Aemilius wrote:I am replying your statement/opinion that they are literary compositions. The situation is that we have institutions like universities, book publishing companies, schools, etc.. We have unquestioning faith in them, this faith is so selfevident that we don't see it at all. In the same way in ancient India, and ancient world in general, there were equal institutions that had equal authority, power and prestige. If you say "groups of monks and nuns", they are equal to nothing, because they are like nothing in our present day society. Instead you have to realize that monasteries, ascetics, yogis etc had equal power and authority as the universities, publishing companies, etc have in our modern society. These institutions that had real natural authority had percieved what universe was really like. This means that the beings of the three realms, buddhas and bodhisattvas of infinite eons etc were facts. They were reality, like the facts that the modern authorities produce today, they were not tales at all. Almost all of our knowledge exists by faith, habitul faith in the authorities, socially enforced faith. We can not even trust our own experience when the society decides otherwise, we have to deny our own experience, or suffer the consequences of it.
All of that really has no bearing on the arguments to which I refer. The scholars in question are all quite familiar with the milieu they study - far more than you or I. I can see this discussion is going nowhere, so I don't see much point in continuing it.