Buddha #1 was born Siddhartha Gautama in India about 2,500 years ago.
There are lots of wild stories about his birth. People need reassurance. People need something special. People are 60% to 80% simple minded ordinary working people. They are not scientists. They are not philosophers. They are not theologians. They are not researchers. They are not self-motivated beyond what is necessary to survive or succeed in their “job” or “career” or family.
So 60% or more of all people are superstitious. They are afraid not to believe in God because they believe that the God they believe in as petty, vindictive, selfish, and spiteful as they are. So they believe in God to diminish their fear and need for scientific research. It’s easier to believe in God than seek the truth of everything that happens in the world.
God is very convenient. He changes sex and appearance every few centuries to blend in with popular culture and its current greed and anger. God is as beautiful as your next door neighbor–and about that smart.
So by that set of truths, Siddhartha was smarter than any of the Gods. He decided to use science to understand reality. Buddha decided to use psychology to understand the relationships of people. Buddha decided that when you’re old enough to retire you can become smarter than ever and become an enlightened person who can help other people solve their problems. They sometimes call these life coaches, “Bodhisattvas.” Steely Dan wrote a song of this title…
When Buddha died did he float up into the air and glow upon his followers? No. He died of food poisoning.
Does Buddha watch over us? No.
Does Buddha wait for us in Heaven? No, but he might be tickled that you think so. The Indians of India call Buddhist Heaven, “Vulture’s Peak.” That’s because they used to bury their dead by leaving them out in certain graveyards for the vultures to literally pick their bones. When the vultures flew back to the tops of the nearby cliffs they called that “Vulture’s Peak” where people were resurrected upward in the bird stomachs.
A thousand years later they added some warrior monks with weapons as the “Guardians of Buddha” in Buddhist Heaven. I guess I might fantasize something here…
Is Buddha a God? No.