“In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”
– Matthew 7:12
I know that all Christians know the golden rule since it is a principle Jesus taught in His Sermon on the Mount though the term “Golden Rule” is not really found in Scripture. However, The title was later added by Bible translation teams since it reflects to the two great commandments, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with your soul, and with all your mind” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”.
My mind is closed to the beliefs of Christianity so I thought that the religion was the only one that has the Golden Rule. However, I discovered different versions of it in other religions. Perhaps, that was the reason why it is called the Golden Rule. The principle is taught to everybody, whether they live by their moral codes, religious or not. That’s so great to hear! But for now, let’s hear their versions.
“Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” – Udunavarga 5:18
Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, made this principle in one of the cornerstones of his ethics in the 6th century BC. It occurs in many places and in many forms throughout the Tripitaka.
“Do not do unto others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state.” – Confucius, Analects 15.23
As what Russel Freedman stated in his book, Confucius: The Golden Rule, this was one of the guiding principles of life that Confucius taught his followers, five centuries before Jesus taught the Golden Rule with similar words.
“This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you” – Mahabharata 5:1517
For them, Dharma, which includes their Golden Rule, are the basis of prosperity and rightful living. These are highest attainable things. All worlds are balanced on Dharma.
“Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.” – The Prophet Muhammad, Hadith
This is implicitly expressed in some verses of the Quran, and is explicitly declared in the sayings of Muhammad. A common transliteration is “Aheb li akheek ma tuhibu li nafsik.”
“One should treat all creatures in the world as one would like to be treated” – Mahavira, Sutrakritanga
The Golden Rule is paramount in the Jainism philosophy and can be seen in the doctrines of Ahimsa and Karma. As part of the prohibition of causing any living beings to suffer, Jainism forbids inflicting upon others what is harmful to oneself.
“What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary.” – Hillel, Talmud, Shabbat 31a
In my blog post, Ritual Objects In Judaism, I told you that out of the major world religions, Christianity and Judaism are likely the most similar. And I think, we find one today!
“I am a stranger to no one; and no one is stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all.” – Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1299
One of the golden rules of Guru Nanak is Vand Chakna, which teaches people to selflessly serve and share with others especially with those less fortunate than yourself.
“Regard your neighbor’s gain as you own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.” – T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien, 213-218
My friend says that the Taoism’s golden rule means not doing bad to others. But, it is a completely passive rule that speaks more to not being jealous or overly competitive than how you should actually treat your neighbor.
“Do not unto others what is injurious to yourself.” – Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29
Apart from the words from Shayast-na-Shayast, words from Dadistan-i-dinik says That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself.