Buddha supported crowd intelligence!(Evidence we could find within Pali Nikaya)
Well, of course I’m sure he didn’t say it exactly, but I think the fact that we could find various anecdotes of Buddha praising his lay followers and bikkus within Pali Nikaya supports my claim. We could all agree that most of his followers, if not all, did not reached the depth of the insights he had. But there were quite many incidents the Buddha had approved of the understanding of his followers, and many of them were not arhats at the moment. Here, we could carefully conclude that the part of their consciousness were pointing at close enough direction towards nirvana. And here is an excerpt from mahaparanibbana sutta for you to consider –
A third time, the Blessed One said, “If even a single monk has any doubt or perplexity concerning the Buddha, Dhamma, or Sangha, the path or the practice, ask. Don’t later regret that ‘The Teacher was face-to-face with us, but we didn’t bring ourselves to cross-question him in his presence.'”
A third time, the monks were silent.
Then the Blessed One addressed the monks, “Now, if it’s out of respect for the Teacher that you don’t ask, let a friend inform a friend.”
When this was said, the monks were silent.
Then Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, “It’s amazing. It’s marvelous. I’m confident that, in this community of monks, there is not even a single monk who has any doubt or perplexity concerning the Buddha, Dhamma, or Sangha, the path or the practice.”
“You, Ananda, speak out of confidence, while there is knowledge in the Tathagata that, in this community of monks, there is not even a single monk who has any doubt or perplexity concerning the Buddha, Dhamma, or Sangha, the path or the practice. Of these 500 monks, the most backward is a stream-winner, not destined for the planes of deprivation, headed to self-awakening for sure.”
(sutta translation provided by Access to Insight)