Today is the first full moon in May, a traditionally auspicious day known as “Ananda Purnima” (the blissful full-moon). On this day in 1921, Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar was born in Jamalpur, India.
His early work as a railway clerk betrayed little of the storm that was soon to occur around him…
Sarkar started teaching yogic meditation to a growing band of followers, later forming the socio-spiritual organisation Ananda Marga. He became known by his spiritual name Shrii Shrii Anandamurti.
In 1959, he propounded a humanistic socio-economic theory, Prout, to challenge both Capitalism and Communism. I remember hearing his comment that society had been unable to fully accept humanism until it had witnessed the horrors of World War Two.
Sarkar went on to form a global cultural organisation, RAWA, for the realignment of the arts with the spirit of service and mysticism. And just to show how it was done, he composed a staggering 5018 songs in the last eight years of his life, before passing away in 1990. His collection of songs is called Prabhata Samgiita.
Sarkar was a fountain of wisdom on ecology, womens’ issues, linguistics, history, farming and just about everything else that I can think of!
A strict moralist, and a tireless exposer of corruption, he fell on the wrong side of Indira Gandhi’s increasingly authoritarian government. Refusing to keep quiet about social exploitation and his Prout theory, he spent seven years as a political prisoner and survived a poisoning attempt while in jail.
By the time he re-emerged, his ideas had spread throughout the world, and continue to do so today.
So much in one lifetime…
I’ll be thinking of you today. Happy Birthday!