The Buddhadharma is very subtle and wonderful. When you are inside the Buddhadharma, you can't detect any advantage, and when you are outside the Buddhadharma, you don't feel any disadvantage. But in Buddhism, the retribution you receive for each share of merit and each share of offense you create will not be off by a hairsbreadth. In Buddhism, there is also the greatest freedom and the greatest equality. It is not despotic or biased in the least.
Why is it said to be equal? It's because if any living being, whether it's a hungry ghost, hell-being, evil spirit, ferocious beast, wicked person, or bad person, brings forth the resolve to cultivate, then “a turn of the head is the other shore,” and that being can become a Buddha. Buddhists are unlike externalists who advocate that bad or wicked people are eternally bad and beyond redemption, and that ferocious tigers and evil beasts, being wild by nature, cannot be saved.
During the Ming dynasty, there was the Great Master Lianchi who accepted a tiger as his disciple. This tiger disciple accompanied him around and protected him. As tigers are known to be vicious beasts, everyone was terrified upon seeing it. Thereupon Great Master Lianchi told the tiger to walk backwards instead of forward. When the tiger did this, the people felt assured that it was tame, and they were no longer afraid of it. The tiger went everywhere to raise funds for the Great Master. People all crowded in to make offerings when they saw this good tiger coming. So it is said that tigers can also take refuge with the Triple Jewel, protect the Buddhadharma and become Buddhas.
Buddhism gives people the greatest freedom, because in Buddhism, people are only exhorted to practice good deeds and abstain from evil deeds. If you do evil, you yourself must suffer the retribution. But Buddhism doesn't force people to do good, and would not say, “If you don't listen, and you keep making bad karma, I'll build a prison and lock you up in it.” That's because everything is made from the mind alone. The heavens and the hells are created based on people's thoughts and the force of their karma. Thus the Buddhadharma teaches people to “Abstain from all evil and offer up all good conduct,” and explains the law of cause and effect, which never misses by even a hairsbreadth. It teaches people to recognize the truth and transcend the cycle of birth and death.