A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:35 pm

Malcolm wrote:He is entitled to his opinion but he is factually incorrect. The term Hināyāna, it's usage and understanding is derived from Indian masters and their commentaries. It is really too much to imagine they were not referring their contemporary non-Mahāyāna colleagues.

Of course it's derived from Indian sources. That doesn't make it any more palatable. It's a divisive term with nasty connotations, as you yourself have acknowledged. It demonstrates quite well the all-too-human side of Mahāyāna Buddhism and the inescapable fact that this term is not the speech of the historical Buddha.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:23 pm

Jnana wrote:
Malcolm wrote:He is entitled to his opinion but he is factually incorrect. The term Hināyāna, it's usage and understanding is derived from Indian masters and their commentaries. It is really too much to imagine they were not referring their contemporary non-Mahāyāna colleagues.

Of course it's derived from Indian sources. That doesn't make it any more palatable. It's a divisive term with nasty connotations, as you yourself have acknowledged. It demonstrates quite well the all-too-human side of Mahāyāna Buddhism and the inescapable fact that this term is not the speech of the historical Buddha.


In Indian Mahāyāna Sūtra and śastra, in text after text, the word "hināyāna" is defined as the teachings followed by śravakas and pratyekabuddhas. I am certain that you do not imagine that these Indian texts were not referring to actual contemporary traditions?

It is useless to pretend that the term Hinayāna was not used by Indian Mahāyāna authors to refer to those who did not accept Mahāyāna sutras i.e. Sarvastivadins, Mahāsaṃghikas, Thervadins, etc.

According to Ray's statement "...it is really not appropriate to assume that the Tibetan definition of Hinayana identifies a venerable living tradition as the Theravada or any other historical school" one is left with the idea that term as it is used in Tibetan Buddhism has no predecent in Indian Buddhism.

This statement by Ray is nonsense for two reasons -- the way the term is used by Tibetans was determined by Indians. Those Indians certainly were referring to their contemporaries. Since this citation is not accurate at all, much less precise, you should not keep trotting it out as if it is a meaningful statement. It is not a meaningful statement at all since it is factually incorrect.

A factually correct statement would be "it is appropriate to assume that the Indian definition of Hinayana identifies then living traditions such as the Theravada and other historical schools..."

Another more or less correct statement might be "In absence of the polemical environment where the newly produced Mahāyāna movement was subject to constant criticism by conservatives among the Nikāya schools, Tibetans revisioned the term "hinayāna" in such a fashion that it no longer truly refers to any currently extant non-Mahāyāna tradition in a meaningful way".
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:33 pm

Malcolm wrote:In Indian Mahāyāna Sūtra and śastra, in text after text, the word "hināyāna" is defined as the teachings followed by śravakas and pratyekabuddhas. I am certain that you do not imagine that these Indian texts were not referring to actual contemporary traditions?

Yes, acknowledged, and recognized when I first read the quote. But that's merely a tangential point.

Malcolm wrote:This statement by Ray is nonsense for two reasons....

Your qualms about this quote are nonsense for one reason: It doesn't matter where it came from. It's high f*cking time to stop using it as a meaningful term to refer to any contemporary Buddhist or Buddhist tradition.

Malcolm wrote:you should not keep trotting it out as if it is a meaningful statement.

I've never quoted it before.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:00 pm

Jnana wrote:I've never quoted it before.


Perhaps I have you confused with Tilt -- but I have certainly seen this quote used again and again.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:03 pm

Jnana wrote:Your qualms about this quote are nonsense for one reason: It doesn't matter where it came from. It's high f*cking time to stop using it as a meaningful term to refer to any contemporary Buddhist or Buddhist tradition.


The term Mahāyāna than ceases to have much meaning, no?

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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:11 pm

Malcolm wrote:Perhaps I have you confused with Tilt -- but I have certainly seen this quote used again and again.

Yes, I lifted it from a post of his, and I didn't include this particular paragraph when I initially used the longer quote in this earlier reply because it wasn't worded as precisely as it could have been.

Malcolm wrote:The term Mahāyāna than ceases to have much meaning, no?

Do you really want to waste time with ridiculous word games Malcolm? Personally, I think there's a larger issue here. I'm sick and tired of hearing the "lower yāna" and "hīnayāna" rhetoric being regurgitated by people who think they have the inside track, that they have the real deal. Of course, people are generally free to be as obnoxious as they want, but no one should be surprised when sooner or later they insult the wrong guy and end up picking their chiclets up off the sidewalk.

To be sure, in the history of Buddhism there has been no shortage of pejorative name-calling from all quarters. But we are not oblidged to keep repeating the ignoble misdeeds of our forefathers.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby dharmagoat » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:22 pm

Jnana wrote:It's high f*cking time...

Is this language necessary? I for one find it obnoxious.

By using it, you do your argument a great disservice.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Pero » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:31 pm

Huseng wrote:As you say, Tibetans are restricted in their travel, but even within India there doesn't seem to be so much of a push in the direction of genuine ecumenicalism with Tibetan Buddhists, even though the opportunities are there. Non-sectarianism in the context of TB is one step, but is there enough interest to go beyond that?

What is non-sectarianism beyond the context of TB for you?


Jnana wrote:Do you really want to waste time with ridiculous word games Malcolm? Personally, I think there's a larger issue here. I'm sick and tired of hearing the "lower yāna" and "hīnayāna" rhetoric being regurgitated by people who think they have the inside track, that they have the real deal. Of course, people are generally free to be as obnoxious as they want, but no one should be surprised when sooner or later they insult the wrong guy and end up picking their chiclets up off the sidewalk.

Well that would be a sign they're not a very good Buddhist or person. Or perhaps that would happen just because they're following an inferior path. :stirthepot:
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:37 pm

Actually as I said before we consider all (17 historic) Hinayana schools such as Theravada (plus Mahayana ones) Buddhist but they do not consider Mahayana as buddhists & all of them consider Vajrayana not buddhist. This is much much worse than calling a path within Buddhism lower or higher or slower or faster, that was never answered here. If Hinayana establishment centers announce Mahayana as buddhists or both of them announce we Vajrayana followers are buddhists then they have made a Leap from the dark ages.

Until then instead of falling to obvious provocation to someone with his own Vajrayana version, not a Hinayana follower, we should ask why we are still categorized in the 21St century as non buddhist & often labeled as shaman, Hindu etc? I don't find Reggie or other self appointed western tantric lineage originators' sentiments on this genuine as they never ask lower yana establishments to officially announce the rest of us buddhist. What a few say is irrelevant as official announcements from various establishment centers of both Hinayana & Mahayana sects, all of them, is required but this will never come. This is the real outrage & elephant in the room people like Reggie never answer & divert from by apparent emotions.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:52 pm

username wrote:Actually as I said before we consider all (17 historic) Hinayana schools such as Theravada (plus Mahayana ones) Buddhist but they do not consider Mahayana as buddhists & all of them consider Vajrayana not buddhist. This is much much worse than calling a path within Buddhism lower or higher or slower or faster, that was never answered here. If Hinayana establishment centers announce Mahayana as buddhists or both of them announce we Vajrayana followers are buddhists then they have made a Leap from the dark ages.

Speak for yourself. This "us" vs. "them" dichotomy is not nearly as black and white as you seem to want it to be in order to justify your trip.

username wrote:What a few say is irrelevant as official announcements from various establishment centers of both Hinayana & Mahayana sects, all of them, is required but this will never come. This is the real outrage & elephant in the room people like Reggie never answer & divert from by apparent emotions.

Yes, it's a messy world.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:01 pm

Jnana wrote:
username wrote:Actually as I said before we consider all (17 historic) Hinayana schools such as Theravada (plus Mahayana ones) Buddhist but they do not consider Mahayana as buddhists & all of them consider Vajrayana not buddhist. This is much much worse than calling a path within Buddhism lower or higher or slower or faster, that was never answered here. If Hinayana establishment centers announce Mahayana as buddhists or both of them announce we Vajrayana followers are buddhists then they have made a Leap from the dark ages.

Speak for yourself. This "us" vs. "them" dichotomy is not nearly as black and white as you seem to want it to be in order to justify your trip.

username wrote:What a few say is irrelevant as official announcements from various establishment centers of both Hinayana & Mahayana sects, all of them, is required but this will never come. This is the real outrage & elephant in the room people like Reggie never answer & divert from by apparent emotions.

Yes, it's a messy world.


Have a good weekend Jeff.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:04 pm

Jnana wrote:
username wrote:Actually as I said before we consider all (17 historic) Hinayana schools such as Theravada (plus Mahayana ones) Buddhist but they do not consider Mahayana as buddhists & all of them consider Vajrayana not buddhist. This is much much worse than calling a path within Buddhism lower or higher or slower or faster, that was never answered here. If Hinayana establishment centers announce Mahayana as buddhists or both of them announce we Vajrayana followers are buddhists then they have made a Leap from the dark ages.

Speak for yourself. This "us" vs. "them" dichotomy is not nearly as black and white as you seem to want it to be in order to justify your trip.

username wrote:What a few say is irrelevant as official announcements from various establishment centers of both Hinayana & Mahayana sects, all of them, is required but this will never come. This is the real outrage & elephant in the room people like Reggie never answer & divert from by apparent emotions.

Yes, it's a messy world.


He/she does have a point, Geoff.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:13 pm

Malcolm wrote:He/she does have a point, Geoff.

Yes -- no tradition deserves a free pass. And everyone is individually accountable for their own conduct. Again, we are not oblidged to keep repeating the squabbles of the past.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby anjali » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:51 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Jnana wrote:
username wrote:Actually as I said before we consider all (17 historic) Hinayana schools such as Theravada (plus Mahayana ones) Buddhist but they do not consider Mahayana as buddhists & all of them consider Vajrayana not buddhist. This is much much worse than calling a path within Buddhism lower or higher or slower or faster, that was never answered here. If Hinayana establishment centers announce Mahayana as buddhists or both of them announce we Vajrayana followers are buddhists then they have made a Leap from the dark ages.

Speak for yourself. This "us" vs. "them" dichotomy is not nearly as black and white as you seem to want it to be in order to justify your trip.

username wrote:What a few say is irrelevant as official announcements from various establishment centers of both Hinayana & Mahayana sects, all of them, is required but this will never come. This is the real outrage & elephant in the room people like Reggie never answer & divert from by apparent emotions.

Yes, it's a messy world.


He/she does have a point, Geoff.


Indeed, she does have a point. Unfortunately, it does seem to be the nature of religious traditions to fragment and polarize over time leading to in-group/out-group thinking and rhetoric. Over the years there have been Buddhist ecumenical efforts, but with limited success--at least as far as I know. The one that I am familiar with was a brief document put out by the First Congress of the World Buddhist Sangha Council in 1967 attempting to list the basic points in common with the Theravāda and the Mahāyāna traditions. Here is a wikipage link discussing the points: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_Points_Unifying_the_Therav%C4%81da_and_the_Mah%C4%81y%C4%81na. A representative of HHDL was at that first WBSC and had input into the Basic Points. Sadly, such declarations in no way stop people from continuing to bad mouth each other. :(

Down at the bottom of that page are two external links that have tables listing similarities/differences between Theravada and Mahayana:
Comparative Study by Tan Swe Eng: http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/comparative.htm
Theravada vs Mahayana compiled by Oo Maung: http://www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/thramaha.htm

I am unaware of any similar table also including Vajrayana. It might be an interesting and constructive exercise for someone here to take on, and it would definitely be informative for the rest of us. Or maybe it would just be an exercise in futility. ;)

If you want to learn more about the World Buddhist Sanga Council (it's weighted toward SE Asian Buddhist traditions and representatives) , here it's English homepage: http://wbsc886.org/Enlish/E-index2/E-index.html
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Indrajala » Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:24 am

Jnana wrote:
Malcolm wrote:He/she does have a point, Geoff.

Yes -- no tradition deserves a free pass. And everyone is individually accountable for their own conduct. Again, we are not oblidged to keep repeating the squabbles of the past.


As I outlined above, I think things are changing as a result of interaction, common dialogue and friendship.

It would be in our best interests to stop using the terms "Hīnayāna" and "Lower Vehicles".

Śrāvakayāna is preferable. "Hīnayāna" means "base vehicle". Would you tell an arhat to her face that her methods are base and low?
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Indrajala » Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:44 am

username wrote:- You can deny the justifications of war in the name of various Buddhist sects. But those sects' abbots & leaders throughout history to this day in Sri Lanka, being investigated by the UN War Crimes group, know more about their sects than you do & will surely not fall apart in debate according to their own tenets with you. This is just a fantasy.


No, I stand by my assertion. Their arguments would falter quite easily.


- The point in that paragraph was the non Tibetan Buddhist institutions of Hinayana & Mahayana in various Asian countries also have histories of institutional corruption within politics & violence to this very day. Your ignoring & whitewashing of them is simply naive & when pointed out & ignored just not right.



I'm not ignoring it. I've even recognized that it exists.

I'm simply saying the sanction of violence is indefensible doctrinally. Whatever abbots or Buddhists do is up to them, but if they want to justify their violent acts with Buddhist doctrine they will fail.



- Hinayana included many schools including Theravada. Your suggestion that Vajrayana stop calling it Hinayana is basically absurd as you ask them to basically change their religion and accept Hinayana claims. This is like telling the Jews to accept Jesus as Messiah & the Christians to accept Mohammed as the last & greatest prophet! That will be a new religion and not Vajrayana. Similarly you would want Mahayana to drop their basic beliefs WRT to Hinayana. You are basically asking Vajrayana & Mahayana religions and sub-schools to completely change their religions' many principles. As I said your assertions are simplistic in nature & completely unbalanced. I really do not see any point in even discussing things at this unrealistic level.


This is absurd. I'm suggesting that they stop using a pejorative against fellow Buddhists. Alternatives exist like "Śrāvakayāna". Where do you get the idea I'm advocating that they change their whole religion?

I'm suggesting people stop using a pejorative term when referring to fellow Buddhists.


- You also ignore the fact that a few gestures by the handful of token examples of inter-sect studies or what some monk told you on the streets of Nepal does not mean the establishment of Hinayana & Mahayana have changed their religions. This is coffee shop level reasoning, not serious debate. And there have been similar inter-sect token gestures by TB lamas too. These token few extrapolations are far from the reality of all those religions changing their historical fundamental tenets.


There is often the official party line and what everyone on the streets is doing. Two different things.


- On various sects living in close proximity in certain locations, every sect visits their centers in Bodhgaya too and rubs shoulders with each other as Christian sects do in Jerusalem but no one is changing their religion. Again it does not follow any tectonic shifting of plates is taking place within any group's established doctrines.


Perhaps you did not fully understand the purport of what I wrote above. There is plenty of exchange going on between East Asian and Theravadin traditions, particularly in the sphere of education.

Reform takes time.



- You also completely ignore the perilous situation facing Tibetans' culture & practices & lineages & texts they have been trying to save recently in exile I mentioned that even non Buddhists are aware of. Again utterly unrealistic in expecting them to abandon their Vajrayana principles in favor of Hinayana while they have their hands full both under repression inside & struggling to survive in exile. While seeing no fault within the institutions sharing power, sometimes corruptly, by others elsewhere in Asia in luxury.



I never advocated they should drop their Vajrayāna practices.



Or similarly if Mahayana starts accepting Vajrayana claims, which again despite a few people researching a few papers (meaningless) or what a monk says on the street, has also not happened.


Are you unaware that East Asia had their own tradition of Mantrayāna (yoga-tantra, became Shingon and Taimitsu in Japan)? The enormous realm of "Mahāyāna" (which I assume you mean East Asian Buddhist traditions) are not necessarily opposed to the claims of Vajrayāna, especially given that a lot practices originally came from the ancient Mantrayāna movement (mantras and various rites). The idea of buddhahood in one lifetime is also not necessarily outright rejected.

In any case "Mahāyāna" in this context is way too broad to meaningfully discuss.


HOWEVER Vajrayana accepts all of Hinayana & Mahayana as valid & true teachings of Buddha. There is nothing to be done regarding those. As I said they are an accepted ontological subset of Vajrayana beliefs. Kangyur & Tengyur have been part of TB studies since King Trisong asked Shanta & Padma to bring Buddhism to Tibet. We can not renew our acceptance of them like aged couples renewing their wedding vows. We never stopped believing in Hinayana or Mahayana to be asked to accept them again! However the lower schools never accepted the higher ones. This seems to completely escape you.


It isn't all black and white like you suggest. Plenty of internal elements are not so decisively individuated as you make it seem.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:26 am

You are doing the same as I explained before, going off in tangents, not saying what you accept in my 3 long posts you addressed, talking generalities about slogans & people on the street saying things or rubbing shoulders & your general impression of life in neighborhoods & good wills & bad wills as you sense them etc. So I do not see any point in this structure as I said. On your new point:

Huseng wrote:
Jnana wrote:
Malcolm wrote:He/she does have a point, Geoff.

Yes -- no tradition deserves a free pass. And everyone is individually accountable for their own conduct. Again, we are not oblidged to keep repeating the squabbles of the past.


As I outlined above, I think things are changing as a result of interaction, common dialogue and friendship.

It would be in our best interests to stop using the terms "Hīnayāna" and "Lower Vehicles".

Śrāvakayāna is preferable. "Hīnayāna" means "base vehicle". Would you tell an arhat to her face that her methods are base and low?


- If she does agree with us, she should not be wasting her time lecturing us about the vehicles of Nagarjuna or Padmasambhava & should be correcting the 'much greater' wrongdoing (though from our POV the term Hinayana is not wrong) in those houses of her own against us calling us & Mahayanists non-Buddhists.

- If like ALL Hinayana official establishments she says Mahayanists & specially Vajrayanists with our rituals are not Buddhists AND Have to change our basic doctrines & tenets too, which ontologically would not be her business from her POV if she was right hence illogical, then she is no arhat nor a few other basic human things, but an imposter.

Have a good weekend.
Last edited by username on Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby SSJ3Gogeta » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:35 am

username wrote:Actually as I said before we consider all (17 historic) Hinayana schools such as Theravada (plus Mahayana ones) Buddhist but they do not consider Mahayana as buddhists & all of them consider Vajrayana not buddhist.



Being a reaction against heretical Abhidharma, Mahayana is philosophically older even though textually later.

And Vajrayana is based on Madhyamaka, which is the epitome of Buddhism.

So if anything Theravada and Hinayana is non-Buddhist.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Indrajala » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:51 am

SSJ3Gogeta wrote:So if anything Theravada and Hinayana is non-Buddhist.


This is utter nonsense.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby SSJ3Gogeta » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:56 am

Huseng wrote:
SSJ3Gogeta wrote:So if anything Theravada and Hinayana is non-Buddhist.


This is utter nonsense.



Their crypto-realist late invention Abhidharma is heretical. Thats the whole point of the Mahayana, PP Sutras and Madhyamaka which developed in reaction to it.

Also historically speaking, Hinayana split the sangha at the Second Buddhist Council, and broke off from the majority (Mahāsāṃghika) because they tried to introduce new vinaya rules.

So Theravada/Hinayana are non-Buddhist in every single way. It really is not even a close call.
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