7. Pilgrim Of Peace Award Presentation

On 23 February 1998, Sri Chinmoy was advised by Mr. Gianfranco Costa, President of the International Centre for Peace Among People (Assisi, Italy) that he had been selected as the 1998 recipient of the international Pilgrim of Peace Award for the “international significance of your activities for a culture of peace.”

The first recipient of this prestigious Award was President Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (1988). Other recipients include United Nations Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, His Holiness Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa.

At Sri Chinmoy’s request, the Award ceremony was held in Rome on 16 May 1998, two days prior to Pope John Paul II’s 78th birthday, as a special birthday offering to the Pope.

The ceremony was held at the Galleria Palazzo Colonna and was attended by many distinguished international ambassadors and Italian representatives.

Galleria Palazzo Colonna

Rome, Italy

16 May 1998

MR. GIANFRANCO COSTA, President, International Centre for Peace Among People, Assisi (translated from Italian and abridged): Kindest ladies and gentlemen, good evening. I am offering to you all the greetings of the International Centre for Peace Among People. Thank you for being present at this magical event, which is so important because we are giving the Award to a citizen who is a world authority on peace.

Salutations to all the VIPs who are present here tonight. Soon you will be inundated with inspiration and delight from the concert Sri Chinmoy is going to perform.

Our Centre has asked the United Nations to declare the Third Millennium as the “Millennium of Peace.” The first person to be awarded with the Pilgrim of Peace Award, President Mikhail Gorbachev, has definitely changed forever the course of world history.

We hope and pray that through the innumerable actions that Sri Chinmoy is undertaking for peace, the Millennium of Peace will take birth.

We really feel that the United Nations is our common home, the home of all the people of the New Millennium.

I would like to embrace you all. I am sure that tonight we shall leave this room changed and more determined to bring about peace. We shall make miracles and, above all, Sri Chinmoy — who is such an important and great authority on peace — will help us.

When we go to the United Nations again in the future, we know that we shall have a new and extraordinary friend. Things will happen that could never happen without him.

What years ago was a utopia, and now is a dream, from this evening will become a reality.

With immense and deep love and gratitude, we offer the little pilgrim into the hands of this great man who has done so much, is doing so much and will do so much, this man who today is here with part of his large family: Sri Chinmoy.

Mr. Costa presents Sri Chinmoy with the Award.

SRI CHINMOY: My heart’s oneness-peace-dreamer-Brother Costa, I would like to offer a prayerful song to you, to your soul, to your heart and to your life. My heart’s infinite love I am offering to you. My life’s deepest admiration I am offering to you, for you are sleeplessly and breathlessly offering the message of world peace to the four corners of the globe. I am sure your life will shine in the galaxy of the immortals who dreamt of peace and who are still dreaming of peace here on earth. You and I are together sailing in the same boat, the boat of peace. Our Boatman is the Boatman of peace, and our destination, the Golden Shore, is the Golden Shore of peace.

Now my students will sing a special song, a song of peace, which I am offering to you lovingly, prayerfully and proudly.

Sri Chinmoy’s students perform the song, “I Am a Peace-Collecting Pilgrim-Soul,” composed by Sri Chinmoy specially for the occasion.

SRI CHINMOY: I wish to offer gratitude from the inmost recesses of my heart to our highly esteemed President-Friend Gianfranco Costa and to the entire International Centre for Peace Among People for this signal Pilgrim of Peace Award. My joy knows no bounds for being placed in the galaxy of immortals — the present Holy Father, Mother Teresa, President Gorbachev and other most notable world figures. We, the pilgrims of peace, sleeplessly must walk along Eternity’s Peace-Road proclaiming the Victory of our Absolute Lord Supreme.

Professor Costa, you are at once a dreamer and a lover of world peace. You and the Board of Directors are self-givingly trying to put an end to humanity’s age-old hunger and poverty. The New Millennium is fast approaching us with its supernal beauty and fragrance to shower its choicest blessings upon your aspiration-hearts and dedication-lives.

I would also like to offer my heart’s deepest gratitude to Mr. Renato Elisei of your Himalayan-high organisation, for his untiring service in organising our Sri Chinmoy Peace Run from Assisi to Spoleto.

Finally, I am offering my soulful gratitude to all the members of the international community, including divinely esteemed Ambassadors and eminent guests, for their blessingful presence here this evening.

Sri Chinmoy reads out the following poems which he has written over the years on the theme of the pilgrim:

I am a peace-collecting pilgrim-soul.

To love the heart of the unknown, my only goal.

Newness-heart-life beckons my dreaming breath.

I see nowhere darkness and bondage-death.

Today
My hope-heart-pilgrim
Shall travel a long distance
To have a glimpse
Of God’s Compassion-Eye.

The life’s simplicity,
The mind’s sincerity
And the heart’s purity
Are fellow pilgrims upon the path
That leads to God’s Kingdom.
My Lord Supreme,
Do give me a pilgrim-heart
To offer my aspiration-flames
Far and wide,
Lovingly and self-givingly.

We are the pilgrims of the Lord Supreme
On the Path of Infinity.
At this time we have broken asunder
Obstruction’s door.
We have broken asunder
The night of tenebrous darkness, inconscience
And the eternal, indomitable fear of death.
The Boat of the supernal Light’s dawn
Is beckoning us,
And the World-Pilot
Of the hallowed bond of Love divine
Is beckoning us.
The Liberator’s Hands are drawing us
To the Ocean of the great Unknown.
Having conquered the life-breath
Of the Land of Immortality,
And carrying aloft the Banner
Of the Lord Supreme,
We shall return — We, the drops and flames
Of transformation-light.
God sits by His Heart-Window
And watches and enjoys
The sincerity, beauty and purity
Of all pilgrim-seekers.

May my heart's tears
And my life's promises
Walk along
My soul's pilgrim-journey-road.

Humanity’s
Pilgrim-sunrise-days
Shall forever last.

Sri Chinmoy then offers a Peace Concert, performing on the Indian esraj, Indian flute, cello, harmonium and other instruments.

I AM A PEACE-COLLECTING PILGRIM-SOUL
I am a peace-collecting pilgrim-soul.
To love the heart of the unknown, my only goal.
Newness-heart-life beckons my dreaming breath.
I see nowhere darkness and bondage-death.

Sri Chinmoy, A Peace-Collecting Pilgrim-Soul.First published by Agni Press in 1980.

This is the 1296th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book A Peace-Collecting Pilgrim-Soul, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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