For one visiting the city of New York, it would be very easy to overlook a steel and stone building on the bank of the East River around mid-town Manhattan. Its architecture is not imposing by any means. Its grounds are not extensive and its physical size is not domineering. But inside it dwells the hope of all humanity, for it is the house of the United Nations. Within its granite walls, a swarm of human beings work frantically day and night to bring understanding among the peoples of the earth.
In incessant turmoil the nations of the world struggle for peace, knowing perfectly well that peace is the only hope for survival in the atomic age. Unfortunately, peace cannot be built from outside materials like a house or a bridge. Peace is not something that can be synthesised out of good intentions and mental bickering. The nation is an extension of the human personality, an overgrown ego that is moved by forces of nature, too subtle and profound to be understood, much less controlled, by the unillumined mind. On the mental level, my nation is supreme and the fellow on the other side of the table feels also that his nation is supreme. So the unceasing stream of ideas, pressures, counter pressures, measures and counter measures. The world comes to a brink of disaster and then men retreat in horror after a glimpse of the abyss. Man wants to live after all. But how much advantage can one nation obtain from the others without actually falling into oblivion? A new term has been coined, ‘brinkmanship’, that is to say, how near to the mouth of the abyss the leaders of a particular nation dare to go. They study each other’s moves, applying pressure here and there, probing in every conceivable way the other fellow’s will and capacity.
At the north entrance to the building there is a Foucault’s pendulum. No doubt it was placed there as a scientific exhibit. But the pendulum is marking time, silently, inexorably. If one looks at it intently after attending one of the meetings of disputing nations, one cannot help but think that the silent pendulum, in its inexorable swing, is warning us that time is ticking out, and the hour is late for mankind to leave the mental discourse aside and seek the way to understanding and true peace.
The question now is: How can peace be obtained? Surprisingly enough, the answer is very simple. Peace is not outside us; it is within the very depths of our hearts. In infinite peace the soul abides and it is more than willing to give us that peace if we just open ourselves to its life-giving splendour. Yet this very easy solution seems unattainable to a person living completely in his mind, submerged in an ocean of thought and convinced that a solution has to be found there, in the mental realm, or else there is no solution; there is no escape from the chain of events pushing him constantly. What is needed is a completely new approach, ‘novus ordo’; a new trail that can lead us out of the maze we are in.
Now the second question: Who will be able to lead modern man’s thought through this new departure, this new order of things? Who will be the trailblazer on this new frontier?
Poet, thinker, philosopher and spiritual teacher, Sri Chinmoy Kumar Ghose has come to us from his native Bengal, India. It is not by chance he has been chosen to lead the meditation group at the United Nations. His spiritual insight, loving care and profound understanding of the human soul, mind and heart endow him with the capacity to be the leader on this new road. His spiritual power lovingly elevates the consciousness of all who listen to him to a plane where not only peace, but also joy, light and power can be attained. There a true unification of human knowledge, concern, love and sympathy take place.
All the nations of the world are aspiring towards universal peace; but it is a person of the spiritual stature of Sri Chinmoy who is able to bring it down for the suffering and aspiring humanity. How, you may ask, is Sri Chinmoy able to help humanity in this new dimension? It is because he has already established his conscious oneness with God. That is why he can serve Divinity in humanity. That is why he can open a new road to human understanding and lasting peace on earth.
After all, what man wants is happiness. When, through the leadership of a true spiritual guide, we discover the inexhaustible treasure of peace, joy and power within ourselves, true happiness abides in us and with happiness comes understanding. The bell for inner victory has rung. Just to hear these words from the mouth of a spiritual Master brings down waves of hope and aspiration to the citizens of the world. Inner victory. True understanding. Lack of fear. The dedication of all human resources to combat the real enemies of man: ignorance, fear, frustration, want. It all seems so vast and lofty that our human mind wavers in unbelief. Yet it is no dream. It is true the hour has struck, the bell has rung for the liberating of all mankind, for the new world of peace and co-operation.
What is meditation? Meditation is communion with the inner being. Meditation is food for the soul. In our outer everyday lives we are living on the periphery, on the surface of our personality. To meditate is to go to the roots for nourishment and knowledge. When we live on the surface, accepting the world and mankind as the senses and reasoning mind see them, we are confused and cannot understand other human beings, their motivations and the myriad forces that move them around. When we dive deep into our being, we understand the fundamental unity of all mankind, under God. To meditate is to understand, to love is to accept.
When we climb a mountain we can go up as high as our knowledge and strength allow us to go. In the same fashion, when we meditate, if left to or own resources, we can go as deep or as high as our actual state of development allows us. It is a different matter altogether when we are led in our meditation by a competent guide, a realised soul. Then we will be able to penetrate into the inmost recesses of our being and to ascend to ineffable heights of peace, light, bliss and power. From there we come back to the state of everyday affairs, strengthened and illumined by the inner light.
Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy is: Accept life, embrace life, love mankind and with the infinite light of consciousness transform the world into the perfect expression of God.
Now let us hear the significant message of Sri Chinmoy expressed in some of his meditations, especially inspired on the United Nations.
Inaugural Message, April 14, 1970
Today’s United Nations was yesterday’s perfecting Vision.
Tomorrow’s United Nations is today’s fulfilling Realisation.
Unity is not oneness. A bud is not a flower.
Unity is the temple. Oneness is the shrine.
The absence of unity is imminent confusion.
The absence of oneness is the ultimate destruction.
The presence of unity is the immediate end of human imperfection and limitation.
The presence of oneness is the glorious beginning of man’s perfect Perfection.
– End –
1. The author, Agni (Mr. José Luis Casanova), was one of Sri Chinmoy’s earliest disciples in the West. He was a founding member of the Sri Chinmoy Centre (Aum Centre as it was then known) in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
2. The article was first published as a small booklet around 1970.