...he surely would have brought us to Buddhahood infinite eons ago. Do you agree?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html
You yourselves must strive; the Buddhas only point the way.
The Buddha told Subhuti, “A good man, or good woman, who has resolved his mind on anuttarasamyaksambodhi should think thus:
‘I should take all living beings across to extinction.
Yet when all living beings have been taken across to extinction, there actually is not a single living being who has been taken across to extinction.’ And why? Subhuti, if a Bodhisattva has a mark of self, a mark of others, a mark of living beings, or a mark of a life, then he is not a Bodhisattva.
For what reason?
Subhuti, actually there is no dharma of resolving the mind on anuttarasamyaksambodhi.
“Subhuti, what do you think?
You should not maintain that the Tathagata has this thought: ‘I shall take living beings across.’
Subhuti, do not have that thought. And why?
There actually are no living beings taken across by the Tathagata.
If there were living beings taken across by the Tathagata, then the Tathagata would have the existence of a self, of others, of living beings, and of a life. Subhuti, the existence of a self spoken of by the Tathagata is no existence of a self, but common people take it as the existence of a self.
Subhuti, common people are spoken of by the Tathagata as no common people, therefore they are called common people.
http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhi ... neng6.html
Learned Audience, all of us have now declared that we vow to deliver an infinite number of sentient beings; but what does that mean?
It does not mean that I, Hui Neng, am going to deliver them.
And who are these sentient beings within our mind?
They are the delusive mind, the deceitful mind, the evil mind, and such like minds -- all these are sentient beings.
Each of them has to deliver himself by means of his own Essence of Mind. Then the deliverance is genuine.
Now, what does it mean to deliver oneself by one's own Essence of Mind?
It means the deliverance of the ignorant, the delusive, and the vexatious beings within our own mind by means of Right Views.
With the aid of Right Views and Prajna-Wisdom the barriers raised by these ignorant and delusive beings may be broken down; so that each of them is in a position to deliver himself by his own efforts.
Let the fallacious be delivered by rightness; the deluded by enlightenment; the ignorant by wisdom; and the malevolent by benevolence.
Such is genuine deliverance.