Yeshe D, you're foaming at the mouth, take it easy before you give yourself an ulcer.
If anyone's faith is challenged by an open and frank discussion of the historical development of Buddhist ideas, then they might wish to refrain from visiting the Dharma-free-for-all forum.
In all honesty, I think very few here have had their faith challenged. Personally, I think Huseng most eloquently expressed the Mahayana POV:viewtopic.php?p=22788#p22788
My personal favorite quote:
Even from a Śrāvaka position the Mahāsāṃghika approach is still based entirely on Āgama literature. They also did not accept Abhidharma as canonical. However, their vision and interpretation of the Buddha was quite different from that of Sthaviravāda schools.
Now in such a transcendental interpretation of the Buddha (lokottara) it follows that since the true Buddha manifests forms through which he liberates sentient beings with skilful means one could continue to be taught by the Buddha though Shakyamuni has long since passed away from the physical world.
Those seeking the same transcendence could have been taught the Mahāyāna by the Buddha in pure visions. The Mahāyāna, though not taught by Shakyamuni on Earth, was still a teaching by the Buddha nevertheless. A lot of Mahāyāna scriptures are obviously not meant to be understood as having been taught by Shakyamuni in the ordinary physical world. Basically, Shakyamuni, who was later identified as a nirāmaṇakāya, did not teach the Mahāyāna, but that's not problematic at all. The Mahāyāna was likely first taught by a manifested form in visions to those few individuals capable of grasping its import.
Even by the Mahāsāṃghika approach this is plausible. They wouldn't have accepted such visions as canonical, but those few individuals having them would presumably have taken them quite seriously and perhaps taught them to others.
Your interpretation above sounds very much like Sthaviravāda, which is fine. However, there are other Śrāvaka understandings like that of the Mahāsāṃghika who saw Buddha as representing something transcendental. Indeed, they still sought Arhatship. However, in time some would have asked if it were possible to achieve the same transcendental state that they saw as the true Buddha. They were motivated by compassion and concern for sentient beings. The true Buddha presumably could have revealed to them in visions the means and methods necessary to achieve something beyond Arhatship.
The result was the first Mahāyāna sūtras which are Saddharma and word of the Buddha.
And then Yeshe D., you comment on Huseng's post here with:viewtopic.php?p=22834#p22834
Yeshe D. wrote:
That said, I agree with your overall assessment.
So, I personally think a thread like this is important for Buddhists in general, but the way you play Devil's Advocate is unskillful. You're not giving anyone a dose of their own medicine, and you're most certainly not having a discussion, and it's barely a debate. You're just barking at people, which is unnecessary. If you're really a practitioner of Vajrayana/Mahayana, don't forget they are your Vajra brothers and sisters.
If Gordo is going to publicly attack the reputation and teaching skills of someone as learned and dedicated to the Dharma as Reggie Ray, I'm not going to passively read such nonsense and let it go unchallenged. FYI, that is 100% vajra.
You make it seem like I went over to his house and punched him in the face...LOL. In that thread, I commented on Ray's statements stating that it seems like he doesn't believe in rebirth. I also said that if he doesn't believe in rebirth, he's not Buddhist. I then went the extra step and said I would email him for further clarification to see if his original statements were taken out of context. So what's the problem? I already said I would retract my statements based on new information provided by Ray. I would have no problem apologizing...why would I?
Your howling at the moon Yeshe D.