Amma graces Interfaith Celebration
50th Anniversary of United Nations
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, 21 October 1995
Amma was invited to speak at the United Nations Conference on Visions for the 21st Century, timed to coincide with the 50th Anniversary Summit of the United Nations. The Temple of Understanding and the Council of Religious and Interfaith Organisations sponsored this conference, a forum for religious leaders, diplomats, NGOs, and educators to present their visions for the next century. A conference statement was presented to the UN while the 50th Anniversary Summit was still in session.
The interfaith assembly was inspired by the acknowledgment of the need for “the political to be informed by the spiritual.” The UN and UNESCO were urged to provide a new paradigm of thought which centres on the responsibility for fostering global values of caring, compassion and tolerance. The thirty-two speakers included religious leaders from various traditions as well as several heads of state and scholars. Other religions represented were Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Shintoism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Baha’I, and Akuapim Traditional Religion of Ghana.
In addition to giving Her address on “Unity is Peace” at the Cathedral of St. John The Divine, New York. Amma shared a discussion panel with Nobel Peace Prize winner, Oscar Arias, ex-President of CostaRica and Dada Vaswani, head of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission. Later that evening, Amma and several of Her senior disciples walked together in a procession with other religious leaders inside the cathedral. Each tradition presented a prayer, song or a dance in celebration of the divine unity of all. There was a valedictory peace invocation led by the spiritual leaders representing each religion, and Amma, representing the Sanatana Dharma chanted the mantra Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu (Let all beings in this world and in all the other worlds be peaceful and happy) as everyone joined in.
Amma’s presence during the presentations was dazzling, and Her unique message was refreshing to ears yearning to hear the Truth which only a Mahatma can give.