His Excellency Ambassador Crispin Gregoire

The Permanent Representative of the Commonwealth of Dominica:

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. It is an honour and a privilege to be part of this well-deserved celebration at the UN of the life of Sri Chinmoy, a messenger of peace.

I did not know Sri Chinmoy very long ago, but I became familiar with his name when I was in high school in the ’70s. The reason for that was that I was a fan of John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, which he was associated with, as well with the music of Carlos Santana, who was also influenced by the Guru.

Since coming to the UN in 2002, I did get the opportunity to meet him on several occasions, and the last time I saw him was when he had a very moving exhibit of birds in the Secretariat Lobby. I was one of the lucky people that he lifted on more than one occasion. So, I was able to touch the man, and just having the opportunity to touch him gave me the feeling that he was a great man, and he, indeed, was a great man.

He will be remembered as a man who committed his life to the universal pursuit of peace. He saw in the UN—and it is very fitting that we have this celebration here, because he spent so much time here—he saw in the UN the focal point in the world for the promotion of peace. And that is why I believe that he made the UN a base for his peace meditations.

Ladies and gentlemen, I was always struck by the tremendous ingenuity and talent he possessed as an athlete, writer, musician and artist. Clearly his creativity had no boundaries.

His love for marginalised people around the world was ably demonstrated through his foundation, the Oneness-Heart-Tears and Smiles foundation, which has done quite a bit of work promoting peace and also helping poor people around the world.

Finally, I would like to say that he has left the world, but his philosophy promoting the culture of peace lives on. Long live his memory and his teachings of love, devotion and surrender.

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