Equality is valuable, but it is not more valuable than freedom. Freedom cannot be sacrificed for it. Freedom cannot be sacrificed for anything else. It is the most precious treasure of your being. There are all signs that the Soviet Union is going to fulfill the great hope, the great dream. Millions of people have been hoping for it, dreaming for it – it has been the utopia for centuries. Gorbachev is in a position to make it a reality. A tremendously great responsibility has fallen on his shoulders. And as I can see, he seems to be strong enough, intelligent enough to fulfill the expectations.
Only one thing I would like my Russian sannyasins to convey to Gorbachev from me: if the dimension of meditation also opens for him, he cannot allow the opportunity to be distorted.
Joseph Stalin destroyed the whole revolution for a single reason, and the reason was materialism. He believed that man is nothing but matter. According to Karl Marx, consciousness is only a by-product of matter, and as you die matter disperses; nothing is left as consciousness – there is no soul. Because of this wrong idea he could manage to kill at least one million Russians in the name of revolution without any trouble; otherwise even to kill one man would destroy your whole life’s sleep. It would haunt you – you would never be able to forgive yourself. But to kill one million people without any concern was possible under the umbrella of materialism.
I would like Gorbachev not only to introduce freedom to the Soviet Union and its people, but also some spiritual dimension so that it is clear that they are not just matter. Matter cannot have any dignity – matter can be used, but cannot be respected. Matter can be destroyed, but you need not feel that you have committed a crime, or a sin.
Unless the Soviet Union and its people not only desire freedom, but also desire a search for the soul…because what will you do with freedom? Freedom for what? There are two kinds of freedom: freedom from and freedom for. Freedom from is not much of a freedom. The real freedom is the second freedom – freedom for spiritual growth, freedom for inner search, freedom for knowing the secrets and the mysteries of life.
If Gorbachev can introduce the Soviet Union to Gautam Buddha, to Mahavira, to Zarathustra, to Lao Tzu…why be so confined to Karl Marx? Why be so poor? Why not make the whole sky yours? – all the stars and the whole beauty of the night, yours. Why remain confined? If he can open the doors for the spiritual search, then, certainly, he can fulfill the prophecy of Edgar Cayce that Russia is the hope for all of mankind.
And I think him a man intelligent enough to understand that materialism is as confining as Christianity, as confining as Hinduism. I am making my people available to all dimensions because the whole past is your heritage. Why remain so poor, clinging to one small tradition? Why not allow the whole sky to be yours? Why not open your wings?