Meetings with Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa and Sri Chinmoy met on five occasions and they kept up a long correspondence.
1st Meeting, October 24th, 1975
On October 24th, 1975, Sri Chinmoy met Mother Teresa for the first time at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It was the first international interfaith conference at the United Nations. Sri Chinmoy offered the opening silent prayer for world peace, and Mother Teresa spoke on God's Love. Mother Teresa asked members of all faiths to serve the poor and suffering as members of one family under one loving God.
2nd Meeting, October 1st, 1994
Mother Teresa received Sri Chinmoy at her Missionaries of Charity House, adjoining the Church of San Gregorio in Rome, Italy. Mother Teresa and Sri Chinmoy spoke privately inside first. Sri Chinmoy presented Mother Teresa with the prestigious U Thant Peace Award on behalf of the Peace Meditation at the United Nations.
At this meeting, Mother Teresa also enthusiastically held the Peace Torch from the international Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run. She gave a most beautiful talk on serving God in the poor and offered her favourite prayer to Sri Chinmoy and each of the singers from the Sri Chinmoy Centres. During this meeting, Mother Teresa said to Sri Chinmoy:
"I am so pleased with all the good work you are doing for world peace and for people in so many countries. May we continue to work together and to share together all for the glory of God and for the good of man."
– Mother Teresa to Sri Chinmoy; Rome, October 1st, 1994
On presenting the U Thant award to Mother Teresa, Sri Chinmoy spoke of why he admired Mother Teresa's service to the world:
"You are the Mother of Compassion. You are the Sister of Affection. You have conquered the hearts of all the poor and needy people you have served. You have not only conquered them, but you have conquered India, and indeed the entire world. The entire world has boundless gratitude to you. You have elevated the consciousness of the entire world."
– Sri Chinmoy to Mother Teresa; Rome, October 1st, 1994
3rd Meeting, June 4th, 1996
On June 4th, 1996, Sri Chinmoy met Mother Teresa for the third time at her Missionaries of Charity House in the Bronx, New York. Mother blessed Sri Chinmoy and Sri Chinmoy's singers sang songs composed by their teacher to the words of the Saviour Christ and also to Mother Teresa's own prayers. Mother Teresa expressed her delight at the soulful offerings.
4th Meeting, June 3rd, 1997
Their fourth meeting was held on June 3rd, 1997 at Mother Teresa's invitation, once again at her Missionaries of Charity House in the Bronx, New York. Mother blessed Sri Chinmoy and fervently requested him to pray for her and also to come with her one day to China to serve the poor and needy. Sri Chinmoy presented Mother with a very special award created just for her and entitled:
"Mother Teresa: Humanity's Flower-Heart; Divinity's Fragrance-Soul."
5th and final meeting, June 3rd, 1997
Sri Chinmoy and Mother Teresa met for their fifth and final time on June 17th, 1997 at Mother's Missionaries of Charity House in the Bronx, New York. This was to be Mother's last visit to America.
In honour of Mother Teresa's upcoming birthday on August 27th, Sri Chinmoy presented Mother with a special book written in her honour – entitled Mother Teresa: Humanity's Flower Heart; Divinity's Fragrance-Soul.
"Thank you for all you are to God, for the beautiful work you have done for the glory of God and the good of souls. I keep you in my prayer and I count on your continual support through your prayers and sacrifices that we may do God's work with great love for His greater glory."
From Mother Teresa's final letter to Sri Chinmoy, New York, June 27th, 1997.
Just a few days before Mother's earthly departure, Sri Chinmoy called Mother Teresa for her birthday on August 27th, 1997. This was her 87th birthday (and also Sri Chinmoy's 66th birthday). A brief extract from their final telephone conversation:
Sri Chinmoy: Mother, who does not know that it is your birthday! When the sun shines, the whole world knows that the sun is shining! I am praying to the Saviour Christ to grant you His very, very special Blessings on your birthday. You came into the world to do something really great, and you have been doing that through your sleepless service to humanity. …
Mother Teresa: All that you are doing is for the Glory of God and the good of people! Pray for me, as I pray for you for all of your many projects for world peace. Your works of love are works of prayer, and your works of prayer are works of God.
Mother Teresa's Passing
On the evening of September 5th, 1997, in Warsaw, Poland, Sri Chinmoy received the news of Mother Teresa's passing. Immediately he held a long period of silent meditation with nearly 2000 of his students. In the following weeks, Sri Chinmoy offered his special prayers and held several memorial programmes for Mother Teresa. His students sang his loving eulogy, Mother Teresa: Calcutta's Soaring Bird, at churches all over the world.
Sri Chinmoy sent a telegram of condolence on the night of Mother's passing:
Missionaries of Charity, my dearest Sister Nirmala, my eyes, my heart and my life are all swimming in the sea of tears. The mother gave each and every breath of her life to the poor and the helpless sufferers. Let us all offer our ever-blossoming gratitude-hearts to her. She claimed us as her own, very own. Now it is for us to claim her as our own, very own, by living and serving humanity sleeplessly and breathlessly... yours in the mother, Sri Chinmoy.
A small selection from Sri Chinmoy's poems dedicated to Mother Teresa
A single whisper from you
Thousands of non-believers
My sisters and brothers of the world,
Are we so blind that we cannot see
God’s own Autograph
On Mother Teresa’s forehead?
Mother Teresa does many, many things
For the betterment of the world,
But when she washes away
The untold sufferings
Of the loved ones
With her heart’s streaming tears –
That is by far the best.
- Sri Chinmoy