The United Nations: the world's Oneness-Home
Part I — Interview with United Press InternationalUN 1-3. On 15 June 1977, Sri Chinmoy was interviewed at the United Nations by a reporter from the worldwide news service, United Press International. Following 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 them, 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 course 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 forces enter, then naturally the progress can be very slow. But if there is implicit faith and devoted oneness, then 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 — Norman Rockwell: Artist of AmericanaUN 4. On 10 November 1978 Sri Chinmoy paid the following memorial tribute to the American artist Norman Rockwell during a meeting of the Meditation Group.
Norman Rockwell: Artist of AmericanaLet 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.
Part III — Poems and discourses
Food and God1Food 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."
UN 5. 1 February 1980↩
What is it?1Meditation: 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.
UN 6. 26 February 1980↩
Success-march and progress-flight1Indeed, 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 person 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.
A person's 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.
UN 7. 27 February 1980↩
Because I needBecause 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.
My body wants to sleep1My 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.
UN 9. 3 June 1980↩
Man's inner inspiration1Man'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.
UN 10. 3 June 1980↩
Prayer and meditation1Prayer 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?
God — who, me?
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.
UN 11. 1 August 1980↩
Prayer for Gratitude DayMy 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."
Oneness-satisfaction1Women 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.
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, Lakshmana, made a similar and ever-memorable sacrifice. She allowed her beloved husband Lakshmana 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.
Many ordinary Indian women have also become emblems 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 family of the defeated king. 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 the queen were always kind to me. Can I not do them a favour now that they are dead? If God takes care of this infant prince through me, he will grow up and some day he 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 child but, in the course of time, the real prince did regain his father's kingdom.
Satisfaction can be achieved in various ways. These women, through their matchless sacrifice, which was nothing other than their oneness-love, attained satisfaction.
Some present-day women, specially in the West, try to achieve satisfaction in another way. They try to achieve satisfaction by equalling or transcending men. But the satisfaction that comes from equalling or surpassing others will not last. Only oneness-satisfaction will forever last. In the heart of oneness, there is no superiority or inferiority; there is not even equality. There is only oneness-joy. 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. 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.
UN 13. 2 March 1981↩
Each nation1Each nation has five members in its family: inspiration, aspiration, realisation, revelation and manifestation.
The body needs inspiration.
The vital needs aspiration.
The mind needs realisation.
The heart needs revelation.
The soul needs manifestation.
The body wants to walk.
The vital wants to run.
The mind wants to fly.
The heart wants to dive.
The soul wants to be.
UN 14. 4 March 1981↩
Eleventh anniversary of the Peace Meditation at the United Nations1Each member of the Meditation Group is a petal. These petals some day, somehow, will be fully blossomed and I am sure that each one will then be placed on the shrine of the inner temple of the United Nations, where a oneness-heart, a oneness-life and a oneness-home will play and grow together and thus fulfil the supremely important vision of the United Nations.
As long as we can remain faithful to the soul of the United Nations, as long as we can maintain our faith in the vision of the United Nations, we do not have to worry about anything. We shall succeed, for our success is nothing short of humanity's most glorious progress in discovering a oneness-home, oneness-home, oneness-home.
UN 15. 14 April 1981↩
Meditation1Meditation awakens our body-consciousness, strengthens our vital, illumines our mind, purifies our heart and simplifies our life. Dear friends, dear brothers and sisters, here we are all seekers. Since we are seekers, we all need meditation.
Everyone meditates either consciously or unconsciously. There is not a single human being on earth who does not meditate. But most of us are not aware of our meditation. We all want peace of mind. Whatever method we adopt to bring about peace of mind is our way of meditation. We all want happiness. Whatever we do in order to achieve happiness is our way of meditation. We all need love, love in the inner world and love in the outer world, and for that we do various things. Whatever we do in order to achieve love is our way of meditation.
There is nobody on earth who is without desire. Again, there are some people who are awakened to some extent. Although they have desires, they feel that the desire-life is the life of a beggar and will never be able to satisfy them. In the desire-life, from an iota of wealth we try to get more wealth. But unless and until we achieve boundless inner wealth —- infinite joy and love —- we will never actually be happy. When we realise this, at that time we give up the desire-life and enter into the life of aspiration. Aspiration deals with infinite Peace, infinite Light and infinite Bliss, which we all have in the inmost recesses of our hearts. If we want to bring to the fore all the divine wealth that we have within and achieve boundless happiness, we can do so only on the strength of our meditation.
In this world everybody wants freedom. The freedom that we want is the freedom from the doubting, suspicious, impure and insecure mind. If we can free ourselves from our mind, then we can get the joy, peace, love and fulfilment that at every moment we are looking for. If we can have peace of mind, then we will have everything, for inside peace looms large our complete and perfect satisfaction. It is only by silencing our earth-bound mind that we can find our Heaven-free reality-existence and claim it as our own, very own.
We may study hundreds and hundreds of books on meditation. We may discuss meditation for hours and hours with our friends. But only meditation-power itself actually can give us peace. Meditation is the art of silencing the mind that tortures us at every moment. If we can meditate soulfully for even a few minutes, then for hours afterwards no uncomely thoughts can attack our mind or disturb its poise and tranquillity. And it is inside the poise of our mind that our real divinity, which is oneness universal, at every moment grows. By virtue of our meditation, our thought-world will be transformed into the will-world, and our everyday life unmistakably will be inundated with peace —- the peace that grows, the peace that glows, the peace that embraces all mankind.
Why do I meditate? I meditate so that I can give to the world what my heart has to offer—love and the feeling of oneness. I meditate to remind myself of the dream that I have been treasuring —- that I am of the Almighty Father and that I am also consciously, soulfully and unconditionally for Him.
Why do I meditate? I meditate because I feel sorry for my sleeping body, my aggressive vital, my doubtful mind, my fearful heart, my uncertain soul and my unmanifested God. These are all my friends and I love them dearly. Since I love them dearly, I try to be of service to them. I know that it is by virtue of my meditation that I can get an awakened body, a dynamic vital and a mind totally free from doubt, which is absolute poison to my system. By virtue of my meditation, my fearful and timid heart can be transformed into an indomitable heart; my uncertain soul can at every moment be certain of working most powerfully in and through me; and my unmanifested God will get the opportunity to be fully manifested in and through the world around me.
There are some individuals who think and feel that meditation cannot be applied to all spheres of life. Unfortunately, I do not see eye to eye with them. Meditation has a free access to all spheres of life. There is no activity on earth that cannot benefit from meditation. There are some who are of the opinion that politics and meditation can never go together. I wish to say that they are making a deplorable mistake. Politics and meditation can go together. From one point of view, a politician is a seeker. What does he seek? He seeks peace and joy. Somebody may be working here at the United Nations —- in the vortex of politics —- but still that individual has the capacity to benefit from meditation.
As a human being, we need success and progress —- success in our outer life and progress in our inner life. The mind gets tremendous satisfaction from the success-life. The heart gets tremendous satisfaction from the progress-life. If we can meditate soulfully every day, then our mind will get considerable peace and our heart will get considerable assurance. On the strength of this inner peace and inner assurance, our mind will succeed in its outer life and our heart will proceed towards its destined goal in the inner life. If each of us can meditate soulfully for just ten minutes early in the morning and again in the evening when the day draws to a close, then before long our life will have a new meaning, a new purpose and a new fulfilling and illumining goal.
UN 16. 5 February 1982↩
Part IV — Conference on Global Perspectives for Religious lifeUN 17. On 27 April 1982 Sri Chinmoy was invited to participate in a two-day Conference on Global Perspectives for Religious life organised by the Movement for a Better World. It took place in the Chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations. Sri Chinmoy opened the Conference with a silent meditation and a short prayer. Also on the programme were representatives of the Secretary-General and the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, as well as other United Nations Secretariat and non-governmental organisation officials. The following are Sri Chinmoy's opening words:
Conference on Global Perspectives for Religious lifeFather Supreme, we are Your oneness-loving children. It is a very special day for us. What can we give You, since You have everything and You are everything?
"My sweet children, you can give Me what you have, you can give Me what you are —- nothing more. You can give Me your Eternity's flower-beauty. This is what you have. You can give Me your Infinity's prosperity-tree. This is what you are."
Part V — Tributes and discourse
Excerpts from a statement made by Sri Chinmoy after receiving the United Nations' fortieth anniversary medal from Mr. Robert Muller1The United Nations is something that the Creator, the Author of all Good, at every moment cherishes. No human force will ever be able to destroy the United Nations, for the United Nations is not a mere building or a mere idea; it is not a man-made creation. The United Nations is the Vision-Light of the Absolute Supreme, which is slowly, steadily and unerringly illumining the ignorance-night of our human life. So the divine success and supreme progress of the United Nations are bound to become a reality. At His choice Hour, the Absolute Supreme will ring His own Victory-Bell here on earth through the loving and serving heart of the United Nations.
UN 18. 26 November 1985↩
Special remembrance Service for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.1O leader supreme, Martin Luther King,
You are at once the liberation
Of your black brothers and sisters
And the illumination Of your white brothers and sisters.
We, who are your universal Brothers and Sisters,
Are invoking your blessingful presence
To guide us and lead us
To our supreme Destination —-
The Golden Shore Of the ever-transcending Beyond
Which is flooded with Light and Delight
In the heart-home of newness,
Oneness and fulness.
UN 19. 4 April 1993, Chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations↩
Memorial tribute to Fred Lebow1My deeply esteemed Brother-Friend Fred Lebow,
Heaven blessed you with a oneness-heart
To be a choice Brother of humanity.
Earth blessed you with an inspiration-life
To be a genuine Friend of humanity.
On earth you were the flower-beauty-thrill
Of twenty-six miles.
In Heaven you are now the flower-fragrance-delight
Of endless miles.
Many were, many are and many will be founders, directors and sponsors of marathons throughout the length and breadth of the world. But the New York Marathon and Fred Lebow will perpetually shine in the vanguard of marathon-glories and marathon-immortals of this earth-planet.
UN 20. 18 October 1994↩
An inner duty and an outer dutyEach member of the United Nations has an inner duty and an outer duty. The inner duty is to pray and meditate and the outer duty is to serve and dedicate. All those who are working at the United Nations are serving the United Nations and the world according to their capacity. But 'capacity' is a very complicated word. Although we know how to spell it, although we know its dictionary meaning, we do not know the actual secret or true wealth of our capacity; we do not know how much we can do for the world.
Our capacity goes far beyond the flight of our imagination-bird. We have been given the unparalleled opportunity to serve this world-body and world-soul. Political history right now may not value us, and it may not value us even in the future. But there is something called spiritual history. Spiritual history will bear witness to what we are doing. In spiritual history, our love of light, our love of truth, our love of brotherhood, our feeling of oneness, will be inscribed in letters of gold.
It is not for world-recognition, but to help bring about a better world and a more fulfilling life that each of us has to do something. We have to give ourselves consciously, constantly, unreservedly and unconditionally.
Let us not miss this opportunity. If we miss this opportunity, we shall miss much, for we shall have to live in a poor and blind world, as we have been doing up to now. But if we consciously dedicate ourselves to the supreme cause with our aspiration, prayer, meditation and devoted service, then in and through us will grow a better world, a more illumining and more fulfilling world.
It is a great opportunity that all of us here have to serve not only the body and the soul of the United Nations, but also the living breath of humanity and God's constant, glowing, dream-fulfilling Reality.
Editor's introductionThis book contains answers to spiritual questions, poems and inspirational talks, offered by Sri Chinmoy at the United Nations between June 1977 and October 1994.