Monday, December 29, 2014

Can Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (VK) be compared with Global Village?

Can Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (VK) be compared with Global Village?
Marshall McLuhan compared Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam as Gobal Village in his theory.
Can we consider this comparison as correct to the eastern or even Hindu essence of the term?

Understanding Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam
Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (From "vasudhā", the earth; "ēva" = indeed is; and "kutumbakam", family;) is a Sanskrit phrase which means "the world is one family". Probably, Gandhiji must have been inspired by this concept that lead him to practice lokasamgraha.  It is Universal welfare for him. But Tilak differs a bit as it is Public Good for him. We are not dealing into Gandhi and Tilak right now. But if necessary as we go deeper into the concept, it is probably enlightening to look at them. It will gives lights on what was the thinking in the twentieth century and how relevant is it now? Do we need to reinterpret the concept for the youth of 21st century?[1]

The original verse is contained in the Mahopanishad VI.71-73. Subsequent ślokas go on to say that those who have no attachments go on to find the Brahman (the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe).

udāra pēśalācāra sarvācārānuvttimān |
anta-saga-parityāgī bahi-sabhāravāniva |
antarvairāgyamādāya bahirāśōnmukhēhita ||70||
aya bandhuraya nēti gaanā laghucētasām |
udāracaritānā tu vasudhaiva kuumbakam ||71||
bhāvābhāva-vinirmukta jarāmaraavarjita |
praśānta-kalanārabhya nīrāga padamāśraya ||72||
eā brāmhī sthiti svacchā nikāmā vigatāmayā |
ādāya viharannēva sakaēu na muhyati ||73||
(Mahōpaniad- VI.70-73)

The above text is describing the 'lakana' (characteristics) and behavior of great men who are elevated to the coveted brAmhI sthiti (one who has attained Brahman while still alive). The above says:
aya bandhuraya nēti gaanā laghucētasām | udāracaritānām tu vasudhaiva kuumbakam ||
Discrimination saying "this one is a relative; this other one is a stranger" is for the mean-minded. For those who're known as magnanimous, the entire world constitutes but a family.
The above verse is also found V.3.37 of Panchatantra (3rd century BCE), in the in 1.3.71 of Hitopadesha - (12th century CE).
The statement is not just about peace and harmony among the societies in the world, but also about a truth that somehow the whole world has to live together like a family. This is the reason why Hindus think that any power in the world, big or small cannot have its own way, disregarding others.[2]

Global Village is a term closely associated with Marshall McLuhan,[1] popularized in his books The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (1962) and Understanding Media (1964). McLuhan described how the globe has been contracted into a village by electric technology and the instantaneous movement of information from every quarter to every point at the same time. In bringing all social and political functions together in a sudden implosion, electric speed heightened human awareness of responsibility to an intense degree.
Marshall McLuhan predicted the Internet as an "extension of consciousness" in The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man thirty years before its commercialization.
The next medium, whatever it is - it may be the extension of consciousness - will include television as its content, not as its environment, and will transform television into an art form. A computer as a research and communication instrument could enhance retrieval, obsolesce mass library organization, retrieve the individual's encyclopedic function and flip into a private line to speedily tailored data of a saleable kind.(3)

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