THE GOLDEN RULE
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you,
do also to them,
for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
“Enter by a narrow gate.
For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction,
and those who enter by it are many.
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life,
and those who find it are few.”
~ The Sermon on the Mount
Acharya Prashant: The first part says so whatever you wish that others would do to you. This part itself necessitates that we know what we desire. Christ is saying, ‘Figure out what is it that you want from others. Figure out firstly what is it that you want.’ So he is saying go to the root of your wanting, go to your basic desire.
When beneath the clutter of all the superficial desires, you go to the root of desire,
you will find that your ultimate desire is peace.
So from everything, from the entire world, from this and that, from others, from yourself, all you want is peace. Here is a way to peace.
Jesus is saying, ‘If you want peace then ensure that you bring peace. Do to others what you want done unto you. If you want peace then bring peace to others.’ You want truth then bring truth to others. You want love then bring love to others.
But remember it can be very easily misinterpreted!
To rightly interpret it, first of all, you must know what you really want. Know what you really want and bring it to others as well.
The trick here is- let’s say you want peace then you cannot give peace to others unless you yourself is peaceful. Because peace is not a commodity that you pull out from pocket and give it to somebody.
Peace is an overflowing from your heart.
Only when you have it, can you give to others.
Jesus is saying if you want peace, give peace to others but to give it to others, first of all, you have to have it.
So it’s a circular thing.
You want peace then give it to others. But to give it to others have an abundance of it. In a sense he is saying, ‘Have what you want.’
Then enter by the narrow gate. There are many who enter by the wide gate but for them there is only destruction and there are only a few who enter by the narrow gate.
The keyword here is—the broad gate and the many; the narrow gate and the few. Any gate through which a crowd enters is bound to be a gate opening into a destruction. Crowd means influence of others on the mind, that’s where the crowd exists. What he means is that a mind that is crowded can never enter the truth, a mind that is dominated by many can never enter the truth. Only the mind that is devoted to one can enter the truth.
Kabir says- “Prem gali itni saankri, taame do na samaye” (The road of love is so narrow that not even two can walk on it, only one can walk.)
Jesus is saying exactly the same thing here.
If you think that you can bring all your friends, family, relatives and their influence on your mind, if you think that you can carry all that and still be liberated and still belong to god, then it is not possible. You will have to make God your primary relationship. You’ll have to set truth as your first priority. That is called the narrow road, narrow because it has space only for the truth.
Incidentally, when you are devoted only to truth, when truth is your first priority, then the truth itself takes care of all your other priorities and sets them right. Those priorities that must remain, remain and those that must fall, fall.
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
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