7 October 1931 — 26 December 2021
Video compilation — Sri Chinmoy Global Family
Archbishop Desmond Tutu left this world at the age of 90 after a lifetime of service to Christ in humanity — championing the causes of the anti-apartheid movement and human rights in South Africa and around the world.
His relationship with spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy spanned many decades. Though he was a Christian and Sri Chinmoy was born a Hindu, both held a universal view of their faiths — they were ‘Dreamers of Peace'.
The two men met on numerous occasions and shared correspondence over the years. Here are just a few highlights from their enduring friendship.
20 December 1995
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
U Thant Peace Award
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
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
16 March 2004
Sri Chinmoy and Archbishop Desmond Tutu share a humorous moment after the ‘Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart’ tribute for the South African Nobel Peace Laureate, held at the United Nations Millennium Hotel in New York.
Sri Chinmoy lifts Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the United Nations Millennium Hotel in New York.
“You are part of the spiritual force of love that emanates from God and which will transform the evil of this world into its counterpart. Thank you for persisting and going on, going on. Perhaps the world continues in existence only because of people like yourselves who help to hold it in being.” — Archbishop Desmond Tutu
21 June 2004
Sri Chinmoy lifts Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s daughter and her children at Aspiration-Ground in New York.