Hartford, CT/Tacoma, WA — As part of his last scheduled tour of the United States, renowned peace luminary and freedom fighter, Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu was awarded the first Sri Chinmoy Peace Award during a private meeting in Tacoma, WA last week. He was especially honored for his tireless courage and dedication to fostering the ideals of peace in the hearts and lives of millions worldwide. Sri Chinmoy and Desmond Tutu, first met in Cape Town on Dec. 20, 1995.
From this first treasured meeting and the ones that followed Sri Chinmoy wrote a book honoring the South African cleric entitled: Archbishop Desmond Tutu: The World-Compassion-Heart-Nest. Some poetic excerpts include: “Desmond Tutu, The entire world bows to your soul and to your life, for you are abundantly rich in perfect Light-distribution.” “What you sleeplessly and breathlessly try to do for the betterment of the world at times amazes even God’s Eye!” and “Each drop of your body is made of courage — Fear nowhere! …As God’s Heart specializes in forgiving the world, even so, your life specializes in awakening the world.”
Members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre met with the endearing archbishop in Tacoma. “Father, you are our supreme hero and most fitting person to receive the first Sri Chinmoy Peace Prize for your extraordinary courage, love for humanity and dedication to peace,” they proclaimed.
The delighted 79-year-old Tutu replied, “Thank you so much for this very special award which I shall treasure. Please pray for us. I wish to say that the world has got very many ugly things—war and poverty and disease. But it also has beautiful things…. Sri Chinmoy was one of God’s very best fellow workers, working for harmony and peace, and we thank God for his tireless service. We pray for God’s Blessings on all who follow his teachings to plant the seeds of peace and harmony throughout the world.”
The South African peace legend proudly received The Jewels of Happiness, a newly published book by Sri Chinmoy for which Father wrote the introduction. Archbishop Tutu then held aloft and blessed the Peace Torch from the World Harmony Run which was founded by Sri Chinmoy 1987.
As history’s largest torch relay promoting international friendship in over 140 countries and this year supports the U.N.-designated Year of Youth and Year of Forests. Desmond Tutu also received the World Harmony Run Torch Bearer Award and as a final gift to the peace luminary, was presented with a beautiful painting by Sri Chinmoy containing many exquisite and colourful peace-birds.
Archbishop Tutu delivered a talk in Tacoma entitled “Be the Spark” during which he encouraged 15,000 mostly young people “to be God’s partner” in bettering the world. He then spoke on the theme of “Humanity & Harmony” in Hartford, CT to thousands and was the Grand Marshal of a peace walk May 21 in support of the upcoming Chinmoy Centre World Youth Peace Summit July 1-4 .