By M N Sharma
The Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT) is a new socio-economic theory formulated for the benefit of humanity by Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, a seer, philosopher and saint of India.
Ever since man, evolved out of animality, and mind attained that degree of subtlety wherein a discriminating judgment found its first expression, humanity has been engaged in a ceaseless struggle to evolve a theory and philosophy which may solve the problems of life. The measure of success which man has attained so far is too well known to merit description. History is a witness of the fact that each theory or philosophy had its own day. For some time it glittered with a luster of its own but with the passage of time its brilliance lost its shine and it gradually faded into insignificance. Philosophies have been born, but only to die and decay on the anvil of time.
The reason for this rise and fall is embedded in the vital truth that nothing in this world of relativity is static. Every particle of this manifest world is in a state of constant motion, whether we may perceive it by our sensory organs or not. How then is it possible to formulate a theory—within the scope of relativity—which may be a theory of permanent value and serve as a Pole-star for all times to come. Shrii Sarkar has answered this vexed question of philosophy in a very systematic manner by evolving the theory of Prout.
A theory is developed to meet the requirements of the age and is dependent upon time, space and person. The objective conditions of human society in a particular country and at a particular time represent a particular physical wave matrix. The theory which is conceived in the realm of intellect to solve the problems of that age also represented a particular mental wave matrik. The theory flourishes so long as it is able to maintain parallelism between this collective physical and psychic wave matrices. As soon as the objective conditions change, the theory also becomes out of date. It is because of this that theories and philosophies get outmoded with the change in time.
Shrii Sarkar is of the view that since every theory which is dependent upon time, space and person becomes outdated with the change in any of these factors, it is necessary to have a theory founded upon noumenal factors so that it may not be subject to quick changes. A sound philosophy is an absolute necessity for fly stable social order.
From Creation to Liberation
Shrii Sarkar believes in the existence of an all-pervasive, eternal and immutable Consciousness (Puruśa) which has an inner, innate power known as
When the state of extreme crudity (solid factor) is reached, portions of a
It is a well known fact that a man differs from an animal only in the former’s possessing a superior mind gifted with rational faculties. Even amongst men, the differences in the attitudes, characteristics is due to the difference in the type of mind one possesses. Scientific investigations have proved that even brain cells differ amongst men, which is due to the fact that a particular type of physical base (brain) is required for the expression of a particular type of mind. Mind goes on acquiring greater and greater subtlety as it develops due to physical psychic clashes and longing, for the infinite. Shrii Sarkar has explained how this process goes on and the mind ultimately acquires the subtlety akin to that of the Cosmic Entity and finally merges in the supreme Consciousness, This final merger in the Consciousness is the ultimate goal of every created being and all movement which is taking place in the universe is directed towards this goal.
It will thus be seen that it is from the crudification of the blissful Supreme Consciousness that every created being comes into existence and after having passed through the various phases of the manifest world it again merges into its noumenal cause, that blissful Supreme Consciousness. This short span of the manifest world in whose scope comes all the mundane activity is only a passing show, a moving reality. There is no permanence in this sphere of relativity which is subject to the bondages of time, space and person and keeps on changing, because it is in a state of constant movement towards being metamorphosed into Supreme Consciousness. The mistake of the propounders of various “isms” is that they conceive a political and social theory on the objective conditions in the physical world which is in a state of flux and so their theories become out of date by a rapid transformation in the physical world. To find the absolute bliss or Ananda amidst this rapid panoramic drama of creation is only possible through Tantra – the revolutionary spiritual praxis.
Srii Sarkar has thus propounded his theory on the basis of absolute factors that can be realised by an Proutist through the process of Tantra meditation and can be manifested in society through PROUT’s Sadvipra Revolution. Thus we can experience empirically the fact that every created being is in fact the product of Cosmic Consciousness. This is what forms the basis of Shrii Sarkar’s science of PROUT. Similarly the other basic truth that everything in this visible world is moving towards its goal which is merger with the all pervading Cosmic Consciousness forms the cornerstone of the progressive utilization theory. The creation is not an isolated thing. It has a past and a future. It has emerged from Cosmic Consciousness and will ultimately merge in Cosmic Consciousness.
The brief period in which the created beings are visible in the manifest world come within the scope of relativity and are subject to the bondage; of time, space and person created by the innate power of Brahma called Prakrti. The existence of these beings is a continuous effort to cast away the yolk of the bondages of Prakriti and merge in their noumenal cause which is the Supreme Consciousness. During this period of visibility, the created beings possess a form and are perceptible through our sensory organs.
This manifest world of ours is a collection of unit beings created by the action of Prakrti over Cosmic Consciousness and each one of these units is matching towards Cosmic Consciousness both individually and collectively. Therefore, any society which is established and any solid structure which is built must recognize that the society must be founded upon these principles. These are everlasting and absolute factors and so the government as well as social, political and economic organizations should be set up in such a manner that these twin principles are always adhered to. It is this blending of the absolute and the relative which is the chief characteristic of the philosophy of PROUT and it is this feature which lends to it the permanence and stability characteristic of a transcendental theory. Furthermore it is the realisation of the Blissful Supreme Consciousness as the origin, the goal and the ultimate reality of this creation that leads to the idea of Ananda Parivara – that the entire creation is one Blissful Cosmic Family.
From this vision of Ananda Parivara, Shrii Sarkar enables one to deduce certain fundamental truths that comprise the theory of Cosmic Inheritance. He says, «The universe is the psychic and internal projection of Cosmic Consciousness and ours is a reflected projection. We cannot create anything original. Whatever we do with the physical wave radiated by matter— rudimental factors cannot be created by human beings. Hence the ownership lies with the Cosmic Entity and not with the individual.»
All movable and immovable properties of the earth belong to each and every individual and no one can lay his exclusive claim over it. Private property is the creation of the opportunists. «When the whole property of this universe», says Shrii Sarkar, «has been inherited by all creatures, how can there be any justification for the system in which someone gets a flow of huge excess, while others die, inch by inch for a handful of grains and food.»
Human society is like a joint family in which every member has equal rights and each one is guaranteed the basic necessities of life. We can note that the English word “economics” comes from the words “eco” meaning “home” and “nomos” meaning “laws”. In the household the laws created by the parents are rooted in their boundless love and endless caring for every single child. The same must be true at the local, national and global level where the foundation is the Blissful love of the Supreme Entity experienced via Tantra. Hence genuine economics founded upon the Cosmic Laws of Nature is the science of creating Ananda Parivara in one’s local area. In other words, the conditions in society should be so arranged as to permit each member to live happily and pursue his ideal.
This leads to the first principle of Prout. «No individual should be allowed to accumulate any physical wealth without the clear permission or approval of the collective body.» This collective body is our Ananda Parivara and our local biome consisting of networks of smaller human, plant and animal families. And it is only when it is possible to guarantee the basic necessities of life to every individual that we can have a genuine economic system or Ananda Parivara.
It is significant to note that Prout neither believes in unrestricted accumulation of wealth of the capitalists nor in the equal distribution of wealth as advocated by the communists. It takes an intermediate position for it stands for controlled accumulation of wealth. The concept of permissive accumulation inevitably flows from the theory of Cosmic Inheritance which implies that every member of society being the offspring of the Cosmic Father is entitled to a life of ease and comfort in which minimum physical requirements are not to be denied to anyone. Furthermore at the same time the law of diversity in Nature exhibited in varieties of different talents of different individuals is also given due recognition by allowing 5-10% in excess of the minimum requirements of a particular age in a particular society.
The Communist theory does not recognize the mental inequalities in framing the social order and each man counts as one man irrespective of his intellectual attainments. This leads to a loss of initiative and enthusiasm and leads to corruption which cuts at the root of human progress. PROUT on the other hand asserts that diversity being the law of Nature has to be taken into account while considering the question of accumulation of physical wealth. It envisages a social order in which individuals would be allowed to collect so much of physical wealth as is necessary to meet their basic necessities and after making allowance for this the «Collective body» would distribute the remaining physical wealth by way of special amenities to people of higher mental and spiritual potentialities or hard work. This is the nature of any family where extra money of the family is saved for a talented student.
The collective body (which will be discussed in detail later) will make this distribution by guaranteeing purchasing powers of individuals to purchase the minimum requirements and thus ensure rational distribution of wealth. The originality of PROUT lies in evolving a new economy which is neither capitalistic nor even mixed economy. In Proutistic economy nobody is allowed to accumulate in an unrestrained manner as in the case capitalism, nor is there any attempt made to achieve equal distribution of wealth by a corrupt, totalitarian party elite; nor is there the provision for private and public sector to co-exist like devil and angel. PROUT is a system in which there is rational distribution based truly on the principle of social justice. Each gets what he needs for his basic requirements, and at the same time each specially gifted person gets something more in recognition of his special potentialities. And above all, this position is not achieved by imposing controls and enacting repressive measures but automatically by guaranteeing purchasing power and regulating the wealth produced for rational distribution.
It is from the theory of Cosmic evolution within Cosmic Union that Shrii Sarkar deduces the fundamental principles of social organization and lends to the common-known words like society, social progress and morality, an absolutely new meaning and a fresh approach.
Progress to Shrii Sarkar is not the achievement of a classless society in which the state as an engine of exploitation militarises the economic exploitation of capitalism where will be nothing more for humanity to dream and to desire. Rather, progress means the march of every particle of this created universe towards its Noumenal Cause, and its ultimate merger in Cosmic Consciousness from which this created world has come into being every particle of this earth is engaged in an everlasting struggle to get rid of this binding influence of Prakrti and regain its lost status. Progress in its real sense signifies this fight to throw away the yoke of Prakrti and to re-establish oneself in true inner liberty by gaining Cosmic Status. And it is to the extent that one succeeds in reducing the bondage of Prakrti, that one may be said to have progressed.
It is obvious that at no point of time all the individuals of the world would be able to achieve this state and so the progress in the collective sphere would never come to an end. Social progress therefore means the collective effort of humanity to accelerate the progress the maximum number of individuals towards the achievement of Cosmic Status and that collective body of human beings which is engaged in is effort is called society. Judged from this concept of social progress and society, it can be definitely stated that the world has not succeeded in establishing a human society so far. A body of human beings in order to qualify itself for being called a human society must be actuated by a Cosmic Ideal and it must set up a social order in which every individual gets the fullest opportunity to move upon the path of progress—the acquisition of the Cosmic Stance, wherein he finds himself free from the shackles of Prakrti.
This inspiration to move on the path of progress is called morality.
Therefore, the first principle of social organization according to Prout is that society must be organized on this principle of morality. How an individual can achieve this ideal forms the subject matter of Proutistic philosophy.
Srii Sarkar has analysed in great detail the principles on which society should be organized so as to afford maximum opportunity to everyone to achieve the Cosmic ideal. The first and foremost requirement of a sound social order is to guarantee the basic necessities of life to every individual and that is only possible when a system of controlled accumulation as discussed above is established and purchasing power is so regulated as to ensure fulfilment of basic requirements of each individual. Basic requirements of an individual also keep on changing with the change in objective conditions. A cycle may be the minimum requirement at a particular time but the development of science, a car or an aeroplane may become the basic requirement of every person. It is, therefore, necessary that there should be a constant effort to utilize to the maximum the potentialities of the universe.
PROUT, which stands for the Progressive Utilization Theory, lays down the principles of utilization. Not only the utilization should be maximum, and rational but it should be progressive and dynamic. The method of utilization should change with the change in time, space and person, but the utilization must always be for the benefit of humanity which is nothing else but the march of humanity towards the achievement of Cosmic status by the largest number of people. The originality of Prout is that it does not believe in any fixed and permanent social theories laying down the method of utilization theories. New will always emerge in accordance with the objective conditions prevailing in society at any point of time; but the principles of utilization will never change, Whatever may be the social structure within the scope of relativity man will always continue to sing the song of the infinite and march on the path of peace and progress.
It is in this background that Srii Sarkar has laid down five principles of Prout, the first of which has already been discussed as a derivative from the principle of Cosmic Inheritance.
The Second Principle
«There should be maximum utilization and rational distribution of all mundane, supra-mundane and spiritual potentialities of the universe.»
Prout has been conceived with the object of accelerating the progress of humanity. Although according to the law of creation every particle of this earth is moving on the path of Prati-Saincara (Cosmic involution from mind to Consciousness) and would one day acquire Cosmic status and merge in Cosmic consciousness this is a long and weary process. Shrii Sarkar has, by propounding the theory of Prout, laid down the method whereby the speed of Prati-Saincara can be accelerated and every created being can achieve the desired ideal in the shortest possible time. This is the scientific form of mediation known as Tantra. Collectively, PROUT firmly believes that progress can be speeded up only by lovingly utilizing the potentialities of the universe for the well-being of humanity.
Here again, Prout departs from the traditional religious theories of renunciation and denigration of the world. It does not consider the world to be a mere myth or
This universe of ours has vast mundane potentialities which still lie unexploited. Science can play a very important part in exploring the physical resources of the universe if it is not under the control of immoral capitalists and war-mongers. The problem of over-population can be easily solved by increasing the productivity of the land, finding out new places of habitation on this earth and other satellites and planets and by producing tablets as substitutes for food. In fact, science can contribute greatly in increasing human happiness and making the physical condition of life so easy as to leave sufficient time for individuals to pursue intellectual and spiritual pursuits. The mechanization and robotization of industry can reduce the hours of work to a few minutes in a week leaving the remaining time for the pursuit of one’s ideal.
But all this will be possible only when the physical resources of the universe are properly utilized by putting them to maximum use by a system of rational distribution. The world as a whole should be treated as one economic unit and no part of the earth should be allowed to languish at the cost of the other. A social order based on the principle of social justice should be built up in which no one may have to bother much for the satisfaction of his physical needs and he may devote sufficient time for his intellectual and spiritual growth. Such an order will not drop from the sky, it will emerge out of a multi-dimensional revolution known as nuclear revolution.
Supramundane potentialities of the universe are also to be utilized for the progress of humanity. By supra-mundane is meant all that is above this physical world. Unfortunately our knowledge of supra-mundane is very inadequate at present and so its full comprehension is beyond man’s power. No one, however, can deny the existence of supra- mundane as one is familiar with the working of one’s own mind which is beyond the ken of physicality. Modern psychologists are engaged in studying the para-psychological phenomena of telepathy, clairvoyance and pre-cognition, etc. and there is no doubt that a time will come when the world will know more about it and harness all the supra-mundane potentialities for the welfare of humanity. Since the theory of Prout is an everlasting theory, it is only natural that it should make allowance for future researches and provide for future contingencies.
Similarly very little is known at present about the spiritual potentialities of the universe. But Srii Sarkar in his spiritual philosophy has opened up new vistas of enlightenment and developed the vibrational theory which envisages the existence of a plethora of rhythms and considers every created object as a collection of vibrations. Shrii Sarkar believes in the existence of a universal rhythm which is a connecting link between entitative rhythms of individual bodies. It is with the help of this universal rhythm that the individual can acquire the much desired ideal of Cosmic status and reach the dead end of progress in the individual sphere.
The Third Principle
«There should be maximum utilization of physical, metaphysical and spiritual potentialities of the unit and the collective body of the human society».
Not only the potentialities of the universe in its
The human mind plays the most important part in the life of the individual and society. The mental capacity of the unit mind should be utilized in making new discoveries, in finding out new uses of existing commodities, in exploring new home lands for habitation and in creating conditions conducive to human progress. Similarly the various types of sentiments and philosophies propounded in different parts of the world should be fully utilized for the benefit of humanity. Prout therefore insists on complete freedom of thought, speech and action and no attempt should be made to stifle free and independent thinking. Rather there should be a positive effort to enlarge the boundaries of mind and give free scope for its development and expansion, for then alone it will be possible to utilize to the maximum the immense potentialities of the mind for the good of humanity.
The development and utilisation of spiritual potentialities of the unit and the collective body is of utmost importance for collective welfare. Prout is of the view that the collective welfare is possible only through the spiritually developed persons. Thus, if a real human society has to be forged, it is essential that the spiritual potentialities of the maximum number of people should be developed and utilized to the maximum for the upliftment of humanity.
A person can think of the welfare of humanity only when he has a pervasive mental entity. The mind requires a psychic object to maintain its existence. Srii Sarkar says that «mind» must be given some object to brood over, and if that object transcends time place and person, then alone it will be possible to maintain them (time, place and person) over a wide length of time in the history of a society.
If the object is anything short of the Infinite, the mind acquires a narrower outlook and this results in the division of society on the basis of caste, creed and religion, nationalism, provincialism and regionalism. It is obvious that a person who works with this truncated mental entity cannot serve the whole humanity. It is only by the development of spiritual potentialities of the unit by a powerful system of spiritual practice that the mind can expand to the maximum so as to hold the entire humanity within its purview and engage itself in a ceaseless struggle for the advancement of humanity.
Prout is emphatically opposed to spiritual capitalism – the idea of Sadhus (monks) living in a cave who only work for their individual advancement and do not contribute anything for the service of humanity. Really speaking, it is the duty of every spiritually evolved person to work to the maximum in society for collective welfare. It is the spiritual Sadhakas (spiritual aspirants) who have enlarged the boundaries of their minds, who should be entrusted with the task of administration, for they alone are competent to feel the pangs of humanity and work for their amelioration. PROUT firmly believes that unless the society is able to muster the services of these spiritually evolved persons in the mission of social revolution no progress is possible, no society is feasible and no happiness is attainable. Such sadhus or saints, who take up arms against injustice out of love for the bodies and minds of other beings more than themselves. Therefore, the utilisation of spiritual potentialities of the unit and the collective body of the human society is of utmost importance for the preservation and development of society.
The Fourth Principle
«There should be a proper adjustment amongst these physical, metaphysical, mundane, supramundane and spiritual utilization.»
«Variety is the Dharma or characteristic of Prakriti. No two objects of this evolved world are identical nor are two bodies, nor two minds, nor two atoms, nor two molecules.» Differences in physical, mental and spiritual capacities of individuals are bound to exist and this has to be taken into account while taking service from a person.
First of all, it should be the endeavor of society to promote the integrated development of the human personality. It has been seen that there are many physical giants whose purpose is to develop their physical bodies at the cost of intellectual and spiritual potentialities. There are others who do not care at all for their health and keep themselves engaged in intellectual pursuits alone. Yet there are some others who have renounced the world and live in dark caves in search of the divine light. All these are specimens of human beings who can do little good to humanity.
The right course is to develop all the potentialities in a coordinated manner. None of these potentialities should be neglected at the cost of the other. It is true that greater stress should be given to the development of the particular capacity with which a person is e
Similarly society will also take service from an individual in a well coordinated and rational manner. Society should utilize the physical, mental and spiritual potentiality of the individual according to his capacity. A person who has only one faculty should be utilised only for that purpose. If he has both the physical and intellectual ability, then his intellectual ability should be utilized more than physical power because intellectual power is rare. Similarly if a person has intellectual and spiritual aptitude then his spiritual potentiality should be put to greater use than his intellectual power as spiritual aptitude is very rare. It will be wrong for society not to utilize the rare abilities of the individual to the maximum and employ him in physical labour and thus allow his talents to be wasted. Society should, therefore, work upon this solitary principle.
The Fifth Principle
«The method of utilization should vary in accordance with the changes in time, space and person and this utilization should be of a progressive nature.»
PROUT asserts the existence of an inexorable law of nature which stipulates that everything in this universe is in a state of constant motion. Nothing is static or stationary. Change is always taking place within the scope of time, space and person. A theory which has emerged from certain objective conditions of society is bound to become out of date with the change in those conditions. Thus Prout thinks that such changes within the realm of relativity are inevitable but the principles of genuine social organization should never change as they are based on absolute factors, the principles being those of Cosmic Inheritance and Cosmic Union.
Recognizing these absolute principles the method of physical, metaphysical and spiritual potentialities should keep on changing with great dynamism in accordance with the need of society. Proper use of things varies with change in the times. A particular commodity may be of great use today but its use may be of little value to the future generations. Similarly a thought may evoke great respect at a certain point of time but it may be completely discarded in course of time. A system of administration may be good for a particular country but it may not be so good for another country. Prout recognizes the necessity of such changes and insists that traditions and conventions should not be allowed to impel; progress and there should be a constant effort to bring about changes in society as per needs of the time.