Remarks by Sri Chinmoy at the ceremony to Honour Mr. Vanasin Vongbhun
My dear young friends! I call you my friends, my brothers and sisters, because you and I are in the same boat. I am absolutely one of you. I lost my parents when I was quite young. At the age of ten I lost my father, and the following year I lost my mother. So I became orphaned at the age of eleven.
Affection, love, compassion and all the other divine blessings I received from my parents only for eleven fleeting years. Parents' affection can never be replaced. Again, there are many human beings who are extremely compassionate to orphans. Here is the most radiant example. Mr. Vongbhun is all kindness, all affection and all protection to each of you.
I was born in a village. In a village there are many good children and, again, there are many bad children. In my family, when we lost our father and mother, some children of our age were very unkind to us, while other children were extremely kind and compassionate. In India, when we lose our parents, for a month we have to lead a very strict, disciplined and austere life. We cannot sit on a chair or sleep on a bed; we have to sit and sleep on the floor. We cannot have any kind of comfort. During that period I had to take an examination. So I was answering the questions from the floor, while my classmates were all on chairs. Some of my classmates were laughing at me while others, including the teacher, were showing me such affection and love.
Then I went to another school in another part of India. There the students and teachers were so kind and affectionate to me because I had lost my parents at a very young age. So if there are bad students who do not show kindness, affection and sympathy to you, please forgive them. There will always be good students who will show you their affection, kindness and love.
Now a few words about your teacher, your friend, your leader, who is your father and mother in one body — Mr. Vanasin Vongbhun. Yesterday I had the golden opportunity to speak with him for about an hour. He told me everything that he has been doing for the past few years with the children who lost their parents at the very beginning of their life's journey. The ideas and the ideals that he has placed before you are extremely beautiful, powerful, illumining and fulfilling.
As I understand, you are all the sweet children of the Lord Buddha. He embodies infinite Compassion and he has very, very special affection and compassion for all of you at every moment. As you know, when the Lord Buddha came into the world, his mother had to go to Heaven. So he also did not get his mother's affection. But after he attained the highest Nirvana and received the infinite Light, he used to contact his mother in Heaven. He used to give her Light in infinite measure and keep her in the highest plane of Heaven.
You children can also give joy and affection to your parents in Heaven. Early in the morning, when you pray, you can ask God to give your parents joy, love and light. God definitely will listen to your prayer. You should pray to the Lord Buddha. He will do it for you the way he did it for his own mother. So by virtue of your prayer, you can help your parents in Heaven.
Also, every morning please offer gratitude to the Lord Buddha for giving you special concern, shelter and protection here on earth under the guidance of your great, divine leader. If we show our gratitude when somebody does something good for us, God immediately increases our good qualities. He gives us more love, more joy, more affection, more strength, more peace and more of everything than we deserve or even need.
You have to pray to the Lord Buddha at least twice a day — every morning and every evening — for his Protection and his Illumination. Every morning and every evening, please pray to the Lord Buddha for his infinite Compassion, infinite Affection and constant Protection so that you can become good citizens of the world and do something very good and very great, not only for your beloved country but for the entire world. The more you can pray to the Lord Buddha, the more happiness and fulfilment you will receive from your lives.
Once more, I wish to personally thank this supreme teacher from the very depths of my heart. Dearest friend, I deeply appreciate and admire all your divine qualities. In so many ways you are serving your young brothers and sisters — giving them a new promise and a new hope of becoming perfect citizens of the world. Therefore, I am extremely, extremely grateful to you and extremely, extremely proud of you.