http://www.buddhistische-gesellschaft-b ... dhanew.pdf
No, I've never seen that. It was in one of the writings in the blog of Sravasti Dhammika couple of years ago, he gave its exact place in the Pitakas.
I mean several things:
In the beginning period of Shakyamuni's teaching people very often attained stream entry just listening to the teaching of Dharma. This means that their wisdom eye was awakened, that they where independent in the Dharma and they were autonomous, because they could directly see and perceive the Dharma.
It is also evident that in the beginning there was no vinaya or that it was very
simple. Vinaya appeared gradually, it appeared because of a handful of unruly monks.
There were some popular and widely accepted rules of morality in the society, rules that sramanas were supposed to abide by. Stream entry means also that one is independent of rules and rituals (one of the ten fetters), one is independent of them because one sees reality directly.
Because Buddha's disciples and converts had most of them attained stages of arya pudgalas, and were capable staying in dhyana, this means they were not dependent on the sutras at all, not in the same way that the Dharma began to exist in later centuries, after the first 300 to 700 years.
On the whole the Agamas and Nikayas very much reflect the later period of Dharma.
According to Buddha his disciples attain peace
personally, and he further says that Dharma has every where one single taste, the taste of freedom
(one of the suttas in Udana). Dharma is freedom and independence, it is not slavery (to desire and fame, to worldly rulers, or to worldly nationalistic aims and purposes, etc ).
This also means that besides Agamas and Nikayas there were other streams of oral tradition. Dharma is what leads to the attainment of the transcendental path, of the peace of nirvana, of the ultimate freedom. Thus all of the teachings of Mahayana, and things like Mahamudra etc, are the original and true Dharma. That is the only real criterion, the attainment of the transcendental path.