Among the founders of religions, the Buddha (if we are permitted to call him the founder of a religion in the popular sense of the term) was the only teacher who did not claim to be other than a human being, pure and simple. Other teachers were either God, or his incarnations in different forms, or inspired by him.
The Buddha was only a human being; he claimed no inspiration from any God or external power either. He attributed all his realisation, attainments and achievements to human endeavour and human intelligence. A man and only a man can become a Buddha. Every man has within himself the potentiality of becoming a Buddha, if he so wills it and endeavours.
We can call the Buddha a man par excellence. He was so perfect in his ‘human-ness’ that he came to be regarded later in popular religion almost as ‘super-human’.
Man’s position, according to Buddhism, is supreme. Man is his own master, and there is no higher being or power that sits in judgement over his destiny.
Source: What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula
Image source: Kappari Kishan