On 6 December 2018 members of the Peace Meditation Group celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Sri Chinmoy’s first talk to the UN community. Sri Chinmoy offered this lecture, entitled “The Song Universal,” the evening of 26 November 1968 at the Church Center for the United Nations, The event was arranged by those who felt Sri Chinmoy’s message would be welcomed by the UN Community. The invitation that went out had a meditative photo of Sri Chinmoy with folded hands, with some biographical information as well.
This first talk is very significant for several reasons, as it was after this lecture that Sri Chinmoy’s relationship with UN Secretary-General U Thant started blossoming.
At U Thant’s request, his Chef de Cabinet C.V. Narasimhan interviewed Sri Chinmoy and spoke very highly of him to the Secretary-General. Narasimhan later conveyed messages between the two men, including U Thant’s encouraging invitation for the establishment of the Peace Meditation at the UN on 14 April 1970.
Many years later, C.V. Narasimhan was a special guest at Sri Chinmoy’s Peace Concert in the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium on 6 December 1993. Under-Secretary-General Narasimhan was very proud of his role, remarking that “In the early days when U Thant was Secretary-General, I had a little role to play in having this Meditation led by Sri Chinmoy in the United Nations as part of our ongoing activities.”
Sri Chinmoy called Narasimhan “U Thant’s dearest colleague, his most valued friend, his confidant.” As a Buddhist and a Hindu, respectively, U Thant and Narasimhan both valued a spiritual approach to world affairs. And it seems that from Sri Chinmoy’s first talk at the UN, together with subsequent interchanges, they both felt that Sri Chinmoy would further and support their own spiritual views and visions of the United Nations, which Sri Chinmoy poetically referred to as the “Heart-Home of the World Body.”
Following are excerpts from Sri Chinmoy’s first talk to the UN community, as taken from a handout reproduced for the 50th Anniversary observance of the first talk in 2018.
Excerpts from Sri Chinmoy’s first talk for the UN Community: “The Song Universal”
The Song Universal is freedom. Freedom from what? Freedom from limitations, freedom from imperfections and freedom from ignorance. Man is in stark bondage. Nevertheless, man has the power deep within to cut asunder the teeming ties that have bound him and forced him to launch into the sea of uncertainty.
Four thousand years ago the Vedic seers voiced forth:
Give freedom for our bodies.
Give freedom for our dwelling.
Give freedom for our life.
This soulful prayer of the Vedic seers of yore will echo and re-echo through Eternity in humanity’s aspiring heart.
Freedom does not mean being away from home. Freedom means accepting and feeling the entire world as one’s real home, as one’s very own.…
Our inner realisation and outer action must run abreast. Outer achievements should be the conscious and spontaneous revelation of the inner divinity.
Love, harmony, peace and oneness. These are man’s divine ideals. On the strength of his inner mounting flame, aspiration, man can easily, unerringly and spontaneously manifest these ideals of his in his human life, in every sphere of his life.
It is quite natural and proper that we should discover our God in and through our own religion. When we go deep within, we come to realise that there is only one religion, and that religion is man’s inmost cry for God-Realisation. In the hoary past, Asoka, the great Emperor of India, sent missionaries to the corners of the globe with a profound message: “The basis of all religions is the same, wherever they are. Try to help them all you can, teach them all you can, but do not try to injure them.”
Let each religion play the role of a flower. Let us make a garland of these divine flowers and offer them at the Feet of God. God will be pleased. We shall be fulfilled.
Sri Chinmoy, The Garland of Nation-Souls. Agni Press: New York, 1972.
- The invitation for Sri Chinmoy’s first talk to the UN community, offered on 26 November 1968, had this meditative photo of Sri Chinmoy, with some biographical information as well.