Following is an excerpt from a letter written March 21 by Paul O’Dwyer, President of the City Council of New York, reflecting back on his first meeting with Sri Chinmoy:

“I shall not easily forget the time Sri Chinmoy paid a call to my office. New York was in crisis at the time and [I] ... could think of nothing more irrelevant than a visit to a distraught City Hall of an Oriental man: a practitioner of meditation, a teacher, poet, writer, prophet and philosopher ...

“Yet, when he came into our emotional lives with his young disciples, the Office of the President of the City Council became transfixed. My incredulous staff, who had come out of sheer curiosity, stood enthralled when the young people sang with quiet spiritual commitment. For a brief moment, the atmosphere they had created and the simple reverence of Sri Chinmoy brought a peace and tranquillity to a place of turmoil. Many visitors have come and gone, but none made such a lasting impression.”

Published in Anahata Nada, May 1, 1977, Vol. 4 No. 4