Man of silence,
May the Supreme grant your soul
— Sri Chinmoy
God gave him His Compassion-sky to offer to man. Man gave him his suffering-sea to offer to God.
U Thant started his earthly sojourn as a Rangoon, Burma Buddha-son. The Absolute Supreme gradually made him into a universal Wisdom-son and a universal Blessing-gift.
To us, peace is something that belongs in a dream-land. Since it belongs to dream-land we talk about it. To U Thant, peace is something that belongs to the reality-world. Therefore he lived in the reality-world of peace and was a solid and treasured member of the reality-peace-world.
To us, oneness is something that we seem to want but we do not actually feel the need for it. To U Thant, oneness was something of constant need, something indispensable. His heart cried for this oneness and the Lord Supreme, the Author of all good, fulfilled his heart’s burning desire.
The United Nations gave U Thant the opportunity to speak to the world-body as a supreme leader of mankind. In return, U Thant gave to the United Nations the message of the world-illumination, of the world-heart-perfection and the world-life-satisfaction.
U Thant was the supreme choice of the United Nations, and God was pleased. But God wanted U Thant to please Him more. Therefore, he made U Thant a pioneer voice of light from the higher worlds.
Simplicity, purity and integrity he was. He was a child’s simplicity. He was a saint’s purity. He was a God-lover’s integrity.
He struggled calmly. He suffered ceaselessly. He hoped sleeplessly. Again, he knew how to dream of success. He knew how to become the river of progress.
We feel that man is bad, imperfect and undivine. His conviction was that man is good, perfect and divine, for that is what each individual in the inner world eternally is.
U Thant’s life of humility was the result of his heart’s nobility. His heart of nobility was the result of his soul’s unparalleled divinity.
Sincerity spoke through him, integrity breathed in him, spirituality walked with him. He knew the world-problem: ignorance. He knew the world-answer: meditation, and this he practised in silence.
God practised His silence-meditation in and through U Thant. God practised His sound-dedication in and through U Thant.
U Thant was at once God-Humility and man-dignity. He was at once man-frustration and God-Illumination. He was at once the soulful son of God and the faithful slave of man.
Self-demonstration he ruthlessly shunned. Self-perfection he practised. God-Perfection he sought to embrace and treasure. Before him the United Nations was great, divinely great. With him, after him, the United Nations has become supremely good.
In the inner world he was God’s Promise, God’s Promise to the outer world. In the outer world he was man’s confidence, man’s confidence in becoming a dedicated instrument of the inner world.
Earth gave him the responsibility. Heaven knew it and saw it. Heaven gave him the authority but, unfortunately, earth did not know it or did not care to know it. His heart of brotherhood was misunderstood. His life of sacrifice was not valued. But his vision of oneness-goal will eternally be pursued by aspiring humanity.An Asian seed he was. A world-fruit he has become and forever and forever he shall remain.
UT 3. Sri Chinmoy delivered this lecture in the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium, United Nations, New York, on 12 December 1974, as part of the continuing Dag Hammarskjold monthly lecture series sponsored by the United Nations Meditation Group.↩
U Thant: Sri Chinmoy, please come in. I have been hearing about you from many, many people. Whoever speaks to me about you is all appreciation and admiration and I personally feel that you have been doing a most significant task for the United Nations. I have been observing it from the very beginning.
Sri Chinmoy: It is most kind of you to tell me all this. I am most grateful to you. Before our short interview, may I invoke the Lord Buddha to bless us? You are a most devoted child of the Lord Buddha and I have the greatest admiration and adoration for him.
U Thant: Yes, please, please chant.
[Sri Chinmoy chanted three times:]
Buddham saranam gacchami
Sangham saranam gacchami
[I go to the Buddha for refuge.
I go to the Order for refuge.]
U Thant: [U Thant was silent for some moments, deeply moved.] I have not been able to see you before please forgive me. Because of my heavy schedule and politics, my inner life was not coming to the fore for me. That is why I hesitated a little to see you. Today I am seeing you and I wish to say that all I have heard from others about you is absolutely true.
Sri Chinmoy: The world knows you as a champion of peace. Being a spiritual man, I wish to tell you that in the inner world too you are something really great. Now that you are physically away from the outer battlefield you will be able to see the world situation with your intuitive light and you will make a contribution in the inner world that will be most effective and most fulfilling.
U Thant: I am so happy to hear that. This is what I wanted. Now I will be writing my memoirs and I need a peaceful life. My memoirs will be different, totally different, from the memoirs that others write. Here I want to show how spirituality and philosophy can lead and guide politics.
Sri Chinmoy: This is the thing that only you can do because in you I see a true seeker of Truth, Peace, Light and Bliss. I know nothing about politics, but I do feel that politics has to be guided by spirituality and philosophy. What you are saying, most revered Brother, gives me immense delight.
U Thant: I pray to the Lord Buddha for a continuous success in your mission in spreading God’s Peace and Light on earth.
Sri Chinmoy: I appreciate and admire you, not only as a great lover of mankind, but as a most devoted, dedicated child of God who wants to bring God’s wealth from the inner world and offer it to his brothers and sisters.
U Thant: It has been a great privilege for me to see you. Please feel my sincere respect and sincere concern for what you are doing for mankind.
Sri Chinmoy: Please feel my deepest joy and pride in you and my most soulful gratitude for what you have done for the United Nations and also for the entire world.[As Sri Chinmoy left, he and U Thant saluted each other with palms joined together, in pranam.]
UT 4. United Nations, New York, N.Y. 29 February 1972↩
UT 5. During a meeting of the United Nations Meditation Group on 14 May 1976, various persons offered reminiscences about their most significant experiences at the United Nations. Sri Chinmoy spoke about his first meeting with U Thant.↩
- Carleton University, 1962- Williams College, 1962
- Princeton University, 1962- Mount Holyoke College, 1963
- Harvard University, 1963- Dartmouth College, 1963
- University of California, 1964- University of Denver, 1964
- Swarthmore College, 1964- New York University, 1964
- Moscow University, 1964- Queen’s University, 1965
- Colby College, 1965- Yale University, 1965
- University of Windsor, 1966- Hamilton College, 1966
- Fordham University, 1966- Manhattan College, 1966
- The University of Michigan, 1967- Delhi University, 1967
- The University of Alberta, 1968- Boston University, 1968
- Rutgers University, 1968U Thant also received the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from Louvain University in 1968.
He refused world acclaim sincerely and smilingly. Service was his joy. The result of all his actions he offered in silence at the Feet of the Lord Buddha. The supreme pilot of the United Nations-Boat, Kurt Waldheim, who brings about world progress with lightning speed, graciously tells us of U Thant’s genuine concern for world problems and his significant contribution to world hope and world peace: “In 1965, when full-scale war erupted between India and Pakistan, U Thant went to the subcontinent to negotiate a cease-fire. At about the same time also, the tragedy of Viet-Nam, in which the United Nations was never directly involved, began to assume its historical momentum. U Thant made a long personal effort to help in ending the Viet-Namese tragedy. In 1967, there was renewed war in the Middle East. In early 1971, the war clouds gathered again in the South Asian subcontinent and the situation dominated U Thant’s last months as Secretary-General.”
President John F Kennedy saw in U Thant a sun of wisdom-light. President Kennedy discovered in U Thant a colossal achievement.
In a telegram, President Kennedy declared: “The election of His Excellency U Thant is a splendid achievement in which the whole world can rejoice.
“Please express the congratulations of the United States Government to the United Nations membership for their action in electing so distinguished a diplomat to succeed the late Dag Hammarskjöld.
“In preserving the integrity of the office of the Secretary-General, they have reaffirmed their dedication to the UN Charter... As he [U Thant] begins one of the world’s most difficult jobs, he has our confidence and also our prayers.”Mr Zenon Rossides, Ambassador of Cyprus to the United Nations, described President Kennedy’s response to U Thant’s handling of the Cuban missile crisis: “The most dangerous of all crises since the Second World War was resolved in a manner that prompted President Kennedy to say, ‘U Thant has put the world deeply in his debt.’ ”
Gunapala P Malalasekera, who was the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, said: “A unanimous decision was arrived at to recommend to the General Assembly the nomination of His Excellency U Thant … for appointment as Acting Secretary-General of this organization. The decision was followed by universal acclaim. This was very largely due to the fact that the qualifications of His Excellency U Thant to the post for which he was nominated were never in doubt.”Mr Malalasekera also told the world that the strength U Thant possessed was unlike the strength that others possess: “In an age where strength is often equated with the booming voice and the bouncing fist... U Thant displays a strength of a different kind, the strength of quiet dignity. He combines in himself in a remarkable way the strength of the strong man with that of the diplomat who believes in consultation with others.”
A stranger was he to sound-life, an eternal friend of silence-life.Might is right: that can be the goal of countless individuals. Right is might: that was his only goal, the goal of goals.
Buddham saranam gacchami
Sangham saranam gacchami
[Sri Chinmoy then gave a speech of welcome and garlanded U Thant. Sri Chinmoy’s remarks follow.]
When I go to the Buddha for refuge, He blesses me.When I go to the Inner Law for refuge, He illumines me.
When I go to the Order for refuge, He utilises me.
A child of Bihar, a son of India, a citizen of the world, a denizen of the higher spheres: Siddhartha, the Buddha.
In the outer world He is known as the Light of Asia. In the inner world He is, indeed, an ever-illumining Light of the universe.
To the world-sorrows He offered His heart of infinite Compassion. To the world-aspiration He offered His soul of transcendental Illumination.
The Omnipotent did two things. Through Siddhartha Gautama, He revealed the ideal of Perfection in a human being. Through the Buddha, He revealed His Enlightenment and Compassion in a Divine Being.
With His Heart, the Unfathomable came to the Buddha.With His Mind, the Unknowable came to the Buddha.
With His Bliss, the Transcendental came to the Buddha.
This evening we are deeply honoured and blessed by the gracious presence of our most esteemed Brother, U Thant. Two thousand five hundred years ago the World-Father, the Buddha, came with the Message of universal Peace. Now, two thousand five hundred years later, He has sent His chosen son, U Thant, to offer the same Message of Peace.
Dear Brother, for ten long years you have served the world-consciousness most devotedly and most significantly through the world body of the United Nations. Mother Earth and Father Heaven have bestowed their choicest blessings on your devoted head, aspiring heart and illumining soul. The outer political world has lost you, but the inner spiritual world has gained you and claims you as its very own. Your silent life of aspiration, dedication and illumination is guiding the outer world and leading it to its destined Goal.
With deepest joy and gratitude I am dedicating this play, Siddhartha becomes the Buddha, as a humble token of my treasured feeling towards you. In you I feel the pioneer-pilot of world-peace. In you I see a beacon-light of world-redemption. And in you I discover true love of human life and an utmost reverence for Truth, both in the inner world and in the outer world.The Absolute Supreme claims you as His very own. The Lord Buddha claims you as His very own. We, your brothers and sisters of this world, claim you as our very own.
Sri Chinmoy very kindly sent me a copy of the play, Siddhartha becomes the Buddha. I have read it with great interest and with great admiration and profit. Of course, it is extremely difficult to depict the important episodes of the life of the Buddha in the course of a few minutes or an hour or so. But I found that Sri Chinmoy has done a most remarkable job in presenting the play in simple language understandable even to the uninitiated. His stress on the basic characteristics of Buddhism — on compassion, love, renunciation, peace — should stimulate the thoughts of leaders of men and leaders of thought everywhere. As you all are aware, I was brought up as a Buddhist by tradition, by faith and by practice. And I find myself in complete agreement with Sri Chinmoy in his enunciation of the ethical and moral aspects of Buddhism which in my view should be the basis for each of us in our search for inner light, in our search for truth.
Sri Chinmoy in his play also has drawn a very vivid picture of the identity between God and Truth, soul and inner Light, which I very much hope will create an abiding interest in these two great religions — Hinduism and Buddhism — which in many ways constitute the key to all great religions. I feel very strongly, as some of my friends know, that only by the practical application of the teachings of great religious leaders, particularly the development of the moral and spiritual aspects of life as Sri Chinmoy has stressed in the play — love, compassion, tolerance, the philosophy of live-and-let-live, modesty and even humility — that only with this approach, only with this method, will we all be able to fashion the kind of society we want, a truly moral society, a decent society, a livable society, which is the goal of all great religions.I want to thank particularly those friends who are participating in this play. I wish all of you peace of mind and eternal joy, and particularly the inner joy. Thank you very much, Sri Chinmoy, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Not because U Thant was once the Secretary-General but because he is a great seeker of Truth and a true lover of mankind, I wish all of us to pray to the Supreme for his quick recovery. He is our real spiritual brother, and it is our bounden duty to pray for him. Even though he is not in the political arena any longer, still his presence on earth is a great blessing for humanity.
While he was in the field of politics there were many things which he could not say or do. Owing to pressure from the world at large, he was unable to enter into the real divine life. Now, since he has freed himself from the United Nations, his inner life has come to the fore and he has become a real divine hero.
When his memoirs are published, we will see the real seeker and the real God-lover in him. May God’s transcendental Blessing and God’s highest Pride rain on his illumining head and consecrated heart.Now, for a few minutes, let us most fervently pray for his recovery.
UT 40 On two separate occasions when U Thant was hospitalised, Sri Chinmoy requested the members of the United Nations Meditation Group to pray for his recovery. The first time was on 4 November 1971, following a lecture Sri Chinmoy delivered as part of his monthly Dag Hammarskjold Series. The second occasion was on 8 March 1974. At that time Sri Chinmoy said this.↩
I am most grateful for your kind expression of concern for my indisposition. Thank you so much for your beautiful flowers which have brightened my stay in hospital. I am feeling much better and looking forward to resuming my activities.
With kind regards,
Yours sincerely,—- U Thant
I am most appreciative of your kind letter of 3 April 1972 which I received along with a coloured photograph while you were chanting blessings on me. You have indeed instilled in the minds of hundreds of people here the moral and spiritual values which both of us cherish very dearly. I shall always cherish the memorable occasion of our meeting at the United Nations.
Thanking you for your very kind sentiments,
Respectfully,—- U Thant
I thank you most sincerely for your kind message on the occasion of my birthday. I am deeply touched by your thoughtfulness.
Let me take this opportunity of renewing my very best wishes and warm regards.
With admiration,—- U Thant
I am most grateful for your kindness in inviting me to attend a stage performance Siddhartha becomes the Buddha on Friday, 25 May in White Plains. I wish I could immediately accept your kind invitation, but as of this moment I have a plan to be in Chicago during the last week of May. If I can get out of this commitment, I shall be delighted to be present on that occasion. Let me write to you as soon as my schedule is firm.
I am also most appreciative of your thoughtfulness in sending me a copy of the play, as well as other copies of your collected spiritual statements.
With my warm esteem,—- U Thant
Thank you very much indeed for your second letter of 21 April.
My schedule for the month of May is now firm, and I am very happy to be able to tell you that I will be present at the performance of Siddhartha becomes the Buddha on the evening of Friday, 25 May in White Plains.
I am eagerly looking forward to the occasion.
With my warm esteem,—- U Thant
I was deeply touched by your kind letter of 6 June 1973, which I received along with a beautiful album of photographs taken on that memorable occasion on the evening of 25 May 1973.
I shall always cherish the happy memories of that delightful occasion.
With my very best wishes and respect,—- U Thant
I just want you to know how appreciative I am for your kindness in sending me those lovely flowers which cheered me up during my moment of illness in the hospital.
I am now recuperating and hope to recover my health in a few weeks time.
Sincerely,—- U Thant
I thank you so much indeed for your very kind letter of 3 May 1974, which I received together with a bound volume of the 1973 issues of the UN Meditation Group’s monthly bulletin. I look forward to reading it as soon as I am fit enough to do so.
After two major operations I am still receiving chemo-therapy treatment and, of course, I am doing meditation every day. I am confident that I will fully recover my health in a few months time.
Needless to say, I am deeply touched by your prayers, love and concern for my health.— U Thant
I was deeply moved by your kind letter of 21 June 1974, which I received together with a copy of Meditation at the United Nations. I was particularly touched to know that you and your group have been praying for my health while I was in the hospital, and for this I am most grateful. I am now recovering, although slowly and on doctor’s advice I am still not receiving any guests.
I am so glad to know that Siddhartha becomes the Buddha was recently performed by a group of young ten-year old students from a school in New Jersey. I wish you continued success in your propagation of the moral and spiritual values which are so essential to everyone.
With my sincere esteem and appreciation.—- U Thant
“Beloved Brother, man of silence, man of peace, may the Supreme grant your soul Eternity’s Silence, Infinity’s Peace.”
[Sri Chinmoy then quietly addressed the Group:]
The passing of our beloved Brother U Thant marks the real death of a colossal hope for the twentieth century. Divinely great he was; supremely good he is. The greatness of his earth-height his body-consciousness is carrying. The goodness of his Heaven-Delight his soul has left for us, for Mother Earth to claim as her very own and treasure forever and ever.We the members of the United Nations Meditation Group, have a special place for him, for our beloved Brother U Thant, in the inmost recesses of our gratitude-heart, for he has helped us unreservedly with his aspiring heart and with his illumining soul, both inwardly and outwardly. We have been extremely fortunate in being blessed by his soul’s light. I have received from him quite a few letters of deepest light and profoundest wisdom encouraging us and inspiring us to be of greater service to the soul of the United Nations and to aspiring mankind.
UT 53. On 26 November 1974, the United Nations Meditation Group held a special meditation in the Chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations in tribute to U Thant, who had passed away the previous day.↩
“The people of our own nation always respected his ability to mediate differences among the nations, and we always admired his desire to attain justice for all.“The City, which is proud to be the home of the United Nations, will always revere the memory of the Burma-born schoolteacher who guided the world through a particularly turbulent decade in its history.”
Bradford Morse, Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs at the time, has offered us abundant light and convincing assurance on this matter: “Both in the political crises which occurred during his time as Secretary-General and in the development of the economic and social work of the Organization, he displayed courage and total dedication to the United Nations in disregard of any private interests or even of his own physical well-being.”Something more that Mr. Morse tells the world is quite soul-stirring: “Many of us here became his devoted friends. We admired, above all, his humanity, his respect for human dignity and his complete integrity. To me, U Thant was a personal friend whose wisdom, kindness and generosity I shall never forget. We shall all remember him as a man who gave himself unstintingly to the cause of peace, progress and justice in the world.”
My mother, my husband and I would like to thank you for the copies of “Meditation at the United Nations.” It was so beautiful, and we are deeply moved by the warmth and affection you have shown towards my father. We will always be grateful for your kind words and will always treasure these issues.
We also want you to know that daddy had great respect for your spiritual leadership, and we send our best wishes for your continued success in helping for a better mankind.
— Aye Aye Myint-UPS: We would be very happy to receive a few more issues of the bulletin to send to friends in Burma. Thank you.
Peace spreads, peace flows, peace becomes, peace is. In the domain of the vital, peace spreads. In the domain of the mind, peace flows. In the domain of the heart, peace becomes. In the domain of the soul, peace is.
Peace spreads its illumining beauty. Peace flows with its satisfying delight. Peace becomes perfection. Peace is Immortality’s infinite treasure.U Thant the peace-educator teaches us: “One of the great tasks of education all over the world is to educate the young for peace because, on the question of peace, no man of good will can be neutral.”
U Thant the reality-dreamer says to us: “In the wake of the most catastrophic war in the history of mankind, humanity had a new vision: it saw the glimmer of dawn of a warless world.”
Humanity’s preparation depends on humanity’s willingness. Humanity’s willingness depends on humanity’s consecrated surrender to God’s Will. A oneness-world either in the near or in the distant future is not only possible and practicable, but inevitable. A oneness-world expedites God’s Hour, and it is only in God’s Hour that humanity’s age-long hunger drinks in Divinity’s Nectar-Delight.Undoubtedly, the fruit of the Immortals is for mortals, too, for God the finite reality and God the Reality infinite are inseparable. Together they are heading towards one goal: satisfaction in perfection.
Happiness: what is it, if not an expansion-vision of an integral life?
U Thant, the exponent and embodiment of an integral life, affirms: “Pure intellectual development unaccompanied by a corresponding moral and spiritual development will lead mankind from one crisis to another. Moral qualities of friendship, humility and the desire to understand the other point of view are as important as intellectual excellence.”
On the earth plane, an integral life is the glad unification of intellectual, moral and spiritual fulfilment. An intellectual life need not be an expansion of a dry, aloof and superior feeling. Love of intellect, in its purest sense, is a life that desires to see the reality in its minute and subtle details. In the skies of the mind, this yearning itself is a higher step towards the ultimate heights of the Beyond.
Morality does not mean a life-torturing needle. Morality does not mean a constant vigil over the animal in us. Morality is an illumining reality that takes us from a lesser goal of confusion-bondage to a greater goal of perfection-freedom. Morality is not the rope that strangles us; it is the rope that saves us.
Spirituality is not an act of withdrawal from world activities. Spirituality is not hallucination-reality. Spirituality is not something that has a liking for Heaven and a constant dislike of earth. No! Real spirituality is the conscious awareness of God the Creator and God the creation. It is the feeling of constant oneness with God the One and God the many. It is the continuous transcendence of the animal into the human, of the human into the divine and of the divine into the supreme Reality.If we view life as a unified experience of an intellectual reality, moral reality and spiritual reality, then this world of ours can be nothing but satisfaction-happiness in God’s cosmic Play.
Satisfaction of the individual is undoubtedly a most significant achievement. No doubt it is a form of perfection. But the individual has to ask himself whether, with this perfection, he can remain outside the world-boundary. The answer will always be in the negative. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the world in which we live also be perfect.As we strive for our individual perfection, even so we shall strive for the collective perfection and the perfection of the world-body. Perfection has to loom large simultaneously in the individual soul, in the collective soul and in the world-soul. This is the only thing that we are supposed to accomplish here on earth and we shall, without fail, accomplish it.
Freedom is humanity’s choice. Freedom is Divinity’s choice. With freedom, humanity ultimately grows into God the transcendental Vision. With freedom, Divinity ultimately grows into the universal Reality.
U Thant the freedom-revolutionary tells us: “The revolution brought by science and technology to the developed nations is a revolutionary extension of human freedom. Freedom is choice. Freedom is the ability to act.... ”Science and technology help us walk along a particular road of freedom. Spirituality helps us walk along a different road of freedom. But before we walk along the freedom-road of science and technology, science and technology advise us to look around and grasp the secrets of the world’s beauty-reality. Before we walk along the freedom-road of spirituality, spirituality advises us to dive deep within and unveil the world’s soul-reality. If we abide by their wise advice, we please the science and technology world with our dedication-service and we satisfy the spirituality world with our aspiration-cry. Dedication-service leads us to the Reality that we are supposed to grow into. Aspiration-cry leads us to the Reality which we eternally are.
“Self-giving is delight.” So says the teacher. “Receiving is delight.” So says the student.
When giving and receiving can be accomplished cheerfully and unconditionally, seed the teacher and fruit the student fulfil each other.U Thant the education-lover sees student and teacher as two eternal friends: “...the teachers are the true architects of minds, and the students are the true builders of peace. If the teachers instruct the younger generation in the ways of peace, not only will their work succeed, but the basic idea of peace in our time will triumph.”
U Thant the education-seer illumines us about education, outer and inner: “In Asia, if I may say so, the traditional aim of education is to impress on the young the importance of the mind rather than the body, and even more basically, the importance of the spirit rather than the mind. Education thus becomes inward looking, and the aim of education is the discovery of one’s self rather than the discovery of things external to us.”There are two aspects to reality: the body-reality and the soul-reality. The body-reality looks around for its satisfaction. The soul-reality looks within for its satisfaction. The Eastern approach or, let us say, the Asian approach to reality is to dive deep within and discover the soul and, thus, know everything and become everything. The other approach, which we may call the Western approach, instructs us to look inside the body-reality and around the body-reality to see what it really is and what it can contribute to world-success.
Individuals can go together, mix together and fulfil themselves together. There is and there will always be an underlying oneness, an essential similarity of human beings, nations and national characters. It is not that each one must discover his goal totally apart from the rest of the world. Together we must strive to achieve the selfsame goal, for it is collective oneness alone that can grant us perfect satisfaction.Again, we are afraid that the mass media have created tremendous confusion in life, a sense of superiority and inferiority that can ruin human minds. But U Thant’s prophetic utterance is that the same mass media can help human beings see, realise and become their true selves.
UT 72. From an interview in The Saturday Evening Post of 21 September 1963.↩
U Thant the champion of human dignity says:"... The dignity and worth of the human person is not merely a philosophic concept. It is, and should be, a working principle of human existence guiding our daily lives. Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect. We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves. This, as the sages of many lands have taught us, is a golden rule in individual and group, as well as international, relations.”/When we show our dignity, we bring to the fore our divine capacities. When others show their dignity, they also do the same thing. In the expression of dignity, all of us bring forward our inner, divine, illumining and fulfilling capacities and we triumphantly arrive at a higher goal which has been the aspiration of human beings from time immemorial. The sages of the hoary past offered us this sublime vision, and now we are trying in our own age to transform this vision into concrete reality.
U Thant the teacher of mankind offered this momentous advice in his farewell speech: “In this world, try to be both good and able men. If you do not become able men, at least try to be good men. The country has no use for able but bad men.”According to him, what the world needs is a combination of good men and able men. It is good men and able men combined that can create a new society, new progress, new perfection.
U Thant the visionary says: “...As Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and all other religions are existing peacefully in amity, I believe a day will come when these different societies — communist societies, capitalist societies, socialist societies, and any other type of societies — are going to exist peacefully. I believe in these things.”
Peace is within, peace is without. The core of society we touch with our inner peace. The body of society we touch with our outer peace. The inner peace unites the heart and the soul of the world. The outer peace unites the body and the mind of the world.Spirituality has achieved considerable success in casting aside unfortunate and unlit conflicts with regard to religious beliefs that once upon a time dominated the human mind. Likewise, aspiration is going to achieve towering success in different societies. U Thant’s belief in these things is nothing short of his infallible vision.
U Thant speaks on behalf of the soul of the United Nations with regard to the common goal: “Here in the United Nations we also have a basic aim in common, which is to preserve the peace and to enhance human happiness and dignity throughout the world in accordance with our Charter.”At the United Nations, many nations with different opinions are working together. Although outwardly they seem to have divergent goals, they are running towards an inner goal which is nothing short of a common goal.
“I would, however, like to say here that even if an end to the fighting has not yet been achieved, that is no reason for any cessation of the efforts of all men of good will to achieve it."For myself, I shall continue to work toward a ceasefire and a peaceful solution to this tragic problem in the light of the very frank and useful talks I have had in both countries in the last few days. I look forward to the co-operation and support of both Governments and of public opinion in this effort and I dare to express the hope and the belief that we may soon see better days.”
“I was right to insist that I should leave my office at this time. In doing so I am greatly heartened and encouraged by the thought that I shall be leaving this office in such capable hands.I have known Ambassador Waldheim ever since he first came to New York as Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations in 1964. Subsequently he has been Foreign Minister of his own country, and I was personally very pleased when he was reappointed as Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations last year. I know that he is held in very high esteem by all of those who have come to know him during his many years in New York. Apart from his wellknown diplomatic ability, he has shown a special talent for conciliation in his work as Chairman of the Outer Space Committee and in other United Nations bodies. I wish him every success in his new and high responsibilities.”
UT 82. 16 January 1977↩
On behalf of my mother, Mrs Thant and my family may I take this opportunity to express our profound gratitude to you for your kind sentiments and love for my father. Father had always cherished the time he spent with you for he found in you love and tranquillity. He shared with you the importance of morality and spirituality in this complex and troubled world, and he was always inspired by your humility and dedication for the enlightenment of innerself.
We are deeply proud to share father’s life, and are most fortunate to have received his unselfish love and care.
We pray and hope that your continued effort may bring forth the dreams of my father, peace, happiness and prosperity for all mankind.
With our esteem admiration and respect,—- Aye Aye Myint-U
Your beloved Father and my beloved spiritual Brother, U Thant, will always triumphantly stand in the vanguard of humanity’s soulful success and fruitful progress.
I liked him. I admired him. I adored him. I loved him. I liked him because in him I saw a sea of simplicity, humility and purity. I admired him because I saw a wisdom-sun upon him constantly radiating its unhorizoned effulgence. I adored him because his heart’s Illumination lovingly covered the length and breadth of the entire world. I loved him because his life of self-giving to humanity’s cry and Divinity’s Smile made him the supremely perfect instrument of the Lord Buddha.
Your unparalleled oneness-heart with your Father’s vastness-heart and your Father’s soul-concern for you have touched the very depth of my heart. The human in us misses him badly. The divine in us tells us that he is with the Lord Buddha here on earth, there in Heaven, inside all human beings and all divine souls.
He is at once with the Creator’s ever-transcending Vision and ever-manifesting Reality.
As the Creator and the creation are inseparable, even so his unconditionally surrendered will to the Will of the Lord Buddha are eternally inseparable. Infinity’s greatness he has. Immortality’s goodness he is.
I wish to offer my most respectful salutation to your mother, my loving regards to your kind and good husband, Dr Myint-U, and my soulful love to your divinely sweet children.
I pray to the Lord Buddha to bless you and your whole family with His infinite Compassion-Light and His eternal Satisfaction-Delight.
Affectionately yours,— Sri Chinmoy
What he wanted for mankind was happiness. From where? From a self-disciplined oneness-heart.
He was an emblem of the ideals of justice. Sublime was his spiritual message to the world at large: “Give totally what you have; become what Truth-satisfaction eternally is.”
His heart made him feel that he was of all and for all. Most sincere was his effort to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, between the strong and the weak, between the unlit human beings and the illumined human beings.It is most astonishing how God played in and through him the role of an untiring and faithful son of the third world and, at the same time, unfailing and fruitful father.
Unlike U Thant, we wrap ourselves in the cocoons of self-concern, self-sympathy, self-dedication and self-compassion.U Thant’s soul knew that he was of all. U Thant’s heart felt that he was for all.
The great seeker in him discovered the truth that the fastest way to become part and parcel of humanity is the way of the heart and not that of the mind.
He also discovered that it is the heart that has infinitely more capacity than the mind to establish an abiding oneness with the world community.He further realised the supreme fact that the mind has to be illumined by the soul, for this is the only way to bring about a radical transformation of human nature and the world family.
To him, an outer life of violation indicated an inner life of imminent destruction.
His single-minded service to the United Nations for ten long years showed the world what mental equanimity and psychic luminosity can do for mankind.
He showed the world that a life of self-transcendence, a life of truth-discovery and a life of light-manifestation must not remain always a far cry.In him the United Nations quite astonishingly discovered a faithful servant, a soulful friend and a fruitful leader.
The body wants to walk. The vital wants to run. The mind wants to fly. The heart wants to dive. The soul wants to be.
Inspiration without aspiration cannot see God. Aspiration without realisation cannot reach God. Realisation without revelation cannot glorify God. Revelation without manifestation cannot fulfil God.
Each nation has a soul of its own. The soul is at once God's illumining Activity and the nation's fulfilling capacity. Each nation is the involution of its highest Light and the evolution of its inmost Power. Immortality is the homeland of the soul. Eternity is the life of the soul. Infinity is the reality of the soul.
The Garland of Nation-Souls: a garland is the embodiment of God's Smile and man's achievement. God's Divine Smile is supremely expansive, and man's divine achievement is eternally impressive. Now, where is the Garland of Nation-Souls? It is here, inside the boat of the United Nations. Who deserves to be garlanded? Undoubtedly the Seeker-Pilot, U Thant. This able, genuine and divine Pilot of ours is blessed with a far-reaching, growing vision, and a wide, expanding, energising reality.
When a nation's outer life listens to the inner dictates of its soul, its earthly desires decrease, its heavenly aspirations increase, its human wants are lessened and its divine needs are heightened. It envisions the Truth Transcendental and grows into God's Pride Supreme.
The great philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once remarked, "Every nation ridicules other nations, and all are right." It is true that all nations, with no exception, will one day be flooded with God's perfect Perfection, at God's choice Hour. The nations that are aspiring consciously are hastening God's Hour. The nations that are aspiring unconsciously are inwardly valuing God's Hour, and soon their aspiration will increase. The nations that are wallowing in the pleasures of darkening and darkened night are God's so-called failures, but before long even they will open their eyes and, along with their forerunners, will hear God ringing the bell of inner Victory.
The ascending aspiration of the fully awakened souls and the descending Blessing-Light of God can eventually transform the face of the entire globe.
Imperfection and impossibility we cherished yesterday. Today, imperfection and impossibility are our unwanted guests. Tomorrow, they will be seen nowhere. Perfection and divinity will be our most welcome guests.
The nation that soulfully cries for inner development and devotedly cries for outer growth can alone be in the vanguard of the teeming nations. Why does a nation fail? A nation fails because it does not want the sustaining Truth to be on its side. When does a nation fall? A nation falls when it deliberately and vehemently resists the idea of being on the side of Truth. How can a nation succeed? A nation can succeed by following the Truth within and without. The very pursuit of Truth can make the existence of a nation free, meaningful, purposeful and fruitful. Now, how can a nation flourish? A nation can flourish when it sees no difference between the Creator and the creation. A nation can flourish when it loves the world, not for what the world will give in return, but for the sake of love. Selfless love, true love, never ends, never fails. Love is its own immediate reward.
To me, the real worth of nations lies in their united principles; and it is in the united principles that one can see the fruit of true inner oneness and divine perfection. The united principles must needs have co-operation. If there is no co-operation, then the united principles will bear no fruit whatsoever. The present-day world needs co-operation.
Supremely significant are the words of the Secretary General, U Thant: "I can think of no worthier task for a man or a woman to be engaged in than that of creating the tools for international co-operation and working for the betterment of his fellow human beings." Also, the Secretary-General soulfully affirms: "Our work at the United Nations gives us the privilege of contributing actively from day to day in the ardent process of building peace."
With our deepest joy and greatest fortune we see here at the United Nations the promising hearts of one hundred and twenty-five nations. Each nation is unique, for in and through each nation the Lord Supreme wants to fulfil Himself. Each nation is chosen by the Supreme, to fulfil Him in an unprecedented, unique manner.
Each nation right now needs peace. We all need peace. To have peace, what we need is the right path, the Path Divine. Four thousand years ago, in the hoary past, the Vedic seers offered a supreme prayer to the Lord Supreme:O Lord Agni, O Lord,Lead us, lead us by the right path to well-being.
We can all offer this soulful prayer to our Inner Pilot every day. It is this prayer that can awaken and inspire the length and breadth of the entire world. Peace we need. Man seeks peace because he needs peace desperately. Man welcomes peace because it is in peace alone that he can have his own true achievement and fulfilment. Man needs peace. He has to spread it. The moment he needs peace, he has to feel that sooner or later he will receive it. He has to feel that his inner being will be flooded with peace. But he has to spread this peace. Man spreads peace because he knows that he has to conquer, transcend death.
War and peace. In his outer being and inner being each man has only two words: war and peace. Outer war we all know. Inner war is constant. At every moment a sincere seeker has to fight against his own doubt, imperfections, limitations, bondage and death. This inner war is constant; and when we achieve our victory in the inner life, only then can we claim to be God's children, worthy children of God, divine children of God, the true representatives of God. At that moment God beckons us, and He uses us in His own Way. He takes us for His own Use.War and peace. Man invents war. Man discovers peace. Man invents war from without. Man discovers peace from within. The smile of war is the flood of human blood. The smile of peace is love, Love Divine, below, above. The animal in man wants war, war to devour the sleeping, snoring world. The divine in man needs peace, peace to feed the hungry world.
UT 92. This lecture by Sri Chinmoy, delivered on 15 July 1970, shows that Sri Chinmoy's spiritual ideals for the United Nations harmonise most significantly with those of U Thant. Since 1970, Sri Chinmoy has served as Director of the United Nations Meditation Group, holding meditations twice a week for UN representatives, delegates and staff and delivering a monthly lecture series in the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium. The Group's work at the United Nations was highly appreciated and encouraged by U Thant during his Secretary-Generaliship and has also won the deep appreciation and support of current Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, who praised the Group for its "work and dedication to the United Nations" and presented Sri Chinmoy with his 'special medallion' at a private meeting on 16 July 1976.↩
We love your silence-soul,
Your world-harmony role
U.N. Pilot supreme,
From:Sri Chinmoy,U Thant: Divinity's Smile, Humanity's Cry, Agni Press, 1977
Sourced from https://srichinmoylibrary.com/ut