Question: Do you foresee the possibility of a fully committed spiritual person becoming Secretary-General of the United Nations in this century?1

Sri Chinmoy: I wish to tell you that the twentieth century has already been blessed with two spiritual giants: Dag Hammarskjold and U Thant. Outwardly they may not have been recognised as spiritual figures. But, being a spiritual man, I have established my own oneness with their inner achievement, with their tremendous sacrifice and with their inner cry. I wish to say that they were undoubtedly spiritual persons committed to high spiritual realities that are difficult for the doubting, sophisticated mind and analytical intellect to comprehend.

Sometimes the word 'spiritual' is misunderstood badly. Spirituality does not mean self-abnegation. True spirituality means the acceptance of life as such — the acceptance of matter as well as spirit. The really spiritual person wants to make the inner reality operate in and through the material proper. In the case of Dag Hammarskjold, his mind was inundated by his inner light. Then, from the illumined mind, he executed the inner promptings of the heart, utilising 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 how he brought to the fore the compassion aspect of life, which is the purest jewel-reality of human existence, and offered it to mankind unreservedly, almost unconditionally.

Sometimes non-believers or disbelievers in God look down upon those who are spiritual. A spiritual person is often an object of ridicule to cynical human beings. But those who inwardly see the inseparable oneness of God the Creator and God the creation will continue offering their 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 continue to act. And they leave the result of their actions at the Feet of God, the Author of all Good.

  1. MUN 53-57. 20 May 1977.