Part VII — Achieving World Peace from the spiritual point of view — to be precise, from my soulfully spiritual point of view1

Introduction

[Sri Chinmoy is offered a traditional Hawaiian welcome and greeting (called an ‘Oli’) by Ka’iwi, a Hawaiian singer.]

Dr. Majid Tehranian, Professor and Director of the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research: Dear brothers and sisters who have gathered here, it is a great honour for me as a simple Professor of International Communication at the University of Hawaii to have been asked to introduce Sri Chinmoy. I am tempted to say that he needs no introduction. He is as well known and as well loved as Leonardo Di Caprio. But I am going to resist that temptation.

For those of you who have not followed his illustrious life and career, let me perhaps begin by saying he was born in the glorious land of Bengal in 1931. Bengal seems to nurture great spirits who soar beyond the existential boundaries of colour, creed, nationality or religion — the likes of Tagore; Mohammed Younis, President of the Grameen Bank, a unique institution that lends to those who need it: the poor, rather than the rich; and, of course, our distinguished guest today.

Sri Chinmoy spent most of his youth and young adulthood in an ashram, a spiritual community, where he combined an active participation in sports and ashram affairs with a deeply spiritual life. Since coming to the United States in 1964, he has maintained this balance between body and spirit in a life that expresses the unlimited potential of the human spirit.

Sri Chinmoy is a prodigious and creative talent who has written over 1,250 books on spiritual philosophy. Here at the University of Hawaii, you only need one book to get tenured! In addition, he has composed over 13,000 devotional songs and performed in such prestigious locations as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York. Selections from his large body of artwork — an amazing 150,000 paintings — have been shown in museums, galleries and universities around the world. His international running team sponsors over 500 athletic events each year. Today Sri Chinmoy is the leader of 100 meditation centres around the world and for the past 28 years he has been conducting twice-weekly meditations at United Nations headquarters in New York City for diplomats and staff. In my mind, Sri Chinmoy exemplifies the spirit of Saadi, a 13th-century Persian Sufi poet, who said about the flight of the human spirit, and I quote,

“The spirit reaches such height
That it can see nothing but the Divine.
Have you witnessed the eagle’s flight?
Wonder at the spirit’s sight.”

Please welcome Sri Chinmoy, our distinguished author, composer, sportsman, poet, philosopher and spiritual leader.

Sri Chinmoy: I wish to offer my prayerful and soulful gratitude to you, my dear Dr. Tehranian, and to my esteemed sister June Naughton, Director of International Student Services; Pua Auyong, Office of Student Equity, Excellence and Diversity; Dr. Doris Ching, Vice-President of Student Affairs; and Dr. Premalata Menon, Faculty of Public Health, for so kindly inviting me to say a few words on world peace.

[Sri Chinmoy then offered the following lecture.]


  1. PCP 8. The University of Hawaii, 7 December 1998

Lecture

As a God-seeker, I can have genuine peace only when I take God’s Compassion-Feet as my only shelter-rocks.

As a God-server, I can have fruitful peace only when insecurity completely loses its foothold in my life.

As a God-lover, I can have ever-blossoming peace only when I keep my heart-door wide open for my Lord’s Compassion-flooded Arrival.

Peace is something that we cannot give.

Peace is something that we cannot receive.

Peace is something that we become. Once we become peace, then only can we give peace to the world and receive peace from the world.

God tells me that if I can answer two questions, only then will He bless me with peace: Who am I? What am I?

Since I do not know the adequate answers, out of His infinite Bounty, God tells me who I am and what I am.

Who am I? I am the smiling soul of Immortality’s God.

What am I? I am the crying heart of Eternity’s God.

Peace has now become a slogan. The child of yesterday and the man who has one foot in the grave talk about peace. If we can have peace as our sole mantra-incantation instead of our slogan, peace is bound to descend from the realm of the Beyond.

When the mind talks about peace, invariably pride looms large.

When the heart talks about peace, oneness blossoms all-where.

My Lord Supreme blessingfully and compassionately asks me if I really need peace from Him.

I say to Him: “I do, I do! The sooner the better.”

My Lord gravely and sternly tells me: “Then stop flattering Me with your mouth. Start aspiring immediately with your heart. Start serving Me immediately with your life-breath.”

I ask my Lord: “What about my praising You?”

My Lord says to me: “Do I have to tell you why you praise Me? You praise Me to raise you in your outer status. Do I not see through your clever and tricky movements?”

I become the hush of silence.

My Lord becomes the abundance of His Self-Giving.

Since anxiety, worry, jealousy and insecurity are preventing us from achieving inner peace and outer peace, can we not enter into the inner life with our meditation-fee and join an anxiety-worry-jealousy-and-insecurity-prevention society? Needless to say, in the inner world there are many such societies.

And, once we do well, our Lord Supreme will proudly give us a free life membership.

Smiling, singing and dancing, my Lord Supreme comes to me with His Infinity’s Peace when He sees me speedily running towards my heart-home before, long before, ignorance-night can dare to capture me.

O ignorance-flooded mind of peace-refusal, peace-reluctance, peace-unwillingness and peace-unreadiness, do you not think it is high time for you to reverse the course of your life so that you can enjoy the Beauty of God’s Life Universal and the Fragrance of God’s Self Transcendental?

God and God’s Compassion-Eye stop playing hide-and-seek the moment I prayerfully proclaim:

I am only for You.
Thine is the Will I am made of.
Thine is the Will I live for.

Only a sleepless self-giver is blessed with peace, for only he can walk along with his soul through the bountiful meadows of the Heavens.

God solemnly asks His world-peace-preachers: “Tell Me, My children, what do you actually want from peace, world-recognition or world-illumination? If your peace is for world-recognition, you will find Me nowhere in My entire universe. If your peace is for world-illumination, I shall be extremely proud of having you as My invaluable and indispensable partners in My world of Vision-Light and in My world of manifestation-delight.”

When my mind preaches peace-gospel, God immediately becomes a roaring and thundering laughter.

When my mind teaches peace-philosophy, God immediately starts sleeping and snoring.

When my heart prayerfully learns peace-songs from my soul, God immediately and proudly embraces both the teacher and the student.

To my soul, God says: “My child, you are My world-transforming Power.”

To my heart, God says: “My child, you are My world-awakening Hour.”

Award presentation and closing remarks

[Dr. Doris Ching, Vice-President of Student Affairs, offers Sri Chinmoy the Dreamer of a Peace-filled World Award. The plaque is mounted on a traditional gourd or ‘Ipu’. The text of the plaque is as follows:]

Sri Chinmoy
Dreamer of a Peace-Filled World
ka mea moemoe i ao lkahi
Presented December 7, 1998
University of Hawai’i

[Sri Chinmoy offers a musical performance.]

Dr. Majid Tehranian: December 7th, as we all know, was the day that the war in the Pacific was started here in Pearl Harbor. It is extraordinarily fitting that on such an anniversary we should be presenting this plaque, this symbol of peace, everlasting peace, for the New Millennium to a man who is a dreamer of a peace-filled world: Sri Chinmoy.

Let me add at the conclusion of this beautiful ceremony, that we all need to be thankful for the Heavenly music that we have just heard and the beautiful faces that we have seen. Let me also remind you that this need not be a one-day affair. The celebration of the spirit of peace must fill every moment of our lives.

Appendix

Introduction by the editor to the first edition:

This book brings together some of Sri Chinmoy’s most significant utterances about the meaning of life, world peace and his spiritual philosophy, which he has given on various occasions and in diverse countries over the past decade.

It also includes the details of the ceremonies for two significant awards which Sri Chinmoy received during 1998: the Pilgrim of Peace Award from the International Centre for Peace Among People in Italy and the Corazón de Oro (Heart of Gold) Award from the Society of Authors and Composers of Music of Mexico.

As we approach the New Millennium, Sri Chinmoy continues to travel untiringly from country to country, offering meditations, Peace Concerts, exhibits of his peace-bird drawings and athletic events. Of himself, with utmost humility, he writes,

“I am a peace-collecting pilgrim-soul.”