Interviewer: Tell us if you can, Sir, how you saw Mother Teresa’s impact, not just on the people that she helped but on others who might have been inspired to follow her lead in terms of looking to help the poor.
Sri Chinmoy: There is not a single human being on earth who wants to be a good citizen of the world who was not or is not inspired by her. Directly as well as indirectly, consciously as well as unconsciously, she has served humanity. Her approach was unique. She could come down to any level. She could mix with the poorer than the poorest as well as the richer than the richest. She could be with the mightier than the mightiest and the weaker than the weakest. She had a universal heart that could mix with all and sundry, irrespective of their height or status in society.
Interviewer: Very, very true! Tell us, if you could, about what Mother Teresa’s work was like in India. India being such a long way from the United States, many Americans simply saw in her an image of a nun trying to help poor people. But I’m not sure that folks are really aware of the impact of her work in India.
Sri Chinmoy: In India she was at once the Mother of compassion and the Sister of affection. She became the very heart of India’s poverty. The poor and the needy claimed her as their very own, and also she claimed these unimaginably suffering human beings as her own. It was a matter of inseparable oneness that she established with the Indians.
So India claimed her as its very own. That is why India gave her the kind of state funeral that was accorded only to Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Indian Nation. She got the same kind of honour.
MT 89. Radio WLIB, New York. Interviewer: Mark Riley↩