Actually theravada is the doctrine of analyses, it is more complex to understand abstract feelings, it is similar to Socratic method of understand reality, but theravada has the plus calm abiding for true understanding.
Mahayana and Vajrayana, is a more easier to practice, even people with no instructions in reading or writing, like in Tibet and low class born, can do the sadhana rituals if they can memorize them, and theyre concentration comes with the visualization of the deity and the 8 Noble Path comes with the lipe mantra repetition and sadhana liturgy with visualisations, like a vedanta yoga. It is so, that one day the ignorant person will understand that the deity is not real and with many mantra repetions and clear visualization he can develop one pointed concentration and develop a true understanding of reality.
Both practices are good and work, with the same final goal.
The only problem is the radicalism and translating errors.
The radicalism of the bodhisattva path of Mahayana and Vajrayana, the Buddha stated that every kind of extremism must be avoided and practiced a middle way. There is a lot of contradictions in the bodhisattva path and the teachings of the Buddha.
I can say one exemple in the teaching of Tibetans. Chagdud Rinpoche said in one of his books in Brazil:
"There was a great ship with many treasures going to a city. In that ship there were only Bodhisattvas aspirants but one of tailores were a bandit. This bandit planned to kill all of the bodhisattvas and steal the treasures. The capitan of the ship, a 10th level bodhisattva, knew his intention and stabed a sword in the heart of the thif tailor, for compassion, because if the thief killed the bodhisattvas he will spend eons in purgatory..."
What someone that know the core of the 4 Noble truth and 8 Noble Path would state?
Personally the might question will come up... Kill for compassion?
It is a extremism and must be avoided. It break the first precept of buddhist teaching...
The Mahayana and Vajrayana practioners (principle in Brazil) keeping relating that Hinayana term with Theravada tradition. In the books also.
But why this extreme necessity to auto-afirm that "My doctrine is superior, my path is the best".
Hinayana died out in India. Theravada (Early Svarstivhada before the Third Concil) moved to Sri Lanka (Mahinda brought the most acceptable teaching of the Concil, the doctrine of analyses) before the first registry of Mahayana doctrines. State Hinayana with Theravada is ridicullous, only a ignorant person with his mind trying to be wise for put him self in a pedestal would do it.
Bodhichitta = 4 Brahma Viharas
sunyata = anatta
buddha natutre = luminous mind "?"
The corruptive bhikkus among the ages also make vinaya practice differ in place to place.
In fact doing mantra repetitions and visulizations work.
In fact doing samatha and vipassyna work.
To understand Theravada well one must have in his back a good education system.
To understand Tantra em Mantra one do not need anything, just be alive.
It is scientific that Theravada is the closest of what the buddha taught.
Theravada is not extremist, you can go only one way, the liberation.
It has a bodhisatta path (Ledy Sayadaw - Manual of Excellent Man);
It has the most authentic teaching, scientifically.
If some one wanna be a bodhisatta or an arahat, the suffering will might him. Don't try to be anything, we are just avatar like beings, just a composition of aggregates.