“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.

KRD Pravin

Here I am supposed to write about myself. Professionally, I am quite serious and a workaholic; personally I am an individual who enjoys what he does and takes life as it comes. I am passionate about my work and actions and empathetically careful, attached and committed to them. All this makes me a fierce competitive professional and yet a compassionate soul, the Yin and the Yang together. Balancing is the art to be practiced using the middle path. From - http://business2buddha.com/about/


rummuser · October 18, 2015 at 9:17 pm

What do you think is the size of the Lingayat family? It might just tie up with the topic suggested!!

    KRD Pravin · October 19, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    I read “family” as the title, not “size”, my mistake. I completely missed it. Still I think I would not have added anything except – The size of Lingayat family has reduced by at least 1, I dont identify myself as part of them.

shackman · October 21, 2015 at 10:49 pm

The notion of one world is considered extremely liberal here – regardless of its logic.India seems to be a microcosm of the entire world jammed within a single nationsl boundary.

    KRD Pravin · October 22, 2015 at 12:49 am

    Liberal… we will see in next week’s blog.

    At least in philosophy the answer is a ‘yes’. I think Ramana uncleji should share his opinion on your comments.

    rummuser · October 22, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Shackman, India has multiple languages, dialects, religions, castes, sub-castes, colour and overriding all those differentiators a common one of gender and the whole jing bang lot somehow manage to live together and have retained a total identity of Indianness despite those differentiators. The most significant binding factor is the religion which is not a religion as properly defined but a way of life which includes what Pravin has said – The Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasudhaiva_Kutumbakam

    This can get corrupted to and we do have regular aberrations but by and large the principle prevails.

      KRD Pravin · October 22, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing your opinion uncleji.

      Slowly and gradually that is why I have started loving the concepts of Indian religion – whether it is Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism etc.

      Specially for Hinduism I have started having more respect as I used to have a lot of questions and thankfully my parents and society let me question these and to many I have answers. Still I question on many things and you know I ask you!

Leave a Comment