History of Neohumanist Education and AMGK

By Avtk. Anandarama Ac. and Arete Brim

Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar (1922 – 1990) in his early teenage years occasionally mentioned to his younger brothers Himanshu and Manas that he intended to start an organization one day through which he would open service projects, such as schools, children home, medical clinics, and other welfare projects.

In 1955 the Ananda Marga organization was duly registered in Jamalpur and in 1962 the headquarters were established at Ananda Nagar. The first school was established in 1963 in Laharia Sarai followed by the next one at Ananda Nagar on the instructions of Shrii P.R. Sarkar. This was also the year when a new wing of the organization, the Education, Relief and Welfare Section (ERAWS) was created to oversee the development of the various projects. Shrii P.R. Sarkar directed that the education should focus on the all-around progress of the individual. It should be as cheap as possible and extend to the village level so that the children will not have far to travel and there should not be any distinction between rich and poor.

The Education Secretary was given the priority of opening new schools all over India with a team of educators under the constant guidance of Shrii P.R. Sarkar who would visit the new schools on his tour of India.

Families from Patna and other cities started sending their children to live in hostels and study at Ananda Nagar, alongside the village children who would stream in each day from the surrounding area. For most of the village children it was their first opportunity to get an education. Classes began with grades one through four, and later they were extended to grade eight.

After six month Shrii P.R. Sarkar visited Ananda Nagar and laid the foundation stone for the technical college called AMIT, Ananda Marga Institute of Technology. He also chose the spots for a future liberal arts college, veterinary college, naturopathic and ayurvedic clinic, agricultural research centre, various cottage industries, and offices.

Within two years in 1964 the projects had grown to include the primary school, high school, degree college, technical college, hospital, children’s home, students hostels, invalids home, leper asylum, academy for the handicapped, printing press, central offices, and extensive agricultural projects.

In the early 1970 the first schools outside of India started in Nepal, Africa, Philippines, Europe and USA. The schools were designated as AMSAI (Ananda Marga Special Academic Institutes) and AMJAS (Ananda Marga Jagrti Schools). Both had the same curricula but AMSAI was with tuition fee and AMJAS was free and attached to the local jagrtis or ashrams for disadvantaged children.

Shortly after launching the cultural ideals of Neohumanism in 1982, Shrii P.R. Sarkar expanded the underlying philosophy of education to be infused with Neohumanist principles and thus the Neohumanist Education term evolved for Ananda Marga schools. By 1990 there were over 1000 schools and children homes in over 50 countries as well as several higher learning institutes including a Degree College at Anandanagar and a Polytechnic College in Malur.

Ananda Marga Gurukula

On September 7th, 1990, at about 7 pm, Shrii P. R. Sarkar, called a meeting at which Ananda Marga Gurukula was introduced. He began by dismantling the existing “Ananda Marga Board of Education” and replacing it with a new body which he called “Ananda Marga Gurukula”. Over the next few weeks detailed plans were chalked out for a University at Ananda Nagar and a governing Steering Committee and Academic Council that would oversee the academic standard of all educational institutions from Kindergarten on up. On October 20, 1990 at 11 pm, his last Prabha’ta Sam’giita was dedicated to Ananda Marga Gurukula: number #5018 “Amra Gore Nobo Gurukula”. (see side bar).

Anandanagar in India is the Headquarters of Ananda Marga Gurukula, where a global campus was procured and the modest beginnings of an international Neohumanist University system started to take shape as well as the beginnings of administrative quarters. A Global Liaison Office was later established in Ithaca, NY, USA as well as an office in Ydrefors Sweden and a NERI office in Den Bosch, Holland. Higher learning Institutes also started developing around the globe.

Over the past two decades, Ananda Marga Gurukula, as the Board of Education of Ananda Marga Schools, has created a network of all existing NHE schools around the world and the Neohumanist Education Faculty of AMGK has provided a support base and guidance. Today, the NHE Movement is a dynamic movement spearheading the growth of new NHE schools, holding conferences and training teachers including in India, USA, Sweden, Netherlands, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Ghana, Kenya, Brazil, Argentina, Haiti and other places.

The Faculty of Yoga & Intuitional Science initiated Tantra Vidyapiitha, Ananda Marga Association of Yoga Educators as well as yoga academies in Singapore, Russia, Italy and Sweden. Four annual conferences have been conducted on Rajadhiiraja Yoga and related subjects in Sweden since the summer of 2007, including Yoga for Kids.

Centres of Neohumanist Studies, CNSs, have been started in various locales including Prama Institute in Asheville, NC, USA, a College of Neohumanist Studies in Ydrefors, Sweden and a CNS Centre in Croatia.

Medical and Health initiatives include an Acupuncture College and Clinic at Ananda Nagar, Abha Light College of Natural Medicine in Kenya, Wellness Centre in the Philippines and an Integral Therapy Centre in Ydrefors, Sweden and a a Centre for Alternative Medicine, Homeopathy and Yoga, in Bali.

MU-Forum has been initiated under the auspices of AMGK to consolidate and nurture our Master Units network. This network is focusing on sustainable and progressive community building, eco-villages and alternative renewable technologies.

A Music College has been started at Uma Nivas. Prabhat Samgiita Academies have sprung up in India and abroad to popularize and research the wisdom contained in Prabhat Samgiita. Song and dance events have taken place and especially the 25th anniversary of Prabhat Samgiita was colourfully celebrated in different parts of the world.

Prout College in Australia, Prout Research Institute in Venezuela as well as Prout Conferences and Seminars have been showing an alternative path in the current hopelessness of outmoded social, economic and political systems.

Microvita Research Institutes have sprung up in Kolkata, Amsterdam, Batu Gajah in Malaysia and MV workshops have been conducted at several places also.

Publications and Resource materials prepared by AMGK include a bi-annual newsletter and journal published since 1995, a web based resource data base for NHE educators as well as several books including: NHE Documentary, NHE Futures, Bio-Psychology and Foundations of Neohumanist Education.

In the following pages you will find academic articles from various faculties of NHE University as well as a small sampling of some of the NHE schools, Institutes and programs on each Continent.

Gurukul song

Ámra gare nobo gurukul
Jináner áloke ráungiye dobo
Pratiti kunri phul

Keha ná thákibe dure
Bájábo pratiti tare
Bándhibo priitiri dore
E maniháre atul

Keha ná thákibe piche
Theli ná kare o niice
Sabe átmiya biráje
Mano májhe doduldul

We will establish the Gurukul. We will dye each and every bud with the light of knowledge.

No one will stay away. We will bind everybody with the thread of love and create a garland of incomparable beauty.

No one will stay behind, none will be thrown at the bottom. All will exist with kith and kin with their minds full of sweetness and tenderness for all.

Song No. 5018 in Bengali, composed by Shrii P.R. Sarkar on 20th October 1990 at 11 p.m.
This was the last song that he composed.