Huseng wrote:Huifeng wrote:Of course they call them 'sutra', but the canon is not, and probably has never been, closed.
Hi Venerable Huifeng!
In Chinese they are called jing 經, but that designation doesn't necessarily always correspond to sutra as it is understood in English or in Sanskrit. In English if you call something a sutra in the Buddhist context most people would probably agree it refers to a sermon by the Buddha or a Buddha.
My point is that if somebody in our present day announces they have a new Mahayana sutra and that it is just as authentic as the Heart Sutra or the Brahma Net Sutra (both of which are generally thought to have been penned in China), I doubt few would take that person seriously. It wouldn't be categorized within the same sutra division 經部 and would most likely be called apocryphal and dismissed as the writings of a modern author.
The first questions would be, "How did you get a sermon from the Buddha? Or did you see this in a vision? A dream? What makes you so special as to have access to this sermon from a Buddha?"
Sure. This is why I said that the content of the Chattha Sangayana, Jiaxing Zang, etc. are called by other names, not as "sutta" / "sutra". Still, they do appear within the "canon" (not "tripitaka" in the narrow sense), and are accepted as such.