(Sri Chinmoy presents Mr.Masur with a “Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart” medallion. T. presents a cake with Mr. Masur's picture etched in icing.)
Sri Chinmoy: She is the leader of this singing group.
Mr. Masur: (looking at his portrait): Should we eat him?
Singer: You can actually take the top off; it’s permanent, but underneath it is edible. This was made by one of Sri Chinmoy’s students in San Francisco.
Mr. Masur: San Francisco is one of the cities I like. I’m not ashamed of my sentimentality. I wanted to tell you what really makes me so happy. Normally I find in the United States that if people are sensitive, they begin to be sentimental, but I can see you have no sentimentality at all. I feel if you really believe in God, He must not be above you. He must be inside you, a part of you. When we are sensitive to God’s Presence, it makes us stronger. This is what I feel, and it makes me really very, very glad.
Sri Chinmoy: This is what we believe also. God is within us; He is not above us. He is our Eternity’s Partner; He is our life-long Friend; He is our eternal Companion. Wherever we are, He is with us, in us and for us.
(K presents a gift of a string tie to Mr. Masur.)
Sri Chinmoy: He is our conductor.
Mr. Masur: How can I take all these gifts? Shall I open it? (Opening gift) How did you know what kind of tie I wear? That’s a wonderful gift. Wearing this type of tie is my kind of revolution. If I am asked to come with a black tie, I never have it. Sometimes people do not want to let me in because they think I am an American from Texas, which is not true. I think this string tie was first worn by American Indians, and also by the English. My wife and I bought my first string tie together. The one I have is Indian-Japanese with an elephant on it. We bought it together in Japan at the beginning of our marriage.
We went to Japan because her parents live there. We could have the marriage only with the permission of my wife’s father, and I was unable meet him beforehand. Japanese fathers are very keen to meet the person who is marrying their daughter. It was an outstanding situation. When we were coming to Japan, her grandmother had given her father some of my recordings, saying, “Now you can listen to Mr. Masur. You might know who he is.” This grandmother gave me a nickname which sounds so wonderful. I think it’s out of the children’s language of the Japanese. It is Zoh-san — elephant. For Japanese people I am very big. It’s a wonderful symbol, and they convinced me to use that word.
These gifts are very thoughtful of you.
Sri Chinmoy: With your kind permission we shall leave now. I would like to say ‘thank you’ in our way, in our singing way. Instead of just saying it with words, in a soulful way we wish to thank you for your unimaginable kindness. You have been with us for such a long time. Now we wish to thank you from the very depths of our hearts.
(Singers perform the “Thank You” song.)
Mr. Masur: Before you leave, I would like to have an explanation about what this medallion means.
Sri Chinmoy: The medallion says, “Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart.” You and I and all of us are lifting up the world, the consciousness of the world, with our oneness-hearts of love, joy and peace.
Mr. Masur: And you have taken me into your circle. Thank you very much. I am very touched and very honoured.
Thank you, Sri Chinmoy, and I thank all of you. You are very touching people. I think you have found your happiness, and that’s a most important point: in spite of things happening to you, in the world, in your life, you have found yourself. I understand that Sri Chinmoy helped you to come to this point of happiness, which is the highest degree of Buddhist meaning. I would like to help you, too. Please stay in touch with us. I am sure we will need you sometimes also because we are not always able to overcome everything which confronts us in our life. We need to remember that life is happiness and it should include the happiness of everybody. We all suffer from those people who cannot be happy. But happiness doesn’t depend on the outer gifts, of course, or on the luxurious life or anything like that.
Thank you very much, and we will see you tonight.
(Mr. Masur accompanies Sri Chinmoy down the elevator to the backstage door, where he shakes each singer’s hand as the group leaves.)