After a lifetime of travel and lifelong encounters with many great human beings – our path took us to so many places, to encounters with so many people – it is a truism for me to say that Sri Chinmoy was, by a very great distance, the greatest person I have ever met. Even after my own 30 years of examining him he was always far over the horizons of my comprehension – and what I could comprehend was always wonderful and breathtaking.
I often marvelled at those hundreds of times that he walked alone on to a concert stage before audiences of up to 18,000 people, folded his hands together over his heart and simply by standing there, through the force of his love, the power of his meditation, his abandonment to God, bring a hushed, pin-drop silence to the entire auditorium. His tranquillity and absolute poise and the great achievement of his realization were felt by everyone. Then I would marvel at how he would sit in front of an unfamiliar piano or pipe organ with absolutely no idea of what he would play, no sheet music, no keyboard training, no mind or anxiety, entirely trusting in the higher worlds of music to pass through his fingers, the same surrender to God.
Sri Chinmoy’s personal example in this area of his life – and which he demonstrated in everything, everywhere – taught us much. He wanted us to understand our own capacity to uplift and serve the world, to live cocooned in God-trust, our confidence and power resulting from our growing oneness with him and God.
Once I was very touched by a small incident that occurred prior to a Peace Concert in Auckland. I went to Sri Chinmoy’s dressing room backstage to let him know the hall was full and all was ready – there were 3,000 people waiting expectantly in the auditorium. I imagined Guru would have at least a little of our human apprehension or pre-concert nerves, but instead he was looking at me with an absolute attentiveness, so calmly and so lovingly, and then asked me how I was! “Are you alright, Jogyata?” he asked, and looked deeply at me, wanting me to tell him of anything troubling me. He was about to walk out in front of a packed concert hall and play for two hours, but his only concern was in my welfare. I was amazed and tears came to my eyes.