Originally Posted by Spider AL
And once again I must remind you that the "big raft" of Mahayana is not Buddhism. Lighting incense a few times a week while visualising some deity or other is not following the teachings of Buddha, any more than killing someone in God's name is true Christianity.
I could worship a particularly green and attractive cabbage and call my worship "Buddhism", but that clearly wouldn't make it so. Mahayana is the same.
Buddhism is following the teachings of Buddha. Even following the path of Buddha. Christianity is following the teachings of Christ.. This is why most Christians today are un-christian. They are on their own equivalent of the big raft.
And no, the NUMBER of people who believe that Mahayana is true Buddhism is irrelevant. They're all misguided and foolish in this respect. Regardless of their majority status.
I'm reminded of those who offer the bigoted perspective that certain sects of christianity aren't actually "christian." I've seen accusations that Mormons, Jehova's Witnesses, even Catholics aren't actually christian. But, in the end, they're just christians. Different flavors, to be sure, christian nonetheless.
The same is true with Mahayana Buddhism. Call it what you will, Spider, but the *are* Buddhists. There's not a text on religion, anthropology of religion, or sociology of religion, that I'm aware that posits otherwise. Moreover, Mahayanists adhere to some of the main tenets of Buddhism, including the 8 Fold Path and the 4 Noble Truths as well as Nirvana. Not to mention that Buddha himself is of primary importance.
In the end, you can keep calling them whatever you wish or don't wish, but it would be like calling a sphere a cube: no matter how many times you say "cube," corners won't appear. Mahayanism *is* a form of Buddhism.