Tributes given on Sri Chinmoy's passing
A selection of tributes to Sri Chinmoy, given shortly after Sri Chinmoy's mahasamadhi, October 11th, 2007.
“With deep regret I have learned that my long-term close friend, the friend of my family and of our Foundation, Sri Chinmoy, passed away yesterday…This is a loss for the whole world. Through many years of his selfless work for the sake of peace, Sri Chinmoy has gained recognition and love in the farthest corners of our planet…In our hearts he will forever remain a man who dedicated his whole life to peace… We shall remember Sri Chinmoy forever!”
- President Mikhail Gorbachev
“It is with great sadness that I learnt of the passing of my dear friend, Sri Chinmoy. Today, the world is a lesser place as I recall his lifetime of service to humanity in the great cause of world peace. I will remember always the time we spent together and treasure his support and encouragement over the years.”
- President Nelson Mandela
“Hillary and I were saddened to learn of Sri Chinmoy’s death, and we extend our heartfelt sympathy to the many people who loved him…Throughout his many years, he enriched the lives of countless others and served as a model of generosity and discipline to those he met, fostering an atmosphere of compassion, harmony, and unity. Sri Chinmoy was a leader, humanitarian, artist, athlete, and public servant who will be sorely missed. His legacy of kindness, reflection, and resolve will endure for many years to come.”
- President Bill Clinton
“Sri Chinmoy was a once in a lifetime spiritual leader who touched the lives of millions of people through his teachings, art, athletics, and music. He was a student of peace and he embodied peace. Sri Chinmoy was a great man and his life's work significantly helped to build world harmony and will continue to do so.”
- Al. Gore
“Sri Chinmoy was a great man. God is smiling to know the immense good he has accomplished and encouraged in others. In a world of suspicion, hostility and conflict, he worked tirelessly to bring the different faiths together and inspired many to emulate.”
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu
“Sri Chinmoy reached out to so many in the UN. In the UN we felt the force of his love for us. However difficult the moment, he never lost faith in the UN and those who worked in it. He brought courage and support to so many individuals in our organisation but also his voice and prayer to those who led it. A man of the spiritual life, he understood the need for the UN in the material world if the two were ever to find justice and harmony.”
- The Rt. Hon. Lord Malloch Brown. former UN Deputy Secretary-General
“I am sure I represent the Secretary-General when I express my profound respect and gratitude to Sri Chinmoy for his contribution to the building up of inner peace in the United Nations as in the world at large.”
- Mr. Vijay Nambiar. UN Chef de Cabinet and Under-Secretary-General
“It is with profound sadness that I learned that the great humanitarian, meditation teacher and advocate of the boundless potential of the human spirit, Sri Chinmoy, is no longer with us. Sri Chinmoy loved and supported the ideals of the United Nations over his long career, and his life’s dedication to working for peace and the betterment of humanity was unmatched. We shall always remember, follow and treasure the value in his words:
“The outer message of the United Nations is peace.
The inner message of the United Nations is love.
The inmost message of the United Nations is oneness.”
- H.E. Dr. Srgjan Kerim. President of the United Nations General Assembly for the current 62nd Session
“It is a great loss. Sri Chinmoy was a man of compassion and tolerance, representing the very best in humanity.”
- H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson. President of the 60th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Darfur
“The Lord of Life and of Death receives his most blessed son who during his life sleeplessly worked for the peace and harmony between peoples of religion.”
- Bishop Carlos Belo. East Timor. Nobel Peace Laureate, 1996
"It is with sadness that I read of the death of our dear friend, Sri Chinmoy. I had the joy of meeting with Sri Chinmoy and was moved by the love and kindness shown, not only to myself, but to everyone with whom he came in contact. He was a truly compassionate, loving and serving human being. He will be missed by everyone. I join you all in spirit at his memorial service and give thanks to God for his great life of love and service. Deo Gracias."
- Mairead Maguire. Nobel Peace Laureate, 1977
“Known as the Ambassador of World Peace, he shared his inner wealth with sincere seekers throughout the world. I join his students in bidding Sri Chinmoy a fond aloha.”
- Senator Daniel Akaka. United States Senator from Hawaii
“Each and every one of us has been privileged, because we have been touched by a great master-teacher, a great inspirer, who has given us a message, a message to live by...Death in itself is confusing. It is even more confusing when somebody who has exhibited such unbelievable dynamism, such strength, such humility, such power...somehow seems gone from our lives. But that is not the truth. It may be the reality, but it is not the truth. Because what is a visionary, but for his vision? The visionary may be gone, but the vision is here.”
- Congressman Gary Ackerman. United States Member of Congress Read the entire text of Congressman Ackerman's speech.
“Sri Chinmoy was an exceptional spiritual leader, an exemplary man whose universal message of love and peace was an inspiration to all people, whatever their faiths and beliefs. Along with my colleagues in the House of Commons in Canada, I mourn his passing and am grateful for his time among us.”
- Hon. Peter Milliken, M.P. Speaker, House of Commons of Canada
“It is with the greatest sorrow that I received the news that Sri Chinmoy, a man whose life was dedicated to making the world a better place for each of us, has passed away. His death is a profound loss to the world and to all who loved this great humanitarian.
“Even in the midst of our sadness, we can find joy in the message of Sri Chinmoy and his good works around the world. From world leaders to the poorest of the poor, he spread the message of peace and love through his art, his athleticism and his spirit. His teachings will live on in perpetuity. We can pay him tribute, and remember him best by living each day embracing our differences and working together to create the world Sri Chinmoy envisioned, a world in which all nations live together in peace and harmony.”
- Hon. Senator Mac Harb. Member of the Senate of Canada
“You will forever remain inside our hearts. May your light continue to spread throughout the length and breadth of the entire world.”
- Hon. Svenn Kristiansen. Mayor of Oslo, Norway
Tributes from Nobel Prize winners
“Greatly saddened by the news of Sri Chinmoy's death. I should be grateful if you would convey my most sincere condolences to all devoted friends and followers who will gather from all corners of the world to do homage to the memory of a truly great man.”
- Professor Nils Göran David Malmqvist. Member of the Swedish Academy, Nobel Literature Prize Literary Historian, Sinologist and Translator
“The news of Sri Chinmoy’s death came to me as a shock, and I am greatly saddened. His life was devoted to humanity and salvation, and he was revered by tens of thousands for his important contribution to world peace. It is with profound grief that I mourn his passing.”
- Gao Xingjian. Nobel Literature Laureate 2000, Renowned Artist. 13 October 2007, Paris
“Sri Chinmoy has been an inspiration and blessing with his resounding message of love, peace, and humanity for the world. Having recently been touched by the magic of his teaching and his personal aura, I join with all of you in mourning his sudden departure. And, yet, he has left an indelible trace in the lives of all who have known him.”
- Dr. Mabel Lee Scholar in modern Chinese history and literature University of Sydney, Australia
“We as a family are saddened by the death of Sri Chinmoy. With his passing, the world is poorer. But his spirit of peace, beauty, and creativity lives on. Angela and the girls and I will never forget our time with him and with all of you. We are forever grateful, and feel blessed to have known him. We pray that the peace and fulfillment he nurtured and spread among so many people across the world will continue to grow and flourish. Our hearts are with you.”
- Professor James G. Basker. Richard Gilder Professor of Literary History, Barnard College, Columbia University
President, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
“Sri Chinmoy has left a big legacy behind–and I am confident that his massive oeuvre and his philosophy will continue to live thanks to the large number of devotees world-wide. ...and his memory will be treasured until the end of my life.”
- Professor Dr. Franz Wöhrer. English Department, University of Vienna
“Few are those as a result of whose lives the world is a better place for their having been in it. Sri Chinmoy was undoubtedly one of these. He will be greatly missed by all those who value compassion, love, and mindfulness.”
- Professor Philip Almond. Fellow of the Academy of the Humanities
Head of School, Department of Studies in Religion, School of History, Philosophy, Classics. University of Queensland, Australia
“It is very peculiar the way we believe that people like Sri Chinmoy will live forever. This is probably what we would like ourselves to believe. Our world feels so much safer and more peaceful with people like Sri Chinmoy around us.
However, without a doubt, I truly believe that Sri Chinmoy has completed his share of humanism and it is now our turn to hold the torch of harmony to follow the footsteps of what he has created.”
- Professor Dr. Ali Riza Buyukuslu. Rector, European University of Lefke, North Cyprus
“I thank Providence for meeting Sri Chinmoy, this extraordinary personality. His manifold activities and his incredible feats of strength he achieved by virtue of his mental power are guided by the goal of promoting the peaceful coexistence of humankind. Sri Chinmoy’s demise leaves us with the responsibility to continue his commendable work.”
- Kommerzialrat Prof. Alfred Gerstl. Ret. President of the Austrian Federal Council
Tributes from spiritual figures
“Beloved ones of God, lovers of Mahaguru Hazrat Sri Chinmoy, I can hardly speak for the power of my feeling at this moment: to be with you here marking the transition of this great saint, this great man of God, who has touched all of our lives so deeply, and to feel how his spirit has, moving beyond the physical body, saturated the atmosphere, surrounding and pervading us with love, guidance, tremendous compassion.”
- Pir Zia Inayat-Khan. President of the Sufi Order International Read the entire text of Pir Zia's speech
"Though Sri Chinmoy has left this earth physically, he is in peace with God, and is spiritually present among us through his prayer, his message of peace and the example of the life he has lived in the service of humanity promoting peace…We commend Sri Chinmoy and all of you to the prayer of our Mother – Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, who knew Sri Chinmoy very well and appreciated his works of peace, for she knew ‘Works of love are works of peace.'"
- Sister M. Nirmala. Superior General, Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity. See also: Kind Words - Mother Teresa
“His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the Art of Living family are with you in this moment of grief. Sri Chinmoy's philosophy of peace and his work of bringing people from all faiths together will continue to inspire the world.”
- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The Art of Living Foundation
“Our heartfelt prayers and condolences are extended to all the students of Sri Sri Chinmoy at this time of his passing. His was a truly divine life dedicated to humanity. Tonight "Yoga in Daily Life" members dedicated one minute's silent prayer in his memory.”
- His Holiness Vishwaguru Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda. Founder of Yoga in Daily Life
“Sri Chinmoy embodied the spirit of peace which the world so badly needs. He did this through his poetry, his paintings, his teaching, but above all through his life and spiritual presence. Through the World Harmony Run he helped people make friends across the differences of religion, race, language, colour and culture. He enabled many of us to see these differences not as barriers but as enriching for us all. His dedicated service to the Oneness of humanity should be lifted up and remembered as an example to us all."
- Reverend Dr Marcus Braybrooke. President of the World Congress of Faiths
“With regard to the passing away of Sri Chinmoy who had rendered great services towards bringing peace among divergent peoples, the Sir Lankan community expresses its deepest condolences wishing him the joy of Nibbana.”
- Ven. Kurunegoda Piyatissa Nayaka Maha Thero. Leader of the New York Buddhist Viharas
“Sri Chinmoy was a unique inspiration, living proof of the Divine possibilities within mankind. He was one of the few who spoke of God-Realisation from his own experience in much the same profound manner as our Gurudeva. How he exuded love. How he showed the way of goodness and gentleness. How he lived so we might all live more perfectly, serve more selflessly. Our several encounters with him both in Kauai and New York were precious moments of joy.”
- Paramacharya Palaniswami. Editor-in-chief of Hinduism Today magazine
Tributes from Sportsmen
“Sri Chinmoy always inspired me. He used to call me his outer coach in running but say he was my inner coach. I may have lost my student, but, though he has passed on physically, I know I have not lost my coach spiritually...His life was all about challenging yourself and being the best you can be. He told his disciples to go out and meet a challenge you don’t think you can do. He’s the reason I plan on running the New York marathon when I’m 50."
- Carl Sudhahota Lewis. Nine time Olympic gold medal winner.
“We are grateful to the Supreme that in the course of life we met this man. Sri Chinmoy taught us to take correct decisions by listening to our hearts; he made us more spiritual. He is and will always be for us an inspirer, a wise Teacher, a worthy example. The intellectual and spiritual heritance that Sri Chinmoy has left us gives us an opportunity to continue perfecting ourselves endlessly.”
- Sarbottama Tatyana Lebedeva. Olympic and world champion athlete
"We are addressing everyone who knew, learned about and will learn about this Great man of Kindness, Sri Chinmoy. On Earth one more of her sons is no more, the one who embodied Kindness and Peace for humanity. We immensely grieve over this great loss, and the grief that our hearts experience cannot be expressed in words. As wise men have said, nothing and nobody is eternal under the Moon, but how would we wish that people like respected Sri Chinmoy would live and give us joy as long as possible..."
- Nikolay Valuyev. Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion
“It was very sad to hear that Sri Chinmoy has passed away. Because Sri Chinmoy was man of peace and man of harmony among all the people of this world. We have really lost a great man. My condolences to all of you.
But remember, we all have to carry on Sri Chinmoy’s work for the betterment of the world.”
- Tegla Loroupe. Two-time Marathon world record-holder. United Nations Ambassador for Sport and Peace
Tributes from Musicians
“It is such a shock and I cannot believe that brother Chinmoy is gone and that we would not see or hear him anymore. He had so much love for everyone. I am going to miss him always. I wish his soul to find ultimate peace in Heaven”
- Ravi Shankar. Legendary Sitar Virtuoso
“Guru was speaking the language of light to our uncertain hearts; like a bird from God’s own garden, following the law of the Sun in the world of twilight.”
- Purushottama Boris Grebenshikov and Bhuvaneshwari Grebenshikov Legendary Russian Singer, Musician and Songwriter
“Guru Sri Chinmoy was the God man of All God men...He lived and breathed for the Supreme every time All the Time....He will be missed, His energy phenomenal. His promise of love, devotion and Surrender the best...We wish all God Lover's to pause and reflect on the Heart love of the Good and Great Man Guru Sri Chinmoy...There Will Be no More Like Him...We must cherish his existence every day all day till the end of time with a smile of love and heart of cries and a life of Devotion to God...Eternally we will miss you Guru, Love Your Narada Michael Walden”
- Narada Michael Walden. Multiple Grammy Award Winner, Producer, Drummer, Singer and Songwriter
“Goodbye Guru from this earth. Thank you for being with me always and forever.”
- Mokshagun Clarence Clemons. Numero uno saxophonist and hit record artist
“I loved Sri Chinmoy. I love Sri Chinmoy. My whole life changed when I met him and I thank the whole world for that.”
- Roberta Flack. Six-time Grammy Award winner
“The passing of Sri Chinmoy represents the loss of one of the last of the great spiritual teachers who brought the tradition of Indian spirituality to the West. He had a very special connection to music. In his performances, with clarity, simplicity and directness, he was able to move his listeners in a very immediate and deeply emotional way. In his lifetime he brought tremendous joy to the people who were with him. For me, his life was a special and personal inspiration."
- Philip Glass. Renowned American Composer
“I don't have words to express my sadness. Sri’s spirit will always be with us all. I just thank the higher power to have briefly had him and you in my life. Men like Sri Chinmoy were all too rare in this world. In fact, Sri Chinmoy was truly one-of-a-kind. I was, am and will always be his biggest fan, for he understood what truly matters most in life: and that is love. His love could fill an ocean. I join the many people touched by this man and pray that his message will touch many more. Sri, we love you, and we miss you.”
- Quincy Jones. Legendary music producer and humanitarian
“Finding one’s way in life is difficult even in the best of times. The presence of inspiring human beings is the surest way of receiving help and guidance in these matters. Five years of my life were spent under the direct tutelege of Sri Chinmoy. There are but a few real and true human beings to whom I will never ever be able to repay my debt of gratitude. The principle reason for this is that they have transcended the merely human and attained the All. Sri Chinmoy is one of these human beings. My gratitude to him will remain forever endless."
- Mahavishnu John McLaughlin. Legendary guitarist and creator of the Mahavishnu Orchestra
Tributes from humanitarians
“I am deeply grieved and saddened to learn of the passing of Sri Chinmoy. He was a true teacher and symbolized the path of peace. He combined spiritual strength and human wisdom. He was an enchanting artist with a real sense of humour. I shall miss him - but his personality, so vivid, will live on. I send heartfelt condolences to all who were part of his spiritual family.”
- Jane Goodall. Renowned Primatologist, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and United Nations Messenger of Peace
“I was in Los Angeles and learned about Sri Chinmoy's passing in the paper. His loss is so great, but his influence greater. He shall be in our hearts forever.”
- Susan Sarandon. Academy award-winning actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
“ The day I met Sri Chinmoy for the first time, he became a very special friend for me and my family. Even in death, his generous friendship will continue to inspire me and mine. My friend, fare you well. ”
- Chinua Achebe. Award-winning Nigerian Writer. Father of African Literature
- New York Times - Sri Chinmoy, Athletic Spiritual Leader, Dies at 76
- New York Times - Their Leader Gone, Devotees Gather at Spiritual Home
- NY Daily News - Passing of Sri Chinmoy
- Vision Magazine - Sri Chinmoy, Beloved Spiritual Teacher passes away
- Queen's Gazette - Sri Chinmoy, Indian philosopher dead at 76
- Queen's Courier - Sri Chinmoy passes at 76
- Hindustan Times - World Leaders mourn spiritual Guru Chinmoy's death