Question: During our Sixth Anniversary celebration on 14 April, you spoke about serving the United Nations with gratitude. Could you please elaborate on this?

Sri Chinmoy: We all serve the United Nations because we feel the United Nations offers us a unique opportunity to help bring about world peace, world harmony, and world oneness. We have tried in every way to serve the United Nations. “We” means each individual, not only as a member of the Meditation Group but also as a member of the United Nations staff. But people who are working at the United Nations and serving the United Nations are at times assailed with fears, doubts and anxieties that their services will be dispensed with. Misunderstanding, controversy and other unhealthy experiences they get quite often. So we have come to realise that there should be a new method of serving the United Nations, and that new method is with the heart’s gratitude.

So far, in spite of our teeming ignorance, limitations and imperfections, we have achieved something for the world, we have done something for mankind by serving the United Nations. If we want to separate the United Nations from the world at large, we can say we have achieved something for the United Nations proper. If we want to separate the United Nations from our own existence, we can say we have achieved something for ourselves. Even if we take the United Nations as something other than the world or as something other than ourselves, still we can say we have achieved something.

Instead of saying there is one, we can say there are three complementary friends: the world, the United Nations and the individual Meditation Group member. If we can’t take them as one, let us then take them as three intimate friends. These three intimate friends may at times find it difficult to see eye to eye with each other. The world is seeing something wrong with the United Nations and the individual is seeing something wrong with the United Nations, or the United Nations is seeing something wrong with the world or with the individual. They are finding fault with each other, but at the same time, they are friends. The different countries do not always agree with one another, but still they are friends. If they were not friends, they would not be in the United Nations proper. They would not be involved in United Nations activities. They do believe in the United Nations, they have faith in the United Nations, but they also have individual problems which they are trying to work out.

So, the world is a friend, the United Nations is a friend and the individual is a friend. Let us put it this way. Three friends, in spite of their misunderstandings and shortcomings, are trying to offer their best qualities and become one. When they offer their best qualities, when they sincerely give, then they become totally one in the inner life and in the outer life. At that time there cannot be a separate world or a separate United Nations or a separate individual. There is no sense of separation; it is all oneness.

Right now friendship is there, but inseparable oneness is not there. Just because there is some basic friendship, all the countries are together and all the individuals are together. But oneness is still missing. That oneness will come only when each individual is able to offer his own sincerity and other good qualities to both the United Nations and the world, when the United Nations can offer its good qualities — its body and soul — to the individual and to the world, and when the world can offer its good qualities to each member and to the United Nations proper. In this way three will become one.

They will become one on the strength of their gratitude — gratitude for what the world has done for the United Nations, for what the United Nations has done for the world, and for what the individual has done for the world and for the United Nations. Each has done something for the other two; therefore, they are grateful to one another. Once they feel true gratitude towards one another, they will become one. Their hearts will experience expansion, and in the heart’s gradual expansion they will become universal. At that time, we will not be able to separate an individual member of the United Nations from the United Nations because they will be integrally one. The United Nations will not be able to be separated from the world because it will be part and parcel of the world. They will be one by virtue of their sincere and mutual gratitude. By offering gratitude, constant gratitude, the world, the United Nations and the United Nations member will become one. When they become one, they will be perfect instruments.

As long as they remain three individuals, they have to offer their gratitude to each other. When they become one, they will offer their gratitude to the Supreme Pilot for having made them perfect instruments. Why? Because they have become conscious and perfect instruments of the Supreme whereas others are not even conscious instruments. So they are grateful to the Supreme for having given them this opportunity.

Right now we are conscious instruments, but perfection is a far cry. But a day will come when in addition to being conscious instruments, we shall also be perfect instruments. So now we can offer gratitude just because we have become instruments. The Supreme, out of His infinite Bounty, has accepted us and given us the opportunity to become His conscious instruments. But a day will come when we will become perfect instruments. At that time we shall have to offer more gratitude, infinitely more. Now we should offer gratitude because we are chosen to be conscious instruments. But when we become perfect instruments, our gratitude will become boundless. The same thing applies to each individual and to each nation.