Let’s celebrate today’s International Family Day with the spirit of “VASUDEV KUTUMBAM”
Shilpa Shah, Director in-charge HKBBA College
By observing nature one would must have realized that all living beings (animals, birds, insects, human beings, plants) do the noble work of procreation. Perhaps that is the only wish of divine power so that every living being remain attracted towards it. Men and women get together, live in harmony, love each other and create a family. It is only in the vicinity of the family that a person (actually each living being) feels happiness, peace and security so that number and size of family rises. If there is no benefit to the family then no creature or human being will be attracted towards it.
Yes, it is a well-known fact that every coin has two sides, so sometimes family members experience difficulties or feel unhappiness, we want to move away sometime from the family, but in the end, even after family distance, there is a personal desire to be with someone. There is no liking for solitude or loneliness no element of nature preferred it. The same shows that the Creator God supremely gracious must have already known that the happiness of a living being is in one’s company and in that sense it must belong to the family.
May 15 of each year is celebrated as “International Family Day”. It was started by the UN in the year 1993. The definition of family in Hindu culture is limitless i.e. the whole world is commanded to consider its own family. Hinduism advises “VASUDHEVA KUTUMBAM”. “VASUDHA” means Mother Earth, the earth or the entire creation which is the only family of living beings. It is a well-known fact that every element of existence (the entire ecosystem) is interconnected, so if we are free from the dilemma of ourselves and the others and consider the whole world as our family, I think today’s celebration of “International Family Day” is worthwhile.
According to Hindu culture, a soft hearted man or man of noble character always considers the whole world as his family. It also makes the whole environment safe and secure. Safe and Secure Environment is possible only through the spirit of “VASUDHEVA KUTUMBAM”, we may have understood from our experience of so many years. In the human world today, people seem to be more bothered by family and relatives. Grief and negativity culminate as parents do not get along with the children in the name of generation gap. The old age home has increased. There is a lot of bitterness in the marital relationships the number of divorces has increased. But even after a divorce a person preferred remarriage which indicates that even if one marriage is not successful the other is motivated to marry shows that the person unknowingly expects family or companionship. This means that we all know that family benefits outweigh disadvantages.
No one living in an old age home away from family is personally happy. Even there, it is a special family that is different from a blood relationship, perhaps a family of love. Thus, it has to be accepted that family has been the first choice and inevitability of life. Without a family, children cannot be raised properly. In addition, a child who grows up away from family or in the absence of family has many psychological problems as family makes a person mentally healthy and mature. A mentally strong and fit person achieves victory at every stage of life. The family is the backbone of the person on whom the building of his life rests.
No affliction or disease in the world can defeat a human being in the survival of the family. We have been battling many diseases for ages but have not given up. But the only reason a man has lost to a disease like corona is that he cannot have family support in it. Being infected, the family is reluctant to live with the COVID patient that has a profound effect on the patient and they get lost and sometimes die not from the pain of the disease but from the bereavement of the family. In presence of family a person can face any difficulty and even win. The family has been and will remain the first need of all living beings.
The animal kingdom also forms a family, but the family is not as disturbed as the human being, because it naturally comes out of the family’s fascination at the right time that cannot become possible by so called extremely intelligent and sensible man. So that he sometimes feels that the harm outweighs the benefit to the family. In fact there is no disadvantage of family but excessive family attachment and excessive expectation from family makes a person miserable. There is philosophy of four ashrams in Hindu culture (BRAHMACHARYASHRAM, GRIHASTHASHRAM, VANPRASTHANARAM and SANYASASHRAM) if we live as per the norms of those ASHRAMS then there will not be any problems or difficulties in human life.
Every animal and bird works as hard as a human being to build a family. It collects the stalks and builds a nest, lays eggs, serves the eggs by enduring constant hunger and thirst, collects grains by hard work and nurtures the chicks. But after the wings come to the chicks do not keep them in the nest for their own selfishness or pleasure. Allows him to fly naturally, enjoy freedom and even when sees them moving away from himself he just enjoys flying, becomes self-reliant and forgets all the pain, forgets all the sacrifices and goes back to his daily life that job a man cannot do in selfishness and attachment. He thinks that I should be rewarded for my hard work in raising children and nursing family. Such selfish calculations and expectations contaminate life and family which we can never understand and perhaps not accept if we understand and end up living with lots of blaming towards family and relationships. Due to which we lose the joy and happiness that should be felt by the family. We make life like hell by chewing the pain we get from the whole life.
We all know that mango can never eat its own fruit as it is the law of nature but since it cannot eat its own fruit it doesn’t stops bearing fruit. But the credit for this is actually given to the mango tree always and it must be recorded in the book of God. Moreover, we all have the experience that people who sows mangoes and who eats fruits is always different because that is the rule of life, it is the theory of karma. That is why we should have the privilege of participating in the nature of God by discharging our duties and responsibilities attached to the family through a very deep understanding and selfless spirit. One should say goodbye to this life without any regrets with complete satisfaction after enjoying all the best things in life and family. We should be indebted to God for giving us the joy of family life. So let’s have a real family on the occasion of today’s “International Family Day”.
Also, let’s not limit the family to two or four members as we should not forget that this whole existence (universe and creation) is our family. Now many scientific researches have proved that every element of the universe is interconnected. Changes on planets and constellations affect the entire ecosystem. Mountains, rivers, air, trees, sky, moon, stars, animals, birds, human beings are all connected to each other. It has to be understood that the other cannot survive by destroying the existence of one. So let’s expand our family to today’s International Family Day and include every element of the world in it.
Even so, from birth we get nourishment and developed ourselves by consuming three things. 1) Our own body which we use incessantly 2) Relationships – Parents, mentors, relatives, neighbors, colleague all contribute to our development and 3) Creation – whose wonderful elements are air, water, food etc and our existence is sustained only through it, then it is imperative to make all these members of our family and pay off the debt of body, relationships and creation. Let’s make sense of the spirit of “”VASUDHEVA KUTUMBAM” because happiness is as big as a family. Let us try to sustain every element of the earth, protect animals, birds, rivers, mountains, plants, etc., have mercy on every creature, do not interfere in anyone’s daily routine, wish everyone’s development and progress, helps everyone in distress. Moreover, if we are free from the virtual conflict of life between our own and others, we can truly have a family. On this special day, we must do a work that unites the minds and resolutions of each of us as only through it a safe and secure environment possible which can only be achieved through the spirit of the “VASUDHEVA KUTUMBAM”.