The Buddha was sometimes naughty, but he may have done it to tease. For instance he was fond of saying that Nirvana is the same as Samsara. That is ridiculous or obvious according to where you happen to be standing.
Hui Neng was more downright - but then he was a young peasant. When someone asked him whether it was the pennant that flapped, or the wind, he replied quite frankly that it was the man's own mind that was flapping.
As for the Buddha's little jest, the answer is equally obvious and, in fact, the same. Where split-mind sees Samsara, whole-mind sees Nirvana. And they themselves are only the same in so far as neither of them exists - as he would have been the first to admit, and, no doubt, often pointed out after enunciating a doctrine about them.
No wonder the monks burnt his images when they were feeling cold and were short of fuel?