On the Validity of Different Buddhist Canons

pecha2Some sutras are not recognized by sectarian Buddhists as authoritative because they are not included in their own scriptural collections. But are only their own sutras authoritative? Or should what the Buddha taught be the authority? If they only accept their own scriptural canons, then the Buddha is not their Teacher and they are not His disciples*.

It is unreasonable to claim that our teachings are not the words of the Buddha simply because they are not included in their own collection of sutras, since they are found in other canons and do not contradict other discourses or the truth of the Dharma.

It is overly bold of them to claim that our scriptures are not what the Buddha taught simply because they chose not to include them in their own canon of scripture.

—Vasubandhu, in Refutation of the Theory of a Self 2.6.1 

*If they determine which teachings of the Buddha they accept, and which they do not, then they are, in fact, their own teachers.

About Tashi Nyima

I am a Dharma student, and aspire to be a companion on the path. I trust that these texts can offer a general approach and basic tools for practicing the Buddha's way to enlightenment. ||| Soy un estudiante del Dharma, y aspiro a ser un compañero en el sendero. Espero que estos textos ofrezcan a algunos un mapa general y herramientas básicas para la práctica del sendero a la iluminación que nos ofrece el Buda.
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3 Responses to On the Validity of Different Buddhist Canons

  1. Al says:

    No wonder, after the Parinirvana Buddha’s disciples separated into 18 schools, and many more in school. In vehicles such as the Hinayana, for example, there is no way to design lessons that other oral teachings even though Buddha himself declared that he will transmit the teachings and thoughts beyond the concept of time; That is why its leaders refuse lineages block the High Tantras ..

  2. Wendy DeOre says:

    I know that the SGI folks dismiss nearly all the teachings of the Buddha, claiming that the revelations in the Lotus Sutra render all other teachings “provisional.” By that I think they mean unimportant or eclipsed by the higher teachings. They also say that in the present age of defilement, ONLY the Lotus Sutra and the chant that they derive from it have the possibility of being truly efficacious. It just seems so obviously foolish and not Buddhism in any sense at all, so the quote you just posted by Vasubandhu is immensely helpful and affirming. Especially now, because one of my friends from that group is very ill again, and I have been spending time with her in the hospital this week and listening to her go on about it.
    I am way beyond grateful for your teaching, dear Tashi.
    Pema

  3. paulfarma says:

    Very inspiring to me. PKL

    Great Middle Way 於 2014年08月23日 (週六) 8:56 PM 寫道﹕

    WordPress.com Tashi Nyima posted: “Some sutras are not recognized by sectarian Buddhists as authoritative because they are not included in their own scriptural collections. But are only their own sutras authoritative? Or should what the Buddha taught be the authority? If they only accept t”

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