Socio-economic Teachings of Shrii Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar

The central message of PROUT is that it must free human beings from mundane problems so that all will have increasing opportunities for intellectual and spiritual liberation. Shortly before his departure Shrii Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar observed, "Economics today is a theoretical extravaganza. It should be made more practical." He was of the view that economics must be a precise, practical science and should be properly developed for the welfare of all.

While the 5 fundamental principles and 11 social laws of PROUT gives the theory a distinct and well-defined structure, Sarkar throughout his life never tired of practically demonstrating his burning concern with the plight of the downtrodden mass. He devoted much time to guiding proutists from all over the world in how best to raise the standard of living of the local people. In one of his encouraging messages to a group of economists who were working to elevate the standard of living of the poor, Sarkar commented, "For every noble deed I always extend my support. In your attempt for the economic emancipation of humanity, my full support is there."

It was Sarkar's practice to deliver extempore discourses on a vast range of subjects, including economics, to his followers. He would often deliver discourses on a particular subject over several days or weeks to different groups of people. In one such series of discourses on the subject of humanism, he said:

"To sadvipras (morally and spiritually enlightened leadership) the value of human life surpasses all other values. Be it state or scripture, society or religion, the significance of everything lies in developing humanity to the optimum point through knowledge, culture, health and affluence of life. It is for the unfoldment of humanity that civilization has so many implements, the state presents various forms, theories multiply and the scriptures abound in ordinances and regulation. What hell does the state stand for, what is the use of these regulations or why are the marvels of civilization if a man is deprived of manifesting himself; if he does not get any scope to build a good physique, to invigorate his intelligence with knowledge and to broaden his heart with love and compassion? Instead of being conducive to lead man to the goal of life, if the state stands in the way then it cannot command loyalty, because man is superior to the state. According to Ravindranatha [Tagore], 'Justice and law at the cost of man are like a stone instead of bread. Maybe, that stone is rare and valuable, but it cannot remove hunger.'

"It is customary to prefer social values to human values. Sadvipras want to strike at the root of this custom. To them, human value precedes social value. Man forms the society and hence the human values will lay the foundation for the social values. In other words, those who pay respect to human values will be entitled to social values. It has been said earlier that human value is nothing but to treat joys and woes, hopes and aspirations of man sympathetically and set him on the pedestal of divine majesty after leading him to the cosmic consciousness. And if he is to elevate himself to that sublime height, he will have to be supplied with environment suitable to his physical, mental and spiritual existence.

"It is the birthright of everyone to make headway in their trifarious existence. It is the duty of society to accord recognition to this right of man. The society has failed to do its duty and that is why life is full of sorrows and sufferings. No one can say for certain that no great man would have emerged from among the wayward boys whom we are wont to slight and hate. Women who have turned to prostitution for the sake of their physical existence might have grown into noble personalities if their agony had been appreciated sympathetically and if they were repatriated by society. But since society has nothing to do with the human values, a good number of great personalities are withering away in their embryonic stage. The sadvipras will pick up this neglected humanity and arrange for its revival. To them no sinner is contemptible, no one is a rogue. a man turns into a satan or a sinner when for want of proper guidance he is goaded by depraving propensities. If their depraving propensities are sublimated, he will no longer be a satan; he will be transformed into a god.

"Every course of action of society ought to be judged with an eye to the dictum: "Human beings are divine children". Thus the purpose of the penal code which will be framed by the sadvipras will be to rectify and not to punish a person. They will knock down the prisons and build rectification camps. Those who are not inborn criminals, in other words those who perpetrate crimes because of some organic defects ought to be offered treatment so that they may humanize themselves. first and foremost, their want is to be removed. The significance of society lies in going all together. In course of journey, if anybody lags behind, if in the darkness of night a gust of wind blows out a lamp of anybody, then we should not go ahead leaving him in the lurch. We should extend a helping hand to him ad light lamp with the fire that makes us."

– From "The Present Age and Human Values"

P.R. Sarkar main page
A Brief Assessment of P.R. Sarkar's Work
PROUT and Its Propounder

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