There must be ever-increasing acceleration in all spheres of existence. Acceleration represents the essence of life. The human structure is physical but the goal of human life is the Supreme Entity. To reach the goal our approach should be through spiritual practices.
Acceleration is also at the root of PROUT. PROUT is a socio-economic philosophy to help take humanity from imperfection to perfection. To move towards the Supreme Entity is a continuous process for one and all. At the end of this process, you will become one with the Supreme Entity. PROUT is the path of emancipation for humanity. PROUT should go side by side with the psychic approach of Neo-humanism. Neo-humanistic ideas give human beings the impetus to move. They create a longing for subtler pabula, and that pabula is supplied by PROUT. The spirit is to maintain a balance between the physical and psychic worlds and take human beings to the threshold of spirituality.
There must be balance, equipoise and equilibrium amongst the physical, psychic and spiritual realms. There must be balance amongst PROUT, Neo-humanism and spiritual practices. You must maintain a balance amongst these three. PROUT is the approach, Neo-humanism is the psycho-intellectual approach and spiritual practice is the spirito-intuitional approach. This three-fold approach will take human beings along the path of salvation.
How does the socioeconomic path satisfy the hunger of spirituality? Suppose there is social disparity between the upper and lower castes in society. You will have to remove the disparity, and this means you will have to remove all distinctions based on caste. So the caste system itself must be eradicated. Removing different types of disparities comes within either the socio-economic, psychic or spiritual approaches. In this case the social disparity of casteism comes within the realm of PROUT. So the socio-economic path satisfies the hunger of spirituality by removing all disparities and artificial barriers, enabling human beings to move towards the goal with accelerating speed. Neohumanism will give impetus and energy to PROUT to remove all disparities and artificial barriers. PROUT will get spirit and stamina from neohumanism — from neohumanistic inspiration, neohumanistic ideology and neohumanistic thoughtfulness. Neo-humanism also ensures the proper guarantee, treatment and utilization of the inanimate world.
You should serve the inanimate world by guaranteeing it proper treatment. The Sanskrit word for animate is cetana, for inanimate jada, for movable jaingama, for immovable sthavara, for equilibrium santulana, for equipoise ojanagata and for balance gatigata bha’rasa’mya. The range of our service should include the animate world, but it should not be restricted there. It should also extend to the outer fringes of the inanimate world. This is the demand of the day. From the point of view of neo-humanism the arena of our service should be ever-increasing, ever-expanding, and should include both the animate and inanimate worlds. What will our policy be in order to bring justice to the inanimate world? First, we should go beyond the human world, then beyond the animal world, then beyond the inanimate world. Plants are less developed, animals are more developed and human beings are still more developed. The neohumanist approach includes everything — it includes both the animate and inanimate worlds within its jurisdiction. PROUT is for human beings, for the living world, while neohumanism is for both the animate and inanimate worlds.
Human beings have not taken proper care of the inanimate world. For example, human beings have damaged and destroyed many hills and mountains. You should not destroy the mountains and hills; otherwise the rainfall will be affected. You should not use subterranean water or encourage the use of deep or shallow tube wells, because too much reliance on these types of wells causes the level of the water table to go down, which in turn causes the soil to dry out, killing the plant life. It is best to use rainwater, river water and reservoirs to collect rainwater instead of subterranean water. In the Nadia district of Bengal, for instance, the level of the water table has gone down about 15 feet in the last few years. If this continues, within 100 years all of Nadia district will become a desert. There are many rivers in Nadia district like the Bhaerava, Khore, Bha’giirathii, etc. The water in these rivers should be utilized through a system of canals, sub-canals, lift irrigation and pumps. The area of Nadia, Khulna and Jessore districts should be irrigated. In the past kings and big landowners (zamindars) used to construct large tanks and reservoirs to conserve water, and in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan many reservoirs can still be found. Try your best to utilize river water and surface water.
Another example of how human beings destroy the inanimate world is the repeated detonation of atomic bombs. Atomic explosions create huge craters and large underground caverns in the crust of the earth. They produce dark clouds in the atmosphere and devastate the ecological balance of the environment.
The inanimate world is the creation of the Supreme Entity. By exploding atomic weapons human beings are wounding the psychic projection of the Supreme Entity, and this will seriously affect the ecological balance of the earth. In the non-living world there is mind but that mind is dormant, as if asleep, because there is no nervous system. Hence, the non-living world cannot express its grief when it is damaged or destroyed. To protect the inanimate world you should conserve and properly utilize all natural resources.
The neohumanist policy to ensure the well-being of all creation is to first serve human beings, then animals, then plants and then inanimate objects. Human beings should not kill the creatures of the animal kingdom just for their own survival. If a man kills a cow so that he may live, then why not let the cow live and the man die? Let the man die! Why should a cow die for the man? If cows symbolize motherhood, are those humans who drink cows’ milk calves? Buffaloes and goats also provide the milk which humans drink, so are they also peoples’ mothers? Human beings should stop killing cows out of respect for higher forms of life, not because of the sentiment that respects motherhood. The slaughter of buffaloes and goats should also be immediately stopped for the same reason. Human beings have learnt to feel the pain and agony of other human beings, but when a dog grieves nobody pays any attention to it. It is as if people think that dogs do not suffer any pain.
When human beings come to understand that animals also experience pleasure and pain they will acquire a new dimension of wisdom. It is because of our human sense of duty and our higher understanding that we should be sympathetic to all living beings. As a general rule human beings should not kill animals under any circumstances. The exception to this rule is when human life is in danger. For example, if you are confronted by a tiger that threatens your life, before it attacks you may be forced to kill it. Similarly, if lions, snakes, elephants, etc. enter your locality, then as a last resort they may have to be killed to ensure human safety. But animals should only be killed when they directly endanger human life. It follows from this that you should not kill animals in their natural habitat. In the forests there are many lions, tigers, snakes, etc., but such creatures should not be killed in their natural environment because there they pose no threat to human life. Although it is the nature of some tigers to attack human beings, all tigers should not be killed simply for this reason.
We must not forget that it is also the duty of human beings to build sanctuaries for dying animals and endangered species of animals and plants. This is the practical approach of the living philosophy of Neo-humanism. This is the approach of neo-humanism to animal and plant life. neo-humanism increases the arena of the mind, the arena of intellectuality. The translation of neo-humanist ideas into practical life is the duty of PROUT. There must be close correlation amongst PROUT, Neo-humanism and spiritual practices. The balance amongst these three will elevate the structure of human beings to its existential status. We cannot neglect PROUT, Neo-humanism or spiritual practices. This balance is to be maintained for all. It will create good will and elevate the standard of human beings so that they can render more service.
The spiritual approach goes beyond the threshold of the physical and psychic worlds. This is a new dimension of philosophy, a new branch of human knowledge. Spirituality is the central avenue, which maintains the balance between the right and left sides — between Prout and Neo-humanism. The relationship amongst PROUT, Neo-humanism and spirituality may be likened to the bird of Tantra. In Tantra one wing is Nigama and the other wing is Agama. Spirituality is like the Tantric bird, but one wing is PROUT and the other wing is Neo-humanism. The bird is flying along the path of beatitude towards the Supreme Entity.
25 October 1989, Calcutta
PROUT in a Nutshell 17
Copyright Ananda Marga Publ. 2011