In this Dhamma talk http://www.audiodharma.org/talks/audio_player/2599.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; by John Peacock, starting right around 128:50, he says:
I want to agree with this, but compared to many here at Dhammawheel I don't know enough yet to answer the following:Again we can go off into what I call the heavy-handed religious stuff.... From my reading of the texts that's not what the Buddha is doing at all. That goes back to Hindu asceticism...coming back in--Brahminization. The history of Buddhism...has been one of creeping Brahminization and Sanskritization.... It really has...! Everything that the Buddha tried to cut out, to stop, starts to creep back, slowly, throughout the history of Buddhism.... It's no accident...that one of the four great clingings is the clinging sīlabbata-parāmāsa, the clinging to rites and rituals.
The clinging to rites and rituals: What has Buddhism become full of?
Rites and rituals.
Is Peacock accurately representing history?
Is he interpreting sīlabbata-parāmāsa right?
I hope for this to be a serious and focused topic. I scale sources from the most authoritative to the least authoritative like so: Sutta, scholarship, Vinaya, comments from bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, Abhidhamma, commentary, modern teachings.
Other, on-topic-question posing is welcome.
(I don't feel I'm challenging orthodoxy so much as questioning the place of/trying to understand the role of orthodoxy in Buddhism; and I'm not seeking "personal" advice [but will use the discussion to reflect on my own rites and rituals clinging]).