TN the Triple Jewel the great problem has always been the person of Buddha. The Doctrine and Discipline as
officially recorded can be determined, but the conception of the enlightened One has undergone great changes. Hence the modern theories which either rationalise everything, or mythologise everything, or hold that Buddha himself had claims which necessarily conferred upon him a place as high as the greatest of the gods. 1
The first question therefore is not whether it is possible to rationalise the traditions, but, as Professor Keith emphasises, whether the evidence they furnish for early Buddhist belief justifies our doing so. The opposition of Pali versus Sanskrit has not the significance that it once had. This meant the rivalry between the legends in the Pali commentaries and those in the Lalita-vistara as sources of history. 2 But all these legends are attached to older documents of various schools, and it is now possible to get from them a different kind of historical evidence more certain than that of the legends, that is, we can find what these schools actually believed about the nature of a Buddha, and what they held to be the false views of other schools.