In the spring of 1970, at the invitation of then Secretary-General U Thant, Sri Chinmoy began conducting twice-weekly meditations at the United Nations. These non-denominational meditations are open to all staff, delegates and representatives of Non-governmental organizations.
Question: Do you think diplomats gain anything special (from your meetings) that is particularly useful to their own work?
Sri Chinmoy: I do hope that they get peace of mind. It seems to me that all human beings have everything save and except peace of mind. The delegates are dealing with the world problems, so what they need first and foremost, as far as I can see, is peace of mind. When they come and pray with us, and become one with us, they do feel peace of mind. And then, when they go back to their respective offices, they can solve the problems that they have been facing with new light, new inspiration, new aspiration and new illumination. 1
WE BELIEVE and we hold that each man has the potentiality of reaching the Ultimate Truth. We also believe that man cannot and will not remain imperfect forever. Each man is an instrument of God. When the hour strikes, each individual soul listens to the inner dictates of God. When man listens to God, his imperfections are turned into perfections, his ignorance into knowledge, his searching mind into revealing light and his uncertain reality into all-fulfilling Divinity.
Motto of Sri Chinmoy: the Peace Meditation at the United Nations 2
Sri Chinmoy gave many talks and lectures about the ideals of the United Nations. During his weekly meetings, he also answered many questions and answers. All of these were later published in volumes such as Flame-Waves: Questions answered at the United Nations and A Garland of Nation-Souls.
To work at the United Nations is not like working at any other place. To work at the United Nations, to serve the United Nations in any capacity — whether in the highest role or in the lowest role — is a supreme honour.
The United Nations is not just a building; the United Nations is humanity’s home. The lofty vision of the United Nations is that we all belong to a peace-loving oneness-world-family. This vision will eventually transform the face and fate of the world.
Sri Chinmoy 3
For 50 years Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations has sponsored an ongoing series of lectures, concerts, art exhibits and other programmes in support of the United Nations goals and vision, and these meditations and activities continue to this day.
Sri Chinmoy also played an active role in the interfaith activities at the United Nations, such as the World Day of Prayer, Interfaith Prayer breakfasts, Seven Minutes of Silence, World Gratitude Days and International Thanksgiving Days.
In matters of world peace, for me the United Nations is still by far the best divine instrument — no matter how many unaspiring workers are there and no matter how many unwise things are being done every day by those who are in the United Nations, with the United Nations and for the United Nations — right from the highest to the lowest. If the United Nations fails completely, then I do not think any world organisation or institution will ever succeed. The dream of the United Nations, the vision of the United Nations, the reality of the United Nations came from the Highest, the Absolute Highest. For the establishment of world peace, UN the temple, UN the shrine, UN the heart and UN the soul are unparalleled. The United Nations is not a mere building; the United Nations is a reservoir of divine Light for the manifestation of world peace. 4
"There are a number of things that the United Nations can teach us how to share, but I would like to mention four principal things: the message of trust, the message of concern, the message of unity in diversity and, finally, the message of universal peace. Each nation is unique in its own way." 5
"The United Nations is a symbol of man's inner cry, inner oneness. Outwardly, the members of the U.N. do commit mistakes. Again, if we make mistakes that does not mean that we shall never arrive at the truth. No, mistakes are merely rungs in the ladder of our inner progress. If we have an inner urge to do the right thing, to grow into the right thing, to fulfil the divine within us, then there comes a time when we do become perfect instruments of God. So we cannot judge the U.N. on its present appearance. We cannot judge the U.N. by what it has already offered us. Only we can judge the U.N. on its soulful promise, its promise that it will one day flood the world with boundless peace." 6
Sri Chinmoy, United Nations Meditation-Flowers and to-morrow's noon, Agni Press, 1978↩︎
Sri Chinmoy, My meditation-service at the United Nations for twenty-five years, Agni Press, 1995↩︎