‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is common phrase where we Bharatiya people are encouraged to think of the entire Earth as our family. This line is repeated everywhere without understanding its origin, its reference, its usage and always to the detriment of our nation and our people.
Right now the average Hindu/ follower of Sanatan Dharma is highly confused, mainly due to a lack of genuine teachers, Gurus, Acharyas, Brahmins etc. The invaders killed our teachers and thus our entire Dharmic, ethical/moral and sensible way of life is fading. And also due to a proliferation of ‘masters’ or foreign agents who ‘re-interpret’ our spiritual concepts in ‘modern terms’ and try to brainwash us. These are also agents of the invaders who work with a fixed agenda of subversion and destruction.
So let’s try and understand ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ in the correct perspective.
Our Bharatiya society has 4 distinct layers /ashram to it. Balyashram is all the children, they are naturally dependant on their parents and are expected to study. Then comes the Gruhastashram which is the life of a householder. He/she performs karma as per the Vedpurva, works, earns money etc to support the family and the entire society. Then comes Vanprasthashram, the life of a retired person, here he/she starts reading the Vedant and starts doing Upasana. And finally comes Sanyasashram when the person completely dedicates the remaining life to the Vedant and understanding the Self, doing Shravan, Manan and Nididhyasan.
The Gruhast is the most important practical stage of life as the entire society rests on the householder’s shoulders (This is us. All of us who are reading this blog are Gruhast, householders.) The other 3 ashrams/ stages are dependant on this one Gruhast. The Gruhast has to follow the Vedpurva and to live his practical life he has take help from the practical stories of Panchatantra and Hitopadesha. He cannot and must not try to apply the ideas of the Vedant in his practical life. If he does so the entire Hindu society will come crashing down. And this is exactly what is happening with ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.
This phrase ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is originally from the Maha Upanishad and the context is the mindset and behaviour of the Atmajnyani Mahapurush who has reached the Brahmi sthiti. This Brahmi sthiti is also described in depth in the Bhagwat Gita (detailed discussion starts from 2.54 and culminates in 2.72.). There are 5 stages to realization of the Self and the Brahmi sthiti is the 4th one in sequence (beyond the Brahmi sthiti is the 5th stage of the pure Advaita). It is only a extremely highly elevated Mahapurush who sees the entire Earth as his own family.
This line ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is applicable only and only to the highest level of Mahapurush, the Sanyasi of the highest level. It is a philosophy from the Vedant and only applicable for the genuine Sanyasi. It is not applicable to even those who are starting their journey and absolutely not applicable to us, householders. ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is not an ideal for householders to aim for. It is the inherent nature of the highest Mahapurush and they are naturally or inherently in this state because of their complete identification with the Brahmi sthiti. We must not confuse the householder with this level of Mahapurush.
Now let’s analyse what our Acharyas have said about ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ in the context of the householder. Let’s refer to the ‘standard manual’ for behaviour for the Gruhast, ie the basic Panchatantra and the later Hitopadesh, both of which are based on Acharya Chanakya’s Arthshastra. This quote ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is mentioned in a few stories here. Briefly, a couple of the stories,
- The quote is recited by a knowledgeable but stupid Brahmin man for getting the support of his two equally knowledgeable and stupid friends for resurrecting a dead lion in a forest. Their fourth friend who is also a Brahmin but has common sense tries to stop them. But the 3 stupid Brahmins speak with idealism and preach the romance of universal brotherhood to their 4th sensible friend. They quote‘ Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and carry on. The fourth Brahmin then climbs a tree for safety. The 3 Brahmins soon bring the lion’s carcass back to life and as expected, after the lion becomes alive, it kills and eats all three of them.
- In another story, a jackal wants to eat a deer. He recites this line to convince the deer to become his friend. He also talks about universal brotherhood etc in persuasive language. The deer is swayed by these beautiful words and agrees to the friendship. The deer’s true friends try to get the deer to see sense. But the jackal’s logic is sounds so elevated, spiritual and enticing that the deer sticks with the jackal. Soon the jackal lures the deer into a trap, then kills and eats him.
The point made in these stories is that one must know where and when to apply philosophy. Also one must never befriend or trust someone just because he quotes the Vedant shloks. Common sense is always better than impracticality and illogically applied vedantic concepts. One should be careful of people who preach ‘universal brotherhood’ or speak sweetly as spiritual concepts are often used as a means of subversion by enemies. Finally, those people who do not understand ‘context’ are always destroyed.
The Panchatantra and its variant the Hitopadesh must be read by children and their parents too. These stories are composed by the Acharyas, Vishnusharma and Narayanpandit who understood ‘context’. Hitopadesh is based on the Panchatantra. And Acharya Vishnusharma has acknowledged that he wrote the Panchatantra only after studying Acharya Chanakya’s Arthashastra. And in turn Acharya Chanakya has written the Arthashastra only after studying ancient Acharyas before him, including Pitamah Bhisma’s teachings in the Mahabharat, the customs of both Uttar and Dakshin Bharat, the books available, the politics around him, the mindsets, the motives etc of people against a very practical backdrop. These works are by Acharyas who had studied human nature in depth, had the complete understanding of Dharma and the intelligence to practice it in real life.
True intelligence is knowing what should be applied, when, how, and in which situation. Eg if someone is entering your house to loot your money or to steal your wife/children, you cannot welcome them reciting ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ or ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. In this situation you must follow the practical concepts of the Arthashastra, Panchatantra or Hitopadesh. No Acharya has ever recommended this quote ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ for householders and in fact they have consistently expressed their contempt for using spiritual concepts in practical life.
Every household must have a full set of these books on practical life and every parent must make sure that the kids read and understand these stories. And as householders if you want to read the Vedant, then as long as you are in the Gruhast state, keep these spiritual concepts limited only to your internal mind. And when you come across phrases, quotes or shlokas which encourage you to behave in impractical, illogical ways, you must think twice. ‘Context’ is all important.
Finally try to learn Sanskrit. Unless we are able to read and write in our own mother tongue, read our own books in the original, we will be taken for a ride by enemies and people who want to subvert our society. We should be proud of our own Devbhasha Samskrutam, understand the books by our Acharyas and practice their practical advice so that our nation, Bharat can progress in the real sense.
(This is again in response to a question and I felt that I had to answer it in detail.)