(Literally: “small vehicle.”) One of the three main branches of Buddhism, the other two being Mahayana (great vehicle), and Vajrayana (indestructible vehicle). Hinayana is considered by most to be the oldest form of Buddhism. Because “small vehicle” has at times been used as a derogatory term by other traditions, many followers prefer to use the term Therevada (Teaching of the Elders) to describe their beliefs.