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“Vasudhev Kutumbakam” is a concept in Indian (Hindu philosophy) culture. It means “one world family” that is – whole world irrespective of caste, color, creed or belief system is one family. I received this message recently on whatsapp –

I crossed my street ?, they asked my caste
Crossed my district/town???, they asked my city
Crossed my state ???, they asked my native language
And I became an Indian ?? only after I crossed my country ✈!

These things sound different but are related. It may have been true with many, but I had another experience recently. Basaveshwara – poor fellow – died this time in similar sounding country – Canada – than the Kannada where he belonged 800 years back. I feel bad to write “poor fellow” to refer to the saint. I wrote that because of the community he created – Lingayats. I belong to the same and it has missed his thoughts completely.

I am in Canada and went to attend an event recently. In that event, people generally asked me where are you from where do you work, where do your parents live (as I am from India and others are also Indians). It was all fine to me until one young lady (I will call her Ima) asked me the same questions. I made her name as Ima for Ila’s Mother. I was playing with this 4 year old baby for a while and to hide the identities of these people I have changed the names.

I said I work in Mumbai, my parents live in MP. Ima said ‘so you are from MP?’ I said yes, I am born in MP but basically I am a Kannadiga.

Ima probed – Ok where in Karnataka?

I said our forefathers migrated long back we belonged to Gulbarga.Lingayatism Wiki

Ima took little more interest this time and further asked – What community are you?

“I am a Lingayat of Karnataka. Are you aware about the community?” I asked.

Ima said – “Yes I am a lingayat too, do you worship the ling?”

The worship she was referring to is a fundamental practice of Lingayats. I was told this by my father, and at times he did it, I said no to her question on the worship.

“So what kind of lingayat are you?” Was a very blunt statement she made.

I said except eating rice I am a North Indian.

The next thing she said was – “You know in Lingayats there are various divisions?”

This lady knows me as a Lingayat in last two sentences not more! The first question was about the ritual and second was about Caste! According to my knowledge When Basava formed Lingayatism he created it because he disagreed with the caste system. Check image.

I told Ima – “You know what? Basveshwara formed or say resurrected Lingayatism on a concept of – all humans are born equal, and a person is known from his deeds and not his birth. This is what I have read on wikipedia.”

Ima did not speak with me after that. Yes that is true, I was sitting there for next 5 minute, in fact I was playing with her 4 year old daughter Ila also. On the other side of the hemisphere Basvershwara died once again (after 800 years). Not in Kannada speaking place but a place which sounds similar – Canada. This is how the Families we have created in India. Are we becoming hypocrite? We talk about one world family and then we ask about caste perhaps the sub-caste!

I feel very good when I connect with one of the Indian concept – “Vasudhev Kutumbakam”. Vasudhev Kutumbakam means one world family. Art of living foundation promotes the same, unfortunately I met Ima in an Art of Living event in Canada.

Wish the statement of Whatsapp becomes a reality beyond the country point too – Vasudhev Kutumbakam.

The topic of LBC Family (Generally, I change these topics a bit) suggested by Maria for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently eight of us are supposed to write on the same topic every Friday. The seven other bloggers who are expected to write regularly are, in alphabetical order, AshokgaelikaaLin, Maxi, Padmum, Rummuser and Shackman. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!

Related Blog on Lingayatism.