The inner role of the United Nations

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Part I — Interview with United Press International

IR 1-7. On 15 June 1977 Sri Chinmoy was interviewed at the United Nations by a reporter from the worldwide news service United Press International. These are excerpts from that interview.

UPI: You said once that honesty and frankness are the birthright of the West, humility and devotion are the birthright of the East, and the combination of these four powers should be the ideal of a human being. What do you mean by this?

Sri Chinmoy: When these qualities, the good qualities of the East and the good qualities of the West, are all combined, a human being can be perfect. Right now the good qualities that the East has are not enough. Similarly, the good qualities that the West has are not enough. But when we can amalgamate, when we can have the qualities of both worlds, then an individual can become perfect. Right now the West wants to proceed with only honesty and frankness, but this is insufficient. Humility is also required. The East has humility, but honesty is also required if it wants to become perfect.

UPI: What is it that you do at your meditation sessions?

Sri Chinmoy: We pray and meditate, plus I give short talks and answer questions. The inner world embodies peace, light and bliss. The outer world, unfortunately, does not embody these qualities right now, whereas the inner world has them in boundless measure. So we try to establish a free access to the inner world by virtue of our inner cry and our soulful meditation. We call this our aspiration.

UPI: So you don't sit down and talk about the boundaries in the Middle East; you talk about other things?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes. I am quite ignorant of politics as such. My forte is spirituality. There are two approaches to every problem. One is the inner approach; the other is the outer approach. Those who come to meditate want to try to walk along the inner road. But ultimately both the roads can lead to the same destination.

UPI: What is the inner road?

Sri Chinmoy: The inner road is the road of sincere dedication to the highest Cause. In the outer world one can aim at a particular goal without having sincere dedication to the goal. But the inner road represents the attitude of the seeker. The seeker tries in every way to lead a more illumining and more fulfilling life, to find and follow the way that is right from the highest point of view.

UPI: Do you envision the day when your goals will be achieved?

Sri Chinmoy: In the outer world it is a very, very slow process. In the process of time, definitely we will reach the destined Goal. No sincere cry will meet with frustration, disappointment or failure. If we have a sincere cry, the day is bound to dawn when our sincere cry will meet with satisfaction, supreme satisfaction, which is illumination within and without.

UPI: But you don't ever see the day when your work will be done, do you?

Sri Chinmoy: No, my work is not like that. It is a slow and steady process. We have to sow the seed, which has to germinate, then become a sapling and gradually become a huge banyan tree. We are now in the process of consciously becoming that which we always were in the inner world. But this process of growth is an ever-transcending process. We can grow eternally. We need never stop.

UPI: Where are you now? Have you dropped the seed? Do we have a seedling?

Sri Chinmoy: This is a most inspiring, encouraging question. I have been asked thousands and thousands of questions all over the world, but this last question of yours so far nobody has asked me, not even my disciples. We have sown the seed. Now we have a tiny plant. This tiny plant will grow and become a strong tree. If storms of doubt and hurricanes of jealousy and other undivine things enter, then naturally the progress can be very slow. But if there is implicit faith and devoted oneness, then naturally the plant will very soon grow into a tree. Now we are in the plant stage; we have sown the seed, and it is no longer a seedling. It has germinated properly. Previously it was only a seedling, but now it has become a tiny but healthy plant. So there is every hope that it will weather all the buffets and blows of human doubts and weaknesses and grow into a huge tree.

UPI: Thank you very much.

Part II

United Nations Day2

Today is U.N. Day. What does UN Day signify? It signifies a day of universal hope, a day of universal promise, a day of universal peace and a day of universal oneness. Hope brightens humanity's present deplorable fate. Promise encourages humanity's speed, which embodies success and progress. Peace enlightens humanity's age-old ignorance. And satisfaction, which is founded upon oneness, the oneness-family that we would like to live in, will one day dawn in our aspiring heart and our dedicated life.

To us, the United Nations is not a mere building, it is not a mere concept, it is not wishful thinking or even a dream. It is a reality which is growing, glowing and manifesting its radiance here, there, all-where, throughout the length and breadth of the world. All those who are sincerely crying for a oneness-family, according to their receptivity, are receiving light from the soul of the United Nations.

IR 8. On 24 October 1978 the Peace Meditation at the United Nations observed United Nations Day with a programme in the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium. Sri Chinmoy made these remarks on that occasion.

Norman Rockwell: artist of Americana3

Let us for a minute offer our prayerful meditation so that the artist of Americana, Norman Rockwell, may receive the universal peace and transcendental bliss which his soul so rightly and richly deserves.

He not only saw America's simplicity-life and America's happiness-heart, but he also became simplicity and happiness in the purest sense of the term.

No matter what ultra-modern science has made of America, no matter what the modern intellectual giants have made of America, in the depths of America's heart and life there shall always dwell three virtues: simplicity-a childlike simplicity; happiness-a child's happiness; and satisfaction-a child's constantly blossoming satisfaction that comes when America becomes and offers to the world what the child in it has. No virtue that America has can ever diminish or vanish, for virtue is an immortal gift which God Himself grants to aspiring souls and aspiring nations.

America's vastness the world knows. America's oneness only a soul like Norman Rockwell could feel. We the seekers shall always feel in him America's oneness-loving life and America's satisfaction-distributing heart. Norman Rockwell embodies the Reality's revealed dream.

IR 9. On 10 November 1978 Sri Chinmoy paid the following memorial tribute to the American artist Norman Rockwell during a meeting of the Meditation Group.

Divine friends and undivine foes4

As a beginner in the spiritual life, you have to feel that you are standing inside your room behind a door. It is up to you whom to accept as your friends and whom not to accept. Faith, love, devotion, surrender, courage, will-power: these are your friends. You will allow these persons to come into your room and then bolt the door from inside to keep out your enemies. If you allow your enemies — fear, doubt, anxiety and worry — to enter into you, they will come into your room most gladly. As a matter of fact, they are always there waiting to come in, but you do not allow them.

Once your friends have entered your room and you have bolted the door, you will start conversing with your friends. Each time a devoted friend of yours speaks to you, immediately the particular power or capacity that he has increases inside you. When your friend who is embodying love speaks of love, immediately your love for God increases. You also have another friend sitting beside you: courage. He speaks of inner courage and immediately your own inner courage comes to the fore.

When your friend surrender speaks to you, you will see that spiritual surrender becomes easy, spontaneous. Previously you thought that surrender meant self-extinction. You were afraid of surrender because you thought that your individuality would disappear. But when this friend of yours who embodies surrender tells you what divine surrender is, immediately you are eager to throw yourself into the surrender-sea. In this surrender you are not losing anything. On the contrary, you are becoming the vast Infinite. So when these friends tell you about their own qualities and what these qualities actually represent on earth, immediately you will make the fastest progress.

So a beginner should always make a selection as to whom he is going to establish his friendship with, for a beginner's progress entirely depends on the friendship he has made with divine or undivine qualities. Establishing a friendship with divine qualities is the easiest and the most effective way for a beginner to make the fastest progress. Then, when he becomes advanced, the so-called friends that wanted to enter into him — fear, doubt, anxiety and worry — feel that it is a hopeless case. Once the seeker is advanced, he will never, never make a mistake and allow fear, doubt or other undivine elements to enter into him. And these qualities will feel this.

But right now you are a beginner, so at any moment doubt can assail you. Doubt may make you feel doubting is good, but don't be fooled. If you doubt as much as you can, eventually doubt will fail you. Then, doubt sends its best friend, the reasoning mind. The reasoning mind will come and tell you, "All right, doubt has failed. But if you do this, perhaps you will get this. If you don't do this, you won't get it." The reasoning mind will create all darkness and confusion. But in the spiritual life you have come to know that doubt is only poison and the reasoning mind also is useless.

A spiritual person does not reason; he just gives. A beginner especially should always act like a child. A child, when he comes to his mother, does not use the reasoning mind. He acts as if he has no mind. He just runs to her and gives everything that he has found on his way, whether it is divine or undivine. He gives to his mother gladly, cheerfully and devotedly what he has, and the mother gives him what she has. Naturally, the mother has infinitely more than the child. Then, when the seeker becomes advanced, fear, doubt and other undivine forces come to realise that they are knocking at the wrong door.

So beginners have to feel always that they are standing at their door and that divine forces or undivine forces are all the time trying to enter into their room. You should only allow the divine forces to enter into you. Each time a divine force operates, you gain or achieve that divine quality in yourself. Then gradually, gradually all the divine qualities blossom as a flower, petal by petal; they blossom slowly, steadily and perfectly. Then the beginner seeker will be fully ready to offer himself at the Feet of the Lord Supreme.

There are some forces that will attack you and there are some that will help you. You must always be on the alert; you have to open your eyes and allow only those forces to come in that will elevate your consciousness. When you become advanced, wrong forces will not dare to come near you. Now they dare because you are a beginner, but you won't remain a beginner forever. Once you continue walking along the right path, you become advanced. You make progress and reach your destined goal.

IR 10. 9 January 1979.

Food and God5

Food has God. God is food.
Food has life. God is life.
Food has reality. God is reality.
Food has sound-success.
God is sound-success.
Food has silence-progress.
God is silence-progress.

I eat. I eat to survive. From my very birth I have been seeking nourishment. Food saves my life from starvation. Food saves my life from extinction.

Mine is the hunger that does not permit me to think soulfully. Mine is the hunger that does not permit me to act selflessly. Mine is the hunger that does not permit me to pray to God constantly. Mine is the hunger that does not permit me to meditate spontaneously. Mine is the hunger that does not permit me to love God unconditionally.

I know my food-hunger is reasonable and inevitable. But my power-hunger is unreasonable and unpardonable. Finally, my God-hunger is incomparable and insurmountable.

To my great sorrow, poverty attacks plenty. To my widest astonishment, plenty invades poverty. One of the lofty principles of the United Nations is: "Poverty anywhere in the world is a threat to prosperity everywhere." Indeed, this is a heart-unifying and life-fulfilling message. The United Nations was founded upon the vision-hunger for world peace. I am sure there shall come a time when that vision will be transformed into reality in spite of today's teeming, threatening and frightening clouds over the firmament of the United Nations.

O body, I tell you a supreme secret:
"Shortage is poverty."
O vital, I tell you a supreme secret:
"Rivalry is poverty."
O mind, I tell you a supreme secret:
"Doubt is poverty."
O heart, I tell you a supreme secret:
"Insecurity is poverty."
O life, I tell you a supreme secret:
"Impurity is poverty."
O truth-seeker, I tell you a supreme secret:
"Disobedience is poverty."
O God-lover, I tell you a supreme secret:
"Ingratitude is poverty."

I eat to live.
Indeed, this is my wisdom-light.
I live to eat.
Indeed, this is my ignorance-night.

God says to my desire-life:
"Love to live."
God says to my aspiration-life:
"Live to love."
God says to my realisation-life:
"Love to become a oneness-heart.
Live to be a perfection-life."

IR 11. 1 February 1980.

What is it?6

Meditation: what is it?
Peace of mind.

Peace of mind: what is it?

Self-giving: what is it?

God-becoming: what is it?
The beginning of a new journey.

The beginning of a new journey: what is it?
A transcending Eternity.

A transcending Eternity: what is it?
An increasing Infinity.

An increasing Infinity: what is it;
A fulfilling Immortality.

A fulfilling Immortality: what is it?
It is something that I have and I am.

What have I?
A birthless and deathless smile.

What am I?
A sleepless and breathless cry.

IR 12. 26 February 1980.

Success-march and progress-flight7

Indeed, the power of helplessness in human beings is remarkable. Do we dare to believe this?

Indeed, the power of hopelessness in human beings is staggering. Do we dare to believe this?

Indeed, the power of uselessness in human beings is frightening. Do we dare to believe this?

What is this power? This power is self-oblivion. Self-oblivion has blighted man's aspiration and blinded man's vision.

Here at the United Nations, each man is a representative soul of his nation. It is in and through him that his nation gives and receives. It is in and through him that his nation thirsts for world-acceptance, world-recognition, world-appreciation and world-admiration.

His willingness to hoist the banner of truth in order to bring about national and international victory determines his life's success-march and his heart's progress-flight. Indeed, his life's success-march and his heart's progress-flight are the success-march and the progress-flight of his nation as well. This success-march and progress-flight can be founded only on his and his nation's self-giving to the United Nations, which is the world's peace-envisioning home — the world's oneness-home and a fulness-vision-manifestation.

IR 13. 27 February 1980.


Hope is my mind's secret fear.
Hope is my heart's sacred courage.
Hope is my life's daring experience.
Hope is my soul's illumining success
And fulfilling progress.
Hope is my Lord's ascending Perfection
And my Lord's transcending Satisfaction.

We, the members of the Meditation Group at the United Nations, have only one friend — a soulful friend, a oneness-friend — and that friend is hope. We started with hope-friend. Hope-friend and hope-life were synonymous in our case. This hope-life was firmly established on February 29th in 1972, when I had the golden opportunity to meet with former Secretary-General U Thant, who embodied colossal hope for the entire world. U Thant's life itself became the grandiose flowering of hope. A simple schoolteacher from Burma became the principal teacher of the comity of nations. Here his teaching life did not come to an end. He went one step ahead to serve divinity in humanity with the message of the all-illumining and all-fulfilling Truth, the Truth that has no alternative. The message of his soulful heart was: "No compromise, no compromise with falsehood. Truth is paramount; Truth alone can save, illumine, perfect and fulfil the world."

Hope-vision he discovered. Hope-realisation he became. Hope-illumination he offered to the world at large. This is our beloved brother, U Thant, the Pilot who will ever be remembered for his simplicity-life, kindness-heart and oneness-soul. In him we observe that the finite hope of today does not have to remain with the finite and fleeting forever. It can slowly, steadily and unerringly grow into infinite, life-saving and life-illumining Reality.

U Thant's compassion was at times misunderstood by human souls. But his oneness with all nations big and small, his oneness with all and sundry was never, never misunderstood. For what he was, what he is and what he will remain forever is simplicity's oneness, purity's oneness and divinity's oneness.

IR 14. Sri Chinmoy gave this inspirational talk on 29 February 1980, which was the anniversary of his first meeting with the late Secretary-General U Thant on 29 February 1972.

Because I need9

Because I need God's Love,
God's Compassion saves me.

Because I need God's Compassion,
God's Forgiveness illumines me.

Because I need God's Forgiveness,
God's Satisfaction inspires me.

Because I need God's Satisfaction,
God's Oneness liberates me.

Because I need God's Oneness,
God gives me His Eternity's Boat,
His Infinity's Sea
His Immortality's Shore.

Because I need God's Boat, God's Sea
And God's Shore,
God gives me two things that He loves most
In His entire creation:
A sleepless cry and a deathless smile.

IR 15. Sri Chinmoy gave this inspirational talk at a memorial service for former Ambassador Allard Lowenstein held at the United Nations, 21 March 1980.

My body wants to sleep10

My body wants to sleep.
My vital wants to run.
My mind wants to know.
My heart wants to grow.
My soul wants to glow.
My Lord Supreme wants to flow.

My body cries.
My vital sighs.
My mind fears.
My heart hesitates.
My soul wanders.
My Lord Supreme wonders.

My body likes to sleep.
My vital likes to conquer.
My mind likes to prosper.
My heart likes to surrender.
My soul likes to discover.
My Lord Supreme likes to remember.

My body will see.
My vital will feel.
My mind will believe.
My heart will realise.
My soul will smile.
My Lord Supreme will rest.

IR 16. 3 June 1980.

Man's inner inspiration11

Man's inner inspiration
Is his outer success.

Man's inner aspiration
Is his outer progress.

Man's inner dedication
Is his outer manifestation.

Man's inner realisation
Is his outer perfection.

Man's divine hunger
Is his deepest depth.

Man's divine duty
Is his brightest beauty.

Man's divine love
Is his highest height.

Man's divine oneness
Is his purest satisfaction.

The man in God
Is the birthless Knower.

The God in man
Is the deathless Doer.

Man the God discovers within.
God the man uncovers without.

IR 17. 3 June 1980.

The inner role of the United Nations

The U.S. State Department invited Sri Chinmoy to come to Washington on 6 June 1980 to address its "Open Forum," a policy discussion group inaugurated during the Viet Nam War to acquaint policy-makers with different points of view on critical issues of the day. Sri Chinmoy was asked to speak on the inner role of the United Nations. Sri Chinmoy also delivered this same talk at United Nations Headquarters on 13 June 1980 as part of his Dag Hammarskjöld lecture series.

When I speak of the United Nations, my mind, heart and soul immediately compel me to speak of the United States in the same breath. When I speak for the United Nations, my mind, heart and soul are immediately blessed by the prosperous and generous soul of the host state-the Empire State-New York.

The term 'united' has always had a special appeal to all human souls, and this transcendent idea has remained in vogue down the sweep of centuries. There was a time when America was under the repressive yoke of Great Britain. Then America fought dauntlessly and sleeplessly for its rightful independence. At first, the newly liberated Americans and their beautiful, vast land were sadly wanting in oneness. But there came a time when a new dawn of oneness-glory broke upon the glowing and illumining horizon. Americans felt the supreme necessity of a 'united' country, and the thirteen colonies gradually, steadily, unerringly and selflessly became unified. Similarly, although at the present time peace is not reigning supreme in the United Nations, there shall definitely come a time when peace-flood will inundate the 'united' nations around the globe.

Who could have envisaged that the thirteen colonies would one day develop into such a powerful country-fifty states standing indivisible, united by none other than the Hand of the Supreme Being? For the United States, the heart-throbbing and life-illumining song 'united' had its birthless and deathless origin in the hearts of the great Americans whose names are synonymous with the lofty principles of liberty, justice and oneness. The founder of the nation, George Washington; the vision-luminary, Thomas Jefferson; the wisdom-sun, Benjamin Franklin; and the tireless fighter, John Adams: these powerful luminaries, along with others, bravely dreamt of unity for the thirteen colonies.

Again, it was a great son of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, who had the pioneer-vision of the League of Nations-the hallowed source of the United Nations. Some people are of the opinion that the League of Nations totally collapsed and failed, but I cannot see eye to eye with them. The League of Nations did not fail. We must view the League of Nations as the loving mother and the United Nations as her most promising child. When parents leave the earth-planet, their children often manifest more aspiration-light, more vision-power and more manifestation-delight than the parents themselves were able to do. Unmistakably, it is from the dying parents that a bright new light comes to the fore. When the children successfully offer much more than their parents to the world at large, we never think that the parents were hopeless and useless in comparison. On the contrary, we perceive a most significant inner connection, inner link and inner growth between them. We see that the children are marching and progressing in their parents' footsteps. Here we can safely say that Woodrow Wilson's League of Nations actually offered its wisdom-light to its future child, the United Nations.

As I said before, to me, the United States and the United Nations are divinely destined to run abreast. Not in vain is the headquarters of the United Nations in the United States-in New York, the capital of the world. This dynamic and fascinating world capital draws the world's attention at every moment. Is there any place that can be more appropriate than New York City to house the vision of universal oneness, which is in the process of being realised and manifested in the heart and soul of humanity?

True, at times the United States and the United Nations are not on good terms. But each knows perfectly well that the one adds tremendous value to the other in terms of prestige, recognition, self-awareness and oneness-perfection. Inwardly they know that they truly need and deserve each other. In silence, unreservedly the United States gives the United Nations confidence-light. In silence, unreservedly the United Nations gives the United States oneness-height. Being a seeker, in my silence-heart I feel that the concept of the United Nations has verily come from the United States, unconsciously if not consciously, for the United States had this united feeling two hundred years ago, whereas the United Nations is only thirty-five years old.

At the present moment of evolution, the United States says to the United Nations, "If you take my help, you have to use it in my own way."

The United Nations says to the United States, "I am ready to take your help and I shall remain most grateful to you. But if I use your help in your own way, then I will be totally lost in the comity of nations. Whatever you can afford to give me, please give me unconditionally."

The United States immediately responds, "Oh no, I do not want to give you my help unconditionally. I have a right to know whether or not my momentous and generous offering is being utilised properly. As it is my bounden duty to help your supreme cause, O United Nations, I feel that it is also your bounden duty to accept my wisdom-sun on rare occasions."

The United Nations says, "Sorry to stand firm in my belief, O United States. One day you will be blessed with the real joy of unconditional self-giving, which is always without a second."

The inner role of the United Nations amuses the intelligentsia, inspires the world-peace-lovers and nourishes the world-oneness-servers. God has showered His choicest Blessings upon the inner role of the United Nations. When we contemplate on the idea of 'role', we immediately think of either responsibility or challenge. But when it is a matter of inner role, there is no such thing as responsibility or challenge; there is only one self-giving Divinity which is breathlessly growing into a self-becoming reality.

The United Nations is often misunderstood. Perhaps its fate will always remain the same. But is there anybody who is not misunderstood, including poor God? Misunderstanding is the order of the day. But that does not and cannot prevent the United Nations from making its soulful self-offering in the creation of a oneness-home for all.

The United Nations has been marching resolutely and triumphantly towards its inner goal. Indeed, the remarkable leadership of its four Secretaries-General has made its outer success and inner progress not only convincing but also fulfilling. Our present Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim, throws considerable light on the inner role of the world organisation: "We are not faced with many separate problems, but with different aspects of a single over-all problem: the survival and prosperity of all men and women, and their harmonious development, physical as well as spiritual, in peace with each other and with nature. This is the solution we must seek. It is within our power to find it."

Secretary-General Waldheim's predecessor-the Supreme Pilot of the United Nations, U Thant- valued unreservedly the inner or spiritual obligations of the United Nations. Him to quote: "I have certain priorities in regard to virtues and human values …. I would attach greater importance to moral qualities or moral virtues over intellectual qualities or intellectual virtues-moral qualities, like love, compassion, understanding, tolerance, the philosophy of live and let live, the ability to understand the other man's point of view, which is the key to all great religions….And above all, I would attach the greatest importance to spiritual values, spiritual qualities."

Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld offered the hallowed message-light that each individual has a responsibility to his own inner role. According to him, each individual must strive inwardly as well as outwardly to achieve abiding peace: "Our work for peace must begin within the private world of each one of us. To build for man a world without fear, we must be without fear. To build a world of justice, we must be just. And how can we fight for liberty if we are not free in our own minds?"

Illumining leaders from all over the world who are serving the United Nations remind us of the undeniable fact that the earth cannot exist without the world body-the United Nations-in spite of its apparent failings and problems. Secretary-General Trygve Lie's precious message ran: "The one common undertaking and universal instrument of the great majority of the human race is the United Nations. A patient, constructive, long-term use of its potentialities can bring a real and secure peace to the world."

The outer role of the United Nations is greatness remarkable. The inner role of the United Nations is goodness admirable. The supreme role of the United Nations is fulness adorable.

Greatness our mind desperately needs. Goodness our heart sleeplessly needs. Fulness our life breathlessly needs.

Greatness surprises the curious world. Goodness inspires the aspiring world. Fulness fulfils the serving world.

Greatness is blessed with an outer challenge. Goodness is blessed with an inner promise. Fulness is blessed with an integral perfection. Challenge awakens, promise expedites and perfection immortalises our varied capacities. Greatness is sound-amplification. Goodness is silence-enlightenment. Fulness is God-Satisfaction.

The pillars of the United States, its Presidents, call upon us to dedicate ourselves to the most significant cause that the United Nations embodies. Needless to say, the world organisation is God's gracious experiment and precious experience. Such being the case, we must feel an inner obligation to participate in this aspect of God's cosmic Drama. The late President John F. Kennedy spoke not only to his fellow Americans but to all his fellow beings when he proclaimed: "My fellow inhabitants of this planet, let us take our stand here in this assembly of nations. And let us see if we, in our own time, can move the world towards a just and lasting peace."

President Carter has also powerfully encouraged his country to remain part and parcel of the United Nations. He tells us the true truth that real leadership and continuous service to mankind are inseparable: "There is no possible means of isolating ourselves from the rest of the world, so we must provide leadership. But this leadership need not depend on our inherent military force, or economic power, or political persuasion. It should derive from the fact that we try to be right and honest and truthful and decent."

The favourite son of New York, Senator Daniel Moynihan, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, expresses his country's sincere awareness of the sublime necessity of the United Nations: "While there have been some calls to boycott the General Assembly, or not to vote in it, there have been but few calls for withdrawal from the United Nations. It is almost as if American opinion now acknowledged that there was no escaping involvement in the emergent world society."

The United States' Special Ambassador to the United Nations Law of the Sea Conference, Elliot Richardson-a heart of peace and a life of light-encourages, strengthens and spreads a global viewpoint: "The interdependence of the world is an increasingly visible fact, and I believe that out of that fact is bound to emerge in due course a compelling-and comparably inspiring-concept of the opportunities for global cooperation."

A staunch supporter of the United Nations- indeed, the donor of the land upon which the U.N. stands-Nelson Rockefeller vividly draws the parallel between the roots of the United States and the roots of the United Nations: "The federal idea, which our Founding Fathers applied in their historic act of political creation in the eighteenth century, can be applied in this twentieth century in the larger context of the world of free nations-if we will but match our forefathers in courage and vision. The first historic instance secured freedom and order to this new nation. The second can decisively serve to guard freedom and to promote order in a free world."

As the Declaration of Independence of the United States is an unparalleled discovery, even so is the Charter of the United Nations. The U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.N. Charter are humanity's two aspiration-dedication-realities. The beacon-light of the Declaration of Independence shows countless human souls the way to their destined goal: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

The United Nations Charter bravely and heroically proclaims these rights for all of humanity and seeks "to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom."

Concern for and satisfaction in the towering achievements of the United Nations may be a confidence-trip into the unknown, but never into the unknowable. The greatest messenger of the Catholic world, Pope Paul VI, during his visit to the United Nations in 1964, eloquently expressed the inner role of the United Nations: "The Church considers the United Nations to be the fruit of a civilisation to which the Catholic religion… gave the vital principles. It considers it an instrument of brotherhood between nations which the Holy See has always desired and promoted….The convergence of so many peoples, of so many races, so many States, in a single organisation intended to avert the evils of war and to favour the good things of peace, is a fact which the Holy See considers as corresponding to its concept of humanity and included within the area of its spiritual mission to the world."

When Pope John Paul II visited the United Nations in October 1979 and spoke to the General Assembly, Secretary-General Waldheim introduced him thus: "Your presence among us on this historic occasion is particularly encouraging since it dramatically reaffirms the great spiritual values which you represent and which inspire the Charter."

Pope John Paul II indeed reaffirmed the value of the inner United Nations and the spiritual dimension of world politics when he told the General Assembly: "An analysis of the history of mankind, especially at its present stage, shows how important is the duty of revealing more fully the range of the goods that are linked with the spiritual dimension of human existence. It shows how important this task is for building peace and how serious is any threat to human rights."

The composer of the immortal "Hymn to the United Nations," the late Maestro Don Pablo Casals, reminds us that individuals and their countries undeniably need the United Nations. He gives an inspired call for us to selflessly play our parts in the inner and outer roles of the United Nations: "Those who believe in the dignity of man should act at this time to bring about a deeper understanding among people and a sincere rapprochement between conflicting forces. The United Nations today represents the most important hope for peace. Let us give it all power to act for our benefit. And let us fervently pray that the near future will disperse the clouds that darken our days now."

The outer role of the United Nations is a colossal hope. The inner role of the United Nations is a generous assurance. The supreme role of the United Nations is a prosperous satisfaction.

Hope is a growing plant. Assurance is a blossoming tree. Satisfaction is a delicious fruit.

At the present stage, the United Nations is a growing plant which is only thirty-five years old. Is it not absurd for us to expect the United Nations to solve the overwhelming problems of centuries? Let the child-plant grow and glow, smile and cry. Then there shall come a time when this tiny plant will grow into a huge tree, with countless leaves, sleepless flowers and spotless fruits-sheltering, inspiring and nourishing all those who desperately need its protection-shelter, rejuvenation-inspiration and satisfaction-nourishment.

Philosophy, religion and yoga12

Philosophy is man's close association with God. Religion is man's conscious and close union with God. Yoga is man's conscious, close and constant oneness with God.

Philosophy sees the wisdom in truth. Religion realises the code of life with truth. Yoga becomes the delight for truth.

Philosophy is often the mind-capacity. Religion is often the heart-capacity. Yoga is always the God-capacity.

Philosophy ascends from the searching mind. Religion ascends from the crying heart. Yoga ascends and descends: ascends for the discovery of the silence-world and descends for the mastery of the sound-world.

Philosophy unmistakably tells the world about its stupendous victory. Religion unreservedly tells the world about its momentous mission. Yoga unconditionally tells the world about its auspicious perfection.

Philosophy is brave. It tries to understand the higher world. Religion is wise. It tries to acknowledge the outer world. Yoga is pure. It tries to accept the higher, the outer and the inner world.

Philosophy inspires us to become great. Religion inspires us to become good. Yoga inspires us to become perfect.

Philosophy teaches and teaches. Religion preaches and then praises. Yoga praises and praises.

Philosophy gets untold joy in guiding the world. Religion gets boundless joy in conquering the world. Yoga gets spontaneous joy in serving the world.

The United Nations philosophy is to sincerely please all the countries. The United Nations religion is to generously help all the countries that are abiding by the truth principles. The United Nations yoga is to sleeplessly turn the entire world into a peaceful and soulful oneness-home.

IR 19. 10 June 1980.

The inner role of the United Nations13

You have just observed me praying and meditating. Prayer and meditation are of supreme importance if we are to execute the inner role of the United Nations. Perhaps some of you know that twice a week we pray and meditate at the United Nations in New York. And from time to time I give spiritual talks, soulful talks, which are perfectly in tune with our prayer and meditation.

The inner role of the United Nations is a shadowless dream. The inner role of the United Nations is a relentless determination. The inner role of the United Nations is a breathless promise. The inner role of the United Nations is a sleepless struggle. The inner role of the United Nations is a faultless progress. The inner role of the United Nations is a deathless satisfaction.

The inner role of the United Nations is a cry and a smile-an inner cry and an outer smile-and this inner cry and outer smile have to be improved. The inner cry has to be genuine and the outer smile has to be soulful. The inner cry has to climb up to reach the highest pinnacle. The outer smile has to be illumined and fulfilled at the same time, and it has to reach the length and the breadth of the world.

The inner role of the United Nations is the link with the immortal power of infinite peace that spans the universe. This is the power that builds, not breaks. This is the power of peace that inundates our inner beings and, at the same time, our outer lives. This peace is also delight; it evolves slowly, steadily and unerringly towards the great and ultimate destination.

The inner role of the United Nations tells us that duty and responsibility have to be seen in a different light. Each member of the United Nations has a significant duty and responsibility. Here, by virtue of our prayer and meditation, we have come to realise that duty is nothing other than opportunity, and that responsibility is another name for privilege. Therefore, to serve the United Nations' unique capacity is to be blessed with a golden opportunity and fruitful privilege.

The inner role of the United Nations tells us success is fleeting, whereas progress is everlasting. It tells us that success on the physical plane, vital plane or mental plane cannot lead us to the final Goal; it is only progress that slowly and unmistakably leads us to our ultimate Goal. Again, when we reach the ultimate Goal, we get the message to go farther, for the ultimate Goal is not a fixed place; it is always in the process of transcending its own reality.

The inner role of the United Nations helps us discover a unique prayer which is the prayer of prayers. At each moment, we have to pray not to conquer but to serve and, while serving, to free the oneness-reality in and around the world. We have to pray not to lead and, again, not to only follow, but to become inseparably one with the comity of nations. Together, all the nations will dive the deepest, fly the highest and march the farthest.

IR 20. Sri Chinmoy gave the following talk at United Nations headquarters in Geneva on 16 June 1980.

Prayer and meditation14

Prayer is man's soulful cry for God.
Meditation is man's fruitful smile in God.

Prayer is personal; also, universal.
Meditation is impersonal; also, transcendental.

Prayer is petition; also, adoration.
Meditation is absorption; also, perfection.

Prayer needs God's Compassion-Shower.
Meditation needs God's Illumination-Tower.

I pray for Immortality.
I meditate on Infinity and Eternity.

Prayer is night crying for light.
Meditation is light searching for delight.

Prayer reminds us of our hidden sins.
Meditation reminds us of our forgotten sun.

To prayer God says:
"My child, I am waiting for you.
Come and see Me."

To meditation God says:
"My child, wait for Me.
I am coming to see you."

Prayer is the purity that counts.
Meditation is the luminosity that mounts.

My prayer-teacher shows me
The beauty of soulfulness.

My meditation-teacher blesses me
With the duty of oneness.
Prayer soulfully reveals man's faith in God.
Meditation smilingly reveals God's faith in man.

God; who, you? No!
God; who, me? No!

Who then is God?
God is my prayer-purity's guest.
God is my meditation-divinity's nest.

My God is mad because nowadays
I do not pray
Either in the morning or in the evening.

My God is sad because nowadays
I do not meditate
Sleeplessly and unconditionally.

IR 21. 1 August 1980.

Prayer for Gratitude Day

My Lord Supreme, this is a special day, Gratitude Day. Alas, I do not have even an iota of gratitude to offer You. Since I have no gratitude, please tell me what I can offer You instead.

"My child, then give Me a soulful promise."

My Lord Supreme, I do not know what a soulful promise is. I always break my promise. I promise in season and out of season. But never do I fulfil my promises. Such being the case, my Lord Supreme, please tell me what I can offer You instead of a soulful promise.

"My child, then tell Me that you love Me divinely."

My Lord Supreme, I do not know what divine Love is. How can I offer You divine Love when I do not know what divine Love feels like?

"My child, then give Me a fruitful cry. Cry for Me once, only once in your life."

Alas, my Lord Supreme, I do not cry even for myself. How do You expect me to cry for You?

"My child, let Me tell you one thing. Both of us deserve two special names. Each of us will have a new name. Your new name will be a secret and clever unwillingness, and My new name will be an unreservedly open and compassionately stupid Forgiveness."

Women's liberation and oneness-satisfaction15

Women have one common name: sacrifice. They can sacrifice everything that they have and that they are, either for their dear ones or for an unknown, if not an unknowable, supreme Reality. From time immemorial, Indian women have been revealing the supernal beauty of sacrifice. An Indian wife is synonymous with an Indian sacrifice-heart. The Indian goddess Sati could not bear the unending insults which her father Yaksha lavished upon her husband Shiva. Her love for her husband could only be felt and never described. Finally, she destroyed her life, for she felt that death was unquestionably preferable to enduring her husband's humiliation-life.

In the hoary past, Maitreyi, wife of the great sage Yagnavalka, received a call from the Absolute Reality. Therefore, she found it impossible to be satisfied with earthly riches and fleeting happiness. Easily she could have wallowed in the pleasures of earthly prosperity, but she chose the path of renunciation. Her immortal utterance will forever and ever reverberate in the Indian firmament: "What shall I do with the things that will not and cannot make me immortal?" In the Ramayana, Sita became an incarnation of sacrifice. She cheerfully and unconditionally accepted the life of exile for fourteen years in order to be with her beloved Rama. Urmila, the wife of Rama's younger brother, Laksmana, made a similar and ever-memorable sacrifice. She allowed her beloved husband Laksmana to follow his eldest brother into exile, although she could not go with him. She sacrificed the company of her dearest husband by cheerfully letting him fulfil his desire to be with his brother Rama.

Savitri's love for Prince Satyavan touched the very depth of Immortality. When death snatched him away, Savitri continued following the spirit of her husband until she proved to death that nothing in God's entire creation could stand between her and her husband. Finally, death had to return Satyavan to the world of the living, for the power of Savitri's oneness-love for her husband far surpassed the division-power of death.

Even an ordinary Indian woman can be an emblem of sacrifice. A certain Rajput king was killed in battle by another king, and the enemy's soldiers entered into the palace to kill the king's family. The maid Panna, seeing the grave situation, carried away the infant prince and put her own child in the prince's place. She said to herself: "I am an ordinary human being, and my son will always remain an ordinary human being. But this infant will one day be a king. The king and queen were always kind to me. Can I not do them favour now? If God takes care of this infant prince through me, he will grow up and someday may be able to regain his kingdom. My sacrifice is no sacrifice when I am doing something for a noble cause."

The soldiers came and killed Panna's infant immediately, but in the course of time the real prince did regain his father's kingdom.

Satisfaction can be achieved in various ways. These women, by their matchless sacrifice, got satisfaction. Some present-day women, especially in the West, try to achieve satisfaction in another way. They try to achieve satisfaction by equalling or transcending men. Achieving satisfaction by sacrificing or serving is the Indian way. Achieving satisfaction by equalling or surpassing is the Western way.

To get satisfaction, you can stand on someone's head, you can be at his feet or you can be inside his heart. Some women want to compete with men and defeat them. If these women want to get satisfaction by surpassing others, then they can, provided they are not affected by others' jealousy. Some want to get satisfaction by becoming equal with others. This is another way.

Again, by remaining at the foot of the tree, a woman can also get satisfaction. When she remains at the foot of the tree and serves others, no one is jealous of her. Those she is serving show her all love. At that time, she does not feel that she is inferior. In a family, if the youngest thinks that he is inferior, he feels miserable. But if he feels that God wanted him to play the role of the youngest, and that the older children are not superior to him but merely have a different role to play, then he will get satisfaction. Similarly, these women get satisfaction by fulfilling the role of serving and sacrificing.

Satisfaction can come by serving others, by equalling others or by surpassing others. But the satisfaction that comes in these ways will not last. In India they tell about three kinds of disciples. An absolutely useless disciple will try to stand on top of his Master's head. A foolish disciple will feel that he is one person and his Master is someone else, and that they are equal. A devoted disciple will try always to be at the feet of the Master. But if someone is a devoted disciple and, at the same time, wants to conquer insecurity forever and live all the time in oneness-joy, then he will try to live in the heart of the Master.

The satisfaction that one gets by serving, equalling or surpassing others will not last. Only oneness-satisfaction will forever last. In the heart's oneness, there is no superiority or inferiority; there is not even equality. There is only oneness-joy. Here it is not a competition-game but a oneness-game.

Today we hear a lot about women's liberation. Many women are trying to equal or surpass men. But I wish to say that real liberation does not lie in equalling or surpassing others, but in becoming one with them. Liberation is satisfaction, and satisfaction is found only in oneness.

Man's inner strength is his poise. Woman's inner strength is her love. When poise and love blend together in oneness-game, at that time true satisfaction, constant satisfaction, perfect satisfaction, infinite and immortal Satisfaction will dawn on earth.

IR 23. 2 March 1981.

Editor's Note