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United Nations General Assembly - Sikh Prayer


Highlights:

  • Jatinder P. Singh, Associate Director, UNITED SIKHS, is the first Sikh American to offer prayers at the United Nations 67th General Assembly Opening Session.
  • There were over 1500 attendees including the UN President H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremic, and leaders of various religious denominations throughout the world.
  • Click here to see the prayer.

New York, USA:On Thursday, February 14, 2013, Jatinder P. Singh, Associate Director of UNITED SIKHS, made history by becoming the first Sikh American to offer prayers at the United Nations 67th General Assembly Opening Session that took place in New York. Organizers of this event including the UN President H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremic, UNESCO, and the Committee of Religious NGOs aimed to promote messages of world peace.

Jatinder P. Singh read the Mool-Manter, a composition in the Sikh holy book during this interfaith harmony event, while a flute musical accompaniment was being played by Jon Blond,

“Ik Oankaar, Satnaam (There is only one God, the God’s name is the truth) ... In this age of Darkness, this world is loaded with maya, money, and weapons of mass destruction. The only answer to save this world is in prayers in the company of Saints.”

Jatinder P. Singh then read the english translation of an excerpt from Sukhmani Sahib (Ashtpadi 7.3), a set of hymns divided into 24 sections which appear in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (the Guru of the Sikhs)

“In the company of Saints, all enemies become friends. In the company of saints, man becomes very pure...” He closed the prayer by adding, “ I truly hope one day, all the countries can get together at the United Nations and just pray for world peace. Sat Sri Akaal.”

In this day and age, amidst economic turmoil and international conflict, the ability to come together in a pluralistic sense and share common values of peace was felt throughout the event. Attendees from diverse faiths, organizers of this event, and members of the UN approached Jatinder P. Singh after his prayer and shared how they were moved by the positive and uplifting message of peace that was presented in the prayer. One member was so impressed that she decided to take a copy of the Sukhmani Sahib with her.

There were over 1500 attendees from various organizations that included the UN Representative of the Secretary, Gail Bindley (General of the UN), Philippe Kridelka (Director of UNESCO, Ambassador Byrganym Aitimova (Permanent Representative to the UN From the Republic of Kazakhstan), Rev. Father Mark Arey (Director of Inter-Orthodox), Ms. Kiran Bali (Chair of the United Religions Initiative Global Council), and H.E. Ambassador T. Hamid Al-Bayati (Permanent Representative of the Mission of Iraq).

Messages of world peace and prayers were also offered by members of various religious denominations, including: Tuwe Huni Kuin (From the Brazilian Amazon Huni Kuin community), Caroline Vasquez (Baha’i International Community), Ven. Seong Won (Director of Social Affairs of Korean Zen Buddhism), Rev. Kathleen Stone (United Methodist Church), Swami Parameshananda (Bharat Sevashram Sangha), Lucy Schmitz (Ethical Culture Society), Apeksha Vora (Youth Member of Anuvrat Global Organization), Rabbi Michael Weisser (Free Synagogue of Flushing), Imam Izak El M. Pasha (Masjid Malcolm Shabazz), and Nina Mistry (Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America).

This was followed by a world peace flag ceremony, where the flags of each of the 193 UN member states and two observer missions were presented. As each country was presented, everyone welcomed them in saying “May Peace be in ___(Country name)___. This moving action was accompanied by Chris Farrell on the piano.

This moving World Peace event ended with the closing statements of Ms. Monica WIllard, the President of the Committee of Religious NGO’s.



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