Furthermore, the one thing all of the Mahayana traditions have in common, whether it is the Chinese Buddhist tradition or the Tibetan tradition, or whether it is the sutra tradition or the tantra tradition, is the foundation of bodhicitta. When we receive a teaching, it is very important that we do so having generated bodhicitta. The reason for this is that without bodhicitta, none of the Dharma activities we might engage in— listening to a teaching, reciting the Buddha’s name, making offerings, or engaging in meditation—will fall within the scope of the motivation of Mahayana Buddhism. The distinction between the greater vehicle and the lesser vehicle is that the Mahayana tradition is oriented toward attaining buddhahood whereas the lesser vehicle is oriented towards attaining arhathood.
Depicted from "Guide to the Four Preliminary Practices 1 - Part 3" April, 2015, Vancouver, Canada