His Excellency Mr. Vijay Nambiar

Under-Secretary-General and UN Chef de Cabinet

I am honoured to be here this afternoon at what is both the mourning at the passing away and a celebration of the life of Guru Sri Chinmoy.

I do not think I can speak with as much authority as many of you of your own personal relationship with Sri Chinmoy. I had a very brief, passing relationship with him, but that has remained etched in my mind and my memory.

I would like to read out what I said on the 14th of October at the Memorial in Queens:

Guru-ji Sri Chinmoy was far greater than an enlightened individual. He has been and remains an extraordinary phenomenon that has touched the daily lives of his devotees in many unusual ways. He has inspired us to change the way we look at ourselves and at the world. With his mild manner and incredible physical and mental strength, he literally uplifted us and brought steadfastness and stability to our daily lives.

At the United Nations, we were specially blessed because of his weekly visits, when we received his regular benedictions. His followers in the UN family have always been both proud and grateful for this magnanimity on his part.

I am sure I represent the Secretary-General when I express my profound respect and gratitude to Guru-ji Sri Chinmoy for his contribution to the building up of an inner peace and harmony in this organization as well as in the world at large.

Personally, I wish to express my special gratitude for the attention and grace he has showered on me during my own very brief association with him. His sudden passing away has been a shock to us, but as he himself said recently, his physical death did not mean the end of his life. He continues to represent an eternal journey, and your presence here is a clear indication that you also are with him on that journey. You, his devotees, represent the strength and courage he counts on to carry the torch of his spiritual legacy ahead.

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