方便 (Skt, Pali upaya; Jpn hoben ) expedient means: A term used in Buddhism to explain the use of skillful means to bring living beings to liberation. An example would be the parable from the Lotus Sutra where the father tricks his children into leaving a house that is on fire by telling them there are bejeweled carts outside for them.
See; “dharma doors.”
The methods adopted to instruct people and lead them to enlightenment. The concept of expedient means is highly regarded in Mahayana Buddhism, especially in the Lotus Sutra, as represented by its second chapter titled "Expedient Means." This is because expedient means are skillfully devised and employed by Buddhas and bodhisattvas to lead the people to salvation. According to the Lotus Sutra, the three vehicles of the voice-hearer, cause-awakened one, and bodhisattva are provisional teachings and expedient means designed to lead people to the one Buddha vehicle, or the teaching that leads all people to Buddhahood. The teaching that directly reveals the truth of enlightenment is called the true teaching, while the teachings that are expounded in accordance with the people's capacity and as a temporary means of leading people to the truth are called expedient teachings or provisional teachings. See also three expedient means.