Memorial Service for President Mandela at Aspiration-Ground
- A Loving Memorial Tribute to Nelson Mandela was held at Aspiration-Ground on Saturday Night Dec. 7th. Many candles flickered and white roses were in abundance. A small stage in the front of the "room" had several photographs of Nelson Mandela enlarged and grouped together as a memorial shrine.
The service centered around Sri Chinmoy's book about Nelson Mandela entitled Nelson Mandela : The Pinnacle-Pillar of Mother Earth written in 1998. The function included a Bhajan Singers performance of a phrase of one of the songs Guru wrote about Mandela sung in a mantric fashion. All those in attendance placed a white flower in front of a large photograph of Mandela and Zuma standing side-by-side, both smiling broadly. While we placed the flower on the shrine, various music groups performed beautiful soulful music.
All the songs that Sri Chinmoy composed about Mandela were performed by a choir of the excellent singers. Here are the lyrics to one of the songs:Nelson Mandela, torture-sufferer supreme,
High Heaven’s Smile and earth’s solace-dream.
Your heart has won the world’s admiration-choice.
Within, without, a perfect justice-voice.
-Sri ChinmoyPortions of the book were read aloud by students of Sri Chinmoy, including staff members of the United Nations. Video footage depicting Sri Chinmoy's meetings and friendship with Mandela was shown along with a slideshow of still photos and audio from some of their meetings that were voice recorded but lacked video. All the photos, video and audio offered an in-depth glimpse to their interactions which richly supplemented short snippets seen previously.
The atmosphere and meditations were electric with energy throughout the evening. When I placed the flower on the shrine, I felt as if I was in direct inner connection with Mandela's legacy and felt that he was one of the greatest souls of the century. My heart brimmed with gratitude that God sent someone so special into the world for such a long life and that the entire world could feel that he belongs to them as much as to his own country, family and culture.
With deepest gratitude,
- Dear Sharani, Animesh and Kamalakanta, thank you for your soulful report on the passing of Nelson Mandela. I wish I had been able to be present, but one could almost feel the atmosphere.
Some of the musical performances are available on Shoutcast Radio called "Mandela".