organizations and centers.

Read more:   the difference between Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism

                       the Theravada Buddhism

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