Question: It is taught that with sincere mindfulness of the names of Buddhas (and great Bodhisattvas), they will be able to help us, as we are all treated like their children. Is this parallel to the idea of God, who is said to be able to help all who pray to ‘him’, as ‘he’ is omnipotent and considers us as ‘his’ children?
Answer: The Buddhas (and great Bodhisattvas) hope that we treat one another with the altruistic attitude of seeing every single being as an only precious child. This refers to cultivating high quality and quantity of loving-kindness, compassion, rejoice and equanimity for all beings. On their part, they have already perfected cultivation of this attitude, having opened their hearts to realise the Four Immeasurable States of Mind listed fully.
This is not the same as the idea of God, who assumed ‘he’ literally created humans, as in father and lord over all physically. Buddhists do not subscribe to the existence of such a diety, due to reasons such as these taught by the Buddha: http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2012/03/the-buddhas-victory-over-a-god-demon. Also, such a God, even scripturally, does not truly exemplify the Four Immeasurable States of Mind, as you can see at http://moonpointer.com/new/2015/05/pop-quiz-on-god (‘He’ is taught to even ’cause’ suffering through ‘creation’ of darkness, evil and calamities, as can be seen at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+45%3A7&version=KJV) In summary, there is no omnipotent and omnibenevolent creator god at all, due to the reasons at http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2013/11/are-buddhas-omnipotent-omnibenevolent-omniscient. It is very important not to take refuge in a being who does not exist, as doing so leads to no actual spiritual benefits, at most having only some limited placebo effects.
Q: If the Buddhas (and great Bodhisattvas) are also not omnipotent, how can they end our suffering by us being mindful of them?
A: The Buddhas (and great Bodhisattvas) though not omnipotent, are the most potent (powerful) enlightened beings possible, with the Four Immeasurable States of Mind perfected, along with perfect wisdom and boundless meritorious virtues (merits) for sharing with us. This makes them the ones most capable of alleviating our suffering in the moment, and to guide us to end our suffering permanently when we connect to them, till we reach say, Amituofo’s (Amitabha Buddha) Pure Land, where we will learn from them how to transcend suffering for ourselves, and for guiding others to do the same. To know more about how they can relieve our suffering, please see http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2015/04/can-the-buddha-change-our-karma.
How Is Amituofo Our Loving ‘Father’?