(10 Oct '02)
Amma’s Acceptance Speech after Receiving the Gandhi-King Award for Non-violence in Geneva 2002
Salutations to all of you who are verily the embodiments of supreme love.
This award is in the name of two great beings, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. May it be an encouragement and inspiration to those who desire and work for world peace. May their efforts gain in strength and vitality. Amma accepts this award on behalf of such individuals, and prays that there may be even more individuals dedicated to the cause of world peace.
Amma’s life has been dedicated to the welfare of humanity, so She has does not make any special claims.
Mahatma Gandhi and Reverend Martin Luther King dreamt of a world where people saw each other as humans, disregarding differences in colour. Amma would like to offer Her vision of the future in remembrance of these two beings.
Amma envisions a society in which men and women work in equal partnership, like the two wings of a bird, thus helping the world progress.
Dr. King was as brave as a lion. But his heart was as soft as a flower. To reclaim love and equality in society, he had to forfeit his very life in the fight with his own country.
Gandhiji believed in practice, not preaching. His life was dedicated to peace and harmony. He could have become Prime Minister or President of India. But he was not interested in position or honours. Even on the day when India gained independence, Gandhiji did not participate in the celebrations. He was visiting the places stricken by communal violence and pacifying the people there.
You can awaken only one who is sleeping, not one who is pretending to be asleep. Today, most people are pretending to be asleep. They must awake, arise and act; only then can their dreams be fulfilled. All of us dream of a tomorrow that is filled with peace and happiness. May we develop the self-confidence and ability to realise this dream. Let us begin working towards this goal with faith and surrender from now onwards.