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Chapter 30: Rebellion: Hallmark of the New Man

And why have revolutions failed? They have failed because they had to use the same methods to throw out the old society, the old civilization, the old sovereignty. They had to use the same methods, there were no other methods - and slowly slowly they became the same as the old.

Now Joseph Stalin became nothing but a stronger czar than any czar. The strongest and the cruelest czar in Russian history was Ivan the Terrible, but Ivan the Terrible is just Ivan the Pygmy if you compare him with Joseph Stalin. He stands nowhere - and he was the strongest and the cruelest and the worst czar Russia had seen. That’s why he is called “the terrible.” But Stalin was a millionfold more terrible - and more scientifically terrible, technologically terrible. There was no way to escape the grip of Stalin.

But this is bound to happen.. In India I have seen the Gandhian revolution. Gandhi was aware of the fact that if the revolution became violent then its fate would be the same as that of other revolutions. Revolutionaries, once they are in power, prove to be worse rulers than anybody else. So Gandhi tried to make the revolution non-violent; but he was not aware of many other implications. It was not only the violence, it was also the power.

When a man who has never known power comes into power, he is no longer the same man. It is just as if a beggar suddenly finds a winning lottery ticket in his name. Do you think he is the same man? Yes, he looks the same, but he is no longer the same man.

Leo Tolstoy has a beautiful story. A poor shoemaker becomes interested in becoming rich - who does not? How long is he going to just go on making shoes for others? Just by making shoes he is not going to become rich, that much is certain; he has to find some quick way. So he starts purchasing a lottery ticket.every month he saves enough money to purchase at least one ticket.

This went on for almost twenty years. He even forgot why he went on purchasing them; it became a habit, an obsession. But one day what happened was, a big limousine came to the poor man’s shop, and a man greeted him with suitcases full of notes. The man said, “You have won the lottery.”

The shoemaker could not believe it. He said, “What are you saying? I have won the lottery? I have been purchasing tickets for twenty years, and it has never happened. Are you sure?”

The man said, “l am absolutely sure. You just show me your ticket number. Yes, you have won the lottery!”

What happened to the poor man? He immediately locked the shop and threw the keys into the well - because now what was the use of those keys and that shop? - and he took the suitcases full of notes to his house.

In one year’s time, he wasted all the money: prostitutes, alcohol, gambling - whatever was possible, whatever money could do - he did everything. But after one year, when he opened the suitcase, all the notes were gone.

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