10 ways in which Buddhism stands out
"Buddhism is the religion of the future ... if there is any one religion that can cope with modern scientific advancement, it would be Buddhism." - Albert Einstein, Time Magazine's Person of the Century
"The Buddha rightfully replaced the imposter sitting on God's White Throne" - Mahatma Gandhi, Time Magazine's Runner-up to Person of the Century.
"As a student of comparitive religion, I believe Buddhism is the most perfect religion the world has ever known - far superior to any other" - Carl Jung, German philosopher.
1] Scientific Basis: In Buddhism there is is no creation mythology that can be debunked by scientists and instead the focus is on meditation and the sound therapy of mantra chanting that are techniques endorsed by doctors as the most effective of all spiritual practices with proven benefits.
2] Only Religion of Peace: Though a major international religion, Buddhism was not spread by violence and does not command violence against non-believers.
3] Empowerment of Women: Buddhism advocates female empowerment and one of the most important cardinal scriptures - the Lions Roar of Srimala is the greatest tribute to "girl power" of any religion in history.
4] Truly Universal Divinity: Buddhism views Divinity as (Kannon/Guanyin) who is truly universal and beyond gender and ethnicity for Kannon is limitless like water and can take any form be it male or female, Asian or Caucasian to be relatable to all cultures. Kannon is also the God/Goddess who does not threaten you for not believing but always stands as a perfect role model for all gods and humans by embodying good karma and compassion. Kannon also represents the Source of positive energy, the Personification of the Law of Attraction and the Cultivation of Courage and good qualities.
Opposing Slavery: Buddhism opposes slavery and caste discrimination of any kind and is the first to champion equality for all strata of society. It is the first religion to call Buddha the "eternal Heavenly Father that showers His blessings on all like clouds shed raindrops sans distinction."
6] Equal rights for LGBT: Buddhism does not command violence against people based on their sexual orientation. Equal rights for gays has been a hallmark for over 2600 years.
7] Love for animals: Buddhism places great emphasis on the rights of animals and in all representations of the Buddha's final moments in the physical realm, He is seen surrounded not just by men and women from all strata of society and heavenly angels and gods paying homage from the heavens but also by a large entourage of animals that came to pay their respects. An important story in Buddhism is how the Buddha rescued a swan and many Buddhists embrace vegetarianism as and when possible out of respect for animals. (It must be noted that vegetarianism is not compulsory in Buddhism as we tend to gratefully accept whatever we are offered but we all try to at least maintain a few vegetarian meals a week which is healthy as well). It is even said that Almighty Kannon can come in the form of an animal to inspire members of the animal kingdom and Kannon can often be seen with a dragon or elephant or even horse as the case may be. Similarly, Buddhist monks are often depicted with pet tigers, lions, elephants et all. The Buddhist sutras even speak about how animals and birds can be like Bodhisattvas (angels) helping us in unique ways and anyone with a disability who has relied on the loyalty of a service dog knows the Buddha was right when he said even animals have Buddha nature.
8] Salvation without Blood Sacrifice: Buddhism is the first religion to offer the free gift of salvation to all and but without any some form of sacrifical lamb or blood sacrifice. Anyone who believes in Almighty Kannon or the Eternal Buddha Amida (Amituofo) that is seen in Kannon's crown or the Unsurpassed power of the Lotus Sutra which is the King of all scriptures and describes the peerless Power of Kannon will surely be surrounded by positive energy in life and go to a place of positive energy or Heaven upon death. Amida-Kannon has the power to grant salvation to all without demanding a price for sin.
9] World Civilization: As H.G. Wells points out, "Buddhism has done more for the advent of world civilization and true culture than any force in the chronicles of mankind". Most of the oldest and most influential paintings, sculptures, literary works and archeological finds in all museums are inspired by Buddhism which enriched cultures instead of destroying them. In fact, the first international university in the world is the Buddhist university Nalanda and its contribution to science, astronomy, literature and medicine is unmatched in world history. Furthermore, Buddhist Temples were the earliest community centers for social service thereby showing that religion should promote social welfare and be a force for good, not oppress the masses as a tool of extremism.
10] World Politics: Even today, scholars agree that the Buddhist King Ashoka is the most positive role model in the history of royalty and Prince Shotoku the most influential having authored the world's oldest constitution on the Buddha's highest teaching the True Law Lotus Sutra. Even modern heroes like Mahatma Gandhi and Rosa Parks have applauded Buddhism with great admiration for the Lotus Sutra.