Part I — What is the meaning of life?1

What is the meaning of life? Life is for the absolute satisfaction of God the Creator and God the creation.

The meaning of life is to become inseparably one with God the transcendental Bliss and God the universal Peace.

The meaning of life is to achieve unconditional self-giving and a self-giving will, at God’s choice Hour, in the unhorizoned blossoming of God-becoming.

Life means will-power, the will-power that unites God’s descending Compassion-Smile with man’s ascending aspiration-cry. In the desire-bound life, there are teeming rules and regulations. In the aspiration-free life, there is only one rainbow-rule: complete faith in oneself and birthless and deathless faith in God.

Life is love: animal love, human love and divine love. Animal love is destruction. Human love is frustration. Divine love is satisfaction. Again, love is life par excellence because it is the existence-reality itself.

Life must needs have a dream and a goal. Today’s dream and goal have to be transcended tomorrow. Each Himalayan dream of man is God’s own Self-Transcendence.

Transcendence is the glorious beginning of human perfection. Perfect perfection is pure satisfaction within and sure satisfaction without.

What is the meaning of life and who am I? From time immemorial these two questions have remained inseparably one. Who am I? I am my life’s unfinished God-manifestation.


  1. PCP 1. The prose meditation by Sri Chinmoy appeared in The Meaning of Life: Reflections in Words and Pictures on Why We Are Here (Time-Life, 1991). It was written at the invitation of David Friend and the publication’s editors.

Part II — World Peace from a Hindu perspective: a Hindu World-Peace-Dreamer1

Introduction

Dr. Louis Vaccaro, President, the College of Saint Rose: Good evening, everyone. I want to welcome you all to the Sidney Albert Interfaith Lecture, which is actually in its sixth year here at the College of Saint Rose. Before we begin, I want to extend a special welcome to our past Mayor, Thomas Whalen, and his lovely wife, and you are all especially welcomed as well.

As part of the Sidney Albert Interfaith Lecture Program, we are honoured this evening to welcome to our campus an individual whose life and work has touched millions of souls. A tireless advocate of world peace and harmony, Sri Chinmoy has devoted his life to speaking, teaching and living for others. It would take the better part of the evening for me to recount his many achievements; they are many and they are impressive. So I will not go into all of it.

Sri Chinmoy is well known as an international spiritual leader, author, poet, artist, musician and athlete. He has tirelessly devoted his life to the pursuit of world peace and to the fulfilment of the unlimited potential of the human spirit. Along with many other awards, he has been honoured by being presented with the Gandhi Peace Award and the UNESCO peace medallion.

Since 1964 he has spread his message of brotherhood, peace and soulful sharing with people of all ages, creeds and nationalities. World-renowned spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy has been an integral part of the United Nations community since 1970 when the then Secretary-General U Thant invited him to hold peace meditations at United Nations headquarters. He has continued to offer twice-weekly meditations since that time for ambassadors, United Nations officials and staff.

Please join me in welcoming to the College of Saint Rose Sidney Albert Interfaith Lecture, Sri Chinmoy.

[Sri Chinmoy then offered the following lecture.]


  1. PCP 2. Sidney Albert Interfaith Lecture, College of Saint Rose, Albany, New York, 18 March 1996

Lecture

I am a Hindu. I love being a Hindu. I am proud to be a Hindu. Why? Why? Why? Because a Hindu soul is a world-peace-dreamer, a Hindu heart is a world-peace-lover and a Hindu life is a world-peace-server.

My spiritual ancestors, the Vedic seers of the hoary past, taught my soul the song of universal peace. My soul has taught the singer in me that particular song. Now I wish to sing that song lovingly and devotedly for you, my world-peace-dreamer, lover and server brother and sister-friends.

The song is in Sanskrit, the mother of all Indian languages. I wish to give the translation first:

May there be peace in Heaven.
May there be peace in the sky.
May there be peace on earth.
May there be peace in the water.
May there be peace in the plants.
May there be peace in the trees.
May there be peace in the gods.
May there be peace in Brahma.
May there be peace in all.

[Sri Chinmoy then performs the song in Sanskrit, accompanying himself on the harmonium.]

“God, Power infinite You have. God, Light infinite You have. In and through all Your Attributes, You manifest Your Divinity’s Infinity. God, my sole prayer to You is to bless me with Your Compassion-flooded Peace-Eye. This is all I need from You.” This peace-prayer is, indeed, the quintessence of all Hindu prayers.

“God, I do not desire even an atom of Power from You. God, I do not desire even an iota of Light from You. What I need from You is a sea of Peace in which I can swim and dive, a sea of Peace in which I can lovingly and unconditionally invite all my brothers and sisters from the world to join me.” This peace-meditation is, indeed, the quintessence of all Hindu meditations.

A Hindu prayer cries in order to fly up high, higher, highest to reach the creation’s ultimate peace-height. A Hindu meditation smiles in order to dive deep, deeper, deepest and enter into the heart of the unfathomable Peace-Source.

If you ask a Hindu seeker what he thinks of world peace, his spontaneous and immediate reply will be: “I do not think of world peace. Why? Because the more I think of world peace, the more I puzzle myself and confuse the poor, helpless world! Peace can never bloom and blossom and cover the length and breadth of the world on the strength of dividing and thinking minds. Peace can and shall bloom and blossom and cover the four corners of the globe only by virtue of self-giving oneness-hearts. These self-giving oneness-hearts are made of God-pleasing prayers and God-fulfilling meditations.”

Peace is the alpha and omega of our earth-reality and our Heaven-dream. We are given by the Absolute Lord Himself the signal opportunity to journey, and the infallible assurance that we shall complete our journey, to the Land of ever-transcending Love and Bliss only when we become world-peace-boat-passengers. Everything else will ultimately disappoint us save and except our peace.

Our Lord Beloved Supreme, with His birthless and deathless Compassion-Light, is telling us:

My children, My sweet children,
Eternity’s peace-seekers,
Yesterday you were.
Infinity’s peace-lovers,
Today you are.
Immortality’s peace-servers,
Tomorrow you shall become.

Hinduism is the temple-heart of a Hindu peace-seeker. In this temple-heart the peace-seeker sleeplessly rings the oneness-bell of a oneness-world-family. Hinduism does not believe in the supremacy of one religion over other religions. Hinduism believes only in the oneness-intimacy of all religions.

Excruciating pangs heavily weigh upon the heart of each and every peace-loving human being because countless unaspiring people use their meddler-muddler-mind-concern to try and solve all the world’s problems and bring about world peace. This approach is, indeed, stupidity’s abysmal absurdity-abyss. Millions and billions of Infinity’s blue-winged, golden peace-birds are sleeplessly flying over the firmament of our division-cherishing minds — trying to enter into and radically transform our minds. All they need is an invitation from our minds to come down to reveal and manifest peace here on earth.

The dictionary word ‘peace’ charmingly yet definitely attracts world attention. The capacity-profundity-velocity of the mind’s peace-word begins and ends in utter failure. But the illumination-perfection of the aspiring heart’s oneness-peace-message can and shall inundate the entire world with peace at God’s choice Hour. Let us all prayerfully, soulfully and self-givingly invoke God to expedite that Hour.

God and His Time will complete His cosmic Self-Manifestation-Picture only when our inner life becomes peace the soulful and our outer life becomes peace the beautiful.

Here I conclude: having a Hindu origin, I personally would like to become a full-time God-loving, God-serving and God-fulfilling peace-instrument-student.

Since our subject is peace, with your kind permission I would like to meditate on peace. I have spoken about peace at many, many places; I have written many books about peace. But my writings and my talks, I feel, are of no avail. It is only when I meditate soulfully that I feel I am of true service to my peace-loving brothers and sisters of the world.

So please allow me to meditate on world peace. I wish all of you to join me. Let us together meditate on world peace, for it is only our prayers and meditations that will definitely bring about world peace. For our prayers and meditations come directly from our heart — the heart that unites us and makes us feel that we all belong to a oneness-world-family.

Closing remarks

Sri Chinmoy [offering copies of his books, The Garland of Nation-Souls and My meditation-service at the United Nations, to Dr. Vaccaro]: With my heart’s deepest joy, love and gratitude, I am offering these to you.

Dr. Vaccaro: Thank you very much. On behalf of the entire College of Saint Rose community, I accept these books with great thanks. I promise you that they will find an honoured spot in our library so that more people can learn of your work and influence among peoples of all the world.

We can hardly repay you in kind for what you have done for us this evening and for what you do for peoples throughout the world. But as a small token of our appreciation, and on behalf of your many, many friends and followers in the College of Saint Rose and the City of Albany, I present to you these two volumes. One is the 75th anniversary history of the College of Saint Rose, and the other is something I put together myself. I hope that you will enjoy these and keep them with you for a long time to come. Thank you very, very much.

Those of you who have come to previous Sidney Albert Interfaith Lectures know that this series was begun six years ago in memory of the late Sidney Albert, who was a true friend of the College and a genuine benefactor and lover of all people in this area. Tonight I think we have continued this great tradition. I know that Sri Chinmoy will occupy a special place in our hearts here at the College of Saint Rose for decades to come. Thank you again very, very much.

Part III — World Peace1

World peace can blossom throughout the length and breadth of the world only when the world-peace-dreamers, world-peace-lovers and world-peace-servers desperately, sleeplessly and breathlessly long for the full manifestation of peace here on earth.


  1. PCP 3. In 1997, Body, Mind and Spirit magazine requested Sri Chinmoy to offer a short message about world peace for publication in a special issue. 13 October 1997.

Part IV — Our philosophy1

Our philosophy is the acceptance of life for the transformation of life and also for the manifestation of God’s Light here on earth, at God’s choice Hour, in God’s own Way.


  1. PCP 4. On 3 January 1998, while he was visiting Guatemala City, Sri Chinmoy was asked by one of his disciples to give a statement of his philosophy in one sentence.

Part V — Heart of Gold Award presentation (Mexico City, United Nations, New York)

PCP 5. Society of Authors and Composers of Music of Mexico, Mexico City, 20 January 1998

Sri Chinmoy’s remarks after receiving the Heart of Gold award

I bow to the soul, heart and life of Corazón de Oro, the Heart of Gold. I wish to offer gratitude to this august organisation from the inmost recesses of my heart.

I am a man of prayer. For me, music is a true form of prayer. Each song is a beautiful flower with fragrance exquisite.

I am a singer and musician of no consequence. But I have been blessed over the years by Himalayan-height musicians, composers and singers. Today I am extremely happy and extremely grateful to be in the immortal galaxy of Mexican composers. Music is the heart of universal oneness. It is also the language of universal oneness. I do not know Spanish, but I have heard over the years many, many, many Spanish songs, and they have touched the very depth of my gratitude-heart and my music-loving soul.

On the way to Mexico City, in the plane, I composed a song about this great award. With your kind permission, I wish to recite the words:

Corazón de Oro, Corazón de Oro, Corazón de Oro!
O Heart of Gold, O Heart of Gold, O Heart of Gold!
Infinity’s oneness-delight you ever enfold.
Your song-beauty, music-fragrance, treasured by God’s Core.
Your culture-heritage is the summit-pride of the Golden Shore.

I am also very happy to have set to music your motto, “In harmony with the universe.” This motto is a momentous message, a universal message. With harmony we can be true choice and perfect instruments of God. This world of ours is lacking in harmony; therefore, we are suffering. We are suffering excruciating pangs because we have not yet established harmony in our lives. Your message is at once hopeful, illumining and fulfilling.

Finally, to my musical friends, composers and singers, I wish to offer my heart’s prayerful and soulful joy and love. We are sailing in the same boat, and our destination is the Golden Shore. Yours is a heart of gold; our destination is the Golden Shore, where we will have peace, light and bliss. My happiness-heart and my gratitude-life to each of you I am offering prayerfully, soulfully and lovingly.

[Sri Chinmoy’s students perform his song dedicated to Mexico. Sri Chinmoy then plays the esraj, after which his students perform his song In Harmony with the Universe. Sri Chinmoy then teaches the song Corazón de Oro to his disciples, who sing it for the audience.]

/Heart of Gold Award presentation/1

Maestro Roberto Cantoral, President, Society of Authors and Composers of Music of Mexico [translated from Spanish]: Today, in the name of the Society of Authors and Composers, over which I preside, I hereby present to Sri Chinmoy the Heart of Gold while we stand in the heart of the United Nations.

The Heart of Gold is a distinction that was conferred on Sri Chinmoy for his lifelong dedication to humanity. His untiring efforts for world peace, manifested through concerts and other events throughout the globe, have made him worthy of the recognition of the Heart of Gold on behalf of all Mexican authors and composers.

Personally speaking, I, Roberto Cantoral, have found in Sri Chinmoy a great man who transmits affection and deep inner peace, which is especially needed in these difficult days and enables us to perform our daily duties. At the same time, I am sure that those present here have found in Sri Chinmoy a constant hope in their daily striving to improve the condition of our world. His message of peace to humanity, and the humanitarian and selfless causes that he pursues, provided the necessary elements for the Society of Mexican Authors and Composers to confer on him the important Heart of Gold Award during his recent visit to Mexico.

Sri Chinmoy, it is an honour to present you today with this Heart of Gold.


  1. PCP 5,9. Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium, United Nations Headquarters, New York, 17 April 1998

Acceptance speech offered by Sri Chinmoy

Sri Chinmoy: My dear Brother-Friend Roberto, I wish to offer you my prayerful and soulful gratitude for this signal award that you have accorded to me. In all sincerity I wish to tell you that, unlike you, I am not a musician of Himalayan height. In the past you have given this award to most distinguished people who have contributed much to the music world and to the Society. Here you have made a most deplorable mistake by offering this award to me! I am a budding musician, still blooming. But as a student of peace, as a man of prayer, I try to include music in my prayers and meditations. Whatever I do, I do with prayerful and soulful melodies deep inside my heart.

So, in that capacity I wish to accept your blessingful award — as a student of peace, as a man of prayer, as a lover of God who tries in each and every activity of his to carry a peaceful melody. My prayerful and peaceful music I wish to offer to you, Brother-Friend Roberto, and also to my dear friend Rafael, and to all the others who are blessingfully offering this award to me. I shall cherish this award in the very depths of my gratitude-heart.

I feel that each and every human being in God’s creation needs a heart of gold. A heart of gold means purity, beauty, divinity and immortality. If each of us has a heart of gold, then this world of ours — which right now is full of conflicts, quarrels and fights — will, without fail, be inundated with peace, light and bliss. So today’s blessingful award of yours will always remind me, and I do hope all my students as well, of one thing — that we all desperately need a heart of gold to have a peaceful world. If we have a heart of gold, then automatically peace will blossom in each and every human being, and the whole of humanity will be flooded with love, joy and bliss. I wish this heart of gold to grow inside my prayerful heart so that my heart will be as beautiful, as pure and as divine as your blessingful offering to me today.

Corazón de Oro, Corazón de Oro, Corazón de Oro!
O Heart of Gold, O Heart of Gold, O Heart of Gold!
Infinity’s oneness-delight you ever enfold.
Your song-beauty, music-fragrance, treasured by God’s Core.
Your culture-heritage is the summit-pride of the Golden Shore.1

Corazón de Oro!
El deleite de la unidad del infinito
Los envuelve a ustedes siempre.
La fragrancia musical de su bella canción
Es atesorada por el centro de Dios.
Su herencia cultural
Es la cima de su orgullo.

– Translation by Gil Rivera

In harmony with the universe

[the motto of the Society of Authors and Composers of Music of Mexico]

Music by Sri Chinmoy
14 January 1998


  1. PCP 5,16. Corazón de Oro, Words and music by Sri Chinmoy, 20 January 1998

Part VI — Bangladesh: amar sonar Bangla — My Bengal of gold1

Marvellous your beauty’s heart,
Stupendous your duty’s life.
Small is your outer body,
But tall, extremely tall, is your inner body.
You are at once quality’s depth
And quantity’s length.
Every morning, inspiration-flower awakens you,
Aspiration-tree heightens you
And dedication-branches enlighten you.
Readiness-life, willingness-mind
And eagerness-heart you are
To barter your divinity’s breath
With humanity’s life.
Twenty-seven years ago, you saw
The light of day
To be in the galaxy of Infinity’s Light
And Immortality’s Delight.

Janani janmabhumishcha svargadapi gariyasi

“Mother and Motherland are superior to Heaven itself.”


  1. PCP 6. This poem was written by Sri Chinmoy in honour of the anniversary of the Independence of Bangladesh. He recited it at the closing ceremony of a parade to mark the 27th anniversary organised by the Bangladesh Students Association in New York on 26 April 1998. Sri Chinmoy was born on 27 August 1931 in Chittagong, East Bengal — now Bangladesh.

Part VII — Pilgrim of Peace Award presentation [fn:pcps-7]

[fn:pcps-7] PCPS 7. On 23 February 1998, Sri Chinmoy was advised by Mr. Gianfranco Costa, President of the International Centre for Peace Among People (Assisi, Italy) that he had been selected as the 1998 recipient of the international Pilgrim of Peace Award for the “international significance of your activities for a culture of peace.”

The first recipient of this prestigious Award was President Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (1988). Other recipients include United Nations Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, His Holiness Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa.

At Sri Chinmoy’s request, the Award ceremony was held in Rome on 16 May 1998, two days prior to Pope John Paul II’s 78th birthday, as a special birthday offering to the Pope.

The ceremony was held on 16 May 1998 at the Galleria Palazzo Colonna, Rome, Italy; and was attended by many distinguished international ambassadors and Italian representatives.

Presentation of award

Mr. Gianfranco Costa, President, International Centre for Peace Among People, Assisi [translated from Italian and abridged]: Kindest ladies and gentlemen, good evening. I am offering to you all the greetings of the International Centre for Peace Among People. Thank you for being present at this magical event, which is so important because we are giving the Award to a citizen who is a world authority on peace.

Salutations to all the VIPs who are present here tonight. Soon you will be inundated with inspiration and delight from the concert Sri Chinmoy is going to perform.

Our Centre has asked the United Nations to declare the Third Millennium as the “Millennium of Peace.” The first person to be awarded with the Pilgrim of Peace Award, President Mikhail Gorbachev, has definitely changed forever the course of world history.

We hope and pray that through the innumerable actions that Sri Chinmoy is undertaking for peace, the Millennium of Peace will take birth.

We really feel that the United Nations is our common home, the home of all the people of the New Millennium.

I would like to embrace you all. I am sure that tonight we shall leave this room changed and more determined to bring about peace. We shall make miracles and, above all, Sri Chinmoy — who is such an important and great authority on peace — will help us.

When we go to the United Nations again in the future, we know that we shall have a new and extraordinary friend. Things will happen that could never happen without him.

What years ago was a utopia, and now is a dream, from this evening will become a reality.

With immense and deep love and gratitude, we offer the little pilgrim into the hands of this great man who has done so much, is doing so much and will do so much, this man who today is here with part of his large family: Sri Chinmoy.

[Mr. Costa presents Sri Chinmoy with the Award.]

Acceptance of award

Sri Chinmoy: My heart’s oneness-peace-dreamer-Brother Costa, I would like to offer a prayerful song to you, to your soul, to your heart and to your life. My heart’s infinite love I am offering to you. My life’s deepest admiration I am offering to you, for you are sleeplessly and breathlessly offering the message of world peace to the four corners of the globe. I am sure your life will shine in the galaxy of the immortals who dreamt of peace and who are still dreaming of peace here on earth. You and I are together sailing in the same boat, the boat of peace. Our Boatman is the Boatman of peace, and our destination, the Golden Shore, is the Golden Shore of peace.

Now my students will sing a special song, a song of peace, which I am offering to you lovingly, prayerfully and proudly.

[Sri Chinmoy’s students perform the song, “/I am a peace-collecting pilgrim-soul/,” composed by Sri Chinmoy specially for the occasion.]

Sri Chinmoy: I wish to offer gratitude from the inmost recesses of my heart to our highly esteemed President-Friend Gianfranco Costa and to the entire International Centre for Peace Among People for this signal Pilgrim of Peace Award. My joy knows no bounds for being placed in the galaxy of immortals — the present Holy Father, Mother Teresa, President Gorbachev and other most notable world figures. We, the pilgrims of peace, sleeplessly must walk along Eternity’s Peace-Road proclaiming the Victory of our Absolute Lord Supreme.

Professor Costa, you are at once a dreamer and a lover of world peace. You and the Board of Directors are self-givingly trying to put an end to humanity’s age-old hunger and poverty. The New Millennium is fast approaching us with its supernal beauty and fragrance to shower its choicest blessings upon your aspiration-hearts and dedication-lives.

I would also like to offer my heart’s deepest gratitude to Mr. Renato Elisei of your Himalayan-high organisation, for his untiring service in organising our Sri Chinmoy Peace Run from Assisi to Spoleto.

Finally, I am offering my soulful gratitude to all the members of the international community, including divinely esteemed Ambassadors and eminent guests, for their blessingful presence here this evening.

[Sri Chinmoy reads out the following poems which he has written over the years on the theme of the pilgrim:]

Poems

I am a peace-collecting pilgrim-soul.
To love the heart of the unknown, my only goal.
Newness-heart-life beckons my dreaming breath.
I see nowhere darkness and bondage-death.

Today
My hope-heart-pilgrim
Shall travel a long distance
To have a glimpse
Of God’s Compassion-Eye.

The life’s simplicity,
The mind’s sincerity
And the heart’s purity
Are fellow pilgrims upon the path
That leads to God’s Kingdom.
My Lord Supreme,
Do give me a pilgrim-heart
To offer my aspiration-flames
Far and wide,
Lovingly and self-givingly.

We are the pilgrims of the Lord Supreme
On the Path of Infinity.
At this time we have broken asunder
Obstruction’s door.
We have broken asunder
The night of tenebrous darkness, inconscience
And the eternal, indomitable fear of death.
The Boat of the supernal Light’s dawn
Is beckoning us,
And the World-Pilot
Of the hallowed bond of Love divine
Is beckoning us.
The Liberator’s Hands are drawing us
To the Ocean of the great Unknown.
Having conquered the life-breath
Of the Land of Immortality,
And carrying aloft the Banner
Of the Lord Supreme,
We shall return —
We, the drops and flames
Of transformation-light.
God sits by His Heart-Window
And watches and enjoys
The sincerity, beauty and purity
Of all pilgrim-seekers.

May my heart's tears
And my life's promises
Walk along
My soul's pilgrim-journey-road.

Humanity’s
Pilgrim-sunrise-days
Shall forever last.

[Sri Chinmoy then offers a Peace Concert, performing on the Indian esraj, Indian flute, cello, harmonium and other instruments.]

I am a peace-collecting pilgrim-soul

I am a peace-collecting pilgrim-soul.
To love the heart of the unknown, my only goal.
Newness-heart-life beckons my dreaming breath.
I see nowhere darkness and bondage-death.