He said, “Be a light unto yourself.” He did not see salvation as lying outside ourselves. His mission was to assist us in finding that inner light. Not seeking it in a statue, or in repetitious incantations, or other rituals. To often the focus is on the right way of performing all these rituals and the spirit of reverence behind them is lost.
Many beautiful and serene statues of Buddha exist to remind us of his great contribution towards lessening our suffering. And it might feel good to adorn these statues with garlands and other gifts. Those gestures are symbols of humble gratitude for what the Buddha has brought to the world. But to actually worship him goes against his teachings. He is pointing to a way of living, not a bribery system of exchanges, where if worshippers makes sacrifices they expect something in return.