Parinirvāṇa, let alone nirvāṇa, in Mahāyāna IMHO is the most confusing thing I’ve ever heard tried to be explained.
IMO there is no consensus in the Mahāyāna as to if such a thing as “parinirvāṇa” even exists.
I can quote plenty of contradicting scripture on this.
But, to be fair, they get to start at level 8. That’s pretty OP.
Levity aside, this can be a very patronizing attitude. Don’t worry, though, if it’s any consolation, Mahāyānikāḥ get shade just as hard from Mantrayānikāḥ as they give said shade to Śrāvakāḥ in their scriptures. It’s a terrible game of mutual shade.
The Mantrayānika critique is somewhat along the lines of a critique that perhaps a follower of the EBTs might lodge as a note of complaint: “your path takes ‘three innumerable kalpāni’ to complete”.
First of all, you gotta love the phrasing of “three innumerable X”. It finds its roots in texts like the Daśabhūmikasūtra (itself contained in the massive Buddhāvataṃsaka vaipulya), which lay out the Mahāyāna path as a great precipice of mostly post-mortem development in increasingly refined dhyānic bodies.
It reminds me of Egyptian religion, a little bit. All of this preparation for things to do after death, essentially. The Egyptians used to invest a lot of energy into amulets and spellbooks that would aid in their ability to embark on their post-mortem quests, not to mention the spiritual beliefs surrounding mummification itself.