vasudhaiva ku.tumbakam revisited

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at UMICH.EDU
Wed Aug 2 18:50:01 UTC 2000

I agree with Isaacson's understanding of the verse.  Yes, it is true that
the context of the verse in the Hitopadeza makes it certain that the
character of the Hitopadeza uses this verse in a deceitful way.  That does
not make the contents of the verse itself any more deceitful than the
contents of so many other verses in the same work which are clearly
citations from other older works.  The story seems to show that a
deceitful character may indeed say very nice things to lure an
unsuspecting person.  It is again the use of this same verse by modern
political groups that is questionable, rather than the original contents.
                                        Madhav Deshpande

On Wed, 2 Aug 2000, Harunaga Isaacson wrote:

> On Wed, 2 Aug 2000, Jan E.M. Houben wrote:
> > Vasudhaiva ku.tumbakam (much quoted and employed in modern publications e.g.
> > of the VHP):
> > does it or does it not occur in any other ancient/classical Sanskrit (not to
> > speak of Vedic) text except the Hitopadesa 1.3 -- where this phrase is used
> > in a mean and deceitful way?
> > Is anyone aware of its occurrence in Manusmrti or elsewhere? Any concrete
> > references (or references to an electronic Manusmrti if it exists) will be
> > appreciated.
> No doubt others with more time and more books to hand than I can provide
> more exhaustive answers. I just happen to have been reading the
>, Vidyaakara's early anthology, recently.
> (ed. Kosambi and Gokhale) 1241 (verse 29 of the
> sadvrajyaa, and indeed as you will see their is no question of meanness
> or deceit here):
> aya.m nija.h paro veti ga.nanaa laghucetasaam
> udaaracaritaanaa.m tu vasudhaiva ku.tumbakam
> This verse is quoted in several Ala.mkaara"saastra works too.  The only
> precise reference I have at hand as I write is Bhoja's
> "S.r"ngaaraprakaa"sa (new ed. by V. Raghavan, part 1. [can Michael Witzel
> or anyone tell us when we can expect the rest? I for one am very eagerly
> looking forward to it] Harvard 1998, Harvard Oriental Series 53)) where
> you will find the verse quoted on p. 405. It is apparently sometimes
> attributed to Udbha.ta, sometimes to Ke"sa.ta.
> The expression indeed does not occur in the Manusm.rti (An electronic text
> of Manu input and proofread by M. Yano and Y. Ikari is publicly available,
> and you can find it e.g. through following the link for Virtual Archive of
> Indic e-texts on the INDOLOGY home-page).
> Best wishes,
> Harunaga Isaacson
> Oxford/Hamburg

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