May 29th 1990
Sri Chinmoy has his first meeting with President Mikhail Gorbachev at the Governor-General’s Residence in Ottawa, ON, Canada.
President Gorbachev warmly tells Sri Chinmoy:
“I have heard so much about you and your work. We must work together for world peace.”
Sri Chinmoy offers his utmost gratitude to President Gorbachev, stating:
“You are the master-key of the global heart. You have liberated the world from bondage-night, and you have brought to the fore the inner freedom which we need so desperately. Before, people were in darkness, and now you have brought light to them.”
Sri Chinmoy reads the words to the song he has composed for President Gorbachev. Visible on the back of the pamphlet is a photograph of the President with Mrs. Gorbachev, which the President later noticed with great joy.
O Master-Key of the Global Heart
The following are introductory words on a tape recording of songs dedicated to President Gorbachev, that Sri Chinmoy sent to the President that evening, after their daytime meeting.
Dear President Gorbachev,
O master-key of the global heart, this evening you bestowed upon me and my two Canadian student friends your blessingful affection, compassion and oneness. For that, our hearts are all gratitude to you.
With my soulful gratitude-heart I am offering these songs to you. The first one is written by me, and the subsequent ones are from your own momentous utterances.
Dear President, your heart of compassion and affection I shall most devotedly treasure. Indeed, as I wrote in my song, “Gorbachev, Gorbachev, all-where the peace-blossom-tree,” you have brought to the fore the inner freedom of humanity. You have liberated much of the world from bondage-division-night. Therefore, both the ascending cries of humanity and the descending smiles of divinity you embody.
May the Soviet Union and Canada, in your oneness-heart, divinely grow and supremely glow.
Yours in the Almighty Father
Published in Gorbachev: the Master-Key of the Universal Heart
The Master-Key of the Global-Heart
Sri Chinmoy composes this song in honour of President Gorbachev two days before their first meeting on May 29th in Ottawa, Canada.
May 12th 1992
* The meeting is held at the Waldorf Astoria, not the Hotel Pierre as printed.
GORBACHEV AND THE GURU
Sri Chinmoy met privately with Mikhail Gorbachev, his wife and daughter at the Waldorf Astoria on May 12. Afterwards, the former Soviet President presented the Master with an autographed photo taken of him and his family. Left, the two leaders embrace. Above, Sri Chinmoy presents the Gorbachevs with a cake displaying pictures of their faces etched in icing.
Published in Anahata Nada, Volume 21, April-July 1992
Sri Chinmoy and President Gorbachev meet for the third time. Their meeting is held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, NY, USA. President Gorbachev is accompanied by his wife Raisa Maximovna and their daughter Irina Virganskaya.
October 16th 1994
Sri Chinmoy meets President Mikhail Gorbachev for the sixth time and offers him the U Thant Peace Award. The President and Raisa Maximovna Gorbacheva together hold the Peace Torch, at the New York Palace Hotel in Manhattan, New York.
April 13th 1997
Sri Chinmoy meets with President Gorbachev and Raisa Maximovna Gorbachev at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan, New York.
March 4th 1998
Sri Chinmoy offers a private Peace Concert and an exhibition of his artworks for President Gorbachev and Raisa Maximovna in honour of the President’s 67th Birthday (2 March) at the Waldorf Towers in New York City.
This historical 45-minute video of Sri Chinmoy’s1998 meeting with President Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife Raisa depicts the deep friendship, warmth and respect they have for each other. The video concludes with the President singing ‘Moscow Nights’ accompanied by Sri Chinmoy playing the harmonium. (Sagar Levin translates throughout the meeting.)
March 1st 2001
Sri Chinmoy meets with President Gorbachev for half an hour in the President’s office at the Gorbachev Foundation, in Moscow, Russia.
Gorbachev Foundation, Moscow
President Gorbachev greeted Sri Chinmoy near his office at the Foundation, requesting Sri Chinmoy to go ahead of him as they proceeded down the hallway. As soon as they entered his office, the President gave Sri Chinmoy a warm embrace and invited him to sit down.
President Gorbachev: Sit down, please!
The President requested Sri Chinmoy to sit facing him. Mrs. Irina Malikova sat on Sri Chinmoy’s left side and Mr. Pavel Palazhchenko sat on his right side. Mr. Palazhchenko asked the guards to bring one extra chair for Ms. Lotika Kosaya.
President Gorbachev (apologising for being late): I apologise…
Sri Chinmoy: No, you do not have to apologise! Whenever you come is the right time. I see you with my own eyes, and I feel you with my own heart. For me, this is not the office of a president. This is the heart-home of the whole world.
I watched the documentary where you spoke about power. You said that you do not have power. But I wish to say that the power you have is love, and love is the strongest power. Power that strikes cannot succeed, but the power of love, which is omnipotent, you have, and you have been using this power unreservedly since you left office. With your heart’s infinite love-power, you are illumining the four corners of the globe.
President Gorbachev: Thank you! I am very glad to see you. You have not visited us here before. This is the first time.
Sri Chinmoy: Yes, this is my first time, and I have come because I do not want to miss this opportunity of a lifetime to be in your blessingful presence on this most auspicious occasion.
President Gorbachev: I am very happy and very moved by your visit. I really thank you very much. You and I share a great deal. We are living in a difficult time. We are facing various challenges. And it is so important to feel that somewhere there is a friend, Gorbachev's dear friend, Sri Chinmoy. This is very important. I am thankful to you for everything, for your valuable support and understanding — I emphasise the great understanding.
I feel that you are tired and jet-lagged. The night and day — everything changes so quickly.
Sri Chinmoy: I am not tired. My love for you, my admiration for you, my gratitude to you: these are my prayerful capacities. I wish to tell you that we are always at your service. Wherever you go, my students are there to be of service to you. They are always at your service. You are always in our morning prayers, in our mid-day prayers and in our evening prayers. We pray for you because you are illumining the whole world.
President Gorbachev: And I would like to congratulate you because you hold so many activities dedicated to peace in different places. Both Pavel and Irina are now telling me about your trips, about your meetings.
Sri Chinmoy: I have done nothing in comparison to your work and your achievements! You are an ocean; I am just a drop. The drop would love to be always inside the ocean.
Sri Chinmoy presented to the President a copy of a new song that he had written in the President's honour, and Mr. Palazhchenko read out the translation.
Sri Chinmoy: Now I would like to sing this song. May I sing? It will just take a few minutes.
President Gorbachev: Of course!
Sri Chinmoy stood up and sang the song dedicated to President Gorbachev. The President listened attentively, deeply moved by Sri Chinmoy’s offering. He was watching Sri Chinmoy intently and from time to time looking at the translation.
President Gorbachev (shaking his head, astounded): Yes! You keep on amazing me!
Sri Chinmoy: Now I wish to offer you a special award. This is the award that I would like to offer.
Sri Chinmoy presented the award, entitled “President Gorbachev: The Home of Oneness-Peace-Dream-World.” On top of the box containing the award were some of Sri Chinmoy’s peace-birds.
President Gorbachev: Such birds! Everywhere birds! How many birds have you drawn?
Sri Chinmoy: Twelve million birds and 200,000 paintings.
President Gorbachev: Really!
Sri Chinmoy, the President and Mr. Palazhchenko all tried to open the box. The President and Mr. Palazhchenko finally succeeded in opening it and unwrapped the award. The President was deeply moved by the award, which consisted of one round sparkling glass plaque etched with his picture surrounded by seventy small pictures of Raisa Maximovna and another glass plaque etched with Raisa Maximovna’s picture surrounded by seventy small pictures of the President. The President was very, very thrilled, admiring the glass plaques as he set them on their stands.
Mrs. Malikova: One hundred and twenty-five countries have become Sri Chinmoy Peace-Blossoms-Nations.
Mr. Palazhchenko (referring to the design that was on the award and also on the cover of the latest book that Sri Chinmoy had written about the President): Here he has your portrait with Raisa Maximovna’s portraits around it, and on the back is Raisa Maximovna’s portrait framed with 70 of your portraits.
Sri Chinmoy (showing the President the glass pieces): Here are 70 portraits. It is written here, “President Gorbachev: The Home of Oneness-Peace-Dream-World.” So, this is the award I wish to offer to you for your 70th birthday.
President Gorbachev: I am very grateful.
Sri Chinmoy: This award I shall not give to anyone else.
President Gorbachev: I am simply very, very moved. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Sri Chinmoy (holding up a copy of his latest book about the President, which the President had received two days earlier): I also have a copy of the book.
Mr. Palazhchenko commented that the Russian translation appeared in the book, and the President started reading through it.
Mr. Palazhchenko: Mikhail Sergeyevich, this is simply wonderful!
Mrs. Malikova: Sri Chinmoy has already given the book to all the Foundation workers.
Mr. Palazhchenko looked through the book and showed the President his favourite passage.
President Gorbachev: I would just like to say that I really like the book very, very much. A thousand thanks, a million thanks, a trillion thanks! (Referring to the award) And this portrait is dearer to me than the others I have. (To Mr. Palazhchenko) Look, how wonderfully done!
Sri Chinmoy (showing the President an album with photographs of his visit to Raisa Maximovna’s Long Home): Just yesterday I went there.
President Gorbachev (very moved as he looked through the album): Oh, here are some pictures!
Mrs. Malikova: These are from the cemetery.
Mr. Palazhchenko: Yesterday Sri Chinmoy was at the cemetery.
Sri Chinmoy: Raisa Maximovna is always in my prayers.
President Gorbachev: There is so much snow!
Mr. Palazhchenko (to the President): Snow, red flowers and the man from India or America, from somewhere far, with an incredible soul.
President Gorbachev: Tomorrow morning my daughter, my granddaughters and my whole family will go to the cemetery. This is how my birthday celebration shall start.
Sri Chinmoy: Tomorrow morning I will be bringing seventy roses.
Mrs. Malikova: To the cemetery?
Sri Chinmoy: It will be in honour of your birthday.
President Gorbachev: How do you like Russia? (Again turning to the album) Have you made it for yourself or for us?
Sri Chinmoy (offering the album to the President): It is for you, my Beloved President!
Sri Chinmoy (presenting a cheque to the President): This humble offering is from my students all around the world in honour of your birthday. Disciples from the former Soviet Union have given $5,000. This gift is from the heart of all my students.
President Gorbachev: You have done so much for me. You have given me so many honours. You must know that what has happened between you and me shall last forever. I am very grateful, but unfortunately my time is stressed right now. I have been thinking that perhaps there are not many active years left for me.
Sri Chinmoy: I do not want to hear that! According to our Indian system, one has to live for a hundred years.
President Gorbachev (smiling): But I do not practise meditation!
Sri Chinmoy: I shall meditate for you! I shall pray for you. You do your world-transformation-work, and I shall be praying and meditating for you while you are transforming the world. You do your job, and I will do my job. Every day, early in the morning, I get news about you. This moment you are in Italy; the next moment you are in Germany. Now you will be coming to Atlanta.
President Gorbachev was deeply moved to hear that Sri Chinmoy had been following his activities.
The President then took the award into his private room, adjacent to his main office, and asked Mr. Palazhchenko to put the box under his desk.
Mr. Palazhchenko offered to take photographs of everyone together, and Mr. Kailash Beyer and Ms. Lotika Kosaya joined the President, Sri Chinmoy and Mrs. Malikova for group photographs.
President Gorbachev (referring to a party specially for those who would not be invited to the President's birthday dinner): Did Irina tell you that now we are going to have a party downstairs? Would you like to join us?
Sri Chinmoy: Yes, I am at your service.
President Gorbachev: Then I will see you downstairs.
Sri Chinmoy: I would be grateful if Irina would be able to come and see the award.
President Gorbachev: She is downstairs with the guests. But you will see her there and we shall be in a picture all together.
The President then said good-bye to Sri Chinmoy.
Published in Sri Chinmoy in Russia
March 2nd 2001
Dear Sri Chinmoy, I will be pleased to see you at my birthday celebration on March 2, 2001, 7 pm, at Grand Hotel “Marriott", Moscow, Tverskaya 26. — signed, Mikhail Gorbachev
Sri Chinmoy is welcomed to President Gorbachev’s 70th Birthday Celebration by the President and his daughter Irina Virganskaya. He meets with the President’s granddaughters Ksenia and Anastasia, along with President Gorbachev’s brother Sasha and Raisa Maximovna’s sister Lyudmila, at the Grand Hotel “Marriott” Moscow, Russia.
Sri Chinmoy is seated at table number 3. “This table was right in front of the stage where people were going to perform. To our left was table number one with President Gorbachev, his daughter, Germany’s former Foreign Minister, family members and a few important dignitaries. Sitting at my table were Irina Malikova, two Japanese ladies and two Russian gentlemen.”
Published in Sri Chinmoy in Russia.
Speaking to the President at the party
As soon as I entered the room, President Gorbachev came and greeted me. He said, “Please do not mind. Tonight there will be a party atmosphere.” This is a translation, of course.
I laughed and said, “We have all come here to enjoy ourselves on your birthday. Your joy is our joy.”
The President was laughing. Then I asked him, “Did you see the flowers?”
The President said, “As soon as I saw the flowers, I knew that they were from you. Nobody else would bring such beautiful flowers. I knew it was all your doing even before I saw your handwriting.”
Then we talked a little. The President was very, very, very kind. At one point he confided in me, “I have worked today for six hours nonstop.”
I said to him, “Only six hours? You can easily work non-stop for twenty hours out of twenty-four hours!” He was surprised and happy to hear that.
Then I asked the President, “May I speak for a few minutes during the course of the evening?”
President Gorbachev said, “Definitely you will speak as long as you want to. Pavel Palazhchenko will tell you when.”
Published in Sri Chinmoy in Russia
The President’s granddaughters
The President's daughter came and joined us, and his two granddaughters also came.
Before I went to Russia, I spoke to the older granddaughter, Ksenia, on the telephone. Irina’s secretary had given me the private number of their house because she knew how eagerly they were expecting me. The secretary said, “If anything happens because you are calling their house, you just say that I gave you the phone number.”
Ksenia answered and I spoke to her. When I told her that I was coming, she was very happy.
At the party, the granddaughters were very gorgeously dressed. I asked Ksenia where she had learned such good English. She said, “At the university.”
The younger granddaughter, Anastasia, felt very shy or timid. She said hello to me and then the two sisters went to greet some other guests.
Published in Sri Chinmoy in Russia
Speaking at the programme
President Gorbachev had assured me that Pavel Palazhchenko would inform me when it was my turn to speak. I saw that Pavel was going this side and that side. Finally Irina Malikova caught his attention.
Pavel made an announcement that there was a very unusual person who would speak. Pavel said a few nice things about me by way of introduction, and I went to the stage. Then the President left his seat and came to the stage to join me. The President stood on the stage only for four or five individuals during the course of the evening. I was very fortunate to be one of those.
From my book about the President, I had learned by heart twelve very significant poems. For each poem, I held the microphone and recited the lines in English. Then Pavel took the microphone from me and translated them into Russian. This was how we shared one microphone.
When my speech was over, President Gorbachev bowed to me three times, and I bowed to him five times. Then he so affectionately accompanied me back to my chair. I was number fifteen on the programme, and after me there were many, many more. I believe there were about forty items altogether.
Published in Sri Chinmoy in Russia
“We must maintain our friendship forever”
At 6:30 I entered the banquet room, and at 11:30 I left. President Gorbachev came at 6:15 and left around 12:30.
When I saw that the number of guests was dwindling, I approached the President. He immediately grabbed my hand. I said, “I have come to take leave of you and to ask for your blessings.” President Gorbachev said, “We must maintain this friendship forever, and I mean it. You know what is inside my heart. We must maintain our friendship forever.”
He was looking at me so soulfully, powerfully, intently and affectionately as he said these words.
This was the nineteenth time I had met with my most Beloved President Gorbachev since our first meeting in 1990. Our private meeting the day before at his Foundation was the eighteenth time.
Published in Sri Chinmoy in Russia
Our seventieth birthdays
President Gorbachev’s 70th birthday and my 70th birthday both fall this year. For some secret and sacred reason, we both took birth in 1931. Inwardly and outwardly, we were, we are and we shall always remain extremely close. President Gorbachev’s immortal words echo and re-echo in the very depths of my heart: “We must maintain our friendship forever.”
Published in Sri Chinmoy in Russia
May 27th 2004
Sri Chinmoy meets with President Mikhail Gorbachev at the Gorbachev Foundation in Moscow, Russia.
Varied Program Held In Russian Capital
MOSCOW – Sri Chinmoy's visit to Moscow also included appearances at a number of universities and concert halls.
The spiritual teacher spoke and performed his music at the International University (in Moscow) on the morning of May 28 and gave a concert of prayerful music at Moscow's renowned Concert Hall "Russia" that evening.
Highlights of his visit included his lecture the morning of May 31 at the nation’s most prestigious university, Lomonosov Moscow State University, which he dedicated to former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, and the lecture and concert of prayerful music he gave that evening at the Great Concert Hall of the Russian Gnesins' Academy of Music.
Sri Chinmoy's final lecture here took place at the Russian Paediatric Clinical Hospital on June 1.
He also met privately with President Gorbachev on May 27.
Reported in Anahata Nada, Volume 35, April – July 2004
October 14th 2006
Sri Chinmoy meets with President Mikhail Gorbachev and Billie Jean King at the presentation of the Women’s World Awards at the Hammerstein Ballroom, Manhattan Centre, New York, NY, USA. The legendary tennis player chose Sri Chinmoy to introduce her to the President when she accepted the award from him.
October 15th 2006
Sri Chinmoy welcomes President Mikhail Gorbachev and his daughter Irina Virganskaya to a gala programme in the President’s honour, including a memorial planting of a tree dedicated to the late Raisa Maximovna Gorbacheva; numerous performances; and a visit to the ‘Pilgrim-Museum’ dedicated to the President, displaying the entire history of the extraordinary friendship between Sri Chinmoy and President Gorbachev, at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, Queens, New York.
September 20th 2007
20th and Final Meeting
Sri Chinmoy meets with Mikhail Gorbachev before the inauguration of the Raisa Maximovna Gorbacheva Institute of Paediatric Haematology in St. Petersburg, Russia. The former Soviet President had personally invited Sri Chinmoy to the event, calling him both a personal friend and a long-time friend of the Gorbachev Foundation.
When I take shelter
In my Master’s eye
I see star-twinkling sky.
When I take shelter
In my Master’s heart,
I devour death-dart.
When I take shelter
At my Master’s feet
Ignorance-dream I quit.
Published in From the Source to the Source