The Pure Land Tradition
The goal of all
Buddhist practice is to achieve Enlightenment and transcend the
cycle of Birth and Death - that is, to attain Buddhahood.
In the Mahayana tradition, the precondition
for Buddhahood is the Bodhi Mind, the aspiration to achieve Enlightenment
for the benefit of all sentient beings, oneself included.
Since sentient beings are of different spiritual
capacities and inclinations, many levels of teaching and numerous
methods were devised in order to reach everyone.
Traditionally, the sutras speak of 84,000.
I.e., an infinite number, depending on the circumstances, the times
and target audience.
All these methods are expedients - different
medicines for different individuals with different illnesses at
different times - but all are intrinsically perfect and complete.
Within each method, the success or failure of an individual's cultivation
depends on his depth of practice and understanding, that is, on