Leo Rivers wrote:I am guilty of both a time-warp and a prejudice as bad as the term Hinayana, perhaps.
I am mostly looking at the years 150-550 CE, (roughly Lokaksema to Kambala), recently, so I was trying to refer to those groups "without Mahayana sutras" as a category of people who saw themselves as representing the original current (to use a Western Occult term) of Buddhism. A weak way to speak on something called "the Academic Discussion" forum! My bad.
Everybody thought they were representing the original, that's the whole point.
Who is going around claiming "We represent completely derivative Buddhism!"? Pretty much nobody.
Though, the term usually applied in modern Buddhist studies is "mainstream buddhism".
Those groups in the Gandhara to Kashmir area using a Sravaka playbook but experimenting with Mahayana ideas, trying this or that, what would it be appropriate to call them?
Depends what you mean by "experimenting with Mahayana ideas". What ideas exactly are Mahayana?
If its the idea of several paths or yanas, well, pretty much every school had something to say about that. The Vaibhasikas had their theories, the Kasmiris did too, and over the hill so did the Dharmaguptas and Mahasamghikas...
For instance, the Non-Mahayana Yogacarabhumi represented a group of somewhat similar folks to those who then composed the Sravakabhumi, and then connected to the folks who built the 'Mahayana self-aware' 17 Bhumi chunk of the Mahayana Yogacarabhumisastra prior to the 'Sutra of the Hidden Intent' and the 4 Commentary sections which landed on Asanga's desk. On this side you had the Mahayana. What would you call the other far side of the bridge?
Well, the idea of a non-mahayana yogacarabhumi is not exactly proved, for a start. The Yogacara people were really Vaibhasikas or something very similar, who then went all vibhajyavadi instead of sarvastivadi, and drew in their various yana theories as well (which both the former already had), and also several notions from the so-called sautrantikas and darstantikas (like Kumaralata / Srilata etc.) Just call them Yogacara, seems pretty straight forward enough, as long as one knows where they come from.