Like any organized religion, it becomes more about doing the rituals correctly and behaving according to dogma. In every case, this behavior is based on fear: Fear that bad things will happen to us if we don’t conform to certain patterns of worship. We better bring a bowl of milk to Buddha’s statue so we can have a boy child. Or, let’s pay the priest to chant so Mama’s health will improve.
The general population wants priests in the Buddhists temples, so apart from the artistic and cultural surroundings, they can be like the churches of the West. This also leads to worshipping statues of Buddha and elaborate rituals, sacrifices, hours and hours of sitting in painful mediative positions, all as a gesture to prove how good the disciple is.
All this hoopla and ritual is far from the solitary Buddha, contemplating the nature of Life under the bodhi tree. The serenity and silence can be lost in a noisy temple as supplicants throng to pray for external fixes for their problems: Money, romantic love, etc. That wasn’t the point of Buddha’s teachings. He provided simple tools for us to avoid suffering no matter what life brings. Nowhere in his teachings does he say, “Worship me and come to me for all the goodies you want out of this physical life.”