Let me discuss clearly to distinguish between the difference of Hinayana School and Mahayana Schools Of Buddhism.
Hinayana Buddhism mostly found in south asia countries like thailand,burma,cambodia,malaysia etc.. and Mahayana school(the core philosophy of Lotus sutra teaching) holding countries like japan,korea,china...
First, Hinayana is only attaining the state of arhat or saint,In contast to this, mahayana is more on higher level conditionthan in arhat and that is by observing the practice of Boddhisattva... Hinayana as a whole regarded Buddha as existing on an incomparably high level than themselves, one which they could not possibly hope to attain, and so they are confined their efforts to the attainment of the relatively less exalted level of the arhat, the "perfect being". But, even level of arhat was considered difficult to attain. Man is a creature od desires, and even the most pious are constantly in danger of succumbibg to temptation..Because of this oulook members of Hinayana sects hedge their lives about the great numbers of rules and regulations or keeping the monastic precepts until their attention became wholly fixed upon matters of monastic Discipline..Thus the original aim of Buddhsim, bringing of all salvations to all people was entirely neglected.
In contrast, Mahayana follower seeking out the practice of boddhisattva so that they also achieve enlightenment as what Buddha had..Boddhisattva way does not strive to benefit himself alone.Rather he seeks out the Buddha Way in order to be able to save all other beings from sufferings of life.
Second, There diffrence is in terms between the emphasis upon Karmic Law.... In HInayana is essentially negative attitude, which seeks to escape reality from suffering imposed by Karma(Fate) and transmigration by fleeing or taking away to another realms.Like for instance, Hinayana teaching them to eliminate desires which is the cause of suffering and hoping to live in another world which called "pure Land" or mythical Buddha land ,where the Buddha dwells and can be can be found in the western part of the universe which is something common belief in the concept of "Heaven" in CHristianity. While, in contrast to this Mahayana is a positive approach,which deliberately seeks to encounter suffering in order to fufill the vow and practice of the Boddhisattva and to attain BUddhahood. Also, Mahayana teachings look on desire as a driving impetus for self improvement and growth in our lives and then achieve enlightenment in the principle that earthly desires are enlightenment... THis must be very important difference between this 2 schools.
Of course, Buddha taught that existence is marked by suffering. But that is not the total sum of the Buddha's message. He went on to urge men(people) not to try escape from this suffering of birth, old age sickness,and death, but we have to face them up boldly and in that way to overcome them.
Third point, as i had explain to u earlier in my previous letter that in Hinayana aim for the self improvement and advancement of the individual or practicing their own benefit.While Mahayana aims for the improvement of society as a whole and for the salvation of all beings- to lead them to enlightenment.
Thus, we can give symbolic expression to this point of their difference, Mahayana means the " GREAT VEHICLE", which conveys all sentient beings to salvation, Hinayan the "LESSER VEHICLE", which suitable only for the salvation of the single individual.
Fourth, of their difference between the 2 is that Hinayana was essentially the concern of the Monks,the especialist in the filled. They valued faith and practice over the theory or in other words, they are more on theoritical speculation and devorce from question of practice... By Contrast, mAHAYANA insisted this matter that any theories that may be set forth must be founded upon practicing buddha's teaching rather than empty speculation.