Sri Chinmoy Day: August 27, 1977

August 27 was again proclaimed Sri Chinmoy Day in Queens by Borough President Donald R. Manes. Queens Councilman Morton Povman officiated at the ceremony in Jamaica.

Councilman Povman: It’s very hard for me to believe that a whole year has gone by since we had the lovely ceremony celebrating Sri Chinmoy’s 45th birthday last year. As I recall, we had a little light rain that day, and I made reference to the fact that the summer rain that we had on that occasion was sort of in keeping with the purpose of Sri Chinmoy and his disciples, who are a fertile source for humanity. Today, of course, we have a gorgeous day. And as everybody here knows, we are all one year older than last year, including myself. I’m one who will keep Sri Chinmoy’s birthday in mind, because we were both born in the same year.

Borough President Manes has taken notice of the outstanding work that Sri Chinmoy has done in this community. I think you are all familiar with the problems of New York City and the deterioration and decay that has taken place. It makes the officials feel good to know that at least right here in Jamaica there is a place that, instead of having problems, is getting good results. So the Borough President has asked me to represent him here this morning, to proclaim today as Sri Chinmoy Day in honour of the Master’s birthday, and in honour of all his friends and disciples who reside in the Jamaica community. I’d like to read the proclamation to you:

(Councilman Povman then read the proclamation which is reproduced on the following page.)

Sri Chinmoy: Dear Mr. Povman, dear good friend, friend of our heart and soul, friend of our small spiritual family, and true friend of Queens, in your heart we have found a place where we can cherish your soul’s beauty and your soul’s concern, not only for Queens but for all mankind.

For several years you have not only watched us, but also helped us in our growth in this community. Today you have once again granted me the opportunity to serve the citizens of Queens soulfully and devotedly. You call this “Sri Chinmoy Day,” but I call it my gratitude day, for you have given me another opportunity, dear Mr. Povman, to be of better service, more illumining service, to each resident of Queens. My friends and students have gathered together here from various parts of the world. We have only one purpose: to love mankind and, at the same time, to serve the Inner Pilot in mankind. In this respect you and I and my students are all sailing in the same service-boat. We are trying to better the condition of the world with our dedication and soulful service.

Each day of the year is meaningful and fruitful, but when it is a birthday it becomes extremely important, for on that day we remind ourselves of the promise that we made to the Supreme on the day we came into this world. Forty-six years ago my soul made a solemn promise to the Absolute Supreme to be of service to Him. At the same time, same day, same hour, my soul promised to Mother Earth to be the most devoted son of hers, so that I could become inseparably one with her inner cry, as I am inseparably one with Heaven’s smile.

Borough of Queens City of New York Donald R. Manes, President

Greeting:

WHEREAS, Sri Chinmoy of Jamaica is a renowned spiritual leader, poet, artist, musician and lecturer; and

WHEREAS, Sri Chinmoy has travelled and lectured extensively throughout the world and is Director of the United Nations Meditation Group; and

WHEREAS, Sri Chinmoy has been a leader in many beneficial community efforts and was instrumental in organizing the Liberty Torch program to help celebrate our Nation's Bicentennial; and

WHEREAS, August 27th is the birthday of Sri Chinmoy and he will be honored on this day,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD R. MANES, President of the Borough of Queens, the City of New York, do hereby proclaim Saturday, August 27th, 1977

SRI CHINMOY DAY

in Queens in recognition of the teachings, leadership and contributions of Sri Chinmoy.

Done at Borough Hall, Kew Gardens, in the City of New York, On this the twenty-seventh day of August, in the year one thousand nine hundred and seventy-seven.

Donald R. Manes, President Borough of Queens

Our philosophy is very simple: the philosophy of love, devotion and surrender. These three realities, divinities or, you can say, immortal qualities, of the Absolute Supreme we are trying to manifest here and elsewhere. We have started our journey here in Jamaica, Queens. The branches of our service-tree, by God’s infinite Bounty, are touching the length and breadth of the world; but here is our source. When we are appreciated and encouraged by the leaders of this community, we feel that our service-tree has taken a very firm hold at the root.

Once again, dear Mr. Povman, dear seeker-brother, I wish to offer my heart’s inmost gratitude to you, to the loving soul in you, to the illumining soul in you. And also I wish to offer my most soulful gratitude to the President of this Borough. Please tell him my heart of gratitude I place at the Feet of the Supreme in him.

My students who are here would like to sing “O My America,” a song that I composed to express my most soulful gratitude to the vision and realisation of America. This song we wish to sing to you now, with our soulful gratitude, dearest Mr. Povman.

(Sri Chinmoy’s disciples sang. After the song, a tree was planted in honour of Sri Chinmoy. Councilman Povman dug the ground for the planting.)

Sri Chinmoy: I am honoured by your selfless service. A tree signifies selfless service, and you have demonstrated right in front of all of us what this tree embodies. A tree is sacrifice right from the root to the topmost branch. Each leaf, flower and fruit is freely offered for the service of mankind. From the beginning to the end the tree is all dedication to mankind. And you have demonstrated with your kind and soulful heart what the tree signifies in our life of aspiration and dedication. Therefore, on behalf of all my students I wish to offer you my heart’s deepest gratitude and ever-mounting oneness-love.

You have been kind, extremely kind, to us. And here is the radiant example that what we have heard from people about you is true. You have demonstrated here right in front of us what you inwardly and outwardly are for us and for mankind: a life of service, dedicated service. Here in front of the aspiration-tree we are offering our aspiration to the Heavenly Father in you and in all the seekers who have gathered here this morning.

Councilman Povman: This tree that we have planted today symbolizes the great contribution that you have made to this community and to the world at large. In a way, it represents what you have been doing for all the people of this world. That is, you have been planting seeds. And these seeds have been taking root and have been growing throughout the world and its people. This is a tangible representation of your work. We are all a part of nature; we are all trees. We all need roots, we need nourishment, we need growth and we need stimulation. I think this tree should serve as a constant reminder that we are all brothers, that we are all friends and that we all celebrate life. That is the most important message of all.

Mr. David Burke: We are very, very grateful for all that you have done for us, and for your courtesy, your kindness and your co-operation. I am sure you have many, many political supporters, many friends in the community and outside the community, but among all of them, I think we would stand right at the top of the list in appreciation and gratitude for all you have done for us. On behalf of everybody, I would like to say thank you once again for this and for everything else. Thank you.

Mr. Steven Hein: I’d like to say that most people who live around here aren’t originally New Yorkers. Most of us aren’t from New York City, and when we first came here it seemed somewhat strange to us. But now it’s growing more and more to be a real home for us. And we feel that in the same way that we are beginning to feel that it is our home, the city is beginning to feel that we are a real part of it. And to us I think you symbolise that — the City’s acceptance of us and warmth toward us and good feelings for us. And, as I’m sure you know, we’re very grateful for it. Thank you very much.

Councilman Povman: Thank you for those kind words. Of all the things I do throughout the year, there is nothing that gives me more pleasure, genuine pleasure, than coming here and meeting the Master and his disciples, and I mean that sincerely. Nothing is more important to me.