Minimum Requirements and Maximum Amenities

P. R. Sarkar
There are many attractions in society, and it is the nature of human beings to run after these attractions. Communism exploited this human tendency by promising to give equal wealth to all. But the mundane resources in the world are limited, so is it possible to provide equal wealth to all? No, and the attempt to do so is nothing but a dazzling ostentation. Now communism has met its end. Communism was nothing but a “bogusism” – a mere ostentation of verbose language and nothing else.

Rather than trying to give equal wealth to all, the proper approach is to ensure that everyone is guaranteed the minimum requirements of life. As the income of people increases, the radius of their minimum requirements should also increase. Just to bridge the gap between the more affluent people and the common people, we have to incease the minimum requirements of all. In addition, the maximum amenities should be provided to meritorious persons to enable them to render greater service to society. This should be done by setting aside some wealth for those with special qualities, but the provision of the maximum amenities should not go against the common interest.

However, something more can be added. Besides increasing the maximum amenities of meritorious people, we also have to increase the maximum amenities available to common people. Meritorious people will earn more than common people, and this earning will include their maximum amenities. But the common people should not be deprived of maximum amenities, so there should be efforts to give them as much of the maximum amenities as possible. There will still be a gap between the maximum amenities of the common people and the maximum amenities of the meritorious, but there should be constant efforts to reduce this gap. Thus, the common people should also receive more and more amenities. If maximum amenities are not provided to common people, no doubt there will be progress in society, but there will always remain the scope for imperfection in future. What constitutes both the minimum requirements and the maximum amenities should be ever increasing. This idea is a new appendix to PROUT.

If the maximum amenities of meritorious people become excessively high, then the minimum requirements of common people should be immediately increased. For example, if a person with special qualities has a motor bike and an ordinary person has a bicycle, there is a balanced adjustment. But if the person with special qualities has a car, then we should immediately try to provide the common people with motor bikes.

There is a proverb which refers to plain living and high thinking, but what is plain living? Plain living eighty years ago was not the same as it is today, so plain living changes from age to age. The standard of value also varies from age to age. Thus, both the minimum requirements and the maximum amenities will vary from age to age, and both will be ever increasing. If this were not so, there would be no economic progress in society.

So, our approach should be to provide the minimum requirements of the age to all, the maximum amenities of the age to those with special qualities according to the degree of their merit, and the maximum amenities to the common people as well. The minimum requirements of the age as per their money value plus the maximum amenities of the age as per their money value are to be fixed and refixed, and fixed again and refixed again, and so on. In this way you must elevate the standard of the people – you must go on elevating their standard of living.

The Amenities of Life

The amenities of life are those things which make life easy. The word “amenity” comes from the Old Latin word amenus which means “to fulfil the desire” or “to make the position easy”. Amenities mean physical and psychic longings. Whatever will satisfy the physical and psychic longings of the people will be the amenities of the age. Common people should be favoured with maximum amenities. For example, previously people used to dig a well to get drinking water, and then they carried the drinking water to their houses. Later water tanks were constructed, and now drinking water comes through pipes. In this way the amenities of life have increased and life has become easier. Though the aim is to get water, the system of getting it has become more effortless and more convenient.

Take another example. Suppose school children receive the minimum requirements of life. If they are provided with free snacks, this amenity will be over and above the minimum requirements. Again, in most trains there are first and second class compartments. First class passangers already get special facilities, but if free tea or coffee is given to the passengers in the second class compartments, it will be considered an amenity.

More and more amenities will have to be provided to the common people with the progress of society. This process will generate the impetus to collect and utilize more and more resources, and the proper utilization of the collective resources will elevate the standard of living of both the common mass and the meritorious people.

As the need for the minimum requirements is fulfilled and the supply of the maximum amenities increases, the struggle for daily subsistence will gradually decrease and people?s lives will become increasingly easy and enjoyable. For this reason PROUT guarantees the minimum requirements and the maximum amenities to all.

The root vidh prefixed by su and suffixed by ac and t´a´ equals suvidha´ which means “the pabulum asked for”. Kuvidha´ means “the pabulum not asked for”. If you are travelling by train and you see someone take a snack of delicious food, you will have a natural urge or longing to enjoy the same delicacies. This is a natural longing for physical pabulum. Those things which your body wants are the natural amenities. Natural amenities include all the longings of nature. They include all natural physiological longings such as urination, defecation and eating when one is hungry. Common people should be provided with more and more natural amenities to make their lives easy.

They should also be provided with more and more super-natural amenities. Common people experience much stress and strain – they should be freed from this tension. For example, the rural people of India always worry about their crops. If the rains are late or if they fail, paddy production will suffer; if the climate is too cold or not cold enough, the winter crop will be adversely affected. The common people should be freed from all these stresses and strains. This can be achieved through the provision of super-natural amenities which can be developed artificially through science and technology. For example, better agricultural techniques and the construction of small-scale dams to conserve water and improve irrigation can help relieve poor rural people of their stresses and strains. Even simple techniques can increase crop yields. For instance, if the smoke from burning wood chips is made to pass through a field of mustards seed, the flowers of the mustard seeds will bloom immediately and increase the production of the crop.

We should provide common people with both natural and super-natural amenities according to the physical capacity, the psychic capacity and the technical capacity of the state. This approach will ensure that human beings get enough amenities so that their lives become satisfying and congenial.

The minimum requirements must be guaranteed to all human beings, and under the environmental conditions concerned – that is, the existing environmental conditions – there should be maximum amenities. You should satisfy the thirst for physical and psychic longings – for physical and psychic pabula – under the concerning conditions. So maximum amenities are to be guaranteed to all under the environmental conditions concerned, which means keeping in view such factors as the temporal, topographical, geographical, social and psychic conditions.

What is the difference among surroundings, atmosphere, and environment? “Surrounding” means “everything physical, either directly physical or psycho-physical, that surrounds.” “Atmosphere” means “the nature of different expressions in the surroundings, such as water, air, air pressure, temperature, etc.” “Environment” means “that which controls the characteristic of inanimate and animate beings.”

One age will go and another will come, and human longings will also change. In one age a particular type of breakfast is accepted as the standard, and in the next age it will be considered substandard. Today people eat bread and butter, but according to the standard of the next age people may eat fried rice or sweet rice. Thus, the maximum amenities of life should be guaranteed to each and every individual, and their standard should be continuously elevated.

The jurisdiction of maximum amenities will go on expanding with the progress of human beings. Human beings are marching ahead, and their longing for different psycho-physical pabula is also increasing. The minimum requirements of the age must be guaranteed, and the maximum amenities must also be guaranteed. Maximum amenities must be provided in the existing environment.

Can human thirst be fully quenched? Can human hunger be fully satisfied? Why is it that human thirst knows no limitations? From PROUT we are moving to psycho-philosophy. In the relative world human thirst cannot be satisfied. Human beings are the progeny of the Supreme Progenitor, therefore human thirst is unlimited. All the properties of the Supreme are ensconced in human existence, and not only in human existence, but in each and every entity of the expressed universe. Can physical thirst, psychic thirst and spiritual thirst be quenched? Only spiritual thirst can be quenched. Unification of the unit with the Cosmic can quench the spiritual thirst. The physical body has certain limitations. It functions within very strict limitations. The mind has a far bigger jurisdiction, but it is also limited.

Future Progress

Every system has its merits and demerits. The demerit of this system is that as life becomes easier and easier, the physical capacity of human beings will gradually decrease. In ancient times people used to walk great distances with bare feet, carrying only a single cloth, but today people rarely move without footwear or without taking proper provisions. It is a fact that human strength will decrease in the future, but with the progress of society we have no alternative but to accept this situation. A day will come when the eyes and the bones in the human body will become weak. Almost all people will wear glasses and have false teeth. In the future there will also be tremendous changes in the structure of human beings. Human intellect will become sharper, the cranium will become larger and the nerve fibres will become more complex. Not only will such changes occur in human beings, similar changes will occur in animals and plants too.

The African elephant has a large body and a small head and it cannot be easily domesticated. In comparison the Indian elephant has a small body and a large head. It is more intelligent and it can be easily domesticated.

As life becomes increasingly easy, there will be greater opportunities for intellectual pursuits. A day will come when there will be hardly any need for human beings to work. This may sound strange today and perhaps we might not like to hear such a thing, but that day will surely come. Physicality will be transformed into more and more intellectuality, and intellectuality will be transformed into the culminating point of spirituality. To move ahead from physicality to intellectuality is the Proutistic order. It is the surest movement of human life – it is the surest movement of human destiny.

This type of movement to intellectuality will also take place in certain kinds of animals, such as dogs, monkeys and cows. It may be that in 1,000 years monkeys will reach the stage of evolution that human beings have achieved at present. At that time human beings will be making tremendous progress in the realms of intellectuality and intuition. The human beings of that future age will be very sensitive. The efferent nerves will be more active than the afferent nerves, and subtle experiences will be more common than they are now. Today human beings seldom have subtle experiences, but in the future they will occur naturally and spontaneously. The functional jurisdiction of the brain will also increase. Similarly, many animals will become more sensitive and their vocabulary will increase. With intellectual development vocabulary increases, and the number of words in a language also increases. The functional jurisdiction of the brain of animals will increase too.

With the help of spiritual practices, the human beings of the future will increase the functional jurisdiction of their brains with accelerating speed. People may think that they cannot make rapid spiritual progress unless the size of the brain, and hence the size of the cranium, is increased. But this is not so because human beings can increase the jurisdiction of their thinking.

Today human beings are progressing in the realm of intellectuality. To attain the culminating point of spirituality the human beings of today have to face less obstacles than the people of the past such as Mahars´i Vishvamitra, Mahars´i Agastya, etc. The development of the glands and the amount of the hormone secretions is much greater than 100,000 years ago, and the glands will develop and increase their secretions by much more in the next 100,000 years. In 100,000 years, human beings will conceive of things which are beyond the conception of the human beings of today. These types of changes will occur within the social and economic jurisdiction of PROUT.

As human beings gradually move along the path of evolution, they will come to increasingly understand that humans are more psychic than physical. In fact human beings are machines, but they are physico-psychic machines. With psychic changes physical changes will also occur. The human beings of the future will feel strange when they see the structure of the human beings of today. Similarly, the humans of today would feel disturbed if they could see what the humans of the future will look like.

According to human psychology, people do not like to think much about the future. Rather they prefer to dwell on the past. The reason is that the future may or may not happen as human beings plan, so there is always a risk involved in speculating about the future.

One day the physical and psychic structure of human beings will become divine. It may happen that human beings will not like this mundane world anymore. They will then lose their fascination with the transitory world. They will think that it is better to merge into Supreme Consciousness and leave the world forever. This transformation in human psychology will come about through spiritual practices. So I advise each human being that as long as you are alive, you should try to build yourself in a nice way, in a complete way. But you should not only build yourselves, you should also build human society in the same way. To achieve this you will have to take the help of PROUT.

The progressive availability of the maximum amenities of life will be guaranteed in PROUT, satisfying physical needs. The satisfied physical needs will lessen the physical obstacles which inhibit human progress, and human beings will experience all-round development, especially in the intellectual stratum. Human beings will get the opportunity to develop in the intellectual stratum without any hindrances.

The truth of humanity, the veracity of humanity, will go on increasing in different areas of expression. That is why I say that there must be guaranteed minimum requirements and guaranteed maximum amenities for all human beings, and that these must go on increasing. These amenities must be good for the physical and psychic development of human beings, or at least for one of the two.

Neo-Humanistic Approach to Economics

As you know, physical pabulum is limited, so the mind continually runs from one thing to another. This process goes on in a never ending order. But in the realm of intuition the goal is infinite. When aspirants come into this realm, their desires, their longings, are fully satisfied. Thus the controlling point is the spiritual order. Because the spiritual order is infinite, human beings have no control over it, but as the physical realm is finite, human beings can increase their sphere of activity in this realm. The attempt to do this is a never ending process, and there are infinite permutations and combinations in this endeavour, but the latent hunger in human beings will never be satisfied in this realm. The quest to satisfy this hunger can at best only lead to the threshold point of spirituality.

As human beings progress towards the realm of spirituality, they are helped on the one hand by PROUT, which guarantees minimum requirements and maximum amenities, and on the other hand by Neo-Humanistic outlook, which removes disparities. These two approaches help human beings in their progress and elevation. Finally the existential faculty merges in the Supreme.

PROUT touches the threshold point of spirituality. It also helps to lessen the obstacles in daily life. For example, many daily commuters have to leave their homes at 6:00 a.m. and return at 10:00 p.m. to secure their minimum requirements. But PROUT will guarantee the minimum requirements to all, so their daily burden will be lessened.

Neohumanism also touches the threshold point of spirituality. It helps the existential faculty reach the pinnacled state. Neohumanism will bring equality in the social sphere and remove all sorts of disparities, therefore human progress will be greatly accelerated.

When PROUT and Neohumanism are established, the whole existence of human beings will become effulgent in the attainment of the Supreme.

The world is moving ahead with its merits and demerits. The movement from imperfection to perfection is progress. In the physical and psychic realms progress is never ending, but because everything in these realms is limited, the hunger of human beings remains unsatisfied. In the spiritual realm, at the point of culmination, human hunger is fully satisfied. To satisfy human hunger in the physical and psychic realms there is PROUT and Neohumanism. But how can human hunger be satisfied in the subtlest realm? For this Ananda Marga philosophy is there. Movement beyond the threshold point of spirituality is beyond the scope of PROUT but within the realm of Ananda Marga philosophy. Our ideology is a happy blending of rationality and spirituality.

The human requirements of every age must be guaranteed. The minimum requirements must go on increasing according to the physical and psychic standard of human beings and according to the changes in climatic conditions, environment, etc. Thus the range of minimum requirements will go on increasing according to the range of human social conditions.

At present human beings are thinking about their own minimum requirements more than about the minimum requirements of animals and plants. A day is coming when some of the animals, if not all, will come within the realm of our social membership. Today we say that each and every human being will get the minimum requirements. Tomorrow we will say that the minimum requirements will also include the needs of dogs, cows, monkeys, etc. To fulfil these requirements, there should be more and more production.

The earth is not only for human beings, it is for other living beings also. So we will have to do something for them. The minimum requirements and maximum amenities should also be given to animals. Today cows, dogs and monkeys are developing; tomorrow more and more animals will be in this category. Animals will also develop longings for different psycho-physical pabula, so they should be guaranteed minimum requirements and maximum amenities too. We will have to do something for them also. This is the demand of Neohumanism, of Neo-Humanistic ideas. This demand should be fulfilled by PROUT.

According to the enlargement of human existential value and jurisdiction, psychic pabula will also increase. There should be maximum amenities for one and all, with more longing for physico-psychic objects of enjoyment. These amenities should be increased for the entire social order. There cannot be any full stop, any comma or any semi-colon in this progress.

Progress is never ending. Pabulum is also never ending. We should understand this. There cannot be any stop in the march of human progress. And not only in human progress, but in the physical and psychic worlds also. Geo-sentiment will die out; socio-sentiment will disappear; socio-economic sentiment will be eradicated. Finally a day will come when sentient sentiment will dominate. A day will come when human beings will get the maximum amenities, then human beings will reach the zenith. But is the provision of maximum amenities the zenith of service? It may be looked upon as the zenith; but because circumstances change, maximum amenities change. The provision of maximum amenities should be treated as a relative zenith point and not the supreme zenith.

So maximum amenities of life under the conditions concerned should be guaranteed, and they should go on increasing. We should communicate this idea to the masses and encourage them to help us in our noble mission.

Whenever we are thinking of implementing a theory we should feel that we are living in the present, then we should implement the theory. The order of Shiva was to march ahead maintaining association with present reality. This was the order of Shiva. Marxism completely violated this fundamental principle, which is why Marxism has been broken into pieces under the impact of the present circumstances.

Bheunge geche mor svapner ghor,
Chinre geche mor viinar ta´r.
«The intoxicating effect of my dream has been lost,
The string of my lyre has been broken.»

Suppose there is a bright lamp. Hundreds and thousands of insects will rush towards it and get burnt. Similarly, communism was like a bright lamp. Marxists built castles in the air. They propagated many tall talks but they never thought about the practical application of their socio-economic approach. They killed many innocent people and sent countless others to concentration camps in the name of so-called ideology. Stalin killed hundreds of thousands of people instead of helping them by providing amenities for all. In the name of doing good for the masses he killed so many people. This is not humanism. Today people have kicked communism out. In China the people recently demanded “common human liberty”. That was considered an offence, so they were crushed. Do not people have every right to demand common human liberty?

Whatever is feasible and practical has been said in PROUT. Marxism built castles in the air and encouraged the people to dream a meaningless dream. PROUT has not done this nor will PROUT do it. PROUT will do that which is feasible and practical.

If the common people and the meritorious people are treated as the same, the capable people will not be encouraged to develop their higher potentiality. This is the reason why the brain drain is happening in India. When talented people leave India, they leave it for good. Providing special amenities for those with special capabilities will stop the brain drain.

PROUT’s approach is to guarantee the minimum requirements for all, guarantee maximum amenities for all and guarantee special amenities for people with special capabilities. This approach will ensure ever increasing acceleration in the socio-economic sphere. The question of retardation does not arise; even the question of maintaining speed does not arise. There must be acceleration. Acceleration is the spirit of life, the spirit of existence, the spirit of the existential faculty. One may not be a genius, one may simply be a member of the ordinary public, and not properly accepted or respected by all, but even then one will get the minimum requirements and maximum amenities in an ever increasing manner according to the environmental conditions concerned, according to the demands of the day.

So what is the significance of this new approach?

1) Minimum requirements are to be guaranteed to all.

2) Special amenities are to be guaranteed to capable people. Special amenities are for people of special calibre as per the environmental condition of the particular age.

3) Maximum amenities are to be guaranteed to all, even to those who have no special qualities – to the common people of common calibre. Maximum amenities are to be guaranteed to all as per environmental conditions. These amenities are for those of ordinary calibre – the common people, the so-called downtrodden humanity.

4) All three above are never ending processes, and they will go on increasing according to the collective potentialities.

This appendix to our philosophy may be small, but it is of a progressive nature and a progressive character. It has far-reaching implications for the future. I hope you will realize its impact and all its potentialities.

13 October 1989, Calcutta
Published in:
Prout in a Nutshell Volume 4 Part 17
Proutist Economics

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