I came across a very interesting article in Dutch, on the origins of Mahayana and how it interacted with the original words of the Buddha. I wanted to post a link to the translated article, and a few short translated paragraphs…
And here a few short paragraphs to whet your appetite. This is about the Lotus Sutra.
[...] According to the Palicanon, the Buddha himself said that he taught everything there was to tell. So the mahāyāna has a problem if it wants to be the teaching of the buddha. They solved that in Indian style: the Bollywood method. They deify the Buddha and make him say in his new divine environment that he did not mean it that way on earth. In addition, the other Buddhists, who are satisfied with the real teaching, are denounced for their so-called lack of compassion. The bodhisattva’s stick a feather in their caps, for they have that compassion. Isn't this devout narcissism?
The Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra, the Lotus Sutra, written in the Kandahar region during the first century, makes no mistake about it. In a scenario that resembles a cross between a dance party, The Voice and Chantal's Pyjama Party, the Buddha sits in his heaven chatting with his arhats and bodhisattvas. He declares that his appearance in the world and the teachings he preached has been just a show and that he is now going to proclaim his real message. The idea is clearly borrowed from the Bhagavadgīta, but with religions you don't need copyrights.[...]
Apologies in advance to any devout mahayanists! The article has quite a strong slant towards ‘old Buddhism’, following the original words of the Buddha, and doesn’t mince its words.