“Nobody holds the view of an original canon anymore,” Oskar von Hinüber, one of the world’s leading scholars of Pali, told me. http://www.tricycle.com/feature/whose-b ... t?page=0,2
Let's talk about facts. The Pali Canon is not the earliest teaching of the Buddha. Mahayana is just as old. Too bad if you have an originalist view and rely on Pali.
You're boring me bud. You seem to feel the need to justify your beliefs based on conflating hagiography and visionary revelation with the historical record (all of which are preserved in various Indic languages, as well as Chinese and Tibetan translation). This is your problem, not mine. I consider such justifications quite ridiculous and completely unnecessary.
There were many canons, that were lost to history. Mahayana is as old as anything else.
Also you do realize that Mahayana was the dominant tradition in India for hundreds of years before extinction?
And Vajrayana is merely late phase Mahayana.
As Matthew Kapstein has argued:
"[T]he practice of "incantation and ritual," directed to both ultimate and mundane ends, had become normal Mahayana practice, and not merely a popular cult shunned by the learned clergy, prior to the sixth century, and probably as early as the third. Over the course of the centuries the volume of ritual lore incorporated into the Mahayana in this fashion increased without any but general doctrinal restriction....It was only after this corpus has grown sufficiently massive to take on a life of its own however, that conditions came to favor the emergence of the mantrayana and later Vajrayana as distinct ways of Buddhist practice....[T]his development occurred within a century or two following Bhavaviveka's day, and perhaps had begun already during his lifetime. Once it took place, it became possible to attempt an ex post facto classification of the whole mass of mantric lore that had accumulated during the preceding centuries. Thus, the so-called "outer tantras" had been part and parcel of Mahayana practice long before anyone ever conceived of them as a class apart."