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Humanity is one family

"Two instances of Hindu Principles that symbolize the outcome of freedom of thought are the pronouncements made not today, but four thousand years back by unnamed rishis (Hindu ascetics) that, 'This world is one family' (Vasudaiva Kutumbakam) and that 'The Universal Reality is the same, but different people can call it by different names' (Ekam Sat Viprah Bahuda Vadanti). In these two proclamations made in ancient Hindu India, we see the seeds of globalism and freedom of thought, four thousand years before the world was to become the global village of today." -

My objection to the modern interpretation that "vasudaiva kutumbakam" is the seed of globalism, is that the English rendering, "this world is one family" refers not to the whole world, but to the person. "World" is an late English term referring to "the people as a whole", i.e. humanity, reality. A closer translation of "vasudaiva kutumbakam" would be "Humanity is one family."

vasuda, vasudha (`containing wealth'): the earth, world, globe -,

iva: adv. & conj. Thus, like, in like manner as; as, in some way, almost, scarcely -

kutumb: household, family -

akam: without desire i.e. an epithet of the Supreme. -

Thus "vasudaiva kutumbakam" means "the world as ideal family".

"Ekam Sat Viprah Bahuda Vadanti" is from RgVeda 1.164 verse 46c, and is translated as:

ekam: adj. One -

sat: the Supreme, pure, spirit, eternal, the cause -

viprah: sage -

bahuda: repeatedly -

vadanti - to call it. -

But that quote from the RgVeda has continues on to read: "agnim yamam matarishvanam ahuh", which translates as "many gods the rishi call".

Thus, this line translates as:

One truth, the sage (repeatedly) calls it.
Many gods, the rishi call.

The implication is that Brahman has many names, the names of the devas and devis. Although Brahman is the one true God, a rishi may propitiate many gods representing aspects of Brahman.


Sanskrit translations:
Rig Veda:

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