There are few places on earth that inspire the hearts and minds of man, as does Niagara Falls.
From the tranquil waters of the Great Lakes, the myriad currents gather in power and speed, culminating in the wonder and grandeur that is Niagara.
Down through the centuries, people have been drawn to this special place to rejuvenate their spirit. To everyone who makes the pilgrimage, Niagara offers its boundless delight and peace.
Peace has been a dream of mankind from time immemorial. Likewise there have always been people of vision who turn the dream into reality.
There are few people on earth who have been able to inspire the hearts and minds of their fellow man as has Sri Chinmoy.
Throughout the world this man is regarded as an ambassador of peace, who has worked tirelessly to place before the international community a higher ideal for humanity.
His meetings with world leaders like Mikhail Gorbachev, Popes John Paul I and II, Nelson Mandela, John Major and others; his work at the United Nations, where he has conducted peace meditations twice a week for the past 22 years; and his continued inspiration of the worldwide biennial Peace Run, demonstrate a life-long commitment to Peace. In recognition of this, various places around the world have been dedicated to Peace in his name.
The tributes have taken many forms. Plaques on bridges, ships, trains, planes, schools and parks in over 30 countries give millions of people the opportunity to reflect, if even for a moment, on the great goal which lies before us all: that of establishing peace on earth.
Sri Chinmoy affectionately calls these tributes: Peace-Blossoms.
Some of the most prominent Sri Chinmoy Peace-Blossoms include Teide National Park in Spain; New York State Capital, Albany; the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State; the Queen Sofia International Airport in Tenerife; and the Sri Chinmoy Peace Miles in London’s Battersea Park and Gorky Park in Moscow.
Today April 15, 1992, Niagara Falls is being dedicated as a Sri Chinmoy International Peace Falls.
“With its thunderous majesty, Niagara reminds us of the boundless and energising power of a higher force . Such will one day be the power of peace on earth. When human beings everywhere aspire and strive for peace based on love and the feeling of oneness, the cascading power of peace will transform the fate of humanity.” – excerpt from the plaque's inscription.
Thanks to the efforts of people like Chairman Pamela Walker and General Manager Dennis Shafer of the Canadian Niagara Parks Commission, Niagara Falls now becomes a focal point of peace and international brotherhood. Pamela Walker speaks at the dedication with heartfelt appreciation for Sri Chinmoy's commitment to peace:
"The Commission was captivated by the application for a plaque for this purpose, and it stood out among all the others we received, because we recognise that all of us, all over the world, have in common a great many things, more than we have differences. We have the common recognition, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, that what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
"We have an opportunity today in dedicating this site as a peace site for Sri Chinmoy, an opportunity to continue to inspire the visitors who come here every year to feel as we do that peace begins with each one of us, and we can only offer to others what we have ourselves."
Sri Chinmoy responds with soulful respect for the inspiration that is Niagara Falls:
“O Canada’s Niagara Falls, to you I bow, to you I bow and to you I bow. You are indeed Infinity’s power, Eternity’s silence and Immortality’s delight.
“O Canada’s Niagara Falls, you at once feed not only the curious mind and eyes of humanity but also the aspiring heart of humanity.”
As the crowd is hushed in silent contemplation, gazing out over the vast majestic scene, the ceremony concludes with an international choir singing the song Sri Chinmoy has especially composed for the occasion. The melody drifts effortlessly, borne high upon the mist and eddies of the thundering falls, and ferried away, it would seem, to the far reaches of time itself:
"Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls,
Heaven’s Immortality fully and sovereignly blossomed.
Canada is Canada’s God-awakening.
Canada is Canada’s God-illumination.
Canada is Canada’s nectar-peace-offering cheerful and measureless.
Sri Chinmoy Peace Falls, the Compassion-Light-descent
of the Absolute Supreme.
Sleeplessly sings the Creator’s Victory-Song,
Inspiring and elevating the four corners of the globe."
*Translation of the original song Niagara Falls Salil Prapat
The permanent bronze plaque is not only a tribute to Sri Chinmoy, as a harbinger of peace, but also to peace-lovers throughout the world who visit the falls.
The seeds of peace were sown on earth long before our time. They were tended caringly by those who cherished great hopes for humanity’s future.
And today, as we see the peace of nature reflected in the human heart and mind, we see the blossoming of peace the world over. Niagara Falls – A Sri Chinmoy International Peace Falls – is a glorious Peace-Blossom in humanity’s heart-garden.
– End –
Video by the Sri Chinmoy Centre
This article formed the basis of the script for a video, first produced in May 1992.
Copyright © 1992, Animesh Harrington. All rights reserved under Creative Commons license.