Mayor Beame honoured1Mayor Beame How are you? [Shaking Sri Chinmoy's hand as Sri Chinmoy greets him outside the Gallery]:
Sri Chinmoy: I am extremely grateful to you. It is so kind of you to come. I wish to offer you my deepest gratitude.
Mayor Beame: Thank you.
/Sri Chinmoy: May I play for a couple of minutes on an Indian instrument, the esraj?
Mayor Beame: Yes.
[Sri Chinmoy plays several of his own compositions on the esraj.]
Sri Chinmoy [Presenting a plaque to the Mayor and reading out the inscription]: To Mayor Beame, the unparalleled champion pilot of New York. Mayor Beame, the soul of New York will eternally treasure your matchless contributions to change the face and fate of each and every New Yorker. With deepest appreciation and admiration, the United Nations Meditation Group and Fountain-Art.
Mayor Beame: Thank you. May I say something? I’m very deeply moved by this presentation and I want to say that I could have used a lot of these moments of meditation during these last months and years. And I certainly didn’t think, the first day I met you, that I’d ever have the pleasure of meeting you again tonight. I want to thank you very much for your kindness and your warmth and your expressions. I appreciate it and I want to thank everybody here as well. [Applause]
Sri Chinmoy: Now we have something else to offer you. Just two hours ago I composed a song in your honour and my students now are going to sing this song. I wish to offer this soulful song to your soul.
Mayor Beame: Thank you.
The singers sing "O Great Pilot, Mayor Beame."
Mayor Beame: What are you doing next week? [Laughter] Thank you very much. I really enjoyed it; I appreciate it. I wish Mrs Beame were here so she could hear it.
Sri Chinmoy: Now, with your kind permission, I wish to paint something. It will take only a few minutes. Right here, in front of you, I would like to paint one painting, and then I wish to offer it to you.
Mayor Beame: All right, fine.
Sri Chinmoy: This will be our third soulful offering to you.
[In a matter of minutes, Sri Chinmoy paints a 16 x 20" original with acrylics.]
Sri Chinmoy: This is my humble offering. [Presenting the painting]
Mayor Beame: Thank you. Thank you very much. If I knew I was going to get so much, I would have brought a valise or something. This is more than I've received in a long, long time, and I not only appreciate it for its material good, but more particularly for your sentiments. I very much appreciate it. Thank you. [Applause]
I wanted to thank the singers. Could I do that?
Sri Chinmoy: Yes, please.
Mayor Beame: I just want to thank you. It was wonderful. Thank you. [Shaking hands with all the singers]
[To everyone] Thank you, you've made my evening wonderful.
Woman from the audience: You made New York great! [Applause]
SM 15. On 28 September 1977, Mayor Beame was the special guest at the Jharna-Kala Gallery, where he was honoured with a song, which Sri Chinmoy had composed about him, as well as a plaque praising him for his life of public service. Sri Chinmoy, who had met the Mayor on two previous occasions, also painted an original Jharna-Kala while the Mayor watched and presented it to him as a gift. This is a transcript of the occasion.↩