Once the Buddha was asked... if he was a God?
The Buddha replied that no, he was not a god.
Then was he an angel? No.
A spirit? No.
Then what was he?
The Buddha replied that he was awakened.
Since the Buddha, by his own assertion, is not a god, we do not worship him. We respect and are grateful to him for teaching us many different methods to help us find the way to be liberated from the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, and like him, to become perfectly enlightened.
What is Buddhism? Buddhism is fundamentally an education. It is the Buddha's teachings of how to attain enlightenment and advance to Buddhahood. So how? The Buddha taught us these five guidelines to attainment and explained the karmic obstacles of lust, anger, and delusion within ourselves that have been hindering us from enlightenment.
Out of all that the Buddha taught, Pure Land Buddhism is one we should aspire to practice.
The Buddha had repeatedly taught his followers about the Western Pure Land, the Land of Ultimate Bliss, and encouraged us numerous times to vow to reborn in the Western Pure Land. So we need to understand what Pure Land Buddhism is.
See Pure Land Principles to understand the fundamentals.
To gain a comprehensive understanding, one should study the five sutras of Pure Land Buddhism. The five sutras of Pure Land Buddhism are imperative for practitioners to go deeply to learn, recite, and understand the Pure Land Doctrine.
What are the Five Pure Land Sutras?
1. The Amitabha Sutra [Sutra Text]
The Commentary of Amitabha Sutra by Grand Master Ou-i is also highly recommended.
3. The Visualization Sutra [Sutra Text]
4. The Chapter of the Practices and Vows of the Bodhisattva Samantabhadhra from the Avatamsaka Sutra [Sutra Text]
5. The Chapter on Mahasthama Bodhisattva's Mindfulness of Amitabha to Universally Realize Samadhi from the Surangama Sutra [Sutra Text]
Every time we practiced Buddha-name chanting and sutra recitation, we dedicated our merits and virtues accrued from our practices to adorn the Pure Land, to repay the Four Kinds of Kindness above, and relive the suffering of those in the Three Paths below.
The site [For the Sake of All Beings], which is dedicated to all beings who want to learn how to end their sufferings in one lifetime, provides more information on Pure Land Buddhism, Principles and Cultivation, Three Learnings, Three Refuges, Five Precepts, and Six Paramitas.
By continuously practicing (Amitabha) Buddha-name chanting, the ultimate goal is to seek the help of Amitabha Buddha to be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss at the end of this lifetime!