Sri Chinmoy believed in the underlying unity of the different world religions. To support the ideal of religious tolerance and religious unity, Sri Chinmoy participated in several interfaith activities and often spoke about the shared spiritual values of different religions.
“If we live in our oneness-heart, we will feel the essence of all religions which is the love of God. Forgiveness, compassion, tolerance, brotherhood and the feeling of oneness are the signs of a true religion.” 1
These are some examples of Sri Chinmoy’s participation in interfaith activities during his time in the West.
1993 Chicago Parliament of World Religions
The Parliament of the World’s Religions was first held in 1893 in Chicago. The historic gathering is regarded as the beginning of the interfaith movement worldwide. At this first Parliament, the Indian monk, Swami Vivekananda, captured the hearts and imaginations of all the participants with his powerful, all-embracing spirituality.
100 years later in Chicago, to celebrate the centenary anniversary, eight thousand people came together in Chicago for a second Parliament. Sri Chinmoy was chosen by the organisers to open the convocation with a few moments of silent meditation.
The fourth Parliament of the World’s Religions was held as part of the Universal Forum of Cultures in Barcelona, 2004. Sri Chinmoy was once more invited to offer a silent prayer for the oneness of all religions, before the audience of seven thousand attendees.
“During my opening meditation I am praying for the oneness of all religions.”
Sri Chinmoy 2
“While I was in Barcelona, I wrote thirty-five prayers, composed twenty-eight songs in English and Bengali, and drew a number of birds to symbolise the aspiration of the human soul. Together with my silent meditation and esraj performance during the opening session, these are my soulful and prayerful offerings to the illumining soul of the Parliament of Religions.” 3
Interfaith activities at the United Nations
During his years of service at the United Nations, Sri Chinmoy participated in many interfaith events associated with the United Nations.
On this occasion, Sri Chinmoy offers a silent introduction to the first international interfaith conference at the United Nations, October 24th, 1975. Several prominent religious leaders attended, including Mother Teresa.
Sri Chinmoy participated in United Nations, World Day of Prayer observances, Interfaith Prayer breakfasts, Seven Minutes of Silence, and World Gratitude and International Thanksgiving Days.
Sri Chinmoy also fostered dialogue amongst spiritual and religious leaders from all the main faiths around the world.
“Sri Chinmoy, your own life’s work of most devoted service to interfaith understanding and world-oneness is unparalleled.”
Rev. James Park Morton
Chairman & Organiser of the Annual Interfaith Service
President of the Interfaith Center of New York
Legacy of Interfaith activities
For many years Sanjaya Spettigue offered a ‘Thought of the Day’ at the local BBC station, offering a spiritual perspective on topics ranging from the United Nations to Interfaith harmony.
Sanjaya is chairman to Suffolk inter-faith centre which seeks to promote religious harmony and understanding.
The episodes are collected on here on Radio Sri Chinmoy.
- Thought of the Day hosted at Radio Sri Chinmoy – originally on BBC Radio Ipswich
Interfaith through the Peace Run
Peace Run welcomed by the Reverend-Canon Chancellor at York Minister 22 May, 2014
The Peace Run team visit a local Mosque in Hamburg, Germany 23 June, 2015
Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run meets local Sikh community. Hamburg, Germany 23 June, 2015
- Interfaith experiences at Sri Chinmoy Centre
Sri Chinmoy choir participate in United Nations interfaith event. 15 February, 2013 Sri Chinmoy Centre News
Related pages on Vasudeva Server sites
- Kind words from the interfaith community
- Interfaith at Sri Chinmoy.org
- Interfaith at Sri Chinmoy Centre
- Sri Chinmoy Meditation at Sri Chinmoy.TV
- Sri Chinmoy meditating at the opening of Parliament of World Religions (1993)