Nelson Mandela: the Pinnacle-Pillar of Mother Earth
I am prayerfully and soulfully dedicating my Nelson Mandela: The Pinnacle-Pillar of Mother Earth to the First Lady, Graça, the universal Mother of the universal children.
— Sri Chinmoy
A garland of poems for the Presidentfile:medianelson-mandela-the-pinnacle-pillar-of-mother-earth-0005.jpg
Of Mother Earth.
Of God the Creator,
Of God the creation.
3.His sleepless and breathless suffering
Unreservedly helps us
To consign all our suffering
To immediate oblivion.
4.He is, indeed,
A giant feast
For the eyes of mankind.
5.Wherever he goes,
He carries with him
The tears and smiles
6.He is at once
God’s choicest Choice
God’s surest Voice.
He infallibly is.
He never was,
He never is,
He never shall be.
10.Whoever genuinely desires
To redress humanity’s suffering
Feels behind him one hundred per cent
The living presence of Mandela’s heart.
11.His help is relentless,
His help is perfect
To whosoever wants to outsmart
A gentle whisper
Of God’s ever-blossoming Love
For the aspiring humanity
The unaspiring humanity as well.
13.President Mandela’s very name
Builds a hope-cathedral
In the heart of despair-flooded humanity.
14.He is a magician supreme!
Our very long-standing bitterness
Into our abiding sweetness
In the twinkling of an eye.
15.He has transformed
His country’s collapsing dream
Into a rock-solid reality.
16.He tells poorer than the poorest human beings
In every possible way:
‘Let us dream together.
The Golden Dawn
Will soon burst forth!’
17.The moment you stand
In Mandela’s blessingful presence,
Your heart is bound to feel
Your mind is bound to understand
What delight is,
Infinitely sooner than your own expectation.
18.No matter how unjust and undivine
Some human beings are to him at times,
Refuses to leave his heart.
19.He tells the sea-deep sorrow-sufferers:
‘My brothers and my sisters,
Here and now, smile with a new start.
Tomorrow’s Golden Dawn is come!’
20.The citizens of the whole world see
In the circle of President Mandela’s
The blossoming joy of world-peace-hope
The fulfilling power of world-oneness-promise.
20.When someone meets
With President Mandela,
His self-doubt expires,
His negativity-mind retires,
His positivity-heart aspires.
21.Long, very long frustration-road
To show his countrymen
22.In Mandela they found
Of their lives
Of their hearts.
22.When he won
The Nobel Prize for Peace in 1993,
I saw his victory’s crown
Inside his heart
And not on his head.
23.It is simply impossible for any South African
To over-praise Mandela’s sacrifice-life
For the betterment-improvement-enlightenment
Of his beloved country.
24.He plies his life-boat
25.Indeed, he is a great professor
To me, his love of mankind
Is his only religion.
26.From his supremely extraordinary life,
We learn how to become
And not how to acquire.
27.Where does he actually serve from?
He serves inside the countless
Leaves, flowers and fruits
Of the world-dedication-tree.
28.Sleeplessly his soul navigates
His country’s progress-life
With pinpoint accuracy.
29.It seems that God
To put ‘impossibility’
In the life-dictionary
Of this indomitable hero.
30.Where we see
Dirty, filthy charcoal
In the human life,
He sees a rare diamond.
Needless to say,
That diamond is nothing other than
His own heart.
His outer life has.
His inner life is.
32.To the whites he says:
‘Rectify the past
To clear the road
Of the golden future,
Where the perfect union
Of blacks and whites
33.To the blacks he says:
‘We needs must value
The significance of responsibility.
Indispensable is the contribution
Of each and every individual.
Build we must
A new Africa
With flowering hopes
And glowing promises.’
34.Speakers to address the vast audiences
And mammoth gatherings in the world
But God chooses His Nelson’s heart
To be the keynote speaker.
35.When he meets with a child,
A budding soul,
The depth of their reciprocal affection
Is at once astonishingly
And refreshingly exquisite.
36.A treasured truth-experience:
Nelson Mandela’s heart
Is the hope-seed
Of South Africa’s heart.
37.A treasured truth-experience:
Nelson Mandela’s life
Is the reality-tree
Of South Africa’s life.
His are the eyes
That reveal the rising dawn
Of South Africa’s signal delight.
Every South African is
The playing, singing
And dancing child
Of his heart.
40.He envisions his South Africa
As a self-doubt-free
41.With one hand
He giantly shook
The colossal pride-throne
Of the whites.
42.With the other hand
He gently shook and awoke
All his South African brothers and sisters
From their deep somnolence.
43.His fathomless affection-compassion-heart
Tells his fondest countrymen:
‘My friends, wake up!
Sleep no more on your age-old idle bed,
Imagining all the work is already done.
43.South Africans have now become
The blooming colours
Of his faith-heart-garden.
44.He and his world-oneness-heart
Divinely enjoy every day
45.He tells his countrymen,
With a supernal authenticity-voice,
That if they really, irrevocably, unreservedly
Love and serve their country,
Then the measureless reserves
Of their country’s soul
Will sumptuously feed them
And strengthen them
To sound the world-transformation-trumpet.
A bouquet of poems for the First Ladyfile:medianelson-mandela-the-pinnacle-pillar-of-mother-earth-0031.jpg
1.Nelson Mandela’s sky-climbing aspiration
O First Lady, you were your rejection;
Nelson Mandela was his aspiration.
You were your objection;
Nelson Mandela was his aspiration.
You were your hesitation;
Nelson Mandela was his aspiration.
Finally, his aspiration and your illumination
Together won the race.
Impossibility surrenders; impossibility smiles.
Impossibility’s surrender-smile is exquisite.
2.O universal Mother of the universal children,
Self-reliance founded upon the inner God-Guidance
You were, you are and you forever and forever
3.You do not want to be a votary
To a here-and-now decision;
You prefer your forte-motto
And your inimitable way of life
To be founded upon steadiness
And thus you become supremely triumphant
In all your endeavours.
Slowly, steadily, unerringly
Pilots your life-boat.
5.If it is true
That you are not easily accessible,
Then it is equally true
That your life-duty is appreciable,
Your heart-beauty is admirable
Your soul-fragrance is adorable.
6.You are uniquely usable
By God the Creator
For God the creation.
7.Mandela’s heart suffered
From the heaviest
8.Your life suffered
From your Samora-deprived
9.God was eagerly waiting
For His choice Hour
10.God said to earth:
“Earth, I need your beloved son, Nelson.”
Earth immediately and proudly
Offered earth’s son
11.God said to Heaven:
“Heaven, I need your beloved daughter, Graça.”
Heaven immediately and proudly
Offered Heaven’s daughter
12.The moment God declared,
“Nelson and Graça are one,
Both Heaven and earth
Shed their gratitude-heart-tears
And started swimming together
In the sea of ecstasy.
Needless to say, their beloved children —
Nelson and Graça —
Are swimming infinitely faster
Towards their ever-transcending Goal.
13.As the Minister of mind-education
You gloriously excelled.
14.The professor of global heart-education,
You now are.
15.Nelson Mandela’s adamantine will-power-mind
Your invaluable fountain-lotus-heart
Shall transform the inexorable fate
Of South Africa.
16.South Africa shall shine,
Bravely and brightly,
In the galaxies of the immortal
Self-giving and God-fulfilling
— Graça Machel"
O adored First Lady, bravely and self-givingly you spread your sunlit optimism-heart here, there and everywhere, throughout the continent of Africa. The brightest future for your people you have envisioned, and that blessed day is fast approaching when all your cherished dreams shall be realised.
— Graça Machel"
We feel that he who gives not only receives infinitely more, but also divinely becomes. What does he become? A torch-bearer of truth and a harbinger of peace. Indeed, this is a supremely momentous utterance of the First Lady.
Graça Machel, Graça Machel, Graça Machel!
Everywhere you ring oneness-peace-bell.
The bliss and pride of Mozambique,
World-children’s mother unique.
The First Lady of South Africa,
President Mandela’s “Eureka!”
Mother Graça, in your compassion-eye,
Affection-heart, concern-life, fondness-soul,
We, your sweetness-children, have found
Our blooming-blossoming Goal.
Prayerful commentaries on the president's life and writings
Long Walk To Freedom"
Our beloved President, walk you must along Eternity’s Road, and follow we must — you and only you.
— Long Walk To Freedom"
This prophetic utterance of our beloved President Mandela has proved to be absolutely true, and I am so grateful to God that it has come to pass during his lifetime.
— Long Walk To Freedom"
Many tried to rob you of your dignity. Many tried to rob you of your humanity. Many tried to rob you of your beliefs. They all became sad failures. Why? Because these peerless jewels you kept safely locked inside your heart-casket.
— Long Walk To Freedom"
When hatred holds somebody in its grasp, the vastness of the mind and the immensity of the heart are replaced by narrow thoughts and blinding emotions. No prison cell can ever equal the self-created prison of hate. When we truly love others, then only can we become emancipated.
— Long Walk To Freedom"
Not only South Africa, but all of humanity was enchained by apartheid.
Not only South Africa, but all of humanity awoke to fight for freedom.
Not only South Africa, but all of humanity won the freedom-struggle.
— Long Walk To Freedom"
In President Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, we find, to our great surprise, that the wisdom-king and the humour-king can easily run abreast.
— Long Walk To Freedom"
Dear President Mandela, if there were degrees bestowed by the prison-universities for their patience, perseverance and commitment courses, then I wish to say that you have gone far, far beyond the Ph.D. level. Indeed, the ‘education’ you and others received was too harsh for any human being, and specially for political prisoners. Such being the case, it is my fervent prayer that this inhuman kind of treatment be abolished altogether.
— Long Walk To Freedom"
Beloved President, as the flame of hope inside you could never be extinguished, even so our love for you can never be extinguished.
— Long Walk To Freedom"
Exercise makes the body strong, the vital dynamic and the mind peaceful. Your exercise regime in prison inspired young and old alike and preserved your body for the great tasks which lay ahead. You started life afresh at the age of seventy-one when you were released from prison. Now, in your eightieth year, you abound with youthful energy and dynamism. Dear President, how we all wish to emulate you!
— Long Walk To Freedom"
Out of His infinite Kindness and Love, God blessed you with two lifelong friends, fellow freedom-fighters and oneness-brothers: Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo.
Walter was an unfailing source of strength and love by your side in prison. To Oliver, in profound silence you sent your inmost thoughts and feelings. He, in turn, became your outer voice, here, there and everywhere.
Nelson, Oliver and Walter — “Free South Africa NOW” was the secret message of your names.
Walter, Oliver and Nelson — “South Africa’s freedom WON” is God’s open Message to humanity.
11.“I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.”
From Nelson Mandela’s speech to the crowds on the day of his release Capetown, 11 February 1990
And we place President Mandela’s life in the Hands of our Lord Supreme. May He continue to shower His Blessings upon our President, who is so beloved by the entire world.
— Newspaper article"
Sad to say, dear President, your prison guards have now been replaced by security guards. God Himself plays jokes on His human children from time to time!
But your most important guards are your inner wisdom, your innate nobility, your constant self-giving and your abiding love for your country and its people. That is why you always remain far beyond the snares of fame and power.
— Newspaper article"
One-third of your salary and all of your heart you have given to the little children of South Africa. Like Noah himself, you embrace those who are suffering severe life-storms and give them a pleasant ride in your huge heart-boat.
14.“That spiritual and physical oneness we all share with this common homeland explains the depth of the pain we all carried in our hearts as we saw our country tear itself apart in a terrible conflict and as we saw it spurned, outlawed and isolated by the peoples of the world.”
— 10 May 1994 Inaugural Address
Beloved President Mandela, on the strength of your spiritual and physical oneness with your beloved homeland, South Africa, you saw that in her inmost consciousness she was fully awakened, fully bloomed and fully blossomed. She was ready, eager and willing to be free and to take her rightful place among the comity of nations — nay, at the very forefront of the nations. Even as you prayed for the garden gate of South Africa’s heart to be opened, you saw this beautiful garden being trampled before your very eyes. Who can ever fathom the depth of the pain that filled your heart?
Now, because of your life of unending selflessness and sacrifice, along with the lives of your comrades, the whole world flocks to love and adore the exquisite beauty of South Africa’s heart-garden.
— 1994 Inaugural Address"
The time for a great leader and hope-bringer has come. His name is Nelson Mandela of the Universal Heart.
The moment to lovingly and soulfully abide by his requests has also come.
The Golden Dawn is upon us, with the Golden Dawn-harbinger, Nelson Mandela.
— 1994 Inaugural Address"
Beloved President Mandela, O Founding Father of a free and democratic South Africa, your sacred covenant with your people shall forever and forever last. The rainbow nation shall shine for all Eternity with its many brilliant and glorious colours. None can dim its light. None can dull its splendour.
We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success. We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.
— 1994 Inaugural Address"
There can never be an easy road for the pioneer-climbers of freedom-heights, for unless and until they have guided each and every person to the summit, they shall not rest.
Beloved Brother, President Mandela, an entire nation follows in your footsteps — and behind it I see the vast caravan of humanity.
Meeting with Nelson Mandela at the United Nations
Sri Chinmoy met with Nelson Mandela for the first time on 22 June 1990 at United Nations headquarters in New York, immediately prior to Mr. Mandela’s address to the United Nations General Assembly. Mr. Mandela’s historic visit to the United States, as part of a 14-nation tour, took place just four months after his release from prison. Mr. Mandela was at that time one of the foremost leaders of the African National Congress.
The meeting between Mr. Mandela and Sri Chinmoy took place in the presence of The Hon. David Dinkins, Mayor of New York City. During the meeting, Sri Chinmoy presented Mr Mandela with the words and music to the song A Perfect Justice-Voice, which he had composed in honour of Mr. Mandela just three days earlier. He then offered Mr Mandela the following message:
Sri Chinmoy: South Africa sleeplessly needs the fragrance of your heart for its liberation and peace, and the whole world soulfully needs the garden of your life for its inspiration and bliss.
These words were to prove prophetic. Within a few fleeting years, South Africa was liberated from its strict apartheid policy. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela became the first democratically elected President of the nation and the widely revered and adored elder statesman and moral conscience of the entire world.
In 1993 Mr. Mandela received the Nobel Prize for Peace jointly with President F.W. de Klerk of South Africa.
Humanity's sacred shrine on Robben Island
On 26 December 1995, Sri Chinmoy made a soulful pilgrimage to Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, He personally wanted to see the cell where President Mandela had been incarcerated for 18 of his 27 years in jail.
Commander Elsa Jones of the Correctional Services Department most compassionately escorted Sri Chinmoy on his private tour of the island’s historic buildings. She also showed Sri Chinmoy the lime quarry and other sites where the President and his fellow prisoners spent long hours doing manual labour.
Standing inside cell 5 in Section B — President Mandela’s six by nine foot ‘home’ — Sri Chinmoy prayed in silence for several minutes. He then paid his prayerful homage to President Mandela and the untold sufferings which the President was forced to endure as a political prisoner under sentence of life imprisonment.
Offering a prayer inside the President's cell
Our beloved President Mandela, O Supreme Pilot of the South Africa-Boat, it is here in this tinier than the tiniest room that you embodied your beloved country’s streaming tears and bleeding heart.
Again, it is here in this bondage-room that you planted the seed of freedom. Blooming hopes and blossoming promises became your true companions.
There was a time when this cave-room played the role of torture and punishment. But now this room plays the role of humanity’s sacred, illumining and fulfilling shrine.
President Mandela, to your life’s sleepless struggle and to your soul’s indomitable courage and confidence my aspiration-heart and my dedication-life bow and bow.
You are the Pilot Supreme of your nation. Slowly, steadily and unerringly you have piloted your Boat to its destined goal: the goal of life’s flower and heart’s fragrance ever-increasing.
Sri Chinmoy's inscription in the visitors' register
Yesterday’s punishment-cell becomes today humanity’s Enlightenment-Shrine.
Beloved President Mandela, to you my aspiration-heart and my dedication-life bow and bow.
— C.K. Ghose Sri Chinmoy, Student of Peace.
After leaving the cell, Sri Chinmoy offered his deepest gratitude to Commander Jones:
I am so grateful to you for allowing me to visit this shrine. This is humanity’s aspiring shrine. To some, this place symbolises brutal torture from some ignorance-lords.
To me, it is the living presence of humanity’s hope and humanity’s promise, embodied in the aspiration-heights of Africa’s beloved leader, Nelson Mandela.
U Thant Peace Award1
President Mandela (greeting Sri Chinmoy): My Brother, how are you?
Sri Chinmoy: Beloved President, I am so grateful to you for so kindly allowing me to be in your blessingful presence.
Sri Chinmoy and the President enter the conference room, where the President is greeted by warm applause. He shakes hands with each person present.
President Mandela (to Sri Chinmoy’s students): It is a real pleasure to see all of you. You all look very impressive. I am so happy to see you.
Sri Chinmoy (after requesting the President to be seated): As your time is very limited, we would like to sing some songs which I have composed in your honour, and then I would like to offer you our U Thant Peace Award.
President Mandela: It is SO difficult to sit down when you are all standing!
Sri Chinmoy (presenting the President with the sheets of music): These are the two songs that they are going to sing right now.
[The choir performs A Perfect Justice-Voice and Long Walk to Freedom.]
President Mandela (applauding): Well! Thank you very much! This is a great honour.
Sri Chinmoy: Now the singers will sing four of your momentous utterances that I have set to music. (Showing the President the words and music) They will be singing these, and then we shall offer you our U Thant Peace Award.
President Mandela: This is absolutely wonderful!
The choir performs the four songs and the President applauds generously at the conclusion.
Sri Chinmoy: Highly esteemed and beloved President Mandela, it is the greatest honour for me and my students to offer you our most profound and soulful appreciation in the form of our U Thant Peace Award.
Dear President, yours is the life of a supremely chosen instrument, embodying both the excruciating bondage-pangs and the soaring freedom-dreams of your nation. The sweet hopes of your innocent childhood you unhesitatingly surrendered to Destiny’s challenging call. The loftiest goal of universal liberation you wholeheartedly embraced. Impossibility, defeat and bitterness are words never to be found in your oneness-heart-dictionary. Unfathomable courage, unparalleled determination and indomitable strength radiate on every page.
Dear President Mandela, your life of unconditional sacrifice and your beloved country’s miracle-transformation are inseparable. Sleeplessly your life-boat is plying between Africa’s bleeding heart-shore and Africa’s smiling soul-shore. Your triumphant peace-loving and oneness-building spirit the entire aspiring world shall forever love, cherish and adore.
President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and Sri Chinmoy together in a deeply contemplative mood as they listen to the choir performing the song dedicated to the President by Sri Chinmoy.
NM 94. On 29 January 1996, President Nelson Mandela received Sri Chinmoy and some of his students in Johannesburg, at the headquarters of the African National Congress.↩
The inscription on the U Thant Peace Award.The U Thant Peace Award is presented to
President Nelson Mandela
South Africa’s visionary oneness-leader
Epitome of humanity’s nobility-aspiration-height
Glowing humility-servant of your suffering and striving people
Towering majesty-king of their blossoming unity-victory-destiny
With our deepest appreciation, admiration and gratitude
Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations
29 January 1996
U Thant Peace Award — part II
President Mandela: This is a wonderful honour. I do not have the words to express it. It is such a pity that I am seeing you at the last moment because I must proceed to Pretoria and fly to Cape Town today. But when my Comrade Zuma phoned me and told me about you, I said I would be honoured to meet you, and I hope you will not mind the fact that I can only spare just a few minutes because of the tight programme which I have.
This gift, this award from you, is one that I am going to respect a great deal, and which encourages me in the difficult work that we are doing. It is not easy to preach the message of peace and reconciliation in a country which for more than three centuries has been divided by racial conflict and tensions, and where many people have lost their lives because of torture and persecution. It is not very easy, but we are trying.
This gesture makes it possible for us to be able to do this work. To be appreciated by an organisation like yours is a real shot in the arm, and I am very grateful to you.
President Mandela makes his most eloquent and heartfelt speech of acceptance.
Sri Chinmoy: I am so grateful to you, beloved President. When I was in Cape Town, I paid a prayerful visit to Robben Island. I visited your cell and this is the message that I offered there. (Showing a Newspaper article about the visit) “There was a time when this cave-room played the role of punishment. Now this room plays the role of humanity’s sacred, illumining and fulfilling shrine.”
Sri Chinmoy shows the President a copy of an article and photograph from the Cape Times of 28 December 1995 about Sri Chinmoy’s visit to the President’s cell 07i Robben Island.
President Mandela (reading the message): That is very good! I am really honoured.
Sri Chinmoy (presenting his book The Garland of Nation-Souls to the President): These are the talks which I have given at the United Nations over the years.
President Mandela: I will read this with great interest.
Sri Chinmoy: Now we will end with a short song I have composed in honour of Africa.
The choir performs the song “Africa”.
President Mandela: Thank you very much. Thank you. I cannot express in words my joy, but I wish you good luck and success in what you are doing. It is in the interest of the entire humanity and the world. I am really honoured. Thank you, thanks a million times.
Sri Chinmoy: We are so grateful to you.
The President again shakes hands with everyone present before he departs.
Meeting with President Mandela and First Lady Graca Machel in New York at the Plaza Hotel
Sri Chinmoy and President Mandela warmly greet each other at the commencement of their meeting on 20 September 1998 at the Plaza Hotel in New York. President Mandela was in New York to address the United Nations General Assembly. He then travelled to Washington to receive the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest civilian award. He became the first African to receive this award.
President Mandela and the First Lady enter the Presidential Suite of the Plaza Hotel and warmly greet Sri Chinmoy and others, shaking everybody’s hand. At one point when the President is shaking hands with the children singers, his grandfatherly affection for them is so sweet and compassionate.
A few seconds later, one of the security guards quite eagerly introduces Colonel Elsa Jones to the President, as the former Commander of Robben Island.
President Mandela (placing his hand affectionately on Colonel Jones’ shoulder): Yes, it is good to see a familiar face. It’s a small world! Are you staying here now? You are not going back to South Africa?
Mrs. Jones: No, I am still with the Correction Department. I will be going back to South Africa on Sunday.
President Mandela: Very good. (To Sri Chinmoy) How are you? It is such an honour to meet with you.
Sri Chinmoy: What a blessing for me to be in your presence once again, beloved President.
Sri Chinmoy offers his heart’s deepest gratitude to the President for blessing him and his students during this most significant farewell tour. President Mandela, who turned 80 on 18 July this year, is planning to retire in the Spring of 1999.
President Mandela shows utmost affection in greeting Colonel Elsa Jones of South Africa. Colonel Jones was appointed Commander of Robben Island on 15 September 1995, long after all the political prisoners had been freed. In January 1997, President Mandela closed the notorious prison and Colonel Jones oversaw its transformation into a world heritage landmark museum. She preserved the President’s own cell, where he spent 18 of his 27 years in prison, as a national shrine. Also pictured is Ms. Ranjana Ghose, the curator of Sri Chinmoy’s artwork.
President Mandela: It is a great honour for us to meet with you.
Sri Chinmoy: We have come to receive your blessings.
President Mandela: The blessings are mutual, mutual, mutual. (After greeting everyone) Please, sit down. Please, sit down.
(Requesting Sri Chinmoy to sit on the couch in between him and the First Lady) Here, you sit in between us.
Sri Chinmoy (giving copies of the special songs he had composed to President Mandela and his wife): May I give you these? (Pointing to the first song) This is the first song they are going to sing.
President Mandela (referring to the song with the First Lady’s picture on it): I’ve seen this lady somewhere!
The First Lady (laughing delightedly): Thank you!
President Mandela (reading the poem): It is very lovely indeed!
The First Lady: It is beautiful!
President Mandela: Very good! They will sing “Eureka!”
Sri Chinmoy presents President Mandela with a copy of the song which he had written about the First Lady in which he describes her as the “world-children’s mother unique.” The First Lady is deeply committed to the welfare and happiness of children around the world. She is the former Minister of Education in Mozambique, a post which she held for 10 years, and the supervisor of the 1997 United Nations report on “The Impact of Armed Conflict on Children.”
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President Mandela: “Eureka!” This is very lovely, very lovely!
The children singers perform the first song dedicated to the First Lady. The President and the First Lady are deeply moved, exclaiming and applauding happily.
Sri Chinmoy: This morning I wrote this.
President Mandela: Very good!
The First Lady: I was just thinking, isn’t it a shame that we don’t have anything to record this with!
President Mandela: I Say! Yes!
Sri Chinmoy: We will offer you a copy. This morning in the newspaper I saw this.
(Sri Chinmoy points to a copy of a photograph that appeared in New York Newsday showing the First Lady lovingly, affectionately and compassionately embracing two children.)
The First Lady: Oh yes, this was yesterday, with the children.
“Mother Graça… compassion-eye, affection-heart… ”
Sri Chinmoy: In Harlem. I was deeply moved. I wrote this song this morning and the children learned it.
The First Lady: It is SO difficult.
President Mandela: This is wonderful! I never expected this.
Sri Chinmoy: Now they will he singing the next song.
President Mandela: I See, I See!
The children sing the second song dedicated to the First Lady. President Mandela and the First Lady applaud enthusiastically.
President Mandela: This is very lovely, very lovely!
The First Lady: Thank you.
Sri Chinmoy (to President Mandela): This is the next song that the children will sing. At your ANC headquarters we sang this for you.
The First Lady: That was in Johannesburg, yes.
President Mandela (looking at the song): Yes!
The children sing A Perfect Justice-Voice. President Mandela and the First Lady again smile broadly and applaud enthusiastically.
President Mandela: This is very lovely! We must thank you for this, and also thank the singers. It is very lovely that you should think of us. I don’t know whether you still remember coming to South Africa and singing for us. It was a wonderful day for us. Although we have a very tight programme today, when we heard that there was a possibility that you might come around, we welcomed it, because it brings us a lot of joy. I have not got the words to thank you, but it gives us a great deal of solace to know that you are working for world peace (affectionately patting Sri Chinmoy’s knee). We are sincerely grateful for all this. (To the First Lady) Do you want to say something more?
Enjoying the soulful singing of the children.
The First Lady: Yes, I wish to say thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you very, very, very much! It was very nice of you.
President Mandela: Thank you very much.
Graça Machel, Sri Chinmoy and President Mandela jointly hold the Peace Torch of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, a global relay run that takes place every two years. Runners symbolically carry the Peace Torch and pass it from hand to hand. The Peace Torch has also been blessed by world luminaries such as Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa, President Gorbachev and Olympian Carl Lewis.
Sri Chinmoy: May I request you to bless our Peace Torch that goes all over the world? This is our Peace Torch that covers more than 70 countries. It is our prayerful Peace Torch that goes all over the world with the message of prayerful peace. This is what we have been trying to do for the last ten years.
President Mandela (holding the Peace Torch): That is so important. We are with you in upholding peace, which brings solace to many people throughout the world. It doesn’t matter what language they speak. They appreciate peace. I think peace is one of the things that is going to save the world. Thank you, thank you very much.
Well, thank you, all of you.
[The President and the First Lady thank everybody personally.]
/Sri Chinmoy (presenting to the First Lady a glass plaque etched with some of his peace-bird drawings):_ These are peace-birds.
The First Lady: Oh yes! Thank you, thank you!
/Sri Chinmoy (presenting a gift for the President:_ And this is for our beloved President.
The First Lady: Thank you, thank you very much.
Dr. Agraha Levine (to the President): This is Ranjana Ghose, Sri Chinmoy’s Executive Secretary and also the Curator of Sri Chinmoy’s artwork.
President Mandela (giving Ms. Ghose a broad smile while enthusiastically shaking hands): I see, I see!
Dr. Agraha Levine: Mr. President, we are so grateful to you. I was eager to mention that we have been working closely with Comrade Jacob Zuma for our Peace-Blossom programme.
President Mandela (enthusiastically): Yes!
Dr. Levine: Sri Chinmoy is extremely, extremely grateful that you have allowed his name to be associated with your country as a Sri Chinmoy Peace-Blossom-Nation. First came the country of Malta.
/President Mandela:_ Yes, I have heard!
_Dr. Levine:/ Then your own great nation of South Africa. We were all very thrilled. And just two days ago Finland has joined our Peace-Blossom family.
President Mandela: Very good!
Dr. Levine: We are all extremely happy and very grateful to you for giving your blessings for South Africa to be a part of our worldwide peace programme.
President Mandela: Thank you! That is wonderful! We are also very happy.
After Sri Chinmoy has walked just a few steps out of the Presidential Suite, the main South African Security officer who was present at the meeting approaches him.
Security officer: Sri Chinmoy! Sri Chinmoy! You did not say good-bye to Graça. You must say goodbye to her!
Sri Chinmoy: I did! I did!
Security officer: No, you did not! You should come back now.
[Sri Chinmoy faithfully returns to the room, shakes hands with the First Lady and thanks her deeply.]
Sri Chinmoy faithfully returns to the room, shakes hands with the First Lady and thanks her deeply.
NM 97,20. ‘Madiba’ means ‘Revered One’↩
Four Peace-Dreamers for AfricaOn 14 June 1993, African freedom-fighters gathered at Westminster Central Hall in London to pay tribute to Father Trevor Huddleston on his 80th birthday and to rededicate themselves to the struggle for peace, justice and democracy in South Africa. On this auspicious occasion, they blessed the Peace Torch of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run.
Father Trevor Huddleston,
friend of the South African people
a prominent leader of the ANC and lifelong Brother-Comrade to Nelson Mandela
Julius Kambarage Nyerere,
first President of Tanganyika 1962-64, first President of Tanzania 1964-85
Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
1984 Nobel Peace Laureate
Peace Concert dedications to the Presidentfile:medianelson-mandela-the-pinnacle-pillar-of-mother-earth-0102.jpg
11 January 19961Today’s Peace Concert I am prayerfully dedicating to President Mandela, the Supreme Pilot of the South Africa-Boat. Indeed, the President is also a supreme peace-dreamer, peace-lover and peace-bestower for the entire world.
NM 99. City Hall, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 11 January 1996↩
13 January 19961Today’s Peace Concert I am prayerfully and soulfully dedicating to our beloved President Mandela. He is, indeed, a dreamer of world peace, a lover of world peace, and he is offering to all citizens of the world his dream of peace and his love of peace, lovingly and self-givingly.
Technical College, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 13 January 1996.↩
16 October 1998On the evening of 16 October 1998, Sri Chinmoy dedicated a Peace Concert in Queens, New York, to South Africa’s President Nelson Mandela. The guest of honour was Mr. Jacob Zuma, Deputy President of the African National Congress and Minister of Economic Affairs and Tourism for KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
During the concert, Sri Chinmoy played his meditative compositions on a variety of instruments from around the world, and his students performed Sri Chinmoy’s songs dedicated to President Mandela and First Lady Graça Machel. The words to these songs appear at the back of this hook.
Sri Chinmoy also read the prayerful message he gave during a soulful pilgrimage to Robben Island in December 1995 to visit the cell where President Mandela had been incarcerated for many years. At the end of the programme, Sri Chinmoy lovingly offered Comrade Zuma a special honour entitled “The Nelson Mandela Award.”
Following are Sri Chinmoy’s dedication to President Mandela, his remarks while presenting the award to Comrade Zuma, and Comrade Zuma’s acceptance speech.
During the Peace Concert, Sri Chinmoy holds a large, framed photograph of President Mandela and offers the following dedication:
Today my prayerful Peace Concert I am dedicating to the universally respected and universally admired and universally adored and universally loved President Nelson Mandela. He is at once humanity’s colossal hope and Divinity’s ever-blossoming promise. His heart is the beauty of compassion. His soul is the fragrance of forgiveness.
May our Absolute Lord Beloved Supreme shower His choicest Blessings upon His choicest instrument to reveal and manifest a universal brotherhood. My Brother, our Brother, humanity’s Brother, President Mandela, to your sleepless and breathless self-giving life for the improvement and betterment of humanity, I bow and I bow and I bow.
Sri Chinmoy opens the Peace Concert with a silent meditation.
Sri Chinmoy plays on the Indian esraj.
The guest of honour is Comrade Jacob Zuma.
During the concert Sri Chinmoy plays the Indian flute, the viola and the piano.
At one point Sri Chinmoy requests the audience to join the choir in singing again and again the first two lines of his song dedicated to South Africa:
These words are coming from the very depths of our oneness-heart, oneness-soul and gratitude-life. We may not be great singers, but we are expressing our soulful oneness-feeling with the suffering and striving South Africa.
Sri Chinmoy reads the soul-stirring message that he gave at Robben Island, South Africa, in 1995, while praying inside the cell where President Mandela had been incarcerated:
Our beloved President Mandela, O supreme Pilot of the South Africa-Boat, it is here in this tinier than the tiniest room that you embodied your country’s streaming tears and bleeding heart.
There was a time when this cave-room played the role of punishment. But now this room plays the role of humanity’s sacred, illumining and fulfilling shrine.
At the end of the programme, Sri Chinmoy lovingly offers Comrade Zuma “The Nelson Mandela Award” with the following remarks:
My Brother, our Brother, humanity’s Brother Jacob, Comrade Jacob Zuma, only three days ago you received a most prestigious award, the Nelson Mandela Award, for your most outstanding leadership. Today my students and I are offering you an award with the same name, but it is not in any way as prestigious. Three days ago you received an award as high as the Himalayas. Today’s award is as small as a tiny plant, but it is coming from the very depths of our heart. We claim you as a true brother of our soul, heart and life. Therefore, this Nelson Mandela Award we are offering you on the strength of our oneness-heart. May you live long, long, very long to illumine not only your own countrymen, but also the citizens of the entire world.
This afternoon at the United Nations you gave a supremely inspiring talk about South Africa and President Nelson Mandela. We shall forever treasure your all-illumining mind, all-elevating heart and all-sacrificing life in the inmost recesses of our heart.
Sri Chinmoy presents a special award to Comrade Zuma.
Following are Comrade Zuma’s remarks upon receiving The Nelson Mandela Award from Sri Chinmoy:
Thank you very much, my Brother Sri Chinmoy and your wonderful students. I feel overwhelmed this evening with what you have done by giving this Peace Concert for our beloved President Nelson Mandela, and also for this award, which I regard as indeed very big. It is the spirit and love with which you honour me that is so profound and so important to the efforts that we are engaged in to bring about peace and stability in the world. Your recognition of our humble contribution in South Africa is a big thing to us.
I want also to humbly thank you for dedicating this Peace Concert to one of our most beloved soldiers of peace, President Nelson Mandela. Many years ago, as you know, at the United Nations, where we were this afternoon, people demonstrated for the release of Mandela from prison. People spoke in support of his struggle. People expressed their sympathies with him when he was in prison.
It was, in the end, the thoughts, the prayers, the efforts that the world put together, and the demand for his release, that finally softened the hearts of those who had said that they would never, never release him. Your prayers were heard, in the end.
Comrade Zuma graciously accepts the award.
It is most appropriate that today, in this part of the world, we can celebrate his being with us, and recognise the contribution he has made. It is most fitting that you, my Brother, do this in a humble way together with your students, recognising this peace-lover, this man who stands for reconciliation not only in South Africa, but throughout the world. Nelson Mandela is one of the few political leaders who are known and respected by all, totally all. No country in the world does not want to see him. Even big countries recognise his presence, recognise his contribution. He is given a respect that I believe in a sense pays back the 27 years that he was incarcerated in the South African prisons.
You are, therefore, adding to those who acknowledge what he did and what he stands for. He certainly stands for the same principles that you stand for — peace and love for humanity. I thank you very much indeed.
The singers perform a song of congratulations after the presentation.
Sri Chinmoy offers his prayers for President Mandela and gives the final meditation.
Reflections on World-Transforming Love and Oneness
Sri Chinmoy in conversation with Comrade Jacob Zuma, New York, 15 October 1998:
Sri Chinmoy: In 1995 I visited Robben Island. I was there for about forty minutes or so. You were there for ten years and our beloved President, Walter Sisulu and others were there for almost twenty years. In those forty minutes my prayerful heart felt the excruciating agonies, sufferings, anxieties and worries my brothers had to go through during their imprisonment.
I wish to say that the tears of your heart reached God’s Heart and turned His Tears into His brightest Smile. Again, it is God Himself who gives us tears in order to strengthen our love for Him. He who is chosen by God is examined by God also, to see if his love for God is genuine. God says to him, “My child, prove that you truly love Me.” So, dear Brother, the President, you and many, many others had to prove that you really love God inside each and every South African.
God is both the Creator and the creation.
Let us take your millions and millions of South African brothers and sisters as the creation. God said to you, “Now I am entrusting you with My creation. If you really love Me, then you have to take care of those who are in the street, who are unfed, who are poverty-stricken, who are illiterate. You have to take care of them because they are Mine. You said that you love Me. Now prove it!”
Dear Brother Jacob, the President, you and other freedom-fighters have proved that your love for God is, indeed, very, very deep.
For many of the whites in South Africa during the time of apartheid, civilisation was not born. They thought that they were educating the black South Africans. On the contrary, so many of the whites acted like beasts! Now, what can a human being learn from an animal? We can learn only from somebody who is superior to us in terms of wisdom, understanding and inner illumination. These qualities were not to be found among the majority of whites in South Africa. That is why your hearts revolted. You brought to the fore your indomitable spirit. You said, “We may be poor outwardly, but our spirit is strong. Our outer poverty can readily be seen, but we do not have inner poverty.” You showed the world that your compassion was your strength, your love was your strength, and your awakening to the inner light was your strength.
Night has power. Again, day has its own power, which is far greater. The white South Africans who wanted to conquer you, wanted to do so with the power of darkness. You wanted to illumine them with your light. Eventually darkness has to surrender to light.
The way you all suffered was absolutely brutal; it was not human. Brutality is the right word for your treatment. When you were given interminable prison sentences on Robben Island, the authorities said that you deserved this kind of treatment. But what kind of wrong did you do? What crimes did you commit? The white authorities were more powerful in terms of laws and weapons, but you had your heart-power. Your heart-power was your best weapon. Heart-power is all light. President Mandela, you and other freedom-fighters showed your inner light and finally the undivine forces which many, many whites embodied had to surrender. Because of you, they came to realise that we are all God’s children; we are all one.
The more we give peace, the closer we come to God. This world of ours has everything, save and except peace. People may be very learned, they may have advanced university degrees; but very often peace is totally missing from their lives. It is as though a furnace is raging inside them. Why? Because they do not pray and meditate, because they do not love God the Creator and God the creation as they are supposed to do. They care only for themselves.
Look at President Mandela’s heart! It is like a huge, spreading tree protecting all his brothers and sisters. He will say, “If my brothers and sisters are lying in the street, then I am ready to be in the street with them. They are mine. I do not want to remain in a palace.” President Mandela’s heart embraces each and every human life.
President Mandela has taught us so many sublime things, so many new things that bring to the fore our divine qualities. Undivine qualities everybody has to some extent, but these undivine qualities have to be illumined. President Mandela’s life of sacrifice is lovingly illumining our undivine qualities.
People who assert their superiority and lord it over others are always afraid that those whom they consider inferior will one day become stronger and surpass them. In every field, whenever there is any kind of competition, there is always fear, fear, fear! Let us consider the whites in South Africa. On the one hand, they were torturing you. On the other hand, they were terribly afraid of you! They knew that your heart-power was infinitely stronger than their mind-power. They were afraid that at any moment you would revolt and get back your freedom, and then they would be nowhere. They lived with this constant fear.
True peace and satisfaction come into our lives only when we can feel that we are one with others. At that time, there is no such thing as superior and inferior. We realise that we are all sisters and brothers of a oneness-world-family.
Mother Earth is vaster than the vastest and yet she is supremely humble. She is not afraid when somebody treads on the grass or flies in the sky. She is one with the entire creation. When we become inseparably one with others, then only can we have true humility. President Mandela is humility incarnate. He does not harbour feelings of superiority or inferiority. At the same time, he is not afraid of anybody. He is his heart’s oneness with humanity.
Extract from Comrade Zuma’s keynote address to a gathering of UN ambassadors, delegates and staff members at a programme in honour of South Africa and President Mandela held at United Nations headquarters on 16 October 1998:
H.E. Ambassador Khiphusizi J. Jele, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, Comrade Jacob Zuma and Sri Chinmoy following Comrade Zuma’s captivating speech to United Nations delegates and staff on 16 October 1998.
2.Excerpt from Comrade Zuma’s acceptance speech at the Medunsa Trust Nelson Mandela Award ceremony in Washington, D.C. on 13 October 1998:
Television interview in Cape Town on 23 December 1995Interviewer: Throughout mankind’s history we have seen conflicts. There is always fighting, anger and killing. Do you have any hope that one day we will be able to reduce the level of conflict and achieve lasting peace?
Sri Chinmoy: Definitely there shall come a time when this world of ours will be inundated with peace and love. Right now we are still fighting and quarrelling because our mind is not listening to our heart. The mind offers the message of division and supremacy, which is ultimately the message of destruction. The mind says, “Peace will come about only when you walk one step behind me.” But there is no peace in division and supremacy. There is peace only when you and I walk side by side, or when I keep you inside my heart and you keep me inside your heart. This is the heart’s way. The heart does not want to destroy others, because it has already established its oneness with each and every human being. We have to grab the mind and put it inside the heart, where it can enjoy the heart’s boundless affection, compassion, love and forgiveness.
Interviewer: Do you feel confident that the transition that occurred in Eastern Europe can also occur here in Africa?
Sri Chinmoy: Definitely! Peace is not the monopoly of a single individual or a single country. It is everybody’s possession. Peace is what God has and what God is. Just as God is for everybody, so also His Peace is for everybody. God and Peace are like the flower and the fragrance.
A perfect justice-voice
Nelson Mandela, torture-sufferer supreme,
High Heaven’s Smile and earth’s solace-dream.
Your heart has won the world’s admiration-choice.
Within, without, a perfect justice-voice.
Long walk to freedom
Long walk to freedom, long walk to freedom
To be a child of oneness-kingdom.
Long walk to freedom, long, long, long:
Our proudest victory’s sweetest song.
This song is based on the title of President Mandela’s autobiography, which was published in 1994. In his concluding paragraph, the President writes, “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.
Quotations by President Mandela
Africa, Africa, srashtar kripa shikha
Soon, very soon, you will fly.
Prabhu pade labhiyacho thai
God’s Supreme Vision-Song.
Bhubaner sushobita rong
O South Africa
O South Africa, South Africa, South!
Your heart you give before you open your mouth.
You are your life’s streaming and bleeding tears.
You offer mankind progress-promise-cheers.
ANC: African National Congress
ANC, ANC, ANC —
African National Congress —
Africa’s progress-train express!
Lifting up the World with a Oneness-HeartOver the past nine years, Sri Chinmoy has lifted up three members of the ANC with one arm in his “Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart” programme to show his deepest support for the struggle for freedom in South Africa. They are Mr. Bernard A. Molewa, Ambassador of the ANC to East Germany (23 February 1990 in East Berlin); Ms. Mankelolo Mamlangu-Ngcobo, Chairperson of the Regional Women’s Committee of the ANC in the USA (11 September 1990 in Baltimore, Maryland) and Comrade Jacob Zuma, Deputy President of the ANC (17 October 1998 in New York).
Sri Chinmoy lifts Comrade Jacob Zuma overhead with one arm in Jamaica, New York — 17 October 1998. The photo on the left shows the lifting apparatus in the down position. When Sri Chinmoy exerts his strength upwards against the bar, the entire platform on which Comrade Zuma is standing ascends (see photo on right).
A song of the South African freedom-fighters taught to students of Sri Chinmoy by Comrade Jacob Zuma
Nelson Mandela’s African name is Rolihlahla Mandela. The pronunciation is similar to “Ho-li-sha-sha.
Loving World Tributes to the PresidentA perfect stranger to bitterness is President Nelson Mandela. Life is a forward journey and not a backward journey. We look forward and throw ourselves into the heart of Infinity’s newness and fulness. The unparalleled magnanimity of Mandela’s soul the Queen of England saw, felt and expressed most eloquently and convincingly:
Truth can be discovered; truth can he revealed; truth can be manifested. President Mitterand Of France saw in President Mandela the Olympian hero whose indomitable will was the radical transformer of South Africa’s fate:
The human spirit knows no defeat. The human spirit is a ceaselessly triumphant journey.
This spirit is accompanied by three most powerful assistants: freedom, democracy and hope. President Clinton of The United States most powerfully and most irrevocably presents President Nelson Mandela to the world stage for the world to appreciate, admire and adore:
“Now, all over the world, there are three words which, spoken together, express the triumph of freedom, democracy and hope for the future. They are ‘President Nelson Mandela’. In you, sir, we see proof that the human spirit can never be crushed.”
— President Fidel Castro of Cuba"
Follow we must President Mandela for the betterment of the four corners of the globe, not only because he was the new pathfinder, but also because he is the path-inspirer and path-server.
— Stephen Lewis Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF 17 September 1998"
May I be allowed to add:
It is impossible, in human terms, to know Graça and not to be uplifted, inspired and illumined by her.
Every world citizen will proudly cry ditto to Stevie Wonder, the American music legend: