The Story of
insights that shape the future are usually to be found
on the periphery of the accepted. This is the space
currently occupied by the thought of P.R.Sarkar. Over
his life (1921-1990) he generated a meta story for
both the past and the future. Standing as he did beyond
the confines of mainstream Western intellectual tradition,
he was able to recast the story of civilization and
culture in a far less structured and deterministic
way to many of his contemporaries.
For Sarkar, history is not the story of the emergence
of the human (Western) genius from the darkness of
superstition and irrationality. It is not about linear
progress that places certain human expressions above
others. Rather it is a story of the human search for
the Great; of both an individual and collective striving
for a metaphysical certainty beyond limited, ever
elusive, physicalities. It is Sarkar's civilizational
project to make explicit, and thus empower and activate,
those aspects of consciousness that are a part of
this human search.
Neohumanism is the ideological fabric that underpins
Sarkar's work. Rooted in a broad humanism that draws
on multiple traditions it can be seen to be indebted
to the indigenous Indian tradition of Tantra and the
Western humanist tradition that goes back to the Greeks.
At the root of this new Humanism is the awareness
that consciousness is the material of the universe
and that we as human beings are engaged in an on going
struggle to align our spirits, minds and bodies with
Sarkar first delivered this vision in 1982 in his
ground breaking book Neohumanism: The Liberation of
Intellect. Since then an ever growing body of scholars,
teachers and social workers have turned to this work
as inspiration for their own endeavors. Developing
educational practices that reflect these principles
has not been easy but there are now schools all over
the world that owe their vision and purpose to this
dynamic and challenging philosophy.
"Sarkar will probably stand out
as one of the truly great in this century, so much
deeper and more imaginative than most. ... He is an
intellectual giant of our times."
Professor Johan Galtung, winner of Right Livelihood
Award (the alternative Nobel Prize)
founder of International Peace Research Institute
in Oslo, Norway.