Sunday, May 12, 2013

Do unto others - golden rule of humanity

We have all read about the golden rule and its history in almost all world cultures - "Do unto others what you wish to be done to you" or the negation of it "Do not do unto others what you don not wish to be done to you."

But rarely you find the reference to this in ancient Indian tradition. While this sentiment abounds all over in Sanskrit literature small and large, here is an actual reference from Mahabharata that says it exactly as is.

Hence, by self-control and by making dharma (right conduct) your main focus, 
treat others as you treat yourself.

= तस्माद्धर्मप्रधानेन भवितव्यं यतात्मना ।
तथा च सर्वभूतेषु वर्तितव्यं यथात्मनि ॥
= tasmād_dharma-pradhānéna bhavitavyam yatātmanā |
tathā cha sarva-bhūtéṣhu vartitavyam yathātmani ||
[Mahābhārata Shānti-Parva 167:9]

Vidura says to the king Yuddhishthira, "Listening to wise scriptures, austerity, sacrifice, respectful faith, social welfare, forgiveness, purity of intent, compassion, truth and self-control - are the ten wealth of character (self). O king aim for these, may you be steadfast in these qualities. These are the basis of prosperity and rightful living. These are highest attainable things. All worlds are balanced on dharma, dharma encompasses ways to prosperity as well. O King, dharma is the best quality to have, wealth the medium and desire (kāma, kAma) the lowest.

Hence, (keeping these in mind), by self-control and by making dharma (right conduct) your main focus, treat others as you treat yourself."

There is no need to explain this self-explanatory, simplest of core values. If only everyone can follow just this one rule, there will be no man-made problems in the world!

And now the language aspects -

tasmād /tasmAt = hence
dharma-pradhānéna / dharma-pradhAnena = by keeping dharma as main focus
bhavitavyam = is worth becoming, one should become
yatātmanā / yatAtmanA = yata + ātmanā /AtmanA = restrained, by self , i.e. by restrained self, controlled self.
tathā / tathA = similarly, in that manner
cha = and
sarva-bhūtéṣhu / sarva-bhUteShu = in all (sarva) beings (bhūta/bhUta)
vartitavyam = one should behave
yathātmani / yathAtmani = yathā /yathA + ātmani /Atmani = as in oneself.


(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
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