Cittasanto wrote:but what exactly are you on about if not trying to find a better term?
Well, I feel theravada and hinayana can be both in some cases
a bit misleading. And I don't want to be one of those arrogant mahayana-guys who are disparaging pratimoksha practices. Root-yana is somewhat good term imo, because it points out that Theravada is the basis of all the lineages. Without it they would just fall. What do you think?
Theravada is not the basis of all lineages. nor has the patimokkha got anything to do with other schools sets of rules.
Theravada refers to one school and is quite clear as to what it means by those who follow Theravadan Buddhism. and is not a umbrella term like Mahayana.
Root (mula) yana would refer to pre-sectarian Buddhism and is already called early or pre-sectarian Buddhism.
Hinayana (hina = low; despicable; inferiour; base; + Yana = vehicle; going) in some cases can be used as a derogetory term for the early schools that came before Mahayana, or as hina is originally used within the Suttas, for practices which are not
beneficial for the path.
In the former use (here) it has sometimes been used for Theravadins without any real knowledge of what Theravada teaches or practices, and as a means to try and belittle adherents of Theravada by writing off what they have to say without any knowledge of what they are actually saying.
In a more specialised use of the term it refers to certain foundational practices, or initial scope of practice, (as I understand its use). However in this latter usage, there is a mistaken perception that this refers to Theravadin practice, when all it refers to is a scope of practice within Mahayana/Vajrayana.