Fw: Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Mon Aug 7 15:51:51 UTC 2000

In a message dated 8/7/2000 9:09:07 AM Central Daylight Time,
jhouben at RULLET.LEIDENUNIV.NL writes:

> This idea may strike us as an almost self-evident morally
>  praiseworthy statement, but if I am not mistaken it contrasts sharply with
>  the main stream dharmic tradition (with as best known example the
>  Manusm.rti) which only speaks of divisions and subdivisions of humanity
>  without presenting an explicit all-inclusive notion of humanity (N.B. such
>  notion was also missing in the ancient Greek world).

This reminds me of a keynote lecture, "Is there an Indian Way of Thinking",
by A. K. Ramanujan at Penn in 1980 during the meeting of the Society for
South Indian Studies. His point was that Indian thinking was particularistic
and not universalistic. Commenting on the lecture, I pointed out that what he
said may be true of later Tamil worldview, but it was not applicable to the
CT ideals. I paraphrased the contents of puRanAn2URu 189 and asked him to
comment on it. He said he was not familiar with that poem. (I heard that
later he went head and published his views anyway as an article.)

For the current discussion, puRanAn2URu 192 by kaNiyan2 pUGkun2Ran2 in AKR's
translation given below may be of some interest.

Every Town a Home Town
Every town our home town,
every man a kinsman,

Good and evil do not come
from others.
Pain and relief of pain come of themselves.
Dying is nothing new.
We do not rejoice that life is sweet
nor in anger
call it bitter

Our lives, however dear,
follow their own course,

            rafts drifting
            in the rapids of a great river
            sounding and dashing over the rocks
            after a downpour
            from skies slashed by lightnings---

we know this
from the vision
of men who see.

we are not amazed by the great
and we do not scorn the little.
                                                    ------kaNiyan2 pUGkun2Ran2

S. Palaniappan

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