First visit – 17 Aug 1991
On August 17th, 1991 Amma made her first visit to Russia. Amma’s first program took place in Moscow, with about seventy-five people coming to receive her blessing. Since the program was never officially publicized, people learned about it only through word of mouth from underground spiritual organizations. A small bookshop was set up in the main hall for the sale of Amma’s biography, translated into Russian, and some other religious objects. When Amma began giving darshan and realized how poor these people were, she gave away everything for free.
Moscow was in a great depression, food was scarce or not at all. Shops were empty. The only thing on sale were walnuts and watermelons. Everywhere walnuts and watermelons. Whenever something else went on sale one could see a huge line going around the block.
The next morning on August 19 the second program was attended by some three hundred people. They cried and were visibly frightened. They told Amma that the government was very unstable, and they did not know what would happen next. While Amma was listening to their concerns, the tanks began moving through the streets to the Red Square and all the roads were barricaded.
During the darshan, word came that President Gorbachev was placed under house arrest. Due to the volatile situation on the ground, Amma’s programs were cancelled the following day. Those travelling with Amma watched the news on TV to follow what was going on outside in the streets.
Then the next day when Amma was scheduled to leave the country no one knew what to expect as to whether it was safe or not. Even on the way to the airport it was still not known if the group would be able to fly away. Tanks were everywhere.
Freedom means responsibility, a responsibility to themselves, to others and to God. -Amma
2nd visit to Moscow in July 1992
In July 1992, Amma came to Russia for the second time. In her, Satsang Amma said, “I’m not just an Indian woman who came to Russia in an attempt to convince you to accept other beliefs. I arrived at a difficult moment in Russian history, to give people hope for the future. In the past, Russia needed kings, their strength and rigid structure. This country is ruled by men, and now it’s time for a female influence.”
Amma said to the people who came to her a public program that Gorbachev’s reforms have opened the gates to freedom. Amma told the Russian people: “Nevertheless, freedom means responsibility, a responsibility to themselves, to others and to God. We need to understand that life is directed by God, not just us. Responsibility and love go hand in hand. Without Love life is impossible. “
Amma inspired the people to take a more cheerful and positive attitude and be more kind. “Without spiritual growth, you cannot enjoy material well-being and abundance. When the seed is planted, it takes time to grow. We should be careful and patient.” Amma reminded them.