Aware that the increase of happiness depends also strongly on the training of one’s own spirit, the United Nations SRC Society of Writers sponsored the launch of an audio book by Sri Chinmoy on the eve of the first UN International Day of Happiness at the United Nations Headquarters in New York (19 March). Among the 17 outstanding individuals who read a chapter of the new audio book The Jewels of Happiness are Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter Roberta Flack, Olympic legend Carl Lewis, Tony and Emmy award winning actress Judith Light and Russian singer and superstar Boris Grebenshikov. The Jewels of Happiness presents selected writings of Indian born Sri Chinmoy, who offered twice-weekly peace meditations for delegates and staff at the United Nations for 37 years. He also initiated global programmes to foster peace and happiness including the Peace Run – named now World Harmony Run – , the world’s largest relay run for international friendship and peace. The chapters of the celebrity audio book containing prose and poems deal with qualities and virtues whose development is necessary to gain lasting happiness. For more information please visit: http://www.jewelsofhappiness.com
Over 500 United Nations ambassadors, delegates, staff and members of NGOs were present at the launch. “These sweet gems of wisdom by my dear friend Sri Chinmoy are timeless truths full of encouragement, love and goodness,” Nobel Peace Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said in a video message. “Sri Chinmoy was a pioneer in forging a grand alliance of hearts and minds for the culture of peace,“ said Anwarul Chowdhury, Special Advisor and Ambassador of Bangladesh to the United Nations for many years, in his introduction. Renowned composer Philip Glass performed on the piano while Cathy Oerter, co-founder of Art of the Olympians and wife of legendary Olympian Al Oerter, and Ashrita Furman, holder of the most Guinness World Records, read from the book live. A special message from peace activist Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, and former Member of Parliament in South Africa, was also read out.
The audio book is available on itunes and audible.com and its proceeds will go to charities for children worldwide: Nelson Mandela Childrens Fund, Philani Nutrition and Development Project in South Africa and Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.