Shrii Shrii Anandamurtiji was undoubtedly a glittering personality unique in history. He propounded a multi-dimensional ideology, launched a global social and spiritual movement and was the spiritual master for countless truth-seekers around the world. Shrii Shrii Anandamurtiji, also known as Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, was a genius – an unparalleled thinker and activist. In 1955 at the age of 34, he founded Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha, a movement for the spiritual advancement of society, and spread it throughout 130 countries.
The Supreme lies hidden in everything, like oil in sesame seeds, like butter in milk, like water in dry streambeds, like fire in flint. Only those who adhere strictly to truth, and perform spiritual practices, can churn the mind and realize the Supreme Entity out of it.
His books have been translated into all the world’s major languages, and his unique blend of historical perspective and social commentary has been the inspiration for social activists seeking progressive alternatives to capitalism and communism. Shrii Sarkar’s system of spiritual practice has been described as a practical synthesis of Vedic and Tantric philosophies. Those who have followed his teachings find their lives transformed as they overcome the weaknesses and negative tendencies of the mind to experience a deep peace and bliss within. Inspired by his selfless example, they focus their efforts on serving the society and elevating the oppressed. Shrii Sarkar denounced materialism and capitalism, and described that the entire universe exists within the cosmic mind, which itself is the first expression of consciousness coming under the bondage of its own nature.
Shrii P. R. Sarkar became controversial and the target of attacks from every side when he gave Progressive Utilization Theory – PROUT, a socio-economic theory. PROUT’s ideological teachings rapidly attracted many intellectuals, students from different schools, colleges, universities and other walks of life throughout India. The growing spread of PROUT’s universal ideals was an eyesore to those self-motivated interests that were affected by its rationality. None the less PROUT, has inspired community economic development and regional populist political movements. PROUTist views have been put forward in international gatherings on the issue of sustainable development.
During his lifetime, Shrii Sarkar faced much opposition, as his criticisms of religious, cultural, and political dogmas challenged powerful groups in his native India. He spent most of the 1970s in jail, held on charges for which he was eventually acquitted. While in prison he was target of an assassination attempt, which led to his undertaking a fast that lasted over five years.
Shrii Sarkar recognized that humanity is at a critical juncture, poised between intensifying crises on the one hand and an emerging planetary renaissance on the other. He urged people to be active, to struggle against the forces that are fragmenting, oppressing, and exploiting humanity; and that are violating the natural world. He called on those inspired by universal love to end humanity’s degradation and develop its higher potential. Cultural values are changing. Materialism, narcissistic individualism, and religious dogmatism are being deeply questioned. There is a diminishing infatuation with glitter and gluttony, power and prestige, doctrine and dogma. Many are now aware that ecosystems are losing resiliency, that the global economy is on shaky ground, and that materialism cannot fulfill humanity’s aspirations.
As this reorientation of values unfolds, Shrii Sarkar’s vision is likely to find increasing appeal. For it is a vision that affirms powerful and perennial sentiments: to live a life of meaning, to struggle for a high ideal, to act out of compassion, to protect the life of the community, and to free the mind of dogma. These are sentiments that take human life beyond mundane desires and existential emptiness, imbuing it with spiritedness, purpose, and depth. Commitment to Living Beings Sarkar was holistic in his approach. As a spiritualist he taught that human fulfillment ultimately comes from inner connection with the Divine. But he combined the orientation of the mystic with a commitment to the need for social development: to further social progress, he challenged dogmas that stifle the human spirit, he encouraged struggle against tyranny and exploitation, and he sought to bring human existence into harmony with the natural world.