Parliament of World Religions 2018 in Canada

The Parliament of the World's Religions began in 1893 in Chicago, as an initiative to bring the different religions and spiritual paths together. This gathering became famous for announcing the great Indian spiritual figure Swami Vivekananda to the world, and in doing so became a landmark in introducing Eastern spirituality to the West. A century later in 1993, the Parliament was once again reconvened in Chicago, and Sri Chinmoy was asked to give the opening meditation.

Sri Chinmoy meditates at the Parliament of World Religions in 1993

Since 1993, the Parliament has been held in multiple locations around the world. This year Toronto in Canada was the host, and members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre joined with members of many faiths and spiritual paths around the world in offering concerts, meditation events and talks.

Sangit Surabhi, a female instrumental group based in Ottawa, performed a selection Sri Chinmoy's meditative songs

Sri Chinmoy often wrote and spoke on the ideal of interfaith harmony, out of his inner experience that there are many different paths all leading to the same goal.

"I fully agree that all religions lead to one truth, the Absolute truth. There is One truth. There is only one Goal, but there are various paths. Each religion is right in its own way."

Sri Chinmoy 1

Representatives of different religions come together in harmony

A popular offering was a heart-centred meditation led by university professor Utsahi St-Amand, from the Sri Chinmoy Centre in Ottawa. Meditation is a powerful way to feel the spirit of interfaith harmony because it connects on a deeper level than the intellectual mind. Members of the Sri Chinmoy also offered talks and presentations on different aspects of Sri Chinmoy's teachings.

A presentation of the teachings of Sri Chinmoy led by Shivaram Trichur (centre). A student and friend of Sri Chinmoy since his very first years in the West, Shivaram is the leader of the Toronto Sri Chinmoy Centre as well as the manager of the popular Annapurna vegetarian restaurant.

Throughout the Parliament, our members shared the message of peace with participants in a simple and moving way, by inviting them to hold the Peace Torch and make a silent prayer for peace. The Peace Torch has been carried throughout the world in relay style by members of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, a global relay run which brings the torch and its message to millions of people and invites them to add their wishes for peace.

Offering a silent wish for peace

 This silent wish for peace is very much in line with the opening meditation that Sri Chinmoy gave in 1993; he would again give the opening meditation at the Parliament in Barcelona in 2004.

Sri Chinmoy at the opening meditation, 2004

During my opening meditation I am praying for the oneness of all religions.

Sri Chinmoy 2


Photos: Kautuhalam, Toronto, Canada.