Introduction To The Five Minimum Requirements of Life
Why does PROUT (Progressive Utilization Theory) propose that all human beings should be guaranteed their minimum requirements of food, clothing, housing, healthcare, and education?
First, to address the unecessary suffering of human beings. The founder of PROUT, P. R. Sarkar, also known as Shrii Shrii Anandamurti said, “Don’t you know why I propounded Prout? When such atrocities are being done to the living beings that are verily the divinity in disguises, then do you think I, being Guru, can sit still and watch?”
Second, human beings as the most developed living beings on this planet, have the capacity to develop wisdom and the desire for spiritual growth. As such, they can also help other living beings to evolve and develop. It is therefore worthwhile to encourage and help human beings to develop their full potential and increase their capacity to reach their spiritual/existential goal the Cosmic Consciousness.
How will this minimum guarantee help human beings to grow their own self for their cherished desideratum? Here is an analogy: In sports competitions when runners participate in a race, the audience encourages the competitors. They don’t encourage the runners so much in the beginning but in the end, just as they approach the finishing line, people cheer and encourage the runners very forcefully. Why is it such? In all competitions, the last part is very crucial. If someone is over-confident or less confident both can make him or her lose. So towards the end they need strong motivation, strong encouragement.
By this ‘minimum guarantee motivation’ the human being will not only get more conscious of their own goal, they will also become conscious of and helpful for the other living beings to reach their goal.
Shrii Anandamurti/P. R. Sarkar not only spoke for human beings, he also said something for the animals in this cosmic sport (run) of Salvation to become one with the Origin (Parama Purusa). In the Senior Acharya Diary, when writing about non-violence (Ahimsa) He has instructed that human beings should not kill animals. By the grace of God they got a body, a medium through which their physical, mental and spiritual progress has the potentiality to be great.
So it is clear from Shrii Anandamurti/P. R. Sarkar’s teachings that one person’s development and spiritual growth cannot happen at the expense of others. For true
progress of human society, we must move forward together in such a way that everyone’s basic needs are cared for and nobody is left behind.
How will the forthcoming PROUT-based society guarantee all human beings the five minimum requirements of life: food, clothing, housing, healthcare and education?
At the 2020 PROUT Convention, we will have a workshop to discuss and imagine what the PROUT-based Sadvipra society will look like that can satisfy this guarantee.
Our team has prepared a Background Paper on each of the 5 essential items, as preparatory materials for participants to read before the Convention. These attempt a first overview of the 3 questions that we will also discuss together in the workshop:
WHY is each of the items considered an “essential item” that should be guaranteed for all? WHAT exactly should be guaranteed?
In the face of multiple ecological crises, in order to provide the basic requirements of life for a growing human population, it is clear that we need to reimagine not only how these essential items are produced and distributed, but also what these items/services will be.
To guarantee the essentialities of life, we must think beyond merely increasing the availability of those items that are presently known to us. We also need to create and provide access to alternatives that are more effective, compassionate, resource- efficient, locally available and ecologically sustainable.
HOW will these items be guaranteed for everyone?
Guaranteeing the five minimum requirements to all human beings requires a society to be efficient and utilize all resources fully in an optimal and sustainable manner. So to answer this question requires us both to rethink the nature of these items and (in most cases) completely reorganise how they are produced and distributed (i.e. the economy).
Here, we will ask your participation to envision creative applications of the economic tools and organisational principles of PROUT, such as a three-tiered economy, progressive increase of purchasing capacity, local bloc planning etc.
PROUT’s view is that several of these minimum requirements should be provided by guaranteeing people the sufficient purchasing power to meet their requirements. This may be done through various avenues such as providing purchasing power through more and better jobs (e.g. through creation of cooperatives) as well as ensuring that the
relevant items are affordable and locally available (e.g. by making some parts of the production public, others done by local cooperatives etc.), and more.
Addressing the question of “how” is a multi-dimensional task. We may explore and be required to employ all four “verticals” of this year’s Convention program: public policy, education, personal development and global movement.