During lectures and meetings of the Peace Meditation Group at UN Headquarters in New York, Sri Chinmoy was asked many questions about meditation, spirituality and the inner and outer role of the United Nations. Below are just a few of his interesting and illumining answers. which continue to offer great insight, wisdom and hope for a peaceful oneness-world.
As excerpted from My Meditation-Service at the United Nations for 25 Years:
For questions and answers formatted for printing, click on the links below, taken from handouts made available to delegates and staff who attended meetings of the Peace Meditation Group at UN Headquarters in New York.
Question: When I meditate on my own, I take it as my own personal meditation. But I was wondering whether I should come here with the idea of meditating on the United Nations and for the United Nations?
Sri Chinmoy: Sometimes we meditate for ourselves and sometimes we meditate on others, or for others. But we have to know that even when we are meditating on others or for others, we are actually meditating for ourselves. That is because humanity is only our enlarged and expanded self. There is no difference between meditating for peace, light and bliss for ourselves and meditating for peace, light and bliss for the soul of the United Nations. For on the strength of our oneness we claim the body, heart and soul of the United Nations as our own. If we have this wider outlook and larger vision, then no matter for whom we pray and meditate, it is ultimately for our benefit since all human beings are part and parcel of one universal family.
—18 April 1978 (p. 110)
Question: At our United Nations meetings, should we meditate on specific themes related to United Nations conferences as well as on general qualities like peace and love?
Sri Chinmoy: There are two approaches. Some people feel that if they can organise a peaceful outer situation, then they can have a peaceful life. They feel they have to bring the world into order before peace and other divine qualities can descend. They start from the outside because they feel that this is what will fulfil them. The second approach is to start from inside and try to bring what is within to the fore. This is the way of the soul. According to this approach, first we try to achieve peace, light and bliss in the inner world; only then do we feel, through prayer and meditation, that we can offer it to others.
So these are two different approaches. There is no contradiction between them. Both are aiming at the same goal: peace, love, light and bliss. The approaches are different but the ultimate achievement will be the same.
—17 May 1974 (p. 111)
Question: If we are feeling tired, is it still beneficial to attend the meditation sessions at the United Nations?
Sri Chinmoy: If you are tired, you should come to the meditations in order to get a new flow of life energy, new enthusiasm and new promise. Meditation is a process that awakens our dormant energy or allows us to acquire energy that right now we do not have. Most of the time, the energy we have is very limited. We work for a few hours and then we have to sleep or rest to recuperate. But meditation has the capacity to bring into our physical existence the cosmic energy that is all around us; it can supply us with constant energy. So it is always advisable to come to the meditations regularly; then you will have new energy. Meditation is illumination and illumination is the constant flow of new possibilities, new realisations and new perfection in life.
—18 March 1977 (p. 124)
Question: What is the best way to serve the United Nations: through meditation or action?
Sri Chinmoy: There is no basic difference between soulful action and soulful meditation. Meditation and action are one, provided they are done in a soulful way. If one acts soulfully, then one is doing a really good meditation. And if one is meditating soulfully, then that person is also acting in a divine way. If there is a soulful reality inside our action and if there is a soulful reality inside our meditation, then they are serving the same purpose.
At times our mind separates action and meditation. But we can easily convince the mind by reaching a certain height with our morning meditation and by reaching the same height through our actions during the day. What we call meditation in the morning, we call dedicated action during the day.
– 26 November 1976 (p. 105)
Question: Does the peace that we experience during the meditations in the United Nations conference rooms have any effect on the delegates who do not attend these meetings?
Sri Chinmoy: All those who are at the United Nations have definitely come to bring about peace. When we pray and meditate here, it is not only for the seekers who attend the meeting; it is for everyone. We are all members of the same world-family. The father works and then he shares his money with his family. So whatever spiritual wealth we earn, we try to share with others.
—26 October 1973 (p. 114)
Question: When I pray and meditate, I feel a flood of love and joy. But then I find that all the suffering of the world seems to well up inside me and I feel guilty for feeling joyful when so many other people are unhappy.
Sri Chinmoy: Your oneness-heart feels the sufferings of the world. Now you have to go one step further and play your role. You can share the fruits of your meditation with those who are unhappy. Suppose you have a mango. It is up to you whether you eat the mango yourself or share it. You may not want to share it because it is most delicious; but then you will feel sorry. Again, you can offer a portion of it to your dear ones or to humanity. So when you get peace, joy and bliss from your meditation, you can share it with others in silence. Sometimes they may not use it; inwardly they may find fault with it and reject it. But you can do your part by offering others the peace and joy that you get.
—April 1978 (p. 151)
Question: Can we give our happiness to others by writing about it, and does it help them?
Sri Chinmoy: Certainly! People can derive considerable benefit from reading about the inspiring experiences of others. But I wish to say that the most effective way of offering peace and joy is the inner method. When we pray and meditate, we do it in silence. Similarly, when we want to offer the fruits of our prayer and meditation, we should also do it in silence.
—April 1978 (p. 151)
Question: Is a portion of the soul of the United Nations inside all the people who work for the United Nations in some capacity?
Sri Chinmoy: Yes, a portion of the soul of the United Nations is inside all the people who work for the United Nations in some capacity. But those who are consciously and soulfully serving the United Nations are receiving from the soul of the United Nations more inner assurance, more illumining thoughts and more fulfilling promises than those who are not fully conscious of what they are here for. The soul of the United Nations dreams of a beautiful, peaceful and fruitful world in and through each individual worker at the United Nations.
– From questions answered on 18 January and 22 February 1983 (p. 132)
Question: What is the most important aspect of our work at the United Nations?
Sri Chinmoy: The most important aspect of your work at the United Nations should be to prove to yourself that you are a worthy member of the United Nations world-family. This you can do only by always keeping in front of you the lofty vision and powerful messages that the United Nations over the years has offered to you and which it offers to you still. You should not dwell upon its failures. You should see only its success and feel only its progress—its gradual success in its outer life of dedication and its gradual progress in its inner life of aspiration. During your daily work, try to keep in front of your mental vision the good things that the United Nations has done and what it has become—rather than what it has not done or what it is not going to accomplish.
The day shall dawn in the near or distant future when the United Nations will definitely achieve and grow into everything that is good and divine. But just because it has not achieved these things at this particular stage of its development, just because over the years it has encountered failure in some of its efforts, we cannot say that the vision of the United Nations is imperfect or that it will not succeed. No, it will succeed—slowly, steadily and unerringly. And for that, each individual member has a significant role to play according to his own inner awakening.
– From questions answered on 18 January and 22 February 1983 (p. 134)
Question: What is the most important thing to remember while working at the United Nations?
Sri Chinmoy: The most important thing to remember while working at the United Nations is the vision of the United Nations. The vision of the United Nations is world peace and world harmony: one nation, one soul and one goal. While working at the United Nations, we have to sing all the time in the inmost recesses of our heart the oneness-song. —16 November 1976 (p. 93)
Question: What qualities can we offer to the United Nations to best fulfil it?
Sri Chinmoy: The two most important qualities are concern and self-giving. When we look at the body of the United Nations, we will look with our concern; we will see that humanity is depending on the vision of the United Nations to lead it to greater progress. And when we think of the soul or the inner reality of the United Nations, we have to feel that its fulfilment can take place only on the strength of our own self-giving. We have to give ourselves to the vision and the goal that the United Nations has placed before us: world peace, world harmony and oneness-light. —16 November 1976 (p. 94)
Question: How can we work with dynamism and confidence at the United Nations?
Sri Chinmoy: We have to know that patience itself is dynamism; it is a mistake to separate them. In patience and in dynamism there is confidence. We can safely say that confidence is the hyphen between patience and dynamism. Dynamism is found in the vital proper, patience is found in the heart and confidence, let us say, is found in the mind. If the mind is inundated with confidence, if the heart is inundated with patience and if the vital is inundated with dynamism, then we can easily have a far-reaching vision of the United Nations.
At that time, we will know that we embody patience because our heart is aspiring. We will know that we have confidence in our mind because constantly the mind is striving for a higher reality than what it has already achieved. That means the mind already has some capacity, which we call confidence. And we will know that our vital is flooded with dynamism rather than aggression because we have dedicated ourselves to serving the United Nations.
– 26 November 1976 (p. 105)
Link to …Additional Questions and Answers
See also link to the book: My Meditation-Service at the United Nations for 25 Years