Part I

CSC 1. At his house in New York on 10 November 1998, Sri Chinmoy made the following remarks about elderly people. The year 1998 was the International Year of Older Persons.


I sincerely feel that elderly people should be appreciated, admired and adored. I am not saying this because I am also an elderly person, but because right now the world is ignoring elderly people. They were also once upon a time little saplings. Then they became trees and afterwards they became banyan trees.

While they were saplings, that is, when they were children, they gave joy to their parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Then, when they became older, they definitely inspired people.

We always talk about the distant future, but we have to know that the golden past was once upon a time the distant future. In the golden past, these elderly people were little children. They gave so much joy to their families. If we do not honour them, we are not going to receive their compassion, affection, fondness and wisdom. If we ignore them, then they will be split from their past, as if a tree were cut into two. How can the tree remain alive if it is chopped somewhere? If the tree is to be kept alive, then it has to keep its roots as well as its branches and leaves. The same tree, a few years ago, before it became too old, produced most delicious fruits, most beautiful flowers.

Similarly, old people brought name, fame, plus financial security to the family. So how can you ignore them? If gratitude wants to take birth, these elderly people should be appreciated, admired and adored for what they have done for the entire world family. Their very presence has to be a source of inspiration. And this inspiration the young generation will also one day hold, after forty or fifty years, to inspire their younger ones.