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President Nelson Mandela
Sri Chinmoy was a devoted admirer of President Mandela, the revered elder statesman of humanity. They met together on several occasions and Sri Chinmoy even made a special pilgrimage to the prison cell on Robben Island where the President had been incarcerated for 18 of his 27 years in jail.
During their meeting in New York on 20 September 1998, Sri Chinmoy showed the President the Peace Torch and explained that it goes all over the world with the message of prayerful peace. The President and his wife, Graça Machel, immediately clasped the torch together. President Mandela said, "That is so important. We are with you in upholding peace, which brings solace to many people throughout the world. It doesn't matter what language they speak. I think peace is one of the things that is going to save the world."