The unspoken thrust of the essay was not to just knock down the Theravadin claim about its canon, but to defend the Mahayana from the criticism of not having the Buddha's word.
One would wonder how harsh the criticism of the Mahayana would be if it had not enshrined its criticism of those who did not agree with them in their sutras, putting into the mouth of the Buddha some pretty ugly things. Now, I do not buy into these statements as being accurate or appropriate criticsisms of the Mahayana -- they are not.Dan74 wrote:I've been told that Mahayana was a schism and those responsible are burning in the worst of hells. I've been told that Mahayana is invented by renegade monks drunk on samadhi or worse. That it is a forgery, a heresy and a perversion of the Buddha's teachings (the last instance of this sort of thing was not too long ago on this forum).
This criticism is, of course, easily supported by quoting Mahayana sutras.And of course I've been told that Mahayana is arrogant, supremacist and supercessionist.
Let me quote two things here with which I almost completely agree:I should perhaps add that the later genesis of all Mahayana Sutras is not commonly accepted in Mahayana. I don't think my teacher who is a monastic of many years particularly minds one way or another, but Red Pine, who is perhaps the greatest of the translators of Chinese Mahayana literature (though I will defer to Ven Huifeng on that judgment) does not hold much stock by the current academic consensus on this matter. I am no expert and so I don't hold to a view here.
Namdrol wrote:Likewise, while the Mahayana sutras were inspired by the blessings of the Buddha, I don't believe he actually taught a single one of them. Nevertheless, I think the teachings in them are profound and stand on their own.
Namdrol wrote:"So for example, it is spiritually meaningful that the PP sutras are set on Vulture's Peak-- but it sure is not a historical reality. Even though Shakyamuni Buddha certainly never actually taught Mahayana, nevertheless, Mahayana stands on its own and is valid as a spiritual path and practice because the folks that wrote the Mahayana sutras down were realized persons. The source of these teachings are all realized beings-- their assumed historical settings are merely skillful means to instill faith in the teachings in those person's who need to crutch of historical literalism."