I came across something just now which contrasts Theravada and Mahayana "basic goals".
Ven. Chin Kung wrote:Theravada practitoners need to reach, at least, the level of Stream-enterer, which is achieved by severing various wrong views.
The minimum standard to achieve attainment in Mahayana Buddhism is to rid ourselves of a portion of our attachments, to sever the eighty-eight kinds of deviated thoughts and views. If we cannot sever there, we have not yet achieved attainment. Mayahana practitioners who successfully sever them reach the Initial Belief Stage.
The criterion he is using here for basic attainment is escape from the lower realms. As can be seen above, what he is calling "Initial Belief Stage" appears to correspond to stream-entry in Theravada, although the requirements are somewhat different. Stream entry entails the abandonment of self-view, the overcoming of skeptical doubt (through personal experience of the truth of the Buddha's teachings), and overcoming the clinging to rites and rituals.
So, what are the "eighty-eight kinds of deviated thoughts and views"? Are these the 62 wrong views from the Brahmajala sutra, with 26 additional ones for good measure? Or are they an elaboration of the three conditions for stream entry? Anyone happen to know more about this?
Incidentally, the author considers both "stream entry" and "initial belief stage" to be out of reach in this era -- the whole discussion is a preface to advocating Pure Land as the safest escape.