Myotai wrote:I think 'they're' saying that they have discovered a swifter path to liberation. If time has facilitated this, then it begs the question, what keeps you in the path you're in and stops you joining theirs?
As I've said before, I tend to be wary of people offering shortcuts. It's a common trick of swindlers. It preys on our unwholesome tendency to seek the easy way out. So in this case we have a teacher who might be sincere or might be out to trick me. This world has no shortage of people trying to trick others by means of fake spirituality.
But even if we give 'them' the benefit of the doubt and assume they have pure intentions, we are still left with the fact that 'they' think they are able to improve upon the Buddha. That's a pretty bold claim, one that speaks to a different set of defilements in the mind. And so in this case we have a teacher who might be genuine or might be a victim to his own ego, making more of his progress than is warranted. Again, the world has no shortage of people who think too much of themselves.
My teachers whom I trust, they say "Here's is this text, here is how it is traditionally understood. Maybe you like it, maybe you don't. Maybe you will benefit from it, maybe you won't. It's all OK. We're here if you want to talk about it." This feels like a safer environment for me. No one is making flashy claims. No one is claiming special knowledge. People are checking each other's work, keeping each other in check. It strikes me as responsible and humble - things I want in a spiritual path.
Furthermore, I have never understood the Mahayana paths I have checked out. They are flowery, poetic, pithy, but they do not show me a path to get from where I am to where I'd like to be. Only Theravada has managed to show me this.
if someone said here have a new faster more economical car, why not take it?
There will always be an advertisement for a 'better' car. You buy a new one today and next week there is one even better. One can waste one's entire life chasing after every new car that comes out. This is the nature of craving, the very problem the Buddha said is the root of all suffering.
I am not completely convinced that there is the evidence to say that they're adhering to what the Historical Buddha taught about how to practice.
Are you concerned if these newer school are actually better than the old or are you concerned if they adhere to the old teachings? I feel like perhaps you are asking two separate questions at once.
A new school could adhere to the old teachings and be better.
A new school could adhere to the old teachings and be worse.
A new school could deviate from the old teachings and be better.
A new school could deviate from the old teachings and be worse.
Any of those four are possible.