Nosta wrote:Jikan wrote:Ryoto wrote:Well according to most scholars the Mahayana sutras are rejected as containing authentic words from Shakyamuni, but that's a whole other discussion. It is a possibility that the Pure Land sutras were written by a high level Bodhisattva instead.
Rejected is probably too strong a word, although some do indeed reject these sutras (look around the scholarship for the concept of "Protestant Buddhism").
A common view: The Mahayana sutras represent the authentic teaching of the Buddha. It's very unlikely that the words recorded in Sanskrit (or Chinese...) and attributed to Shakyamuni Buddha were uttered by him in exactly the way presented by the texts. So it's possible to accept the Surangama Sutra as authentic Dharma, without needing to assume it is a transcription of a discourse given by Shakyamuni Buddha on the occasion of Ananda's struggling with distraction, for instance. Same for the Pure Land sutras.
But how can we accept such Dharma as real if didnt came from Buddha? How can we be sure thats a real and valid teaching?
Having been personally spoken by Gautama the Buddha himself has almost never been a criteria for "real and valid teaching[s]".
Even the sutras of the early schools include as canonical teachings given by others, eg. Ananda, Sariputra.
The criteria is whether or not it leads to liberation, which itself includes conformity to the principles of Buddhism.
Eg. as in the case of the Prajnaparamita, that it "conforms to the nature of Dharma".