Sri Chinmoy offers the U Thant Peace Award to Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Bishopscourt official residence in Cape Town, South Africa.

“Thank you for taking the time to come out here and spread your message of love and harmony and peace. It is just wonderful timing that you have come now, because I have just recently been appointed to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which we all hope is going to assist our country in the process of healing all the trauma that was caused by apartheid and the injustices of the past. We hope that you will uphold us in your prayers as we set out on this momentous journey in our country.”  — Archbishop Desmond Tutu 

Published in Archbishop Desmond Tutu: the World-Compassion-Heart-Nest


The Meeting

Archbishop Desmond Tutu welcomes Sri Chinmoy to his residence at Bishopscourt, Cape Town. The two first meet privately.

Sri Chinmoy: I am so grateful to you for allowing me to be in your blessingful presence.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: We are the ones that need your blessings.

Sri Chinmoy: I would like to convey to you President Mikhail Gorbachev's best wishes and special regards.

[The Archbishop and Sri Chinmoy then speak about the International Trust for Children’s Health Care, of which President Gorbachev is the honorary President, and Archbishop Tutu, Mother Teresa and Sri Chinmoy are honorary members. Archbishop Tutu speaks of President Gorbachev with happiness and enthusiasm, and Sri Chinmoy mentions that he had read the Archbishop’s writings about Gorbachev.]

[Afterwards, they both join a choir of Sri Chinmoy’s students in the beautiful courtyard, where the singers perform a song written by Sri Chinmoy in Archbishop Tutu’s honour, as well as several quotations by the Archbishop that Sri Chinmoy had set to music.]

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Desmond!
A soul-diamond, a heart-diamond.
Archbishop Peace-Dreamer, Archbishop!
Your code of life: stop violence, stop!
O wisdom-fountain, justice-mountain,
In you, with you no ignorance-chain.
Africa's life-story, heart-song
The whole world hears from your vision-gong.

[Sri Chinmoy introduces the presentation of the U Thant Peace Award to Archbishop Tutu with the following remarks:]

It is a great privilege for me and for the members of Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations to be in the presence of a revered messenger of peace, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Father Tutu, your life of unswerving faith represents the enduring love of the Divine for your cherished country — a land richly blessed by the Creator yet, for so long, torn by the strife of separation. Throughout long decades of struggles, yours was the eloquent voice of unity, of reconciliation, of tolerance, of patience, of forgiveness, of conviction. At the same time, it was a compelling call to action. Finally, your voice proclaimed the destined Victory of justice, peace and oneness.

Father Tutu, according to me, you are a soul-diamond, a heart-diamond. We know that diamonds are formed by intense pressure. During the many years of your ministry, you experienced and expressed all the excruciating sufferings of the black children of South Africa. At the same time, as a chosen instrument of God, you courageously, devotedly and tirelessly fought against the appalling ignorance of apartheid, while praying for the transformation of its perpetrators. Placed by the Hand of God between the unstoppable freedom-surge of the oppressed and the fearful aggression-retaliation of the oppressor, you emerged as the brilliant diamond of unity, reflecting the Oneness-Light of the Creator. In you, all the rainbow-colours of God’s children find their true home.

Father Tutu, you perfectly embody both contemplation and action, and thus you serve as a radiant example for God-lovers and peace-seekers everywhere in today’s world. In your compelling words: “The most important, the most cardinal, fact about our life is the spiritual — that encounter with God in prayer, in worship, in meditation.” Again, far from providing an escape, religion for you sounds a clarion call to the service of truth. Once again, in your words: “There is nothing the government can do to me that will stop me from being involved in what I believe is what God wants me to do.”

Father Tutu, your illumined wisdom proclaims that separation is the greatest suffering and the root of conflict, whereas oneness is the greatest joy and the wellspring of peace. Your heart of faith, your life of humility towards God and man — which is nothing but oneness itself — your towering intellect surrendered to the service of God, and your eloquent voice of all-embracing love make you a shining harbinger of tomorrow’s peace-flooded oneness-world. Today, therefore, we wish to present to you our U Thant Peace Award

[Sri Chinmoy then reads the inscription on the Award:]

The U Thant Peace Award is presented to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, devoted messenger of the divine unity of the Creator’s rainbow-children, eloquent voice of humanity’s suffering and Divinity’s Compassion, harbinger of the spirituality of transformation, sowing the seeds of Heaven’s Oneness-Love in earth’s division-mind, offering the flower-victory at the Feet of the Supreme Father.

With our deepest appreciation, admiration and gratitude,
Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations

[Archbishop Tutu graciously accepts the award and then invites Sri Chinmoy and the choir inside for a reception, shaking the singers' hands as he greets them. During the reception, a video is shown of the late Secretary-General U Thant offering remarks as guest of honour at the staging of Sri Chinmoy’s play about the life of the Buddha. At the end of the reception, the Archbishop thanks Sri Chinmoy with the following remarks.]

Archbishop Tutu: Thank you very, very much. On behalf of all of us, we are enormously grateful that you have taken the time to come here to spread this message of love and harmony and peace.Thank you for honouring me and honouring us here. You have come with wonderful timing, because I have just recently been appointed to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which we all hope is going to assist our country in the process of healing all the trauma that has been caused by apartheid's injustice in the past. We hope that you and your disciples and followers will uphold us in your prayers as we set out on this momentous journey in our country. Thank you very much for all your work.

Sri Chinmoy (presenting two of his books, The Garland of Nation-Souls and My Meditation-Service at the United Nations): May I offer you these books? These are the talks that I have given at the United Nations over the years, and these are the questions I have answered that have been asked by United Nations delegates and staff.

May we now congratulate you with our prayers. We have a special song, and we sing this prayerful song while congratulating somebody.

[The choir performs the "Congratulation" song.]

Archbishop Tutu: Thank you very, very much. God bless you, God bless you.

Archbishop Tutu then asks Sri Chinmoy to sign his official guest book. Sri Chinmoy writes the following inscription:

"Father Tutu, to you I am offering my heart's prayerful joy, love and gratitude. — Sri Chinmoy, Dec. 20th, 1995"

[The Archbishop walked Sri Chinmoy to his car with great kindness and affection.]

Later Sri Chinmoy made the following comment about Archbishop Tutu: 

He has many, many divine qualities, but the most important one is his justice. With justice-light he starts. Then comes his compassion-height aspect, and finally his forgiveness-delight.

Published in Sri Chinmoy with Four African Peace-Immortals


Conversation with a Young Cambodian Monk

at the Inter-Continental Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia


Sri Chinmoy meditates in silence with Monk Sopheap, and then the two speak about their experiences at a war museum, as well as other subjects. Following are some excerpts from their conversation:


Sri Chinmoy: I went to see the museum where they have preserved thousands of skulls of those who were killed in Cambodia. They showed a documentary. Before, the skulls were all in the street, but now there is a monument. Hundreds of vital spirits are still roaming around fifty metres away. It was a very deplorable experience for me.

There are little girls’ skirts and other garments still on the ground. It was a very sad experience, because I saw that still the vital spirits are moving around. God alone knows in which realm they are. They are in between earth and Heaven. For most people, this would be a very, very frightening experience. For me, it was the saddest experience in my life. How could people be so ruthlessly tortured! God alone knows how it happened. This is life.

It took over an hour to get to the museum, and there were so many holes in the street. The streets were very uneven, to say the least, and I had back pain from all the jerking, although Savyasachi is a super-excellent driver and he was driving as slowly as possible. From the physical point of view also, this experience was sheer torture, torture.

I would not advise anybody to visit this place, but if you are interested in having that kind of experience, you can go. The journey itself was torture from the beginning to the end. And once you arrive to see the place, it is another kind of torture-experience that you get. So, I had two experiences. One experience was the torture of the physical body, which will go away in a few days’ time. But the torture in the heart will last for a very, very, very long time.

Have you gone there?

Monk Sopheap: I went only one time, in 1994.

Sri Chinmoy: Do you want to go there again? You are very brave. On my behalf you can go.

Monk Sopheap: In 1994, a family from Thailand invited monks to pray for everybody who died there.

Sri Chinmoy: I was told that when they ran short of guns, they used axes, hammers and other things to kill people. It is a huge monument, and inside the monument there are thousands of skulls. The eyes are so deep. You can see from the skulls that there were many, many children — little, little children.

I understand that you have studied my book, Meditate On.

Monk Sopheap: Yes, I have studied this book. [He recites some aphorisms from the book.] Sometimes when I thought of you, I felt I wanted to see you in person. Before you arrived here, I always dreamed of when I could meet Guru Sri Chinmoy in my life.

Sri Chinmoy: You were the one who garlanded me. Did you feel anything when I was looking at you?

Monk Sopheap: Yes.

Sri Chinmoy: The Lord Buddha in me blessed you; not I. The Lord Buddha in me blessed you profusely when you put the garland around my neck. When I was two or three metres away from you, I saw the Lord Buddha, as I am seeing you, very vividly. He was very, very happy, very pleased, for us to be together. So he blessed you — not I. I bless my disciples. Only the Lord Buddha can bless you.

It will help you if twice a day you can practise the Lord Buddha’s message, Buddham saranam gacchami, Dhammam saranam gacchami, Sangham saranam gacchami, which I have set to music. This is my Indian way, my Bengali way, of chanting. I chant this hymn in a different way than you do, but I assure you, if you learn to chant in this way, you will definitely feel the Lord Buddha’s presence in your heart. He is already inside your heart, but if you want to have a vivid experience of his infinite compassion for you, you can do this particular chant twice a day, morning and evening. It will help you so much. The Lord Buddha’s compassion will descend upon you profusely.

Please come here at one o’clock. The Lord Buddha can lift you inwardly, but I wish to lift you outwardly. The Lord Buddha will lift you inside, and I will lift you outside, on the physical plane.

Published in Only One Power