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Please see this section taken from the wiki page titled Boddhisattva which might help you answer the question:

...what early Mahayana sutras like the Aṣṭa do is to help individuals determine if they have already received a prediction in a past life, or if they are close to this point. The Aṣṭa provides a variety of methods, including forms of ritual or divination, methods dealing with dreams and various tests, especially tests based on one's reaction to the hearing of the content in the Aṣṭasāhasrikā itself. The text states that encountering and accepting its teachings mean one is close to being given a prediction and that if one does not "shrink back, cower or despair" from the text, but "firmly believes it", one is irreversible. Many other Mahayana sutras such as the Akṣobhyavyūha and the Śūraṃgamasamādhi Sūtra present textual approaches to determine one's status as an advanced bodhisattva. These mainly consist in one's attitude towards listening to, believing, preaching, proclaiming, copying or memorizing and reciting the sutra. According to Drewes, this claim that merely having faith in Mahāyāna sūtras meant that one was an advanced bodhisattva, was a departure from previous Nikaya views about bodhisattvas. It created new groups of Buddhists who accepted each other's bodhisattva status.

Also, is the Śūraṃgamasamādhi Sūtra the same as Leng Yen Ching? And, is there an English translation of the Akṣobhyavyūha sutra?

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A "prediction" is a statement made by an enlightened person, originally a previous Buddha, or, in Mahayana tradition, an enlightened master, that guarantees its object eventual attainment of enlightenment in a subsequent existence.

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  • Is this similar to reaching stream entry in the Theravada tradition? – NeuroMax Apr 2 at 13:31
  • Yup, I think it is conceptually very similar. Not sure if it signifies exactly same level of insight or something higher or lower as stream entry, but it does mark a milestone in one's realization yes. – Andrei Volkov Apr 2 at 16:22

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