The Polite Policeman
December, 2002. Sri Chinmoy is in New Zealand with an international group of his students. We had crossed the Cook Strait on the inter-islander ferry after a free public concert in the Wellington Town Hall on the previous evening. In Picton our group boarded several buses or caught rides in our small convoy of accompanying cars, then together we began the leisurely drive to Christchurch.
Such a beautiful afternoon, nature charming us with a fine performance. On our right the Kaikoura ranges snow mantled with a brilliant clarity, soared up into a clear summer sky. Beneath, dark folds of shadowed valleys tumbled down from overlapping skylines of ridges and summits that stepped away into distance. On our left the unusual turquoise green of the sea – kelp beds stretched and swayed, seals lounged on the shoreline's dark shelves of rock, fictitious sightings of breaching whales that had gullible noses pressed to the bus windows.
In this world of beauty our progress was slow and before long we were holding up other traffic, a long procession winding through the green hills. A policeman pulled over Sri Chinmoy's lead vehicle but he too was under the spell of this balmy summer afternoon and could not have been kinder. "How I wish everybody would drive at your speed!" he said. He was helpful and courteous and solicitous and the occupants of the van were charmed by how nice he was. The van driver had a small photo of Sri Chinmoy on the dashboard and the policeman was intrigued. "Is that the Dalai Lama?" he asked, and began talking about the well-known Buddhist leader. They conversed for a while then the policeman left, asking them to pull over if too many cars were gathering behind them.
Sri Chinmoy spoke of this incident a number of times in illustration of the peacefulness of New Zealand and the pleasant time he had on this fourth visit. Several New Zealand songs he has written and these speak of "God-Beauty's Hand", "softness-life and oneness-heart" and "land of the charming lambs". The master has a special fondness for New Zealand.