At the invitation of New York Governor Mario Cuomo, Sri Chinmoy opens a programme at the United Nations to celebrate the Columbus Quincentenary with a silent meditation.




Sri Chinmoy presents the U Thant Peace Award to President Nelson Mandela at the African National Congress Headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa.


U Thant Peace Award


President Mandela (greeting Sri Chinmoy): My Brother, how are you?

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

Sri Chinmoy and the President enter the conference room, where the President is greeted by warm applause. He shakes hands with each person present.

President Mandela (to Sri Chinmoy’s students): It is a real pleasure to see all of you. You all look very impressive. I am so happy to see you.

Sri Chinmoy (after requesting the President to be seated): As your time is very limited, we would like to sing some songs which I have composed in your honour, and then I would like to offer you our U Thant Peace Award.

President Mandela: It is SO difficult to sit down when you are all standing!

Sri Chinmoy (presenting the President with the sheets of music): These are the two songs that they are going to sing right now.

[The choir performs A Perfect Justice-Voice and Long Walk to Freedom.]

President Mandela (applauding): Well! Thank you very much! This is a great honour.

Sri Chinmoy: Now the singers will sing four of your momentous utterances that I have set to music. (Showing the President the words and music) They will be singing these, and then we shall offer you our U Thant Peace Award.

President Mandela: This is absolutely wonderful!

The choir performs the four songs and the President applauds generously at the conclusion.

Sri Chinmoy: Highly esteemed and beloved President Mandela, it is the greatest honour for me and my students to offer you our most profound and soulful appreciation in the form of our U Thant Peace Award.

Dear President, yours is the life of a supremely chosen instrument, embodying both the excruciating bondage-pangs and the soaring freedom-dreams of your nation. The sweet hopes of your innocent childhood you unhesitatingly surrendered to Destiny’s challenging call. The loftiest goal of universal liberation you wholeheartedly embraced. Impossibility, defeat and bitterness are words never to be found in your oneness-heart-dictionary. Unfathomable courage, unparalleled determination and indomitable strength radiate on every page.

Dear President Mandela, your life of unconditional sacrifice and your beloved country’s miracle-transformation are inseparable. Sleeplessly your life-boat is plying between Africa’s bleeding heart-shore and Africa’s smiling soul-shore. Your triumphant peace-loving and oneness-building spirit the entire aspiring world shall forever love, cherish and adore.

Published in Nelson Mandela: the Pinnacle-Pillar of Mother Earth


The Inscription


The U Thant Peace Award is presented to 
President Nelson Mandela 
South Africa’s visionary oneness-leader 
Epitome of humanity’s nobility-aspiration-height 
Heroic justice-champion 
Radiant patience-embodiment 
Illumining forgiveness-ocean 
Glowing humility-servant of your suffering and striving people 
Towering majesty-king of their blossoming unity-victory-destiny

With our deepest appreciation, admiration and gratitude

Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations

29 January 1996

Published in Nelson Mandela: the Pinnacle-Pillar of Mother Earth