A creed is a statement of beliefs, usually religious beliefs, which someone must subscribe to in order to be considered a member of a particular religion. The word creed comes from the Latin credo meaning `I believe'. The idea of having a creed is alien to Buddhism because it has always emphasized behaviour more than acceptance of certain belief and dogma. All the ancient creeds of Christianity Ý the Apostle's Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, etc. Ý lay down theological ideas that must be accepted in order to be a Christian and be saved. None of these creeds say anything about how one should behave.

If there was an equivalent to a creed in Buddhism, or at least a succinct summary of it, it would be the Buddha's statement: `One thing and one thing only do I teach Ý suffering and the transcending of suffering' (M.I,140). Better still would be his famous words from the Dhammapada: `Avoid everything evil, develop the good and purify the mind; this is the teaching of the Buddhas' (Dhp.183). According to Buddhism, believing a set of ideas, even if done so with great fervor, cannot liberate one. Only understanding and a profound change of heart can do that. See Epithet and Faith.