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InfoQ Homepage Articles The World is One Family - Why That Matters for Software Corporations and Professionals

The World is One Family - Why That Matters for Software Corporations and Professionals


Rev. C. L. Gulati of Sant Nirankari Mission presented the opening keynote on the conference theme – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – The World is one family, at the Regional Scrum Gathering South Asia 2015.

Kamlesh Ravlani, one of the volunteer event organizers, spoke with Rev. Gulati about the philosophy - World is one family, its implications for global organizations and why should the software community care about it?

Kamlesh Ravlani: Rev. Gulati, Could you please share your thoughts about – World is One Family?

Rev. Gulati: I’ve participated in the Regional Scrum Gathering South Asia as a representative of The Sant Nirankari Mission. This happens to be the pet message of our mission that we preach and practice globally.

In its essence, when Fatherhood of God is realized, its spontaneous by-product is the cherished achievement of peace and universal brotherhood of mankind, an epitome of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' – World is one Family. The literal meaning of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is ‘Entire universe is one family’.

The word 'Vasudha' means the ‘Earth’ and 'Kutumbakam' means ‘Family’, carrying out the hidden message "Let there be peace and prosperity on the Earth, let the people live like a family and work for the welfare of entire humanity".

Kamlesh Ravlani: What’s the need of “World Is One Family - Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” today?

Rev. Gulati: To establish the need of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, we have to review both,

  1. The Planet Earth and
  2. The People inhabiting it, one by one.

Planet Earth: Magnified power of technology, psychological attitudes, and international conflicts, combine all these factors and it appears that we are behaving as if the planet is a business in liquidation. The only way to change this situation is to rethink development, keeping in mind that people are important, and equally important is the planet on which the prosperity of these people depend.

There is, therefore, immediate need to carry out a change in the pattern that now represents business as usual. In such a situation deeper awareness, moral responsibility and warmth is important.

Referring to the Global Family, I’m reminded of a quote of H.H. Nirankari Baba Hardev Singh ji Maharaj, “Life gets a meaning, if it is lived for others”. This inspiring message conveys the foundation of mutual human relationship with the innate spirit of living for others.

This is the foundation of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

When the society we live in, organizations we work with, lack human values and feelings of brotherhood, men run disarray, disintegrating the world family. The feelings of one family can rejuvenate the social bonds and revive the relations.

With the ever-growing influence and impact of science and technology on our lives, philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam has a game-changing role to play in reminding us of our humanity.

Arnold Toynbee, a distinguished historian, studied the genesis and fall of 21 different human civilizations spanning a period of 9000 years, and found that 19 of them declined and disappeared when the spiritual basis of human beings that sustained them had become corrupted. He says, “Each time, the people lost faith in spirituality, its civilization succumbed to social disintegration. The civilization that had fallen as a result of the loss of human values had then been revived by a new civilization inspired by the spirit of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam – World is one family, that represents brotherhood and love in direct proportion to our dealing and doings with our fellow human beings.

The hallmark philosophy of - Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – World is one family, has been carried further by the enlightened personages and sages down the ages. Wise men and Spiritual leaders of the world have endorsed this view to see all humans as a one family, so all can co-exist peacefully.

The Sant Nirankari Mission re-affirms the same message – 'The whole humanity is one family' by creating an understanding of spirituality through a living revelation of Fatherhood of God, the by-product of which is the spontaneous universal brotherhood of mankind.

A quote of the Nirankari Baba asserts, “A better world would be of peace and not pieces”. All men should unite harmoniously as the members of one family. For man can live individually, but can survive peacefully only collectively.

Kamlesh Ravlani: It is bit touchy-feely. Why should the software community care about it?

Rev. Gulati: In one of the world conferences of fortune 500 companies, it was accepted that ‘they existed for profit’. They also accepted that ‘profit is like oxygen for their organization’s life’. And, they further accepted that ‘a human being does not live only to breathe, so the organizations cannot exist only for profit’. Ultimately they agreed that ‘there are some higher goals for which they existed, and they should aspire to achieve those besides earning profits’.

You might also know the Golden Circle that Simon Sinek refers in his book – Start with Why? Dan Pink talks about the need for Purpose in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth about what motivates us.

What shall it profiteth a man if he gains the whole world, but loseth his own soul.

This Scrum Gathering symbolizes and promotes solutions for complexities of products and organizations, which needs a great level of agility in human behavior to deal with. Like the Scrum Master keeping his team members focused on their goals, it is equally important to maintain and ensure the inter-se trust among all members to create a high performing team. Here, trust is like electricity. One cannot see it, but can see it manifested in light. This light of trust is essentially to be seen amongst each individual, institution and their products.

Trust is the foundation on which a person builds his life, relationships and global enterprises. Individual reputation though counts, yet equally important is the reputation of the institution with which one works. Trust is also a deep sense of honor, and a commitment to one’s profession. It is this kind of trusted persons who can make all the difference to the performance of any organization. What would be the level of trust in an organization where people work as one family?

Whether a director, a manager or an engineer, all must remember that they are humans and members of one family. As corporate citizens it is important to ensure stability, integrity, transparency and effectiveness in the organizations we work in. And, as a member of human family, it is important to imbibe the human values. Values like integrity, empathy, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness and moral life form the foundation of a good human being. In the Industrial Age, such feelings were considered as weakness, however today in the knowledge age, these are treated as real strength. Such values, when filtered to the grassroots of organizations, align people, increase care for its customers, its people as well as the business.

Kamlesh Ravlani: Could you please share your experience practicing and establishing Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam?

Rev. Gulati: The Sant Nirankari Mission is a living example of universal brotherhood. The mission has been exhibiting the ideal model of a world family, where all are treated as human beings irrespective of caste, creed, religion or gender. It is an all-embracing world-wide socio-spiritual and charitable organization. We preach and practice the concept of one family. The Mission draws upon the shared and accumulated wisdom of our common heritage to encourage harmony in human relationship and endorses the quote of H.H. the Nirankari Baba: “Know one, believe in one, and become one.”

In November 2014, we hosted the 67th Annual Nirankari Spiritual Convocation in Delhi, India. Approximately 1.5 million delegates attended this 3 day event representing 55 countries. Hundreds of thousands who couldn’t join in-person watched the live webcast. The 68th Annual Nirankari Spiritual Convocation is scheduled for 14-16 November, 2015. All are welcome to join and witness one global family firsthand. Alternately, watch the entire event live at

H.H. the Nirankari Baba has addressed several Conferences and Seminars such as, the European Parliament - London, International Conference on Corporate Governance in London, South-East Asia Harmony Conclave, Relevance of Spirituality in Enterprises Management - India, Inter-faith, Peaceful co-existence, Universalism, Global Convention on Climate Change, etc, calling upon the audience that ‘as members of the human family it is important for all of us to imbibe the values of love, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness and clean life based on principles, which form the foundation of a good human being, that shapes one’s character and reflects in one’s actions’.

The wide range of socio-spiritual activities of the Sant Nirankari Mandal led to the grant of Special Consultative Status by United Nations. It is prospective hand-shake to participate intimately in the work of U.N., in particular ECOSOC and its subsidiaries to achieve ‘Millennium Development Goals’ for upliftment of the world community. Multiple inequalities in the world have been continuously asking the attention of UN. The Mission holds that every kind of inequality, including social, economic and gender, can better be sorted out through spirituality. The people are not only to be molded, but also to be unfolded spiritually. The U.N. appreciated Sant Nirankari Mission's views.

Kamlesh Ravlani: What do you consider is the responsibility of Corporations and Professionals here?

Rev. Gulati: Inaugurating the 8th International Conference on Corporate Governance in London the Nirankari Baba underlined the relevance of the spirituality for the corporate sector. He said that, “Profit and bottom-line is not the only concern a corporate has. The society in which we live is made up of the same people who work in its companies. There is no end to man's greed and want. As has been said, "Eyes are bigger than the stomach". The conscious global corporate citizens want to give something back and help others in the world, society and mankind. People should have at least the basics required for existence in human form. Out of all the agendas and priorities, this human angle is not to be left out. Corporations through Corporate Social Responsibility programs and philanthropy, can make a difference by carrying out activities that benefit the society at large. That way, the human feelings are refined to accommodate the needs of others as laid down in the philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.”

When the knowledge of technology is wrongly applied, it gives severe jolts to the mankind. We’ve experienced millions and millions of customer data getting hacked from major retailers and social networks. And the financial trouble caused by such incidents. The giant strides made by man also bring in their wake, a brave new world bereft of ethical human values.

Ethics and human values cures such curses. The charm of ‘hand-shake’ in space in 1976 complimented as a scientific feat would be worth only when complemented with the sound message of throbbing heartbeat – “Love deep”… “Love deep”. The Nirankari Baba says, “When we cease to love, we cease to live”.

Admittedly, your role as Software professionals is a key to modern development as you are from those who can potentially make or break the world network. You are also, who make other professionals more effective and innovative in their specialized jobs, like doctors, engineer, teachers, etc. For example, the innovation of digital teaching material and literacy programs for Sub-Saharan countries is a gift to the suffering humanity.

When the feelings of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam germinate and bloom in human minds, people develop mutual trust, have deeper and meaningful relationship, co-operate and collaborate seamlessly. Such behavior of people create a culture of organizational agility.

Kamlesh Ravlani: You’ve shared a unique view of looking at ‘Individuals and Interactions’. Amazing! Do you have any closing thought to share?

Rev. Gulati: Most product teams work as global teams. Working from different corners of the world, tasked to solve complex problems, facing uncertainties, while chasing tight deadlines. Sometimes our working relations are formal and superfluous. Distance of space creates distance of minds resulting in lack of empathy, mutual trust, understanding and effective communication.

This needs introspection to abridge the gaps between the organization’s desired goals, achievements and capabilities.

By imbibing human values and upholding each-other’s self-esteem, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam can be established. The warm feelings and values of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam when practiced throughout organizations - create a strong foundation for strong relationships, environment of engagement and high performance.

It is imperative that Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam becomes mission for everyone, reaching the state of, "Finally we are one family".

Whatever work we do, we are human beings first. Let us all resolve today that: ‘Become anything possible, but before doing so, be a good human being first’.

Anout the Interviewer

Kamlesh Ravlani is an Agile / Lean Coach, practitioner and a Scrum trainer. Kamlesh has extensive hands-on experience helping organizations global, large and lean startups with their Agile and Lean transformations. After working with Kamlesh, leaders and teams see significant reduction in the time from idea to market, improvement in customer delight (referrals, rating, NPS), higher ROI, and gain in the product quality. Kamlesh believes in building collaborative communities and collaborates with coaches and trainers to evangelize Agile mindset and practices. He volunteers, organizes and facilitates Scrum and Agile events, and speaks at conferences and user groups.

About the Interviewee

Rev. C. L. Gulati is the Secretary , Sant Nirankari Mandal, registered in 1948 as a socio-spiritual charitable organization, having its expansion in more than 50 countries. Rev. Gulati is also Secretary, Sant Nirankari Charitable Foundation. Both these organizations are integral part of the Sant Nirankari Mission. He has been associated with the Mission since 1960 and has also played a pivotal role in its functioning at the world level including the portfolio of coordination with ECOSOC and its subsidiaries in United Nations. The Mission's Publication wing is looked after by him with a visionary outlook. He has authored and published many books including his master piece "A Mission for All". The Nirankari Mission publishes "Sant Nirankari" magazines in 11 languages, and other spiritual magazines which are published in millions every month and their publication is also looked after by him.

Rev. Gulati has served Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs. He retired as a senior officer there. He has been a solicitor in the High Court of Punjab, Haryana & Chandigarh.

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