"The Himalayas are the sacred abode of the cosmic Gods, the source of the holy river Ganga and the heart-home for saints and sages who have brought us the message of peace and oneness down the sweep of centuries. In dedicating this mountain as Sri Chinmoy Peace Mountain, we fervently pray that its peace will self-givingly enter into every human heart throughout the length and breadth of the world." On December 21st, 1994, with a spectacular view of the highest mountain-heights of Mother Earth, these inscribed words wafted forth as the Kingdom of Nepal officially dedicated an unconquered, 4-mile-high snow-capped Himalayan mountain as "Sri Chinmoy Peace Mountain."
For two weeks during the month of December, the beloved spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy traveled to the Kingdom of Nepal along with 150 of his students from many countries in order to receive the blessings of the people and land of Nepal. During that brief time a number of extraordinary spiritual events took place, specially the meetings of Sri Chinmoy with His Majesty King Birendra, leader of the only Hindu kingdom on earth.
"We are honored to receive you in our country," began King Birendra. "You have come to us as an Ambassador of Peace."
"Oh no, I am a student of peace, and I try to be of service to the seekers of the world," Sri Chinmoy responded. "I have been to various parts of the world and also I have been conducting meditations at the United Nations for the last 25 years. Secretary-General U Thant was a personal friend of mine. He invited me to offer twice-weekly meditations at the United Nations. This year will be our 25th anniversary and the UN will be 50 years old."
His Majesty responded, "I am happy to hear that people in the West are interested in meditation. We need both prayer and meditation to gain peace of mind." "When I pray," responded Sri Chinmoy, "I feel that I am speaking to God and when I meditate I feel that God is talking to me. Prayer goes up to reach the highest mountain and meditation touches the inmost recesses of our heart."
His Majesty said, "I was born a Hindu, but I deeply appreciate Lord Buddha and others because they know the secrets of meditation. Since time immemorial, the panoramic beauty of Nepal has attracted sages and seers. They come here to meditate and attain inner peace." The king asked Sri Chinmoy about where he has been teaching meditation, and the spiritual leader enumerated quite a few nations throughout the world, noting, "I find that everywhere people are now moving towards meditation." His Majesty inquired, "Do you see this as a sign that the world is progressing?"
"The world is definitely progressing. Let us look at one individual, President Gorbachev. He could have gone on indefinitely like his predecessors. But then light descended into him and he was able to offer freedom to millions of people."
"This world of ours will one day learn to live in harmony," King Birendra shared. "I believe that it is only through peaceful coexistence that man will be able to realize the fullness and beauty and infinite richness of the universe. I too feel that the closest bonds are the bonds of the heart. We have to use our hearts to renew our kinship not only with other men but also with the birds, beasts and other animals with whom, in common, we inherit the earth."
At the conclusion of the 45-minute audience with the King, Sri Chinmoy disclosed that he had composed several songs in honor of the king and the Kingdom of Nepal, and requested his students be allowed to sing them. The following day the international choir of Sri Chinmoy's students sang for and about the king, including two quotes of His Majesty set to music by Sri Chinmoy: "Hinduism surrounds us as does the fresh air we breathe." "In Nepal we neither have enemies to fight against nor battles to win."
Two days earlier, several buses and cars transported Nepalese dignitaries along with Sri Chinmoy and 150 of his students in a caravan from Kathmandu to Nagarkot, site of the most popular and breathtaking views of the Himalayas. As the vehicles traversed their way upwards, the morning clouds of the Kathmandu valley thinned and the Himalayan majesties began to reveal themselves. In fact, the first mountain range to be seen was the snow-capped Langtang Range. It is one of these mountains, a yet-to-be climbed 21,400-foot titan that was dedicated Sri Chinmoy Peace Mountain.
The ceremony took place around a Nepalese-style pagoda housing the commemorative plaque with a complete panorama of our planet's uppermost heights. Sri Chinmoy's prayerful spiritual songs and soul-stirring silent meditation filled the clear Himalayan air, as did the moving talks by the Nepalese dignitaries. "Everest-aspiration, you are the blessing-gift of Mother Gauri and Father Shankar," runs one of the songs which is also inscribed on the plaque. "Do open my heart's silver door and awaken me with Immortality's Dawn."
With this dedication, Nepal joins with more than 800 other significant landmarks that are part of the "Sri Chinmoy Peace-Blossom" family worldwide. These include the capitals of seven nations, the highest mountain in nine countries, Niagara Falls and the entire border between Russia and Norway. Following the official ceremony blessed by the purest silence-height of Mt. Everest and all its sacred Himalayan brothers and sisters, Sri Chinmoy folded his hands in humble pranam and began to sing the song which is most sacred to him and to all of his students, the Invocation to the Supreme. All those present joined with folded hands and offered gratitude for this historic moment of spiritual victory: "Supreme, Supreme, Supreme, I bow to Thee, I bow."
This article was provided specially for Hinduism Today by Dr. Vidagdha Bennet of New York City and Dr. Agraha Levine of Seattle. Vidagdha received her PhD from the University of Melbourne and her doctoral dissertation was written on the poetry of Sri Chinmoy. Agraha is a computer programmer. Both have been students of Sri Chinmoy for many years and were with their master in Nepal.