Colloquial vs Real Vasudhev Kutambkam

It was in Jan 2015, Then USA President Barak Obama visited India. In on of his speech during the visit, he said this is the nation, which famously says — “World is one family”. Shri Narendra Modi has been quoting above Shloka in his diplomatic meetings since long. This essay is to examine the famous shloka “Vasudhev Kutambkam”. This famous Shloka originates in Mahaupnishad. where the original text states following.

अयं निजः परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम् ।उदारचरितानां तु वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् ॥ — “ayaṃ nijaḥ paro veti gaṇanā laghucetasām । udāracaritānāṃ tu vasudhaiva kuṭumbakam”

Translation — He is mine, he is another, not mine- such are thoughts of narrow minded people. For the noble minded the whole world is a family.

The Mahaupnishad started in a the context, when Shukhdev ji Maharaj went to Raja Janak to get the knowledge of “Jeevan Mukti or liberation”. Before proceeding further, let me explain the level of Psychology in Indian System. There are four levels- Man, Buddhi (cognitive ), Ahankar (Ego-Centric Attitude) and Chitta(state of consciousness). Here Man, Buddhi, Ahankar pertain to state of personal or collective identity. But the Chitta is a state of highest consciousness. Arjun in Bhagwat Geeta is not a ordinary person. He is called the Jitendriya Purush — meaning, who has won the mobility of Senses. The Raja Janak and Sukhdev ji are discussing the issue of liberation in the state of Chitta or Para Vidya(highest knowledge), Where they are beyond the state of identity like Arjun in Bhagwat Geeta. In this context Raja Janak uttered above Shloka. So, this Shloka is not a romaticised utopian thought but it has a specific context. In due course people started misusing the above shloka then a solution came via Story of Hitoupdesh(outlined below) to explain the true meaning of above Shloka.

There were antilope and crow in a forest with name chitrangad and Subuddhi respectivily. They were living happily. One day a jackal named Chhudrabuddhi reached in the area where the Chitrangada and Shubuddhi were living. After seeing the Chitrangada, Chhudrabuddhi desired to eat him. But, there was problem. Chitrangada was the sprinter and it was very hard for Chhubuddhi to catch him. So, Chhubuddhi throw a trap before the Chitrangada by reciting above Shloka and asked for shelter to stay. The Chitrangada impressed with Chhubuddhi and considered him very erudite since he was reciting Sanskrit Shloka, but Subuddhi warned the Chitrangada about the trap of Chhubuddhi. Although, warned by Subuddhi, Chitranganda accepted the request and provided shelter to the Chhudrabuddhi. The Subbuddhi being the friend of Chitranganda started monitoring the activities of the Chhubuddhi from the tree. The Chhudrabuddhi was in conundrum, what to do next? Since, if he will try to kill Chitrangada while sleeping the Subuddhi will warn the chitrangada immediately and he will run away. So, he said to Chitraganda, let me take you to beautiful field where you will get fresh grass. Chitraganda immediately agreed on the proposal. When Chitraganda and Chhubuddhi went to field. The farmer had earlier laid down the net for the animal to get trapped as a result Chitrangada got trapped into net. So, Chitraganda requested the Chhudrabuddhi to cut the net with sharp teeth. But, Chhudrabuddhi said, today is his fast and he can’t cut the net with the motive of wait till Chitrangada die with hunger. Chitraganda immediately realised the imminent danger and requested Subuddhi to help. Subuddhi told him to sleep like dead, and once farmer came to throw him out of field, he can escape at that time. Once farmer came and removed the net, Chitrangada immediately ran and farmer throws sickle to kill Chitrangada but it had hit the Chhudrabuddhi and he died.

So, the message is very clear. Everyone is not a member of one family. When world will forsake the national interest, dissolve the national boundary, abolish citizenship and considers each national interest to theirselves till then world is not in state of Para Vidya and Vashudhev Kutumbkam is not valid.

Computer Science Engineer & political philosophy