Statement dated 27 October 2007 from H.E. Ambassador Vladimir Petrovsky, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union (1986-1991); UN Under-Secretary-General and Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (1992-2002); and Chairman, Comprehensive Dialogue among Civilizations
It is difficult for me to find adequate words today to pay tribute to Sri Chinmoy, a very, very dear brother-friend of mine, a great visionary and spiritual leader of our time, a profound inspirer and true example for humankind.
I have known Sri Chinmoy for more than 15 years and I have followed his life and work with growing interest, based on personal meetings and his involvement with the United Nations.
Where could one find such an ardent supporter of the UN as in Sri Chinmoy? His vision and faith in the UN, in the role of the UN as a common home of humanity, as a safeguard of the united principles of its members and as a beacon of hope and bridge-builder in our turbulent and troubled times, were sleepless and unwavering. For more than 30 years he regularly offered his inner peace and tranquility at the UN headquarters in New York through his silent meditations, concerts, exhibitions, publications and other programmes. Here at the core of humanity, in the heart of the human family, his love for the world and his fellow human beings could be tangibly felt.
Sri Chinmoy was convinced that true outer peace had to start with the inner peace of the individual. He has expressed this philosophy of peace in countless books, songs and paintings. His creative works, together with his multifarious peace-initiatives like the humanitarian relief operations, the Peace Concerts and the World Harmony Run represent an immense source of inspiration, wisdom, strength and practical guidance to people of all social, cultural and religious backgrounds. I regard Sri Chinmoy’s work as one of the real treasures of the 20th and 21st century probably the most powerful pillar of a culture of peace that currently exists.
In combining creativity, community activities and humanitarian projects, Sri Chinmoy leads the way to a new universal and at the same time practical approach in addressing the world’s acute problems. Strongly anchored in humanity’s essential moral and ethical values, he stands as a real example of responsible human behavior in a time of rapidly developing changes on our planet.
On a more personal note I wish to say that I feel very privileged to have been able to meet personally with Sri Chinmoy on many occasions over the last 15 years. I have always felt his generous affection, sincere interest and concern in my and my wife Mira’s personal life’s as well as my professional activities. For this we are both very grateful.
Today we feel a terrible loss, an emptiness and sadness not to be able to see him face to face again. But we also feel very strongly that his spirit and work will continue to guide and inspire us all.
I would like to express my deepest sympathy with all of Sri Chinmoy’s students and friends.
May we continue together to explore pathways to a better and more perfect world!