For more than forty years Sri Chinmoy worked tirelessly to encourage, love, uplift and transform humanity both through his silent prayers and meditations, and through his breathless outer activities. He embraced every field of human creation which can touch the human heart and transform the human life by offering millions of people a taste of the Divine and by providing them as well the means to become that beautiful and all-fulfilling Divine. Music, art, literature, athletics and meetings with world leaders from all fields, all faiths and all nationalities – these are age-old vehicles into which Sri Chinmoy breathed new life and new spiritual riches.
Throughout the ages, great spiritual Masters have come to earth to offer humanity an opening to the Supreme’s secret and sacred Works. But even for the greatest of spiritual teachers, rare it is that their inner divine workings are made clear for all to see, to experience and to claim as their very own.
Such a most extraordinary event took place in early December of 2003 when Sri Chinmoy travelled to the heart of the beautiful verdant island of Java – to Solo, capital of the ancient Mataram Kingdom.
Many wondered why Sri Chinmoy would travel to Indonesia at such a tumultuous time in the world and with travel advisories from many countries against such travel. Others wondered why, of all places, Solo had been selected. Sri Chinmoy remained steadfast in the decision to travel to Indonesia, for he knew that the Supreme had a very, very special Plan.
Unknown to most people outside of Indonesia, the ancient kingdom of Surakarta, centred in Solo, was and still remains the seat of the supremely rich Javanese culture – from its magnificently textured gamelan music and highly expressive art to its subtle poetry and profound spirituality. Indeed, Indonesians throughout the world’s fourth most populous nation fervently believe that the heart and soul of their entire country resides in central Java.
One man is responsible for holding within his being the very essence of the Javanese soul – the King of Surakarta, His Majesty Sinoehoen1 Pakoeboewono XII. His lineage as head of the Mataram Dynasty goes back even further to the ancient kingdom of King Syailendra. Crowned sixty years ago, the 81-year-old King or Sinoehoen is the protector and spiritual leader of his people, as well as King of all kings in Indonesia, due to both his position and his age. Amongst his subjects, he is treated with utmost veneration. They often approach the King only on bended knees and will never look directly into his eyes. All presidents of Indonesia, starting with the great Father of the Nation, Soekarno2, have come to Sinoehoen for his blessings and guidance.
On November 29th, 72-year-old international spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy arrived in Solo with more than 150 of his students from twenty-seven countries3.
Immediately upon arriving in the city, all of Sri Chinmoy’s students were deeply moved by the beauty of nature, along with the charming simplicity, kindness, enthusiasm and smiling faces of the people. There is a feeling of goodness and integrity which emanates from the citizens, along with an inner poise which comes from their deeply held faith.
The Historic Reunion of ‘the King-Brother and the Seeker-Brother’
On Sunday afternoon, December 7th, 2003 at the Lor-In Hotel a most significant reunion took place between the King and Sri Chinmoy. It was arranged by Sri Chinmoy’s very dear friend, Prof. Dr. Haryono Suyono4, who served under President Habibie as Co-ordinating Minister for People’s Welfare and Poverty Alleviation – the top ministerial position in Government.
The King’s Palace set December 10th as the date for the meeting, but somehow Sinoehoen felt a tremendous eagerness from within to meet with Sri Chinmoy sooner. On December 6th, in the early evening, the King made a personal request through the King’s son, Prince Dipokusumo, to meet with Sri Chinmoy at the spiritual leader’s hotel as soon as possible, even the same night. Sri Chinmoy happily and gratefully agreed, but because of a few urgent inner and outer reasons, including the serious illness of some of his students in other countries, he humbly requested the meeting to take place on the following day. Prince Dipo said, “I understand. I understand. Transfer of energy. Sri Chinmoy must transfer his energy to help many people.” The King quite readily and happily agreed to come at 2:00 pm on the following day.
Leaning back slightly in his chair and looking upwards, Sri Chinmoy mused to himself, “The King is expediting, expediting our meeting. How eager he is!” Then his eyes shone and a sweet, loving smile came across Sri Chinmoy’s face as he meditated on their upcoming meeting.
Diminutive in physical stature, but towering in inner presence, the King arrived at the hotel accompanied only by Prince Dipokusumo and his personal secretary. All came in one unmarked car and were dressed in modest garments. They were following the traditional Indian teaching that the political world must always pay obeisance first to the spiritual world. Immensely humble, the King entered into the ballroom foyer slowly. He cast a glance to his right and saw an Indian man wearing a sky-blue dhoti and kurta coming to welcome him – Sri Chinmoy. The King was transfixed and stopped in his place. His eyes began to glow with a most profound recognition. “This is the man!” exclaimed the King to himself. “I have met him many times before – spiritually – in my meditation.”
The two men clasped each other’s hands and each bowed deeply to the other. Sri Chinmoy led His Majesty, followed by the Prince and secretary, to a private meeting-room, beautifully decorated with flower petals and emanating the scent of sweet flowers. Feeling the King’s deeply spiritual nature, Sri Chinmoy requested Sinoehoen to join him in silent meditation. For about ten minutes, the two sat facing each other, both with folded hands, in utmost silence. Sinoehoen bowed his head deeply, a sign of utmost respect and love, as Sri Chinmoy offered in total stillness his inner tranquility and love for the King of Kings. As a result of his lifetime of meditative ceremonies and silence, Sinoehoen was extremely open and receptive to the meditation.
Sri Chinmoy then played several of his hauntingly beautiful musical compositions on the esraj, an Indian stringed instrument with many sympathetic strings which is played with a bow. The King and Prince continued meditating and listening most soulfully.
Next ensued a supremely inspiring and a divinely historic conversation between Sinoehoen and Sri Chinmoy. Sri Chinmoy began by stating, “I have come to offer you my love, my appreciation and my adoration … I am a man of prayers. While I was praying with you, I was praying to the Almighty Allah to bless you with His infinite, infinite Affection, Love, Joy and Pride. I have come here to be of service to your beloved country and especially to you.”
He added, “Your Majesty, You pray for your children. All the people in Solo are your spiritual children. This affection and love that you are giving and blessings that you are offering to your countrymen have deeply touched my heart. Your Majesty is a very, very good and noble king. As soon as I saw you, I clearly felt in your heart that you are a true man of prayers. You started praying and meditating not only in this lifetime, but many, many lifetimes ago. This is the continuation of your spiritual life, religious life. You have tremendous, tremendous peace, light and bliss inside you. All these good and divine qualities you have, yet you are so humble. People when they become great usually lose their humility. Allah has made you great, greater and greatest. Yet you are so humble. This humility is the greatest treasure in our human life. Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, Your Majesty started praying and meditating. Therefore, the Almighty is extremely pleased and proud of you.”
As Sri Chinmoy was speaking, the King was listening with every fibre of his being, his hands folded and his eyes turned downward, so as not to look directly into Sri Chinmoy’s eyes. Little by little, he began leaning forward in his chair and looking directly at Sri Chinmoy, eager to hear each and every word Sri Chinmoy was saying to him.
The King replied slowly and confidently, speaking in Indonesian to his translator.
“I have had an inner connection with Sri Chinmoy long before meeting with him today. Over the years, this connection has become stronger and stronger and stronger. I first saw Sri Chinmoy twenty-five years ago. He had a smiling face – exactly the same smile as he has now – and was wearing a white Indian garment below, along with an Indian-style top. Naturally, he was thinner then. We had a most significant discussion during which Sri Chinmoy gave me much very important advice which has guided me in leading my people ever since. We spoke not like new friends, but as close friends who have known each other for a long time. Sri Chinmoy told me that I must follow all of the guidance from the kings who have come before me. Sri Chinmoy suggested that I must live as a humble person, because the people need to see the king behave in that way. I must not place myself far above others, but take the position of an ordinary citizen.
“Sri Chinmoy said that the world political situation was becoming worse and would become even worse. He reminded me that my forefathers also said the same thing to me. Therefore, neither I, nor anyone in the royal family, should enter into politics, as that would not help the people in any way. Sri Chinmoy advised that I should work in building the nation and serving the people so that they may live in peace and harmony.
“Sri Chinmoy guided me to become the Father of the Nation, the Father of all my people. Once again, that is the same advice that all my forefathers have given to me. Sri Chinmoy encouraged me to join with him in working to make the world better.
“Sri Chinmoy and I met twenty-five years ago for the first time, but it feels to me as if it was yesterday. We met again twenty years ago and then several times after that. We have been sharing and communicating inwardly. We feel tremendous sympathy for all the people, specially for the poor people. Sri Chinmoy and I actually have the same inner foundation, which is Allah or God. I have greatly valued his suggestions, which I have kept inside my mind and my heart to this day. Now today I am surprised and very happy to see Sri Chinmoy exactly as I saw him spiritually.”
As His Majesty was speaking, Sri Chinmoy had a very gentle smile on his face and his hands were folded. He replied, “I am so glad that His Majesty also saw me twenty-five years ago and twenty years ago. This is so true. We call it soul’s connection. I was born in India. He was born here. It is like having two different houses. But we go to study in the same school. I know that the connection between His Majesty and me is very, very strong. As soon as we saw each other on the physical plane, we recognised that in the inner plane we established our closeness and oneness long, long ago. Immediately, we recognised each other. We are brothers! True brothers! It is my duty to be of service to my elder brother. I am the younger brother and he is the elder brother. It is my duty to love him and to serve him.” Later Sri Chinmoy mentioned that the King and he had been closely connected hundreds of years earlier in a past life in India.
As Sinoehoen was listening to Sri Chinmoy’s words, a profoundly fulfilled look came across his face. His deep awareness was both confirmed and extended yet further. “We have met now both in this world and in our spiritual life. The spiritual life is the eternal life,” he averred. Presaging their meeting three days later, the King added, “I will share more details at the Palace.”
After this supremely historic reunion of two brother-friends, a video was shown about previous recipients of the award Sri Chinmoy would present the King at the upcoming Palace programme and also more about Sri Chinmoy’s lifetime of service for world harmony. Sinoehoen watched with deepest interest to learn more about his newly discovered friend. Then Sri Chinmoy presented the King with a very large Black Forest chocolate birthday cake – Sinoehoen’s favourite desert – in honour of his recent 81st birthday.
Sri Chinmoy’s best student singers from many countries were invited to come into the small room, where they sang a song Sri Chinmoy had composed recently for His Majesty, both in the original English lyrics and translated into the King’s native Javanese. The King sat further forward in his chair and bowed his head, meditating deeply while the singers performed Sri Chinmoy’s soul-stirring song in both languages:
King Sinoehoen, Sinoehoen, Sovereign King!
Your vastness-heart, all protection-ring.
All come to you for your nectar-advice.
You are their Sun-Beauty-Duty-Sunrise.
Wisdom-mountain, kindness-fountain, love-sky –
To you, O King of Kings, their tears, their smiles fly.
Sinoehoen was swimming in a sea of joy. At long last, he had met the man whom Allah had sent to him for guidance in response to Sinoehoen’s most soulful prayers. Tears of happiness welled up in his eyes.
Offering his deepest love and gratitude for the King, Sri Chinmoy placed a beautiful long garland of yellow marigolds and purple orchids around His Majesty’s head. The garland went all the way to the floor. Sri Chinmoy then offered a beautiful bouquet to Prince Dipo.
Both the King and Sri Chinmoy stood up and bowed deeply to each other. Sri Chinmoy escorted His Majesty out of their soulful sanctuary to be received by an honour guard of Sri Chinmoy’s students, the men on one side and the women on the other. All were full of joy and applauding enthusiastically, sensing that something most significant had happened, both from their feelings within and from the overflowing satisfaction on the faces of their guests and their teacher.
Sri Chinmoy asked for one of his students from each country to soulfully pass by the King and announce their nationality. Sinoehoen was delighted as his new children-friends from all over their world offered him their homage. Then Sri Chinmoy walked beside his dearest guest out to His Majesty’s car, followed by the Prince and the King’s personal secretary. They bid each other a soulful goodbye for the time being, once more bowing deeply to each other.
Those present at the meeting knew in the very depths of their beings that they had just witnessed a supremely significant and a divinely historical meeting. They were given the direct experience of the profound goodness and spirituality of a Moslem-born king from central Java whom neither they nor Sri Chinmoy had ever met in this lifetime, but who had long been receiving spiritual guidance from their own Hindu-born teacher. At the same time, they were given an unmistakable affirmation of the spiritual power and greatness of their own teacher, something which Sri Chinmoy usually conceals with his humility, sweetness and kindness.
The King’s profound revelations also added to the immeasurable significance of an incident that occurred the previous night. Towards the end of Sri Chinmoy’s evening programme with his students at their hotel on December 6th, Sri Chinmoy said, “The King is a very spiritual man.” He added by way of joke, “How I wish I had some occult power! If I had occult power, I would show it to the King.”
Sri Chinmoy’s students were greatly intrigued and many were quite surprised by his words. He has never, ever made such a comment, specially before his meetings with any of the thousands of world leaders from many fields with whom he has met in the past forty years. For Sri Chinmoy to make such a prophetic comment makes it crystal clear that he knew exactly what was going to happen one day before his historic meeting with the King.
Preparations for the Palace Reception
Even before Sinoehoen’s private visit to Sri Chinmoy’s hotel, their December 10th meeting at the Palace had been fixed. Because it was the height of the rainy season in Solo, and the only time to most safely avoid the rain was in the morning, the Palace had originally planned for a morning programme. When the Palace officials heard, however, that Sri Chinmoy had been offering special prayers every morning, they decided to change the time to 1:00 pm for the event. In fact, Sri Chinmoy had been more than happy and was fully prepared to give his prayers at a different time, but the King’s love, concern and oneness would brook no such action. Indeed, through this one simple but all-revealing act, he melted Sri Chinmoy’s heart.
On the day before the grand event, about twenty of Sri Chinmoy’s students were invited to the Palace to start their preparations. The King and Prince Dipo were eager to have as much as possible set up in advance. It was simply a manifestation of their own eagerness with everything concerning Sri Chinmoy. Prince Dipo personally welcomed everyone as they arrived at the Palace.
What Sri Chinmoy’s students saw was an extraordinarily large walled-off complex, the Keraton5, or Palace area, with about fifty different buildings. Entering through the two huge main gates, one sees a beautiful and peaceful tree-lined courtyard with many formal European-style statues. On one side is a very large and tall meditation tower, the Tower of the Universe, where the King enters alone each year for his mystical communion with the sea goddess. The Javanese people believe and feel that this silent ancient union is what maintains the peace and well-being for all the people. Seated in many areas throughout the Palace were older men and women who were meditating and repeating sacred chants throughout the day.
In addition to being the spiritual heart-centre of the Javanese people, the Keraton, which was built in 1745, is also their cultural life-centre, with many traditional musical and dance performances taking place there, as well as the teaching of the Javanese language to the young. Further inside the Palace is a beautiful open-air Coronation Hall and next to that is the very large and elegant Ceremonial Hall, restored recently to its current majestic grandeur by the King. This is where Sri Chinmoy’s programme with Sinoehoen would take place. Nearby, Palace workers were already cooking food for the event and making many other preparations.
The great Hall glistens with its shiny marble floor and tall gilded columns. Elegant gold-tinged chandeliers hang from the high vaulted ceiling, while many tall windows emblazoned with the King’s insignia – PBXII – allow light to stream in from all directions. In the front of the room are the musical instruments for a full gamelan orchestra. A large, full-length portrait of His Majesty the King, which reveals both his dignity and compassion, graces the front-centre of the hall. To one side is a precious coloured-glass piece depicting the official emblem of the Mataram Dynasty, with sun, moon, stars and the world all below the royal crown.
Sri Chinmoy’s students set up the lifting machine and honorary platform, atop which His Majesty would stand the following afternoon. From this platform, Sri Chinmoy would lift the King with one arm before presenting him with the Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart Award. The small, portable elevator was also assembled, allowing the Sinoehoen to ride slowly to the top of the platform without having to walk up any steps. Prince Dipo gave his enthusiastic approval after riding up to the top himself. The concert area for Sri Chinmoy’s full-length musical performance was also delineated just behind the lifting area with a small carpet and a few round tables for the instruments.
After a few hours, the preliminary set-up was completed and his students bid their good-bye to the Prince until the following morning. In response to their thanking the Prince most sincerely for being present the entire time, he replied, “I am very happy that the day has almost come. Sinoehoen asked me to be present now to help you in every way possible. When Sinoehoen came to see Sri Chinmoy, it did not rain, although it has been raining every other afternoon. That is because of Sri Chinmoy’s prayers. Tomorrow again I know his prayers will take care of the rain.” Meanwhile, at the Lor-In Hotel, Sri Chinmoy had composed three new songs for his new friend. The singing and performing groups were busy practising their songs.
The Great Ceremony
Early morning on December 10th, Sri Chinmoy called one of his students to check on a few details of the programme, plus to be certain that a new and equally beautiful garland would be prepared. In the mid-morning, several groups of Sri Chinmoy’s students arrived at the Palace, welcomed once again personally by Prince Dipo.
At least thirty Keraton workers were busy with last minute set-up for the event. Sri Chinmoy’s students decorated the lifting apparatus with many strands of beautiful, fragrant white tuberose flowers. More than twenty musical instruments from many countries which Sri Chinmoy would be playing were placed on their tables. Several round tables were set up elegantly about twenty metres from the lifting apparatus for very important guests and members of the Royal Family. On the sides of the hall, long rows of chairs were set up for other guests, including members of the Sri Chinmoy Centres. Both Palace workers and Sri Chinmoy’s students worked quietly and efficiently. The soon-to-unfold ceremony had its own powerful presence which offered an unspoken call to silence.
At 12:30 pm Sri Chinmoy arrived in front of the two huge blue Palace gates. Prince Dipo warmly welcomed Sri Chinmoy and walked with him slowly through the long courtyard towards the glorious Ceremonial Hall. Sri Chinmoy prepared in advance for the lifting honour he was about to present the Sinoehoen by lifting many hundreds of pounds of plate weights with each hand simultaneously – weights that were far, far beyond the King’s own light bodyweight.
At exactly 1:00 pm, Prince Dipo escorted Sri Chinmoy to a small and elegantly decorated Reception Room where the King would welcome Sri Chinmoy to his Palace. Present in the room already were Professor Haryono Suyono and another former member of the Presidential Cabinet. Sri Chinmoy was invited to sit between the two men, with one more seat reserved for the King. Guests and members of the Royal Family alike were waiting for the King to emerge from his private chambers in the inner Palace. Prince Dipo explained that His Majesty always prayed and meditated before any important meeting. Sinoehoen would be present as soon as he was finished with his spiritual preparation. One wonders if such inner preparation would take place at any other King’s Palace in the world.
Meanwhile, in the main Ceremonial Hall, about 150 members of the Royal Family and other special guests of the Palace had arrived. The men were dressed in their formal Javanese Palace attire, with crisp white, long-sleeve jackets, plus batik wraps below and matching gold-embroidered round batik caps atop their heads. They all wore bright silver ceremonial kris knives covered with decorative silver neatly tucked behind into their wraps. The women also wore their formal Palace garments, including beautiful brown and yellow batik wraps below, with brightly coloured gold-ornamented tops.
More than 150 of Sri Chinmoy’s students who had come to Solo from throughout the world were also present and dressed in their special meditation clothes, the women in flowing Indian saris and the men in white trousers and shirts. Everyone was treated to the meditative gamelan music performed by the finest traditional musicians of the Kingdom who play only inside the Keraton.
At 2:00 pm His Majesty walked into the Reception Room, bowing first to Sri Chinmoy and warmly clasping his hands. Sri Chinmoy also bowed very, very deeply to the King. All spoke in a most animated, affectionate way for several minutes. Then the King invited Sri Chinmoy to walk with him into the Ceremonial Hall. As they walked slowly together, it seemed that in the few days since their first meeting, the physical plane had caught up with the spiritual plane. Both the men were clearly brother-friends in every way now, a bridge of love and oneness uniting them with every silence-step.
The Master of Ceremonies offered a stirring welcome greeting to Sinoehoen and to Sri Chinmoy, as they approached the Hall. The gamelan music suddenly became very powerful, and the entire audience stood up and spontaneously applauded with great enthusiasm. The King and Sri Chinmoy sat next to each other once again at the main table, flanked by Prof. Haryono on one side and two other special friends on the other.
The Master of Ceremonies continued by welcoming the guests and saying a few kind words about Sri Chinmoy and his international organisation. Then Mr. Ongkar Smith from London spoke on behalf of all the members of the Sri Chinmoy Centres present: “We are honoured and we are grateful for your magnificent welcome. Words cannot express what we feel, but we humbly request you to accept our truly heartfelt thanks. We will never, ever forget this day.”
Dr. Agraha spoke briefly about the Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart Award which Sri Chinmoy was about to present to the King. Previous recipients included Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa, the King of Malaysia, President Nelson Mandela and many other renowned luminaries from all walks of life. Agraha mentioned that His Majesty “has lovingly ruled his kingdom for over sixty years, holding deep inside his heart the great and ancient soul of Java. Sinoehoen has blossomed the innermost spiritual values and riches of his kingdom, and helped this to grow and to glow … We are so thrilled that in this most beautiful Kingdom of Surakarta, Sri Chinmoy has found in Sinoehoen a true elder brother, full of boundless love and wisdom.”
A brief video was shown of some of the great world leaders who had previously received the award. Then Prince Dipo lovingly and humbly accompanied his father up to the beautifully decorated lifting apparatus, with its powerfully fragrant flowers. His Majesty stepped gently onto the elevator and slowly was raised up to the platform on Sri Chinmoy’s left side. The King stood atop the honorary platform, standing tall and totally still. He was staring forward, absorbed in profound meditative openness.
For decades in this lifetime, the King had been praying for the welfare of his people. His face was etched deeply with lines of unimaginable love, concern and compassion for his people. Having fully accepted the position of Father to all his people, the King was suffering unimaginably at the recent world events which have cast great pain upon his simple, pure and innocent children. Yet at precisely this moment of greatest need for himself and for all his people, his beloved spiritual guide had returned to lift him up, both spiritually and physically. This was a moment of man-fulfilling gravity and God-revealing Destiny.
The room became totally silent, as Sri Chinmoy gently lifted His Majesty Heavenward, and, ever so gently, returned the King back to the earth-platform.
Then, at Sri Chinmoy’s special request, Sinoehoen was lowered from the left side and raised up again in the elevator to stand atop the right platform. This was a rare honour reserved only for very, very special luminaries. Both Sri Chinmoy and the King were once again in silent meditation, as the spiritual Master lifted his elder brother with his right arm.
The entire audience rose up as one to offer a standing ovation to King Pakoeboewono, as Sri Chinmoy then placed a very large golden medallion around His Majesty, followed by a new and even more beautiful floor-length garland of orange and magenta flowers. Both men stood side by side as television crews from five national and regional stations, plus photographers from some fifteen newspapers continued their coverage of this magnificent event in honour of Indonesia’s King of all the Kings.
The King then presented the first of two speeches he delivered that evening. After thanking Sri Chinmoy and offering his deep gratitude for and amazement at the award, His Majesty affirmed, “Any problem that exists in the world can be solved by means of harmony in life, love, honesty and trust. A day will come when everyone in the world will be living in peace. I thank you very, very much, Sri Chinmoy.”
Sri Chinmoy offered his most loving, affectionate and elevating reply:
“My most highly esteemed Brother-Friend, King Sinoehoen, I bow to your mighty soul, I bow to your compassionate heart, I bow to your self-giving life. I wish to offer a few words of deepest gratitude to you, Your Majesty. I am now making a soulful pilgrimage here to your beloved Palace, the Keraton. This Palace is surcharged with beauty, dignity, divinity, splendour and grandeur. Again, in this Palace I see the most significant divine quality, humility. This humility has touched the very depths of my heart.
“Your Majesty, we have all known that a king rules his country with power, mostly power, but in your case, I see you have ruled your country for long sixty years with your love, concern, compassion, wisdom and self-giving light. To be absolutely frank with you, you have not ruled the country; you have loved and served the country, your beloved country. You have moulded and shaped your country in a most beautiful and significant way.
“Julius Caesar, the Emperor, said, ‘I came, I saw, I conquered.’ Here, in your case, Your Majesty, you are telling us, ‘I came, I saw, I have become. I have become the sorrows and joys of Indonesia.’ Each Indonesian is your brother-sister. All the citizens of Indonesia are your true brothers and sisters. You have taken it as your bounden duty to love them and embrace them as your own, very own.
“Quite recently, not only your Kingdom of Surakarta, but also the entire Indonesia has celebrated your Diamond Jubilee. This diamond is nothing other than your own heart, with all its beauty, lustre and brightness that shines throughout the length and breadth of the world. In your heart, your countrymen have found the divine beauty, divine purity, divine peace, plus the message of inseparable oneness.”
Then Sri Chinmoy continued by sharing from the highest spiritual point of view the significance of the meeting between Sinoehoen and himself.
“Two brothers: one brother is the King sovereign; another brother is a seeker. The seeker-brother and the King-brother came to know each other in the inner world over a quarter of a century ago. The seeker-brother and the King-brother exchanged their lofty views with regard to the upliftment of humanity. These two brothers met together a number of times, only with one objective: to love mankind and to serve mankind in a divine Way, the Way the Almighty Allah wants humanity to grow and glow in His Heart of Infinity and Immortality.
“The seeker-brother tries to be of service to the Almighty by reaching higher planes of consciousness. The King-brother spreads his self-giving heart and hands to cover the length and breadth of the world. The one aspires to bring down light; the other aspires to offer light to the four corners of the globe. Three days ago on the physical plane, you and I were able to meet. Previously we met in the inner planes, the spiritual planes. We have now seen each other on the physical plane, and we feel that our inner oneness has now fully blossomed in our outer lives. May Almighty Allah shower His choicest Blessings upon us so that you and I, Your Majesty, can work together on the strength of our self-giving hearts for the betterment of the world and to raise the consciousness of humanity.
“Your Majesty, my Brother-Friend, I am all gratitude to you and I am offering gratitude to you from my students, who have come from various parts of the world…. Your oneness-message with us will forever echo and re-echo in our oneness-hearts.”
The entire audience was filled with a profound sense of awe at the unique unfolding between King and spiritual Master.
Sri Chinmoy was presented a few special medallions of the Palace by the King. After the lifting apparatus was placed to the side, the spiritual athlete became the spiritual musician, as Sri Chinmoy began to perform his own prayerful musical compositions on some twenty different instruments for the entire Palace of the King. From esraj to flutes to pipes, cello, sitar, harmonium and more, Sri Chinmoy’s music filled the air with a magnificent peace and brilliance, wafting to the very top of the high palatial ceiling. His own golden voice was surcharged with a unique radiance of both sweetness and power.
At various points in the concert, Sri Chinmoy’s students sang four songs composed by Sri Chinmoy in honour of Sinoehoen. The large choir sang for the King once again “King Sinoehoen: Wisdom-Mountain, Kindness-Fountain, Love-Sky. Their Javanese rendition of the song delighted the entire audience.
The all-women’s international Sri Chinmoy Bhajan Singer sang a soul-stirring song in Bengali, entitled Sinoehoen Bhai. The translation runs, “My Brother Sinoehoen, I offer you my heart’s affection-flooded greetings and felicitations. Centuries ago we came to meet and know each other, and established an inseparable oneness-heart.”
Then a group of Sri Chinmoy’s younger girl singers sang a sweetness-flooded song in English, clapping their hands as they sang: “King, King, King, King, Sinoehoen, Sinoehoen, my dear Brother. Great mind, great mind, good heart, good heart! Sweet, sweet you are. You rule your country with Compassion-Love, Almighty Allah’s Pride descends to you from above.”
Finally, Sri Chinmoy himself sang a song for the Sinoehoen, accompanying himself with harmonium, which he had just composed that day. The King, his entire Royal Family and all the rest of the audience applauded with great enthusiasm and appreciation for Sri Chinmoy’s concert and musical tributes to the Sinoehoen.
A most significant royal honour was then bestowed by the King upon Sri Chinmoy. He made the 72-year-old spiritual Master who was born in a small village in East Bengal, India an official Prince of the Royal Palace with the title:
Kangjeng Harya Sri Chinmoy
(His Royal Highness Prince Sri Chinmoy)
“For his faithfulness to His Majesty the King
and the Palace of Surakarta.”
After inwardly offering his loving guidance to the King for twenty-five years and after outwardly meeting just three days earlier, Sri Chinmoy was now elevated to be a Prince of the Palace, a title held only by four of the King’s own sons who are able to become the next king. With twenty sons and thirty-six children total, plus countless relatives, advisers and more, the title takes on tremendous prestige and importance.
In appreciation of their most significant roles in bringing Sri Chinmoy and His Majesty together, the King also presented awards to Prof. Haryono and to his assistant, Dr. Muhammad Tri Tjahjadi.
A most delicious vegetarian feast followed, with Sri Chinmoy and the King dining together privately in the Reception Room. The Sinoehoen personally served Sri Chinmoy some of the dishes. Prince Dipo went to great lengths to ensure that the food was both extremely delicious and would fit perfectly the group’s dietary requirements. Members of the Royal Family mixed freely with members of the Sri Chinmoy Centres, spreading the blossoming friendship between their two leaders even further.
After all had been served and had eaten, the King led Sri Chinmoy back into the Ceremonial Hall for a final most charming dance performance offered by the four best dancers of the Palace. Attired in traditional Javanese batik with bright green and pink sashes, the young ladies re-created a scene from the ancient Indian Ramayana along with Javanese mystical beings. As they danced, accompanied by vibrant gamelan music, their soulful faces and delicate hand motions carried themselves and the audience to another world of charm and grace.
Following the performance, the Sinoehoen posed seated in a chair with his sweet Surakarta ‘grand-daughters’ kneeling at his sides. His joy and pride knew no bounds. These young performers were most wonderfully keeping alive his people’s beloved Javanese culture through their life-breath of music and dance. Slowly, Sri Chinmoy walked forward to stand behind his seated elder brother, his hands gently wrapping around the back of His Majesty’s chair.
The King then began his second and final speech of the evening, perhaps waiting until the close of the programme to share his deepest inner feelings towards Sri Chinmoy, as he had promised to do during their first meeting: “I am very grateful and very proud that Sri Chinmoy has come to my Palace. To my astonishment, Sri Chinmoy has come at this very moment to meet me here. This very close oneness between Sri Chinmoy and myself is growing and growing in my heart.”
As Sinoehoen spoke, Sri Chinmoy folded his hands across his heart and meditated very powerfully, seemingly offering his final loving prayers and silent guidance for his Brother-King.
“I have stated that twenty-five years ago I met Sri Chinmoy,” continued His Majesty. “God brought Sri Chinmoy and me together to meet in the inner world. We could not see each other with our eyes, but we could feel each other in the inner world. Now I am so surprised and happy that finally I can meet him in the physical body here in Solo. This is a most significant sign that God saw and heard my prayers for the welfare of my people and also for the honour of this nation. In fact, it is of great benefit for all the people for Sri Chinmoy and me to pray together for the welfare of the people.”
With a profound sense of joy and fulfilment that God had answered his most fervent prayers for his people, specially at this unimaginably difficult time, the King was full of new hope and new commitment to fulfil his Destiny.
“I must go on working for my people and for the world until I breathe the very last breath of my life. When God gives me a sign that I must stop all my worldly duties, then I shall stop. Even after Sri Chinmoy leaves from Surakarta, he and I will continue our close connection. All of us here can pray together with Sri Chinmoy and his students for world peace and for inner peace. Like it or not, I must follow and do all the inner Guidance that God has given to me. At the end of my life, when I will leave this Palace, all people will be praying together in the spirit of peace and oneness, both in the world and inside our hearts.
“Sri Chinmoy’s presence here today is the proof that God has given to all of us – even Sri Chinmoy and I, who live so very far away from each other, have now come together to pray together and have finally made contact in the outer world. I am very deeply grateful to Sri Chinmoy because he has come to my Palace.
“Sri Chinmoy is a real leader in our world today. He gives all he has to serve the people. I feel that Sri Chinmoy is the true world leader. He knows the secrets of life. Sri Chinmoy has the key to open up the heart of the whole world.”
Deeply moved by the King’s extraordinary speech, Sri Chinmoy presented him with a very large painting of beautiful multi-coloured soul-birds which he had created specially for the Sinoehoen the evening before. Then, at Sri Chinmoy’s request, many boxes of medical supplies and other humanitarian assistance were offered to the King for his people, representing even larger amounts of such supplies to arrive in the coming weeks.
His Majesty smiled broadly and bade farewell to Sri Chinmoy and to all of his students, the two brothers bowing lovingly once again to each other. The King left the Ceremonial Hall to retire to his chambers, as Prince Dipo slowly led Sri Chinmoy through the large courtyard back to the main Palace gates. As they walked, the Prince proudly and enthusiastically introduced his lovely wife to Sri Chinmoy.
Later that evening, Prince Dipo offered his deepest gratitude to Sri Chinmoy for his visit and for all he had done for his father, the Sinoehoen. The Prince, who has immeasurable love for and devotion towards the King, offered his own new and most inspiring account which many years earlier his father had told to him: “Twenty-five years ago, my father the King told me that he met an Indian man who was guiding him. This man did not have hair and he was thin. The man told my father to be careful, as the political situation may make my father sad. The man told him that a period of instability in the world would be coming. He also gave him much guidance how to rule the Kingdom. Now I know that this man is Sri Chinmoy, and he has come to our Palace today.”
The following day, the Sinoehoen called Professor Haryono in Jakarta and asked if he could come and visit the former minister at his home on Sunday, December 14th, Prof. Haryono was astonished that the King had called him, as he had almost never spoken with him before the visit with Sri Chinmoy. Since Prof. Haryono felt that his home was not suitable for receiving the King, he invited the King to a special dinner at the Jakarta Hilton Hotel. His Majesty immediately accepted.
During the dinner with Prof. Haryono, Sinoehoen spoke extensively about his experiences with Sri Chinmoy at his Palace at few days earlier: “I am sending my very warm greetings to Sri Chinmoy. I was so pleased and grateful for the meditation with Sri Chinmoy and for the many great honours he has given to me. Twenty-five years ago I met Sri Chinmoy and received his message to be peaceful and not to enter into politics. I was so happy to see all of his students working and praying together so peacefully. I must keep in close contact with Sri Chinmoy. I will be very grateful to join together with my Brother in working for world peace. I gave a full report on Saturday evening to about one thousand members of the Royal Family in Jakarta. I told them all about Sri Chinmoy and about his work for world harmony. I would like very much to see Sri Chinmoy once again in Bali and to invite all the kings of Bali to meet with Sri Chinmoy together at a special function.”
Prof. Haryono later said that the Sinoehoen was speaking to him like a member of the family, with no barriers. Most significantly, following his meeting with Sri Chinmoy, the King told Prof. Haryono that he would like to make his Palace and his Kingdom a centre of interfaith and intercultural work, in the same way that Sri Chinmoy is uniting people together from all nationalities and religions. He wishes to be the patron of all these activities, and he requested Prof. Haryono to be the chairman.
As Prof. Haryono stated, “Sinoehoen was very, very inspired by Sri Chinmoy and his worldwide Centres. They join together people from all different religions. Now Sinoehoen wants to try to do the same for all the members of his Kingdom.”
So this portion of the story comes to a close. In a few weeks, the seeker-brother and the King-brother would be reunited in Bali. Sinoehoen, as leader of all the Kings of Indonesia, was both proud and eager to present his spiritual guide and true brother to all his younger King-friends. His Majesty knew and felt that Sri Chinmoy’s message of loving oneness amongst the human family can and shall uplift Bali, a most beautiful paradise on earth whose God-loving people have also been terribly suffering by recent world events. As the King of Kings of Indonesia stated at the end of their second meeting, “Sri Chinmoy has the key to open up the heart of the whole world,” and Sinoehoen has the heart to carry this key throughout the length and breadth of his beloved Indonesia.
The Tale of the King and the Spiritual Master
One day, in the not too distant future, this story will be told and retold by countless people from all walks of life and from all faiths throughout the length and breadth of the entire world. It is the story of a King from a far-away land who so loved his people and who had so much faith in Allah that he cried and cried to Allah to help his people.
The King had so much love and devotion that the Supreme sent a spiritual Master to guide him inwardly, and the King followed that guidance implicitly for twenty-five years. When his people entered into their greatest time of need, the King cried again and again to the Supreme for help. And the Supreme sent the spiritual Master in the physical to meet the King in his own land and to serve him unconditionally.
It is the story of a spiritual Master who so loved humanity that he appears spiritually to all in need and guides all who have an open heart to listen. The spiritual Master was such a perfect instrument of his Beloved Lord Supreme that he disregarded all political experts and other pundits who tried to dissuade him from coming to serve the King. He came himself and also with hundreds of his children from all over the world.
This story has unimaginable capacity to give hope, to inspire faith and to sumptuously nourish all who truly cry to love God and to serve His children.
– End –
1 ‘Sinoehoen’ is a respected title that is applied to all the kings of Surakarta. The writer has used the older variants of the spellings of Pakoeboewono and Sinoehoen. Pakubuwono and Sinuhun are the post-independence spellings.
2 This is the older spelling of Soekarno’s name and the one that he himself preferred. Post 1947, however, the more common spelling is ‘Sukarno’.
3 At the close of each year, Sri Chinmoy used to travel to various parts of the world over a period of three months’ time to foster the ideal of world oneness. The group usually stayed in several different cities for two or three week’s time each. This was Sri Chinmoy’s fifth visit to Indonesia since 1987 and his first time in Solo.
4 Prof. Haryono had arranged in 1999 for Sri Chinmoy to meet with President Habibie at the Merdeka Palace. A few days after Sri Chinmoy’s arrival to Solo, Prof. Haryono flew from Jakarta to warmly welcome his friend back to Indonesia. Sri Chinmoy, in turn, honoured Prof. Haryono in many ways and the two parted for just a few days.
5 This may also be spelt ‘kraton’.