Tribute To Dag Hammarskjold1

We wish to offer our soulful homage to this great soul and also we invoke this great soul to bless us in our life of inner aspiration and our life of outer dedication.

[A short meditation follows.]

Dag Hammarskjöld was a great man, a good heart, a soulful life, a possessor of perfect vision-light. Something more, he became a fulfilling bridge between humanity’s excruciating pangs and divinity’s illumining Compassion.

They say that the mind’s brilliance and the heart’s oneness do not and cannot go together, because the mind tends to enjoy a sense of separativity. But Dag Hammarskjöld’s life amply proved that the mind’s brilliance and the heart’s oneness can and do go together.

They say that the selfless purity of the body and the bold dynamism of the vital usually do not run abreast. Indeed, Dag Hammarskjöld was a rare exception.

They say that there is a yawning gulf between earth’s practical reality-body and Heaven’s theoretical vision-soul. If what they say is true, then it is also unmistakably true that Dag Hammarskjöld bridged that yawning gulf in his own life’s short span

The practical man in Dag Hammarskjöld teaches us, “Do not look back, and do not dream about the future, either. Your duty, your reward, your destiny, are here and now.

The theoretical soul in Dag Hammarskjöld teaches us 2

"The moon was caught in the branches.
Bound by its vow,
My heart was heavy.
Naked against the night
The tree slept.
Nevertheless,
Not as I will....
The burden remained mine:
They could not hear my call
And all was silence."

Religion-blood Dag Hammarskjöld inherited from his sweet mother. Manifestation-flood he inherited from his dear father. Something more he inherited from his father: loneliness. Both father and son were assailed by loneliness.

The divine seeker in the Secretary-General left a special message for those who are married to inescapable loneliness: “Didst Thou give me this inescapable loneliness so that it would be easier for me to give Thee all?”

A great man is, indeed, a great power. Human power cleverly avoids justification. Divine power does not avoid justification for there is no need on its part to do so. It knows that justification is only another name for its selfsame reality. The Secretary-General’s wisdom-light reveals to us, “Only he deserves power who everyday justifies it.”

We desire many things. Sometimes we do not know what we desire and why we desire. Unlike us, God has only one desire: independence. And that independence, too, is only for us. The seeker in Dag Hammarskjöld not only tells us about God’s desire for us, but also tells us when we can attain it: “God desires our independence, which we attain when, ceasing to strive for it ourselves, we ‘fall’ back into God.”

Dag Hammarskjöld was a man of unparalleled duty. Duty demands capacity. He perfectly mastered the art of duty. Out of his heart’s magnanimity, he shares with us its quintessence: “Somebody placed the shuttle in your hand. Somebody who had already arranged the threads.”

The seeker’s life need not always be a bed of roses. Sometimes it can ruthlessly be a bed of thorns. When the seeker Dag Hammarskjöld’s inner crisis loomed large, his frustration-life voiced forth: “What I ask for is unreasonable — that life shall have a meaning. What I strive for is impossible — that my life shall acquire a meaning.”

Again, when the same seeker’s life-tree blossomed into a glorious satisfaction, he immediately and unreservedly voiced forth,<a href="#fnjp1s" id="fnrefjp1s">3</a>

"That chapter is closed.
Nothing binds me.
Beauty, goodness,
In the wonders here and now
Become suddenly real."

Every time I go to the Secretary-General’s birth-place, Uppsala, Sweden, I make it a special point to offer my soulful homage to his Long Home. His life’s sterling simplicity illumines my life of aspiration and his soul’s ever-glowing luminosity fulfils my life of dedication.

A flying earth-plane killed his body, only to help his soul fly to reach the highest height. But his Heaven-bound flying soul got the immediate opportunity to see the Face of the Beloved Supreme.


  1. RD 24. Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, 29 July 1976. On the anniversary of Dag Hammarskjold's birth, 29 July 1976, the United Nations Meditation Group dedicated a programme to the late Secretary-General, held in the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium.

  2. RD 24,8. Excerpt from Markings by Dag Hammarskjöld.

  3. RD 24,16. Excerpt from Markings by Dag Hammarskjöld.