Question: What should our attitude be towards working at the United Nations?1

Sri Chinmoy: Our attitude should be one of conscious self-giving. The more we can give soulfully, the sooner we shall find satisfaction in what we are doing or what we are growing into. Each individual has something to offer to the world at large. We have only to do it.

At the United Nations we have to deal with many individuals. If we find it difficult to give ourselves to certain individuals or countries because of some unhappy experiences, at least we should cultivate an attitude of forgiveness. When we feel that we have enemies around us and harbour wrong thoughts towards them, we actually forget our own goal. We think only of how to conquer or annihilate our enemies. This becomes our goal. If this is our goal, what kind of progress are we going to make?

At every moment we can be assailed by negative or undivine thoughts. Again, at every moment with our inner will we can create good thoughts, loving thoughts, illumining thoughts, fulfilling thoughts. If these thoughts are fed by the heart, then only can they function properly and grow into self-giving actions. Right now we use the term 'self-giving' precisely because we have not sufficiently cultivated or developed the capacity that makes us feel that we are of the One and for the many. We have not yet discovered our universal oneness. But once we discover our oneness with the rest of the world, we come to realise that there is no such thing as self-giving. What we call self-giving is only the fulfilment of our own inner awakening. When my hand does something for my leg, it is not regarded as self-giving because my hand and my leg are part and parcel of one reality.

Unfortunately, at the present state of our evolution, we do not have the capacity to feel everyone as our own. So let us start with the idea of self-giving. We shall give what we have and what we are. If there are adversaries or others who do not see eye to eye with us, then we have to move forward on the strength of our capacity to forgive or forget. We shall not forget the divine purpose within us, but we will forget the unhappy or unhealthy experiences we get from others while we are trying to serve our ideals. And we shall forgive those who give us these bad experiences. Only in this way can we most effectively serve the United Nations.


  1. MUN 96. 21 September 1976.