Sri Chinmoy: I wish to say a few words about the world-champion, Muhammad Ali. Yesterday was a most significant day both for the members of the United Nations Meditation Group and for the champion, Muhammad Ali. [Pointing to the two photographs] This is Muhammad Ali in his physical consciousness and this is Muhammad Ali in his soulful consciousness. Each individual has two aspects: the physical aspect and the spiritual aspect. This moment he expresses himself or reveals his capacities through physical means; the next moment he expresses his reality’s divinity through spiritual means. In this picture we see Muhammad Ali in a devoted, soulful, cheerful and powerful consciousness. Right beside it is another picture which brings forward his other aspect: physical strength. We believe in evolution. From the stone life we go to the plant life, then to the animal life, then to the human life and finally to the divine life, where we are striving for perfection. From the physical and vital consciousness, slowly and steadily we have to evolve to the psychic consciousness, the supreme consciousness.

The very name “Muhammad Ali” inspires millions of people on the vital plane. We cannot say that the vital plane is not good, that only the spiritual plane is good. No, all the planes are good; only some planes have to be elevated to a higher consciousness. Some planes need more purity, more determination, more awareness and more acceptance of light. The physical, the vital, the mind and the heart are all members of the same family. They must be amalgamated; they must be illumined and perfected.

What can achieve this perfection? It is our inner cry, our aspiration. And what carries the greatest responsibility for elevating the consciousness of human beings all over the world? What place carries the utmost responsibility for elevating, illumining, perfecting and fulfilling the length and breadth of the world? The answer is the United Nations. The United Nations carries the heaviest burden of human problems and the United Nations is responsible for bringing light into these problems.

Right now the physical is wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance-sleep; therefore, the physical needs to be awakened. The vital is aggressive quite often; therefore, the vital needs dynamism. The mind is full of doubt and uncertainty; therefore, the mind needs faith and certainty. The heart is full of insecurity; therefore, the heart needs confidence. When the wakefulness of the body, the dynamism of the vital, the faith and certainty of the mind and the confidence of the heart come forward and become one, then only does the individual become perfect.

Each individual as well as each nation has these good qualities. Since it is the individuals who form the country, it is always advisable for the individuals to bring these qualities forward first; then, whatever the country has will also come forward. When the individual brings forward his good qualities, it becomes easier for the country to bring forward its qualities.

Who is giving us the capacities, the inexhaustible capacities, that are needed to bring these qualities forward and illumine our imperfections? It is the soul of the United Nations. The deeper reality in the United Nations is blessing us at every moment. If we think that we are glorifying the United Nations by working here, then we are making a mistake. It is the United Nations, the soul of the United Nations, that has blessed us by giving us the golden opportunity to be of service to it.

Right now, in the political world, the mental aspect is predominant. In political ways the countries are trying to establish oneness, peace, harmony and so forth. But in our Meditation Group we are trying to bring to the fore the psychic qualities, the inner qualities, which are peace, light, love, harmony and the feeling of oneness. The Meditation Group is aspiring soulfully and devotedly and, according to our inner capacity, each individual member here is receiving light directly from the soul of the United Nations. The soul of the United Nations has given us ample opportunity, out of its boundless bounty, to share with the rest of the world the peace that we get from it.

All religious faiths, all countries, are one on the inner plane. Outwardly they are still not seeing eye to eye with one another, but in the inner world, definitely they have got the message of the United Nations. Therefore, they have all come together here. They see that they are from one Source, and that only in the One will they get their ultimate satisfaction.

When Muhammad Ali accepted our invitation to be with him, it proved in abundant measure that the physical and the vital in him wanted illumination. The interview lasted for about an hour and for about twenty minutes we meditated together soulfully and devotedly in pin-drop silence. If he had not been spiritual, he would not have granted the interview; nor would he have meditated with us and accepted the fruits of our prayer and meditation. But he did meditate with us and receive what we offered to him, so we know definitely that he is spiritual in the purest sense of the term. He prayed with us and meditated with us and he shared with us wholeheartedly his inner divinity.

Many times I have been misunderstood when I see famous people. Some people think that I am going out of my spiritual domain, that I am entering into another world for name and fame. But those who have faith in me do not misunderstand me. Here I wish to say that each individual, no matter in which field he shines, has received some light from above. Since I am a seeker of the Absolute, the Supreme, out of his infinite Bounty, has also given me some light. This light I want to share with others who have received light from above and who are sharing it with the rest of the world in different fields and in different ways. We are all God’s children. One son of His has achieved something. The other one comes to soulfully congratulate him and, while congratulating him, he brings with him his appreciation, admiration, good will, love and oneness. This is the exchange of our light.

To be with Muhammad Ali is not just a coincidence; nor is it a display of our vital emotion or exuberance in order to get name and fame. No, here the soul of the United Nations has given us a golden opportunity to spread its light and its message of universal oneness. We are all seekers; we are all in the same boat. Therefore, I can safely say that this morning, while I was running from my house to the playground where we practise sports, I vividly saw — not with my third eye but with my human eyes — the soul of the United Nations. It was extremely happy and delighted at what we have achieved. As a matter of fact, it is the meaningful and fruitful blessing of the soul of the United Nations that has manifested in a tangible form in the divinely inspired meeting between Muhammad Ali and our Meditation Group.

Millions of people will see what we are doing. The heart of each individual who sees this picture in The New York Times will definitely feel that the United Nations is the only answer for humanity’s oneness and divinity’s satisfaction in human life, which is aspiring to be totally transformed and illumined. So this meeting with Muhammad Ali is a supreme achievement for the United Nations which each member of the United Nations can embody and treasure and this achievement is nothing short of a supreme gift from the soul of the United Nations.

SM 17. The next day at the U.N. Meditation Group meeting at U N. Headquarters Sri Chinmoy spoke about the meeting with Muhammad Ali. Sri Chinmoy referred to the two photographs of Muhammad Ali which had appeared in that morning's New York Times. One photograph shows Ali and Sri Chinmoy meditating together the morning of the world championship fight with Earnie Shavers; the other photograph shows Ali in the ring with Shavers.