Question: If Sakyamuni Buddha is still considered the Buddha of our era, does it mean that none taught by him in his time, who reached Amituofo’s [Amitabha Buddha] Pure Land, have attained Buddhahood yet?
Answer: There are many world systems (galactic systems), in each of which only one Buddha arises at a time, due to the difficulty for a defiled world to karmically deserve a single Buddha’s presence. We should not short-sightedly think our world is the only one where Buddhas arise in.
As stated in the Amitabha Sutra, in Amituofo’s Pure Land now, those already fully trained to be Bodhisattvas, who are ready to manifest Buddhahood are immeasurable, requiring immeasurable kalpas (world cycles) to fully speak of. This is despite Amituofo’s Pure Land been created for only 10 kalpas. This means it is incredibly swift for nurturing future Buddhas. This is why all Buddhas urge all beings to reach it – for both safety and speed in walking the path to Buddhahood.
These great Bodhisattvas are on standby to manifest Buddhahood in world systems ready for arrivals of Buddhas. This also means many others like them have already departed to manifest Buddhahood elsewhere. Our world system is just one of immeasurable systems. Maitreya Bodhisattva will be the next Buddha in our world 5.6 billion years later. However, Amituofo’s Pure Land’s Bodhisattvas, even those not on the brink of Buddhahood, riding upon Amituofo’s Vow #22 for continual protection, can manifest as various other forms (non-Buddhas) to help many beings in many world systems too.