Part IV — Performance of Siddhartha becomes the Buddha

UT 37-39. On the evening of 25 May 1973, U Thant attended the first performance of Siddhartha becomes the Buddha, a series of one-act plays based on incidents in the life of the Lord Buddha, written by Sri Chinmoy and performed by his disciples on an outdoor stage built for the occasion at Old Mill Farm in Harrison, New York. U Thant was accompanied by his daughter, son-in-law and young grandson.

Speech of welcome by Sri Chinmoy

[Sri Chinmoy opened the programme by singing.]

Buddham saranam gacchami
Dhammam saranam gacchami
Sangham saranam gacchami

[Sri Chinmoy then gave a speech of welcome and garlanded U Thant. Sri Chinmoy’s remarks follow.]

When I go to the Buddha for refuge, He blesses me.
When I go to the Inner Law for refuge, He illumines me.
When I go to the Order for refuge, He utilises me.

A child of Bihar, a son of India, a citizen of the world, a denizen of the higher spheres: Siddhartha, the Buddha.

In the outer world He is known as the Light of Asia. In the inner world He is, indeed, an ever-illumining Light of the universe.

To the world-sorrows He offered His heart of infinite Compassion. To the world-aspiration He offered His soul of transcendental Illumination.

The Omnipotent did two things. Through Siddhartha Gautama, He revealed the ideal of Perfection in a human being. Through the Buddha, He revealed His Enlightenment and Compassion in a Divine Being.

With His Heart, the Unfathomable came to the Buddha.
With His Mind, the Unknowable came to the Buddha.
With His Bliss, the Transcendental came to the Buddha.

This evening we are deeply honoured and blessed by the gracious presence of our most esteemed Brother, U Thant. Two thousand five hundred years ago the World-Father, the Buddha, came with the Message of universal Peace. Now, two thousand five hundred years later, He has sent His chosen son, U Thant, to offer the same Message of Peace.

Dear Brother, for ten long years you have served the world-consciousness most devotedly and most significantly through the world body of the United Nations. Mother Earth and Father Heaven have bestowed their choicest blessings on your devoted head, aspiring heart and illumining soul. The outer political world has lost you, but the inner spiritual world has gained you and claims you as its very own. Your silent life of aspiration, dedication and illumination is guiding the outer world and leading it to its destined Goal.

With deepest joy and gratitude I am dedicating this play, Siddhartha becomes the Buddha, as a humble token of my treasured feeling towards you. In you I feel the pioneer-pilot of world-peace. In you I see a beacon-light of world-redemption. And in you I discover true love of human life and an utmost reverence for Truth, both in the inner world and in the outer world.

The Absolute Supreme claims you as His very own. The Lord Buddha claims you as His very own. We, your brothers and sisters of this world, claim you as our very own.