philji wrote:My understanding is that the path of gods and men is the first turning of the wheel. The Hinayana path as taught by the Buddha leading to freedom from suffering.
Hinayāna is the teaching of the Buddha, so it isn't part of the vehicle of gods and man. The vehicle of gods and man is a designation which is used to classify any path which isn't the buddhadharma. Traditions such as Christianity, Hinduism, Islam etc. are examples of worldly paths, they cannot lead one out of samsara, and are therefore part of the vehicle of gods and man.
As for other relative, non-religious pursuits being classified under the vehicle of gods and man, I'm not sure.
As I understand, the Buddha does teach the "vehicle of gods and man".
For example, in the suttas he taught people to practice the four brahma viharas (compassion, loving kindness, joy, equanimity) to those who are not interested in liberation but merely interested in gaining a higher birth in the brahma realms. This is the lower scope of Buddhism. Even though this path does not directly lead to liberation, at least it ensures the person has a higher birth which can be conducive to practicing the dharma - i.e. he has another chance to practice dharma in future lifetime rather than falling into the lower realms of existence whereby one no longer has any chance to practice dharma.
p.s. four brahma viharas are not only meant to be practiced "by those who aspire for birth in brahma realm" - these wholesome mundane mental qualities can and should be practiced by everyone including those who aspire for liberation, it is beneficial to everyone. But by practicing this, one can gain the good karma for a rebirth in Brahma realm and be reborn there if one so aspires.