In a talk Swami Kriyananda expressed the view that the communist system in Russia was repressive, that it enshrined matter as the sole reality and actively opposed spirituality. This letter responds to a devotee’s objections to Kriyananda’s viewpoint.
Please bear in mind that these teachings of the masters are practical on all levels of human existence. What I said was based on things Paramhansa Yogananda spoke about. He often said that spiritual truths must be made to apply on all three levels—physical, mental, and spiritual—and he was concerned, therefore, with mundane issues as well as with vedantic truths.
I tried to say to you when you visited here a few months ago that the real issues are not between communism and capitalism, but between rigid and total materialism and the higher view, increasingly being justified by modern science, that behind matter itself lies a spiritual reality.
If money were truly the God of this nation, as you suggest, it might well behoove us, as spiritual aspirants, to leave America and reside elsewhere. But while one encounters a mixture of values everywhere, I have, at the same time, found much more spiritual hunger in America than in any other country, with the possible exception of India.
I might add, also, that your battle is not with me. It is with old ideas in your own mind. Long ago you bought the idea that the communist system offered freedom and equality for all, and that aberrations of the system were the fault of individuals. I can’t believe that you thought I was condemning the Russian people. Obviously, there are good and bad people everywhere. It would be naïve, however, to claim that there cannot be repressive systems. Repression is the evil.
I believe, and Paramhansa Yogananda often said, that the system in Russia is evil, because repressive. If you disagree, never mind. We are of one mind on the much more important issue, which is that spirituality, not matter worship, is the ultimate solution to human problems.
In divine friendship