I will leave ya with these to ponder on with regards to your question...from one Buddhist perspective...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html
And the Blessed One spoke, saying:
"In whatsoever Dhamma and Discipline, Subhadda, there is not found the Noble Eightfold Path, neither is there found a true ascetic of the first, second, third, or fourth degree of saintliness.
But in whatsoever Dhamma and Discipline there is found the Noble Eightfold Path, there is found a true ascetic of the first, second, third, and fourth degrees of saintliness.
Now in this Dhamma and Discipline, Subhadda, is found the Noble Eightfold Path; and in it alone are also found true ascetics of the first, second, third, and fourth degrees of saintliness.
Devoid of true ascetics are the systems of other teachers.
But if, Subhadda, the Bhikkhus live righteously, the world will not be destitute of Arahants.
Just as a footnote...
1. In various Buddhist Traditions, the classes of 'saints' or to use that term 'enlightened' ones are known (in Sanskrit/Pali) as the Arhats / Arahants (Worthy One) (with its 4 stages), the Pratyekabuddhas / Paccekabuddhas (Solitary/Silent Enlightened Ones) and finally the Samyak Sambuddhas / Samma Sambuddha (Fully Enlightened Ones - with its various stages of Bodhisattvahood stages).
2. Not forgetting also are all those who have made a commitment, where they are found in the Fourfold Assembly of monks, nuns, layman and laywomen, and are actually aspirants and treaders of any of the three categories although some only regard those who have attained the fruition of the path as worthy of mention.
3. The difficult part about spotting these Saints is that they do not normally engage a public relations firm to advertise themselves or pose in pictures with a plastic lotus throne, with neon lights and funny hats and come with a grandiose 3 line name/titles business card. But their activity sphere of benefiting sentient beings and the place wherever they may be are limitless and boundless at times, taking on many forms, guises, shapes and sizes and may even appear 'unconventional' in a conventional world.
Shariputra, from the time I realized Buddhahood, I have, by means of various causes and conditions and various analogies, extensively proclaimed the verbal teaching. With countless expedient devices, I have guided living beings, leading them to separate from all attachments.
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id3.html
"Wherever the Buddha comes to stay, there is no state, town or village which is not blessed by His virtues.
The whole country reposes in peace and harmony. The sun and the moon shine with pure brilliance; wind rises and rain falls at the right time. There is no calamity or epidemic, and so the country becomes wealthy, and its people enjoy peace.
Soldiers and weapons become useless; and people esteem virtue, practice benevolence and diligently cultivate courteous modesty."
"Out of pity for you and other devas and humans, I have taken great pains in exhorting you to do good deeds.
I have given you instructions appropriate to your capacities.
The Buddha continued,
"My concern for you, devas and humans, is greater than the care of parents for their children.
I have become a Buddha in this world, destroyed the five evils, removed the five sufferings, and extinguished the five burnings.
I have countered evil with good, eradicated the suffering of birth-and-death, and enabled people to acquire the five virtues and attain the peace of Unconditioned Nirvana"
So for Buddhists, as a general yardstick, one may watch their body, speech and mind and also compare if it is traceable in the Teaching & Discipline.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html
And there the Blessed One addressed the Bhikkhus, saying:
"Now, Bhikkhus, I shall make known to you the four great references. Listen and pay heed to My words."
And those Bhikkhus answered, saying: "So be it, Lord."
Then the Blessed One said:
"In this fashion, Bhikkhus, a Bhikkhu might speak:
'Face to face with the Blessed One, brethren, I have heard and learned thus:
This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or:
'In an abode of such and such a name lives a community with elders and a chief. Face to face with that community, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or:
'In an abode of such and such a name live several Bhikkhus who are elders, who are learned, who have accomplished their course, who are preservers of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with those elders, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or:
'In an abode of such and such a name lives a single Bhikkhu who is an elder, who is learned, who has accomplished his course, who is a preserver of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with that elder, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation.'
"In such a case, Bhikkhus, the declaration of such a Bhikkhu is neither to be received with approval nor with scorn.
Without approval and without scorn, but carefully studying the sentences word by word, one should trace them in the Discourses and verify them by the Discipline.
If they are neither traceable in the Discourses nor verifiable by the Discipline, one must conclude thus:
'Certainly, this is not the Blessed One's utterance; this has been misunderstood by that Bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' In that way, Bhikkhus, you should reject it.
But if the sentences concerned are traceable in the Discourses and verifiable by the Discipline, then one must conclude thus:
'Certainly, this is the Blessed One's utterance; this has been well understood by that Bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.'
And in that way, Bhikkhus, you may accept it on the first, second, third, or fourth reference.
These, Bhikkhus, are the four great references for you to preserve."
Refer also to the Four Reliances
After I enter Nirvana, when the Dharma is about to perish, during the evil age of the five turbidities, the way of demons will flourish. Demonic beings will become Shramanas; they will pervert and destroy My Teachings. Monastics will wear the garb of laypersons and will prefer handsome clothes. Their precept sashes will be made of multi-colored cloth. They will use intoxicants, eat meat, kill other beings and they will indulge in their desire for flavorful food. They will lack compassion and they will bear hatred and exhibit jealousy even among themselves.
”Even then Bodhisattvas, Pratyekabuddhas, and Arhats will reverently and diligently cultivate immaculate virtue. They will be respected by all people and their teachings will be fair and egalitarian. These cultivators of the Way will take pity on the poor, they will be mindful of the aged, and they will save and give counsel to those people they find in difficult circumstances. They will at all times exhort others to worship and to protect sutras and images of the Buddha. They will do meritorious deeds, be resolute and kind, and never harm others. They will make physical sacrifices for others’ benefit. They will hold no great regard for themselves but will be patient, yielding, humane, and peaceful.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"That's the way it is, Kassapa. When beings are degenerating and the true Dhamma is disappearing, there are more training rules and yet fewer monks established in final gnosis. There is no disappearance of the true Dhamma as long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of the true Dhamma when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has arisen in the world. Just as there is no disappearance of gold as long as a counterfeit of gold has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of gold when a counterfeit of gold has arisen in the world, in the same way there is no disappearance of the true Dhamma as long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of the true Dhamma when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has arisen in the world.
"These five downward-leading qualities tend to the confusion and disappearance of the true Dhamma. Which five?
There is the case where the monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers live without respect, without deference, for the Teacher. They live without respect, without deference, for the Dhamma... for the Sangha... for the Training... for concentration. These are the five downward-leading qualities that tend to the confusion and disappearance of the true Dhamma.
"But these five qualities tend to the stability, the non-confusion, the non-disappearance of the true Dhamma. Which five?
There is the case where the monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers live with respect, with deference, for the Teacher. They live with respect, with deference, for the Dhamma... for the Sangha... for the Training... for concentration.
These are the five qualities that tend to the stability, the non-confusion, the non-disappearance of the true Dhamma."
And how do you know that what you have today really came from Budha. From what I know there is no physical evidence of Bhudas existence.
Well, I do not know whether humankind actually first landed on the moon back then because I wasn't even born then nor have I been to the moon to see it for myself and some claim that it happened in an Arizonian desert but there are records of that legacy and event that are made available today by the scientific community that anyone can look at, investigate and come to their own conclusions isn't it?
Similarly, we are not left helpless and hopeless to wonder or tinker around with nothing either when it comes to the Buddha and His legacy...
a. Numerous religious relics or sariras all over the world, both that of the Buddha and His Disciples
b. Remains of archaelogical/historical sites, both in and out of India
c. Records, oral or written, from both Buddhist and non Buddhist sources like the Jains and so forth
d. the living legacy of past and present practitioners and traditions of His Teaching and Discipline
e. other misc sources