At A Special Dinner Commemorating Sri Chinmoy's...

At a special dinner commemorating Sri Chinmoy's 60th birthday, which was held on 11 September 1991, Sudhahota made these remarks.

I'd like to say just a few things about how the many disciples numbering in the thousands all over the world in so many countries feel about Sri Chinmoy and what he has done for our lives. And I'll give you a few examples.

I met Sri Chinmoy in 1983 here in New York City. I've become very close since then, not just with Sri Chinmoy but with the many brother and sister disciples and friends throughout the world. And I've been fortunate enough in the years since to travel throughout the world and meet disciples in France, Japan, Germany and many, many different countries. You get a chance to meet many spiritual brothers and sisters that you haven't been able to touch or get to know or even see before. But still you're able to feel a bond that is just there forever. Year in and year out I'm able to see many of them here in New York City for the celebrations.

Sri Chinmoy has been very special to all of us. I think I can definitely say that for all the disciples. Just to think that he was there with me in 1984 at the Olympic Games! He came all the way to Seoul with a number of disciples to visit me again. And even just this past week, the night before each one of my finals, he was one of the few callers to talk to me, because my manager didn't want anyone to get through.

Sri Chinmoy is a very special individual for all of us. He stands for all the things that we can believe in — peace, being the best you can be, enjoying and knowing God and also oneness. Oneness to me is just being able to accept the love, accept the peace, accept the spirit of everyone and accept God and let Him lead the way.

I've read many things, but one thing that always sticks out in my mind is the way Sri Chinmoy always talks about going forward, going ahead. I have a chance to see that because, as an athlete, I have had great times and bad times, wonderful times and difficult times. But as long as we keep focused ahead, we're able to do what we have to do in life. That translates to everyone here and to all the disciples around the world. From North to South, from East to West, Sri Chinmoy has meant more to our lives than any of us can ever imagine.

And this is one so-called "old" 30-year-old that he has meant so, so much to in his life. Two months ago I was young, and now I'm old. I don't know what happened. But I must say that Sri Chinmoy's inspiration and his talks to me have meant so much to my life. Most of you think, "Oh yes, he just says 'go and do your best!"' But let me tell you, he talks a little tougher to me. He says things like, "Do it! I'm sick and tired of hearing about these old records. It's time to get busy!" That's the kind of stuff he tells me.

I just want to close by saying, Guru, that all of us feel very strongly for you because you have meant so much to all of our lives. Not only have you taken the time to care and think about all of us, but you've taken the time to point us to the greatest thing that we could have or even imagine in our lives, and that's the Supreme. Thank you!