Introduced by an Indian to U Thant

Many years ago at the Madras Airport, when I was about to board my plane, they made an announcement about a tall man who was Chef de Cabinet working under Secretary-General U Thant at the United Nations. That was C.V. Narasimhan. When he came out of the plane from New York, they garlanded him. He was such an important person! One of my disciples said to me, “In five years you will also be garlanded.” Five years later when I went to the airport, before I entered the plane, Savyasachi garlanded me.

I wanted to meet with Secretary-General U Thant. The Secretary-General appointed Mr. Narasimhan to interview me first. He interviewed me for ten minutes or so. He very highly appreciated me. Secretary-General U Thant again made enquiries about me, and I got high appreciation. Usually one Indian is not so inclined to speak highly of another Indian; that is our tradition. But Narasimhan said such nice things about me to the Secretary-General.

Agni, our Puerto Rican disciple, accompanied me when I met with the Secretary-General. There was no photographer, so Agni took one picture. That was our first interview. Gradually we became very close friends.

I cannot imagine that Narasimhan was able to be lifted by me! When I started lifting people, we did not have the kind of staircase that we have now. It was very old-fashioned in those days. Narasimhan was an old man, and he had so much pain in his legs. But his love for me was such that he climbed up this very old-fashioned ladder. I could not believe it! He had very sincere love and admiration for me.

Narasimhan served two Secretaries-General: U Thant and Kurt Waldheim. He wrote his memoirs. How highly and deeply he appreciated U Thant! How good U Thant was in every way! He used to invite Narasimhan quite often just to chat, and have a good supper. So many times U Thant showed such love and concern for Narasimhan.

10 December 2006, Antalya, Turkey.