Editor's introduction to the first edition

The Liberty Torch is Sri Chinmoy's name for the American spirit. Birthless are its flames, he writes; deathless is its light. Today the Liberty Torch is human aspiration, tomorrow it shall be divine realisation and the day after tomorrow it shall be supreme perfection. In this unusual book, Sri Chinmoy offers his reflections on the real meaning of the Liberty Torch, portraying its various moods, various shapes, various colours. This book, then, stands as a portrait of America as seen through the illumining vision of a great spiritual Master.

Inspired by this vision, 27 young Americans formed a Bicentennial Group called Liberty Torch and decided to embark on an 8,800-mile, non-stop relay run through each of the 50 states. During the run, a flaming torch is to be passed from runner to runner symbolising the rekindling of the deeper spiritual values and human ideals upon which this nation was founded. The run is to begin at the Statue of Liberty on June 26, 1976 and end 46 days later at the White House.