Excerpt from the book "Yogacara"
from Roland Yuno Rech
The teaching of Buddha and the Mahayana
I would like to come back to the development of the Buddhist philosophy since Shakyamuni Buddha, from 5 BC until the appearance of Yogacara with the two famous brothers Asung and Vasubandhu, which can be situated at the turn of the third and fourth century AD.
What happened then at the level of Buddhist philosophy? Some Buddhist schools of thought like Tendai, consider that after his awakening Shakyamuni tried to teach his experience in the most profound manner. He supposedly taught thesis, ideas that can be found in the sutra of The Flowered Garland, the Avatamsaka Sutra (which is now considered as being part of the third cycle of Buddha's teachings and which, paradoxically, is being put at the end) But supposedly after a week or a few days, he renounced these teachings as he realised that his interlocutors didn't understand him. It gave place to too many questions! He would have decided to teach the Four Noble truth and the Eightfold Path and, in a general way the philosophy that we call now the "Small Vehicle" or Theravada. It was only five centuries later that the so-called rediscovery of sutra Prajna paramita and the sutra of The Flowered Garland took place.
I think that this story is obviously a myth. I am fairly convinced that Buddha, as he said so himself, had hidden nothing concerning his teaching during forty five years. I even think that the teachings of Mahayana are included in Buddha's original teaching. It simply the way of understanding and studying those original teachings, and especially the conclusions drove from them by the monks who had studied them, that made the original teachings of Shakyamuni which was Mahayana, The Great Vehicle from the start, finally became the Small Vehicle. It became a teaching betraying more and more the original intention, and therefore Shakyamuni's original awakening.
Finally what had been discovered by the authors of Prajna Paramita at the beginning of the Christian ere, at approximately the beginning of the third century AD, aren't sutras that had been hidden in a cave by the Naga , as the legends says, but simply the profound sense which was already there, in the words spoken initially by Shakyamuni.
In my opinion what has changed is the way of studying the original teachings, of interpreting them. I think that nothing is hidden and I am taking the Mula - Pariyaya Sutra as evidence. In the French translation the name had been translated as "the original cause" which is a very bad translation as there is no original cause in Buddhism, in Buddha's teachings. Actually when I say: "there is no original cause", it's an assertion of the profound reality, of the ultimate reality, a profound truth. In the superficial or relative reality, there are of course original causes and origins. Things appear and disappear. There is at least one immediate or close origin. But one can not go back in time or in the mind to find an ultimate origin.
Tags: Roland Yuno Rech