Threat of Communism: The Road Ahead


Hello! I was reading the Road Ahead, where it stated that a war in coming times will bring communism to much of the "free" world. What does that mean? It includes India too, does that mean India too will be taken by communism? Does this mean communism will spread to all lands, until it is defeated by America? Not much has been mentioned about India during the hard times, what can this country expect to see? Joy!

—Truthseeker, India


Dear Truthseeker,

At this point in history, I think it would be more practical and helpful to examine the term “communism” more closely. Towards the end of the chapter entitled “Communism” in the book, “The Road Ahead,” you can see that he asks several questions but they remain unanswered so far as stating what Yogananda actually thought or said. But Swami Kriyananda, the author, suggests we think more deeply. So, before I respond off-the-cuff, let us take what might seem to be detour.

Let us suppose that the essence of whatever appeal “communism” has is based on the (un)fulfilled goal of equality. Some might say the ultimate “leftist” or “socialist” philosophy. Note that in that chapter (mentioned above), Swami Kriyananda states that Yogananda’s opinion of the “many reforms of the thirties….was not high.” President Roosevelt’s New Deal ushered into American society reforms that have continued to this day and which are accepted by virtually all Americans (and Europeans) as basic to our economy and society. Yet, Swami Kriyananda seems to cast some suspicion upon them. As communism failed badly to deliver its promise and, instead, imposed totalitarianism upon millions upon millions, the question we are being asked is whether government reforms and policies that are intended to substitute government largesse for individual self-effort are, in fact, a ploy by some people to seize power in the “name of the good of the people.”

Therefore, if you remove the word “communism” and perhaps replace it by, well, let us say “socialism,” you have at least a hint at the concern Swami Kriyananda was expressing based on Yogananda’s statements. Promises of government benefits by politicians seeking votes are now legendary. Their failures to deliver anything more than government interference in our lives are becoming frighteningly real — with our electronic networks of currency, social media, email, internet and the like. George Orwell’s book, 1984, is very much a possibility, and the current state of American politics hints at it. I just saw an article about European states that are leaning (again) towards “strong man controls” and the weakening of democratic institutions. This is happening in America by some accounts.

So the danger is real, and the need for personal initiative and cooperation with people of high ideals is tantamount. The age of Dwapara Yuga favors individual initiative. Ananda represents Yogananda’s ideal of cooperative spiritual communities comprised of individuals who voluntarily adopt a lifestyle of simplicity, moderation, and cooperation. This is the true solution. Government reforms necessarily come at the expense of individual liberty. Obviously it is not all “black and white,” but the danger, when viewed as a trend in society and politics, is clear; so also is the testimony of history. Security or freedom. Which will it be?

So view The Road Ahead and its concern about the rise of communism as a concern for the rise of deceptive politics promising safety and security but destroying freedom and individual initiative — with no meaningful delivery on its promises.

Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA