...I miss Shakyamuni Buddha's sublime use of metaphor in the Nikayas. He uses what's in front of him, but more importantly what's in front of the listener. He doesn't 'make stuff up'. Nikaya sutra is like Real-TV.The Bollywood that is Mahayana is very difficult for me. Anyone can make up some bizarre, colourful story and then hack a moral onto it. I'd much rather watch a group of people try to survive on an island.
How wonderfully polemical...
It's interesting you use that particular analogy, as most consider Reality TV to be the worst thing that ever happened to televised entertainment.
Personally, I appreciate both for what they are and absolutely love the metaphor employed by Mahayana scriptures.
"Some bizarre, colourful story and then hack a moral onto it" sounds surprisingly like Hakuin's take on the Lotus Sutra before he was advanced enough to "get it." It's pretty obvious you don't "get it" and that's a shame. Maybe some day...Recommendations
Pali: the Itivuttaka, the Udana, and the Dhammapada. I love the simple verse nature, it does a lot more to drive the message home for me than the repetitive phrasing found elsewhere. Of course you can't go wrong with any of the 4 major Nikayas either: the Digha, the Majjhima, the Samyutta, and the Anguttara.
Mahayana: the Lotus Sutra, the Avatamsaka, the PrajnaParamitas (including Heart & Diamond Sutras), the Pure Land Sutras (to which I include the Medicine Buddha Sutra), the Lankavatara (for those of you not so big on metaphor), the Shurangama (for those that are), and the MahapariNirvana.