There is this golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated.
The Gurbani advocated this golden rule several centuries ago, but with much more depth!
- ਆਪੁ ਜਨਾਇ ਅਵਰ ਕਉ ਜਾਨੈ ਤਬ ਹੋਇ ਭਿਸਤ ਸਰੀਕੀ ॥੪॥: Aapu janaai avar kaou jaanai tabb hoi bhisat sareekee: As you see yourself, see others as well; only then will you become included (joined, united, a partner, ਭਿਸਤ ਦਾ ਬਰਾਬਰ ਦਾ ਹੱਕਦਾਰ / ਭਾਈਵਾਲ / ਸਾਂਝੀਵਾਲ…) in heaven (the State beyond Maya…). ||4|| (sggs 480).
In other words, a person must first understand himself or make himself understand, and then understand others (as himself – ਆਪਣੇ ਆਪ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਝਾ ਕੇ ਦੂਜਿਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਆਪਣੇ ਵਰਗਾ ਸਮਝਣਾਂ). This is the Gurbani’s edict.
The implication is that without first Understanding himself, a person’s moss of doubts (Bharam) will remain. And without eradication of one’s own doubts, he cannot see, understand or treat others as his ownself.
- ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਆਪਾ ਚੀਨੈ ਮਿਟੈ ਨ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਕਾਈ ॥੨॥੧॥: Jan Nanak binu aapaa cheenai mitai n bhram kee kaaee ||2||1||: O Daas Nanak! Without Realizing one’s own self (Original, Essential, or True Nature, etc. – ਆਪਣਾ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਪਰਖਣ ਤੋਂ ਬਿਨਾ, etc.), the moss of doubt (ignorance of one’s True Nature, etc.) is not eradicated (from the mind) ||2||1|| (sggs 684).
The Gurbani (Gurmat – Divine Knowledge of the Gurbani, Aatam Giaan…) says that there is no “others”. For, as the Gurbani indicates, the One Light has become everything.
- ਏਕ ਨੂਰ ਤੇ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਉਪਜਿਆ ਕਉਨ ਭਲੇ ਕੋ ਮੰਦੇ ॥੧॥: The entire universe has taken place from One “Noor” (One Universal Energy, Hukam, System or Law of Nature, ਕੁਦਰਤ ਦਾ ਨਿਯਮ). So who is good, and who is bad? ||1|| (sggs 1349).
- ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਹਰਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥: Mere man hari binu avaru na koi: O my mind, without the Lord, there is no other at all (sggs 47).
The implication is that if we bless all, the whole universe blesses us. If we hurt others, in fact we hurt ourselves. If one selflessly loves and serves others, in fact he benefits himself.
The feelings of “otherness” is the ego-mind (Haume) in action: lust, anger, greed, attachment, self-conceit, enviousness, stubbornness, etc. It is the false “I” — the feeling of “mine, mine”. Because in the divided consciousness(Haumai or Mayaic Budhi), there is always the feeling of “mine, mine” and “others”. When there is no “mine, mine” and “otherness”, there is no ego. Then there is only the selflessness and true love.
- ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੈਲੁ ਭਰ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: Mann mere houmai mail bhar naal: O my mind, you are filled with the filth of egotism (sggs 35).
- ਮਨਮੁਖੀਆ ਸਿਰਿ ਮਾਰ ਵਾਦਿ ਖਪਾਈਐ ॥: Manmukheeaa siri maar vaad khapaaeeai: The problem of the Manmukh (a material being) mind is this: he is consumed by conflict (sggs 420).
The Gurbani says that we are the Light of God (“Joti-Svaroopa“). Thus, we all are One with the Cosmic Energy. But due to the madness of the mind (Haume, doudts, Mayaic Budhi…), we do not see that way. Consequently, we have made this world the play of the self-centered ego, which is inherently selfish. This is why the Gurbani time and again says the mind and ego must dissolve and disappear.