Former Chief of Protocol of the New York Road Runners Club, and Liaison with the UN for the International Friendship Run:
It is an honour to be here for my friend and yours, Sri Chinmoy. Unlike many of you, I was not a student of Sri Chinmoy. During the more than 25 years we knew each other, we developed a kinship. He called me Sister Muriel. Our ages were only one month apart, and each year we exchanged birthday greetings. And we shared a belief in the goodness of people.
But I came to learn that his concept of goodness was much broader than mine. Whereas I thought in terms of the Golden Rule—that is, treat each person I encountered with the same degree of kindness as I would expect to be treated—he thought in terms of one world, or a universal oneness of the sacredness of all people. He cast his blessings upon all cultures and all societies. Yes, he treated each person with his notable gentleness, but his heart and mind acted on a global level.
He believed the day would come when nations shall speak peace unto nations. He knew and walked with the high and mighty, yet he never flaunted these acquaintances to demonstrate his own importance. He had greater mental and physical discipline and strength than most people, yet through his paintings he manifested his caring and kindness for small and vulnerable creatures. Today his birds are crying, for who is left to draw them with such love?
I weep not only for the loss of a dear friend, but I weep for the loss of a man who offered our world an opportunity to achieve peace among all its inhabitants. Sri Chinmoy showed many the way to inner peace and to a high sense of humanity. Imagine if such peace and humanity could be experienced manifold by people at all levels of all governments, so that someday international discourse would be conducted only by humane and peaceful people. What a wonderful world that would be! That was his dream that must never die.
It has been said that one life ends with one death. But in his single death, he did not take with him all of his virtues. His good has not been interred with his bones. It remains here on earth, not only with you who have knelt at his feet, but it will live as well in the minds and hearts of men and women everywhere, and in children yet unborn, forever.