The famous Sanskrit phrase is almost used by many people as an an aphorism-maxim proverb, to signify the presence of global acceptability as an Indian value.

Commonly translated as:

Vasudhaiva Kuṭumbakam
वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्

Meaning: The world is one big family.

Further, the Wikipedia page for the same, says that the phrase is found in Maha-Upanishad and also in the Riga-Veda. (?).

I'd like to know in what context and which particular scripture(s), does this phrase occurs? Does it really occur in the same above defined context in the Vedic literature?

Has it been really used in the scriptures to signify the all-accommodating nature of our Sanaatan Dharma ? Or it's used is some other contexts and significance ? How is it to be interpreted? What are the views of the eminent aachaaryas, relevant commentators and personalities on this phrase and its significance ?

Please KINDLY Note:

My question is in NO WAY WHATSOEVER, a similar to or duplicate of this question : Why do Hindus follow the quote "Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam"?

My question asks the contextual origin of the quote in the scriptures, I have mentioned. Thus I'd like an account of in what setting or context this quote has been invoked in both the above mentioned Maha-Upanishad & the RigVeda too. More importantly, is it really found in both the Maha Upanishad and RigVeda too? Or the Wikipedia's claim is false?

  • 5
    before posting questions you may want to do thorough search. :-)
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Apr 3, 2021 at 4:34
  • 1
    very unlikely that a word like "kutumba" is in RigVeda @vivikta
    – S K
    Apr 3, 2021 at 17:40

1 Answer 1


This verse is not present in the Ṛgveda. It is found in the Mahopaniṣad, a minor Upaniṣad related to the tradition of Sāmaveda. Mahopaniṣad has six chapters. This verse is present in chapter 6 (6.71):

udāraḥ peśalācāraḥ sarvācārānuvṛttimān .
antaḥsaṅgaparityāgī bahiḥsaṃbhāravāniva .
antarvairāgyamādāya bahirāśonmukhehitaḥ .. 70..

ayaṃ bandhurayaṃ neti gaṇanā laghucetasām .
udāracaritānāṃ tu vasudhaiva kuṭumbakam .. 71..

bhāvābhāvavinirmuktaṃ jarāmaraṇavarjitam .
praśāntakalanārabhyaṃ nīrāgaṃ padamāśraya .. 72..

eṣā brāhmī sthitiḥ svacchā niṣkāmā vigatāmayā .
ādāya viharannevaṃ saṃkaṭeṣu na muhyati .. 73..


iti ṣaṣṭho'dhyāyaḥ .. 6..

Verse 66 to 77 describes how a liberated soul behaves in this world. In a nutshell, it says, be active, be peaceful while you are in this world. Follow the worldly customs and traditions by your exterior mind. However, inwardly, remain completely detached from all worldly affairs, passion and resolutions. Get rid of discriminant thinking like affection and aversion. Make your heart free from anger, but if needed, show it (artificial) outwardly. In this context, the famous verse was uttered.

"The man who is liberal and of best conduct should make efforts outwardly by following the etiquette and prudency rules despite detachment from all activities inward. Holding detachment entirely in the heart, one should do best to behave as an optimist extraneously. It is mine (friend), and that is not - is the meanest thought of cunning people. This whole world is like one family to the great men (उदारचरितानां तु बसुधौव कुटुम्बकम्). Resort to such a position free from affection, in which the man gets liberty from the discriminant thinking, beyond the death and birth and where all resolutions duly attain peace. This position is holy, innocent and free from attachments. It is called the Brāhmī position." (6.70-73)


  1. 112 Upaniṣads (Vol. 2) translated by a board of scholars, edited by K. L. Joshi, O. N. Bimali and Bindiya Trivedi (Parimal Publications, Delhi).
  • Is the text you cited found online? If yes, maybe you could hyperlink it too. Thanks!
    – Vivikta
    Apr 5, 2021 at 2:39

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .