Paintings for World Peace and Harmony

In Geneva, several hundred paintings by Sri Chinmoy have been exhibited at the Palais des Nations, United Nations Office. The event was sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh in Geneva, with support from the Cultural Diplomacy and Outreach Section of the UN Office at Geneva, in collaboration with the Jharna-Kala Art Foundation.

The exhibit contains several distinct genre of paintings. These include a series of Peace-Bird drawings, originally exhibited at the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris, in 2006. Another series of 9”x12” acrylic paintings were first shown at an exhibition at St. Petersburg State University, Russia, in 2004.

At the opening event, H.E. M. Shameem Ahsan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh in Geneva, welcomed guests from the UN community and said that in “today’s conflict-ridden world, Bangladesh remains committed to and vocal for global peace and harmony”, and thus “deeply values the teachings of Sri Chinmoy, a son of the soil.” Noting that Sri Chinmoy taught that “by sharing goodwill and inspiration with others, and by spreading love and care, the world can be transformed and peace can be achieved,” Ambassador Ahsan said that Sri Chinmoy’s “paintings and music reflect his spiritual journey for the peace and well-being of humanity.”

Kenyan long-distance running champion and peace advocate Tegla Loroupe also spoke at the opening of the exhibit in Geneva, recalling how Sri Chinmoy had inspired her to work for peace. The event was moderated by M. Francesco Pisano, Chief of the Cultural Diplomacy and Outreach Section in Geneva. As Head of the UN Library there, he accepted a gift of a newly published book, Songs of Peace, collecting a number of songs that Sri Chinmoy had composed in dedication to the United Nations, as well as selections from his writings about the world body. Several of his compositions of music for peace were performed at the Geneva event, enhancing the peaceful atmosphere.

At the time of the 2007 exhibit of Paintings for World Peace and Harmony at the UN in New York, a number of world leaders and diplomats expressed their support. Nelson Mandela commented, “Within each of us lies the power to build a world where we respect each other’s beliefs, understand each other’s culture and support each other’s values — a world where hatred, pain and suffering have no place.  This is the great cause of world peace to which my dear friend Sri Chinmoy devoted his life and to which his Paintings for World Harmony at the United Nations are dedicated.” Mikhail Gorbachev commented that “Sri Chinmoy was a zealous supporter of the United Nations. He tried to inspire people who work in this worldwide organization. Therefore, it is remarkable that this gallery is taking place especially at the UN.”

During the 10 day exhibition, members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre offered musical performances to those attending the art exhibition.

Enjoying the music.