Vasudeva Kutumbakam

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Vasudeva Kutumbakam Mean?

Vasudeva kutumbakam – sometimes spelled vasudhaiva kutumbakam – is a phrase from the Hindu text the Maha Upanishad that is typically translated as “the world is one family.” It is so valued that it is engraved in the entry to India's parliament building.

The term comes from the ancient Sanskrit vasudeva, which means the Eternal Reality, and kutumbaka, meaning “family.” In the alternate spelling, vasudha means the Earth. The overall meaning of the expression is the same – that all of the world, universe or reality is one.


Yogapedia Explains Vasudeva Kutumbakam

In context, the verse vasudeva kutumbakam describes the yogi who has reached the highest level on his spiritual journey and no longer has attachments to material things.

Although the Maha Upanishad is the original source of the adage, it has influenced Hindu literature and philosophy since. The Bhagavata Purana describes vasudeva kutumbakam as the “loftiest Vedantic thought.” It affirms the worth of all life – human, animal and plants – and the value of their interconnectedness on Earth and in the universe, just as the goal of yoga is unity.

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