Gautama Buddha was a human being who was awakened and, thereby, no longer bound by the many afflictions of life. But when some Buddhists say that they believe in the Buddha, they are expressing their faith in the wonderful, universal Buddhas, not in the teaching or the life of the historical Buddha (Siddhārtha Gautama or Siddhattha Gotama in Pali).
They believe in the Buddha’s magnificence and feel that it is enough. But the examples of the actual lives of Jesus and of Buddha are most important, because as human beings, they lived in ways that we can live, too.
When we read, “The heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove,” we can see that Jesus Christ was already enlightened. Jesus Christ was in touch with the reality of life, the source of mindfulness, bliss, wisdom, and understanding within Him, and this made Him different from other human beings.
When He was born into a carpenter’s family, He was the Son of Man. When He opened His heart, the door of Heaven was opened to Him. The Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove, and He was manifested as the Son of God – very deep, very holy, and very great. But the Holy Spirit is not just for Jesus alone; it is for all of us.
From a Buddhist point of view, who is not the son or daughter of God?
Sitting beneath the Bodhi tree, many wonderful, holy seeds within the Buddha blossomed forth. Gautama Buddha was human, but, at the same time, he became an expression of the highest spirit of humanity. When we are in touch with the highest spirit in ourselves, we too are a Buddha, filled with the Holy Spirit, and we become very open, very tolerant, very deep, and very understanding.