A revolution took place in Russia, and on the surface everything seemed to have changed, but inside exactly the same structure crept back in again. The labels changed, the system changed, there was a lot of commotion, killings took place on a large scale, but the original form of the society has remained the same as before. The capitalists and the poor have disappeared but now, in their place, there are the managers and the workers! The difference remains the same as it was before, the gap is the same – there is exploitation just as there was before. The proletariat are still the proletariat, and the affluent are still affluent. There is just a slight change in the mode of affluence; you no longer need a bank balance in Russia to be rich. What matters is how important a post you hold within the communist party hierarchy. That has now become the source of power.
What difference does it make whether you have paper money in your hand or the certificate of a powerful party post? It does not make any difference at all: the powerful are still powerful, the weak are still weak, and the difference between them is as great as it ever was before. Perhaps the distance has increased – because in a poor country even a poor man can become rich sometimes, but in Russia it is almost impossible for a person who is not a member of the communist party to rise in the hierarchy. For the past forty or fifty years, a small clique of about ten to fifteen people have been controlling the whole of Russia. A small group of people have captured the whole nation, the whole nation is in a state of slavery. No poor man was ever such a slave.
The basic proposition of religion is this: that the disease lies within the individual and not in the society. Only if the fundamental quality of the individual undergoes a change, can society be transformed. Society can be transformed only if a revolution takes place within the individual himself; there can be no other revolution.
What does it mean when we say the revolution of the individual? The revolution of the individual means: “Whatever I find in my life has only come from inside me.”
Look at it this way. Suppose you are hungry, you are unhappy, you are sad, your mind is full of anguish. The spring has come, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, but you don’t hear the songs of the birds or see the blooming of the flowers; your nose does not breathe in the fragrance given out by the flowers. You don’t even notice that spring has arrived – you are lost in your sadness, you are steeped in your depression. You may even find the blooming of the flowers disturbing; the song of the birds may sound like a noise. You may want everything to quieten down – what is all this noise about? The pleasant breezes of spring may sting you because the depression raging inside you colors your outlook.
It may also happen that you are full of love, you are in bliss, you are very cheerful. Then it is possible that if you see a plant which has no flowers on it but only thorns, still you may be able to experience beauty in those thorns. A thorny cactus plant can become a symbol of absolute beauty for you. If there is a feeling of love and joy inside you then even thorns can seem like flowers – because in reality it is the seer who sees, it is the listener who listens. So what the eyes see outside is of less importance; the one hidden within who sees through those eyes is more important.