Don’t turn the world into a family || with O.P. Jindal University

Acharya Prashant
7 min readAug 4

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner (Q): One of the most important lessons I have learned from spirituality is Vasudhaiva Kuṭumbakam , that the whole world is one family. But the current trend is that all the countries are involved in unilateralism and self-absorption, and phenomena like power absorption, racism, terrorism, and intolerance. These things are perpetuated by technology. This is forcing a big challenge in attaining this ‘world is one family’ concept. So, my question is, what do you think is the way forward in attaining spirituality for the global consciousness?

Acharya Prashant (AP): No, no, Vasudhaiva Kuṭumbakam is not the basic premise of spirituality. It’s just that it’s a popular kind of catchphrase; it is not the fundamental thing. Again, global consciousness is another phrase in circulation these days, but that, again, is not something deeply spiritual. The first thing that spirituality brings to you is not that the entire world is a family, but that the entire world is false. Not that the entire world is family, but that the world, the entire world is false — not family, but false. There is a big difference there.

Now, when you say the world, it is actually your world you are talking of. The sages take great pains to help us understand this. There is nothing called the objective world. We all live in our personal universes, and it is these personal universes that are false. And because we live in our personal worlds, therefore no two worlds are properly in sync with each other, and hence there is a lot of strife. I live in my mental globe, you live in yours, and my globe is never going to concur with yours. Why? Because I have a personal center and you too have a personal center, and the personal center is false and it only cares about its own false and imaginary welfare.

So, it’s not like the whole world is a family. That’s a very pedestrian kind of concept and phrase we have picked up, because it suits us. If you go to Vedanta, if you go to Upanishads, the kind of declarations you find there are far deeper, far richer, far more striking. But we don’t pick them up; we don’t pick them up because they don’t suit us. First of all, we don’t understand them, and…