Interview between U Thant and Sri Chinmoy1[The Secretary-General and Sri Chinmoy greeted each other with folded hands at the door of the room where the interview was to take place, and then U Thant invited Sri Chinmoy to come in.]
U Thant: Sri Chinmoy, please come in. I have been hearing about you from many, many people. Whoever speaks to me about you is all appreciation and admiration and I personally feel that you have been doing a most significant task for the United Nations. I have been observing it from the very beginning.
Sri Chinmoy: It is most kind of you to tell me all this. I am most grateful to you. Before our short interview, may I invoke the Lord Buddha to bless us? You are a most devoted child of the Lord Buddha and I have the greatest admiration and adoration for him.
U Thant: Yes, please, please chant.
[Sri Chinmoy chanted three times:]
Buddham saranam gacchami
Dhammam saranam gacchami
Sangham saranam gacchami
[I go to the Buddha for refuge.
I go to the Dharma for refuge.
I go to the Order for refuge.]
U Thant: [U Thant was silent for some moments, deeply moved.] I have not been able to see you before please forgive me. Because of my heavy schedule and politics, my inner life was not coming to the fore for me. That is why I hesitated a little to see you. Today I am seeing you and I wish to say that all I have heard from others about you is absolutely true.
Sri Chinmoy: The world knows you as a champion of peace. Being a spiritual man, I wish to tell you that in the inner world too you are something really great. Now that you are physically away from the outer battlefield you will be able to see the world situation with your intuitive light and you will make a contribution in the inner world that will be most effective and most fulfilling.
U Thant: I am so happy to hear that. This is what I wanted. Now I will be writing my memoirs and I need a peaceful life. My memoirs will be different, totally different, from the memoirs that others write. Here I want to show how spirituality and philosophy can lead and guide politics.
Sri Chinmoy: This is the thing that only you can do because in you I see a true seeker of Truth, Peace, Light and Bliss. I know nothing about politics, but I do feel that politics has to be guided by spirituality and philosophy. What you are saying, most revered Brother, gives me immense delight.
U Thant: I pray to the Lord Buddha for a continuous success in your mission in spreading God’s Peace and Light on earth.
Sri Chinmoy: I appreciate and admire you, not only as a great lover of mankind, but as a most devoted, dedicated child of God who wants to bring God’s wealth from the inner world and offer it to his brothers and sisters.
U Thant: It has been a great privilege for me to see you. Please feel my sincere respect and sincere concern for what you are doing for mankind.
Sri Chinmoy: Please feel my deepest joy and pride in you and my most soulful gratitude for what you have done for the United Nations and also for the entire world.
[As Sri Chinmoy left, he and U Thant saluted each other with palms joined together, in pranam.]
UT 4. United Nations, New York, N.Y. 29 February 1972↩