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The Golden Rule (law of reciprocity) – what’s the difference?

  • All religions are one

  • They teach a divine life

  • Love all

  • Serve all

  • Be selfless

  • Seek the Immortal, Divine Life


Hinduism ~3,200 BCE

  • Know the Self and be free

  • From the Hitopadesa-  "One should always treat others as they themselves wish to be treated."

  •  “This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you.” (Mahabharata 5,1517)

  • “One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself. This is the essence of morality. All other activities are due to selfish desire.” (Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva 113.8)

Ancient Egyptian ~1,800 BCE and before

  • "Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do." The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, 109 - 110 Translated by R.B. Parkinson

Judaism ~1,300 BCE

  • I am that I am

  • From the Old Testament, Leviticus 19:18-  "Thou shalt Love thy neighbor as thyself."

  • In Leviticus 19:15-18, we read:

    • 15 You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment. Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your neighbor justly.

    • 16 You shall not go about spreading slander among your people; nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor’s life is at stake. I am the LORD.

    • 17 You shall not hate any of your kindred in your heart. Reprove your neighbor openly so that you do not incur sin because of that person.

    • 18 Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your own people. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

Zoroastrianism ~600 BCE

  • Purity of thought, word and deed is the essence of religion

  • From the Shast-na-shayast 13:29-  "Whatever is disagreeable to yourself, do not do unto others."

  • That nature is only good when it shall not do unto another whatever is not good for its own self. (Dadistan-i-Dinik)

Buddhism ~560 BCE

  • For the whole world this is the law: all is impermanent

  • From the Udanavarga 5:18-   "Hurt not others with that which pains yourself"

  •  “…a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?” (Samyutta NIkaya v. 353)

  • “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” (Udana-Varga 5:18)


Taoism ~560 BCE

  • He who has overcome himself is mighty

  • Regard your Neighbour’s gain as your own gain and your neighbour’s loss as your own loss. (T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien)

Confucianism ~500 BCE

  • Blame yourself as you would blame others. Excuse others as you would excuse yourself

  • From the Analects  15:23"What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others"

  • “Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state.” (Analects 12:2)

  • “Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.” (Mencius VII.A.4)

  • Tsekung asked, “Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?” Confucius replied, “It is the word shu–reciprocity: Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.” (Analects 15.23)


Jainism ~500 BCE

  • Non‑injury is verily the only religion

  • “A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated.” (Sutrakritanga 1.11.33)

  • “One should treat all beings as he himself would be treated.” (Agamas Sutrakritanga 1.10.13)


Christianity ~30 CE

  • The Kingdom of Heaven is within you

  • From the King James Version ,  7:12-  "Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you,  do ye even so to them."

  • "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; As I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." [Gospel of John, King James Bible version].

Islam ~600 CE

  • There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is the prophet of Allah

  • “No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.” (#13 of An-Nawawi’s Forty Hadiths)


Shintoism ~600 CE

  • See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil


Sikhism ~1,500 CE

  • There is but one God and His name is truth; wonderful is the guru

  • Treat others as thou wouldst be treated by thyself. (Adi Grandth)

Bahai Faith ~1,863 CE

  • Desire not for anyone the things that ye would not desire for yourselves. (Gleanings 66)

“One who saves a single life – it is as if he has saved an entire world”

Pirke D’Rav Eliezer

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The Golden Rule - What's the Difference?

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