vasudhaiva ku.tumbakam revisited

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at UMICH.EDU
Sat Aug 5 11:49:21 UTC 2000

I am not quite sure what the real point of contention is.  For most modern
Indians, anything in Sanskrit is as good as ancient and even Vedic.  The
theological equality of Sanskrit with Vedic was acceptable already to
Kaatyaayana (cf. vaarttika:  tat tulyam vedazabdena).  The phrase
vasudhaiva ku.tumbakam and its medieval parallel Marathi phrase "he
vizvaci maaze ghara" were used in perfectly positive universalistic sense.
But it is obvious that such phrases can be co-opted for hegemonic purposes
as well.  A truly Vedic "satyam eva jayate" has become totally meaningless
in its modern environment.
                                        Madhav Deshpande

On Fri, 4 Aug 2000, Peter Freund wrote:

> "Jan E.M. Houben" wrote:
> > 1. No ancient occurrence in a straightforward dharmic source (e.g.
> > manusm.rti) or Vedic source can be found for the phrase, in spite of recent
> > claims attached to it through wrong references (I assume out of carelessness
> > plus wishful thinking plus trusting unreliable sources, though the help of
> > some little "pious fraud" here and there cannot be excluded ... ).
> >
> Thomas Egenes replies that the reference to Manusmirti was corrected in later
> editions of his book:
> The expression vasudhaiva kuTumbakam is now referenced as Mahopanishad 6:71.
> This can be found on page 452 of the Upanishatsamgraha. (Motilal Banarsidass,
> 1970)
> Is this a sufficiently "ancient" Vedic source for the phrase?
> Sincerely,
> Peter Freund

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