The Buddha is generally associated with the doctrine of Ahimsa. That is taken to be the be-all and end-all of his teachings. Hardly any one knows that what the Buddha taught is something very vast: far beyond Ahimsa. It is therefore necessary to set out in detail his tenets. I enumerate them below as I have understood them from my reading of the Tripitaka :
- Religion is necessary for a free Society.
- Not every Religion is worth having.
- Religion must relate to facts of life and not to theories and speculations about God, or Soul or Heaven or Earth.
- It is wrong to make God the center of Religion.
- It is wrong to make salvation of the soul as the center of Religion.
- It is wrong to make animal sacrifices to be the center of religion.
- Real Religion lives in the heart of man and not in the Shastras.
- Man and morality must be the center of religion. If not, Religion is a cruel superstition.
- It is not enough for Morality to be the ideal of life. Since there is no God it must become the Jaw of life.
- The function of Religion is to reconstruct the world and to make it happy and not to explain its origin or its end.
- That the unhappiness in the world is due to conflict of interest and the only way to solve it is to follow the Ashtanga Marga.
- That private ownership of property brings power to one class and sorrow to another.
- That it is necessary for the good of Society that this sorrow be removed by removing its cause.
- All human beings are equal.
- Worth and not birth is the measure of man.
- What is important is high ideals and not noble birth.
- Maitri or fellowship towards all must never be abandoned. One owes it even to one’s enemy.
- Every one has a right to learn. Learning is as necessary for man to live as food is.
- Learning without character is dangerous.
- Nothing is infallible. Nothing is binding forever. Every thing is subject to inquiry and examination.
- Nothing is final.
- Every thing is subject to the law of causation.
- Nothing is permanent or sanatan. Every thing is subject to change. Being is always becoming.
- War is wrong unless it is for truth and justice.
- The victor has duties towards the vanquished. This is the creed of the Buddha in a summary form. How ancient hut how fresh! How wide and how deep are his teachings!
ref. Buddha and Karl Marx by Dr.B.R.Ambedkar
Source : buddhist-vision.com