The only presupposition is the fact that Shakyamuni taught only what we know as Sravakayana to his arhat disciples, since those were the only type of teachings transmitted for the first several hundred years of his dispensation. The Mahayana teachings only appeared later, and we have to accept this as fact. My faith in the Mahayana is not predicated on the need to blindly accept the mythic narrative of Mahayana traditions, which flies against the face of reality on the ground, vis a vis textual history and archaeological evidence.Aemilius wrote: What are your grounds for saying that? That line of thinking presupposes that Buddha Shakyamuni knew only shravakayana, that he didn't know Mahayana, that he didn't know the symbolic transmission outside the sutras! Which is worse than ridiculous! Bhagavan Shakyamuni was fully enlightened, he didn't hold back teachings, but taught everything, including Mahayana and the symbolic transmission of Zen/Dhyan school, when the situation or opportunity arose for it.
As a Mahayanist, I believe Bodhisattvas must retain their faculties of intellect and reason, and not abandon these in favor of blind fundamentalism. That is one of the greatest homage I can pay to the masters of Mahayana, in return for the teachings they left behind.Aemilius wrote: There is no need to believe that few narrow minded individuals were the essence of Dharma, that there was nothing else. Have you read the Transmission of the Lamp (or Transmission of the Light)? What causes your unbelief in these early masters of Mahayana?
I have no problem if you think that I have lack of insight in these matters. The fact is that the Mahayana sutras all contain information about the state of the Sangha and historical developments that prove that they were not composed during the time of the Buddha, since they reflect the philosophical and soteriological concerns of the day.Aemilius wrote: As it is only your personal lack of faith, it should not be presented as "truth". It has no other justification than your lack of insight in and knowledge of the nature of Mahayana/Chan.
It is widely known that Dharma existed as an oral tradition for several hundreds of years, and even more than a thousand years. This should not be forgotten and dismissed as nonexistent, when it carries the true nature of Dharma. It has been the true nature of early Mahayana Dharma, and also the nature of much of the later transmission of Dharma.
There is absolutely no need to force oneself to believe that sutras such as the Lanka, Lotus and Avatamsaka were spoken by the historic Buddha. For me, I believe that the teachings of these sutras were inspired by dhyana masters who received them amidst visions of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas in samadhi, and hence written down and passed on to posterity. If you truly accept the concept of the timelessness and unobstructed nature of the Dharmakaya, then this won't post a problem.