Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013)

Nelson Mandela, one of the world’s most admired leaders, recently passed away aged 95; Mandela personified South Africa’s transition to democracy and was greatly admired for his generosity of spirit and moral courage. Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 (jointly with F W De Klerk) Throughout his 95 years, Mandela sacrificed his life for the ideals of justice and peace and gave inspiration to millions across the world.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

— Nelson Mandela

Sri Chinmoy met Nelson Mandela on a number of occasions, and said Nelson Mandela was one of the persons’ he admired most [1]. Sri Chinmoy wrote a book on Nelson Mandela entitled ‘Nelson Mandela: The Pinnacle-Pillar of Mother Earth‘ The book is a tribute to the ideals and vision of Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela and Sri Chinmoy meet at the United Nations June 1990

Sri Chinmoy also awarded Nelson Mandela the U Thant Peace Award in 1996, for Mandela’s commitment to the ideals of peace, forgiveness and harmony.

Nelson Mandela and Sri Chinmoy in 1996, ANC headquarters.

Some selected quotes by Sri Chinmoy on Nelson Mandela:

Nelson Mandela:
The pinnacle-pillar
Of Mother Earth.


Wherever he goes,
He carries with him
The tears and smiles
Of sweetness-love.


Whoever genuinely desires
To redress humanity’s suffering
Feels behind him one hundred per cent
The living presence of Mandela’s heart.

President Mandela’s very name
Builds a hope-cathedral
In the heart of despair-flooded humanity.


In Mandela they found
The inspiration-fountain
Of their lives
And the aspiration-mountain
Of their hearts.

He is a magician supreme!
He transforms
Our very long-standing bitterness
Into our abiding sweetness
In the twinkling of an eye.


He tells the sea-deep sorrow-sufferers:
‘My brothers and my sisters.
Here and now smile with a new start
Tomorrow’s Golden Dawn is come!’


The citizens of the whole world
See in the circle
Of President Mandela’s
Fond embrace
The blossoming joy of world-peace-hope
The fulfilling power of world-oneness-promise.

Sri Chinmoy also set to music some of President Mandela’s immortal utterances.

“You must vow to turn misfortunes into victory.”

Words of President Nelson Mandela

“Any man that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose.”

Words of President Nelson Mandela

 Lifting up the world with a oneness heart

Sri Chinmoy met with President Nelson Mandela at the Presidential Residence, South Africa. and honored him with the “Lifting Up The World With A Oneness-Heart” Award.

President Mandela with Sri Chinmoy after lifting at the Presidential Mansion in Pretoria



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