The Indian philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam

The adoption of the resolution for International Yoga Day by the UNGA with the support of an overwhelming majority of 177 countries reflects the importance of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam in the unity of humanity.

By Abhay K

Over the past 75 years, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam has come a long way from the pages of Maha Upanishad to the podium of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and has become a famous thought for healing a fractured world. Adopting the philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam will help the world come together as one family.

As India celebrates AzadikaAmritMahotsav to commemorate its 75 years of independence, I would like to highlight the message of VasudhaivaKutumbakam (The Earth is a Family), one of the fundamental philosophies of Indian civilization since ancient times.

While welcoming Prime Minister NarendraModi to deliver the opening speech at the plenary session of the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 23, 2018, Professor Klaus Schwab, the President of the World Economic Forum very eloquently put forward: “The India’s philosophy of the world being a family – VasudhaivaKutumbakam – is closely linked to the mission of this annual meeting.

Later Prime Minister NarendraModi in his speech at the same plenary session elaborated on VasudhaivaKutumbakam while talking about the oneness of the universe citing PurnamadahPurnamidam from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad saying – “In terms of the physical world also there is For centuries we have echoed the same thing by saying Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. Although there was hardly any way to reach from one part of the world to another, the feeling of oneness still existed. This is because the spirit of coexistence was strong enough to overcome the barriers of knowledge or distance. The search for peace in the universe was paramount. This is the reason why our sacred prayers always end with a prayer for peace. Not only that, a meaningful prayer always begins with a prayer for the well-being of all. “

On January 26, 2018, on the eve of the 69th Republic Day, President Ram NathKovind in his speech to the nation again referred to VasudhaivaKutumbakamas, he declared: – a composite and cohesive world, a world at peace with him- same and at peace with nature. This is the ideal of VasudhaivaKutumbakam – of the world being one family. It is an idea that may seem impractical in these times of tension and terrorism. But it is an ideal that has inspired India for thousands of years – and this ideal can be felt in the very texture of our constitutional values. The principles of compassion, of helping those in need, of building the capacities of our neighbors, and even those who are further away, underpin our society. These are the very principles that we bring to the international community.

VasudhaivaKutumbakam is a noble Vedantic thought from Maha Upanishad, an ancient Indian script. Mahatma Gandhi’s Ahimsa (non-violence) as both a creed and a strategy is seen as an extension of VasudhaivaKutumbakam. He sees the unity of humanity as one family. Nothing validates this ancient thought more than today’s interconnected world with instant satellite communication, fast air travel and the Internet. VasudhaivaKutumbakam brings a sense of oneness to our common humanity, our common development goals and our common quest for a rules-based world order and international peace. He succinctly conveys that we prevail or perish together as one family. In light of these noble thoughts, Indian political leaders decided to burn VasudhaivaKutumbakam in the entrance hall of the Indian Parliament.

As the three instances above show, VasudhaivaKutumbaka is now a very often cited term. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a speech at the World Culture Festival in March 2016, said: “Indian culture is very rich and has instilled in each of us great values, we are the people who came from ‘Aham Brahmasmi to Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, we are the people who came from the Upanishads to Upgrah (Satellite). Earlier, speaking to UNGA in 2014, he said: “Every nation’s worldview is shaped by its civilization and its philosophical tradition. The ancient wisdom of India sees the world as one family. It is this timeless stream of thought that gives India an unwavering faith in multilateralism. “

Former Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj also used Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam in his speech at UNGA on September 24, 2017: “We truly believe that the world is one family and we hope that every member of this family deserves this elixir of life, happiness. “

Original work of the painting competition on Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

VasudhaivaKutumbakam has been and continues to be invoked by Indian rulers on different occasions in different contexts. . During a tumultuous year ravaged by a health crisis, this principle took its deepest form in the “Vaccine Maitri” campaign, led by the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in which India delivered vaccine doses to more than 90 countries.

The adoption of the resolution for International Yoga Day by the UNGA with the support of an overwhelming majority of 177 countries reflects the importance of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam in the unity of humanity.

As India celebrates Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the idea of ​​Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam could find even greater resonance among nations and people around the world. The African philosophy of Ubuntu, which means “I am because we are,” also highlights the interdependence inherent in our existence.

At the root of Vasudhaiva is Vasudha, our planet Earth, and therefore, an extension of the concept of VasudhaivaKutumbakam which highlights India’s concerns for the environment, its concerns for the entire planet.

VasudhaivaKutumbakam’s philosophy could also guide countries to adhere to sustainable development, prevent biodiversity loss and work towards climate change mitigation.

(The author is a poet-diplomat. His “Anthem of the Earth” inspired by the philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam has been translated into over 120 languages. The opinions expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online.)

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