Question: Do you foresee the possibility of a fully committed spiritual person becoming Secretary-General in this century?

Sri Chinmoy: It is hard to say who is fully committed spiritually and who is not fully committed spiritually. In this case, as far as my inner feeling goes, I feel that Dag Hammarskjold was undoubtedly a fully committed spiritual person. As we know, spirituality does not mean self-abnegation. True spirituality means the acceptance of life as such. Here we have to know that this life which we accept is composed of spirit and matter. So if one embodies the spirit and wants to make the spiritual reality operate in and through the material proper, then one is undoubtedly spiritual. In the case of Dag Hammarskjold, we saw his inner light inundate his mind. Then from the mind, from the illumined mind, he executed the will of the heart, combining the illumining realities of the vital and the sacrificing realities of the physical. In the case of U Thant, who was a staunch and devout Buddhist, we saw that he brought to the fore the compassion-aspect of life, which is the purest jewel-reality in the human existence. He offered this compassion-reality to mankind unreservedly, almost unconditionally.

Sometimes the word "spiritual" is misunderstood badly. A spiritual person becomes an object of ridicule to the cynical human beings. Sometimes the non-believers, if not disbelievers, in God the Source of the Oneness-Creation, look down upon those who are spiritual. But those who inwardly see the inseparable oneness of God the Creator and God the creation try to offer this realisation to the world at large. In spite of being misunderstood, in spite of being assailed by physical ailments, as in the case of U Thant, in silence they act. And they leave the result at the Feet of God, the Author of all Good. I wish to tell you that the twentieth century has already been blessed with two spiritual giants: Dag Hammarskjold and U Thant. Secretary-General U Thant and Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold are two most outstanding examples of spiritual persons. Outwardly they may not be recognised as spiritual figures. But being a spiritual man, I have established my own oneness with them — with their achievement, with their tremendous sacrifice, with their inner cry — and I wish to say that they were undoubtedly spiritual persons committed to spiritual realities which are not easy for the doubtful, sophisticated mind and analytical intellect to comprehend.