By Ashok Parulekar
TORONTO (TIP): Leaders of Toronto’s Vishnu Mandir dedicated a bronze statue of Dreamer of World-Peace Sri Chinmoy holding aloft the Peace Torch on Sunday, May 26 afternoon in their Peace Park dedicated to interfaith harmony.
The life-sized likeness of the peace leader recognises a lifetime of his devoted service to fostering peace through music, art, writings, sports and silent all-faith meditation. Sri Chinmoy’s message is that each and every human being can be a peace-builder—and starting first within himself or herself. The spiritual leader led the interfaith silent Peace Meditation at the United Nations at the invitation of UN Secretary-General U Thant for 37 years. As well, he founded the global Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run which includes millions running for the cause of world peace.
After showing a video on Sri Chinmoy’s life and contributions, the ceremony moved outdoors to the Peace Park where the statue is located, beginning with the ceremonial blowing of conches. Arriving Peace Runners passed the lighted Peace Torch to Dr. Budhendranauth Doobay, Chairman of the Board and Religious Advisor of the Vishnu Mandir. “Sri Chinmoy was a great soul…Sri Chinmoy was a man of peace who has been recognized by so many people from around the world,” stated Dr. Doobay. “It is a great honour for us to welcome Sri Chinmoy in the form of this statue which will be here for all times to come.”
Ms. Ranjana Ghose, President of the Sri Chinmoy Centres, spoke with deep insight about
Sri Chinmoy’s peace activities and offered heartfelt gratitude to the Vishnu Mandir for this 38th peace statue dedication saying, “Sri Chinmoy’s life was an amazing success story of bringing the peace of the soul to the fore, within himself and in those with whom he interacted. He was greatly respected by many dignitaries around the world, who cherished Sri Chinmoy for his compassionate manner of thinking and peaceful way of addressing a dynamic life.”
Dr. Doobay then received the Torch Bearer medallion for his tireless devotion in fostering living spirituality and oneness amongst the faiths. Mr. Salil Wilson, Executive Director of the global Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, presented the award. In 1987, Sri Chinmoy founded the Peace Run and, for the first time ever, the run will be covering every country in the world in the coming two years.
Col. Gerry Nudds of the Mandir then invited illustrious representatives of many faiths to each lead participants in a prayer from their own faith. Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jain and Jewish prayers added greatly to the spirit of interfaith harmony. As Sri Chinmoy wrote, “Spirituality is not merely tolerance. It is not even acceptance. It is the feeling of universal oneness…Spirituality is not mere hospitality to others’ faith in God. It is the absolute recognition and acceptance of their faith in God as one’s own.”