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Vasudeva Kudumbakam

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Raghy

Well-known member
Respectable members,

Greetings. One of the members asked me about vedic and Upanishad references for the term 'Vasudeva Kudumbakam'. I have no knowledge in any of the scriptures. I request members to clear some of the doubts about this widely used term 'Vasudeva Kudumbakam', please. I request members to kindly consider any references from Tamizh scriptures, poems, Naalayira Divya Prabandham etc, too, please. Thank you.

Cheers!
 

sangom

Well-known member
Raghy,

It is "vasudhaa, eva, kuTumbakam = world, indeed, household (family)". For broad-minded people the entire world is like their family.

But our ignorance of Sanskrit has made a mockery and made it 'vasudeva kutumbakam' which will mean vasud eva kutumbakam; since vasud has no meaning we may make it vasuda = giving wealth, and the new meaning can therefore be said to be "those who give wealth (are) my family". ;)
 

CLN

Active member
Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam = Yaadhum OOre Yaavarum KaeLir! (Not the Kamal Haasan starrer, but Kaniyan Poonkunranaar's poem in Puranaanooru! :))
 

saidevo

Well-known member
namaste everyone.

Although the statement vasudhaiva kuTumbakam does mean 'all the world is a family', the context in which it is made in the tale in hitopadesha by nArAyaNa paNDita makes it abundantly clear that one should be careful and wise with people who propose such a statement and find out if he/she really does mean it and is capable of meaning it. Such care and wisdom is a necessary caution, especially in these days of Kali yugam.

The Hoax Called Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam

Literature, especially relating to fiction, is such a powerful medium that the statements therein often live out of context, but the wise do seek to know the context and make their own assessment.
 

CLN

Active member
Shri saidevo's warning, supported by his reference to the original context of the use of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" in Hitopadesha, Panchathantra etc., is timely and fair enough.
 

renuka

Well-known member
I know my post has no connection with Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam but just a point to ponder.


Vasudeva and Vaasudeva..Just one letter and some much difference in the meaning..
So what are we looking for? Vasudeva or Vaasudeva?

But have we realized that the Son of Vasudeva is Vaasudeva?
I guess it only shows that we mortals are capable of bringing forth the Vaasudeva in us.
 
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saidevo

Well-known member
namaste everyone.

Thanks to shrI CLN for his approval of my point that we need to use the adage with caution. I don't know if I would be stretching the point or even far-fetching it with the following observations, but I would like to make them any way.

It is "vasudhaa, eva, kuTumbakam = world, indeed, household (family)". For broad-minded people the entire world is like their family.

But our ignorance of Sanskrit has made a mockery and made it 'vasudeva kutumbakam' which will mean vasud eva kutumbakam; since vasud has no meaning we may make it vasuda = giving wealth, and the new meaning can therefore be said to be "those who give wealth (are) my family".

shrI Sangom seems to indicate that reading the meaning 'world, people' in the term vasudhA and applying it to 'family, household' in the term kuTumbakam is 'broad-mindedness' as against the reading of the meaning 'wealth' in the term vasudhA. I should like to differ, although I would not deny the import of the entire world as a family, structurally, philosophically and spiritually.

The primary meaning of the terms vasuda, vasudA, vasudhA are all related to wealth: while vasuda and vasudA relate to granting wealth, vasudhA relates to producing wealth. The meanings 'earth, world, people therein' all are derived only from this meaning of wealth. It seems that the terms are used in the Vedas as related to wealth (as seen in the compilation 'Vedic Concordance': eg. vasudevasya in RV 1.54.9d, vasudAm in RV 8.99.4a, vasudhitI in RV 3.31.17a, vasudhAnaH in Ch.Up.3.15.1, etc.)

Thus, the literal meaning of the statement vasudhA eva kuTumbakam seems to be that which produces wealth (considers all its wealth) as a family, thus clearly indicating that the viewpoint of the family is at the level of that which produces, gives, and grants wealth, rather than from the viewpoint of the members of the wealth itself.

This means that

• the mAtru-bhUmi--Mother Earth, who produces all her wealth, grants equal prosperity to all the members of her wealth of humans, considering them as one family;

• the mother who produces all the human wealth of the world, grants them equal nourishment considering them as her family;

although, obviously, the children themselves, whether of the earth or of a mother, do not in practice, consider their own kith and kin as of the same family.

Nature unites all humans in their biological makeup. She unites all her chetana--sentient, wealth at the level of prANa and downwards, and achetana--insentient, wealth at the atomic level physically and further down as universal consciousness. The grosser the level the lesser the implementation of the principle of vasudeva kuTumbakam.

I think this is the right understanding of the world famous Hindu adage. Not because I said it, but because anyone who goes from the context can see it. The broad-mindedness of unity comes only at the level of the bird's eye view.
 
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