Today we are remembering Nelson Mandela, who inspired the world with his unlimited capacity to forgive. His 27 years in prison on Robben Island gave him the experience of deep silence. Those who have this experience of inner silence, come to understand what it means to forgive and forget. His life became valuable because he offered the world this inspiration – that when we forgive and forget completely we can achieve true unity and brotherhood.
On behalf of the Brahma Kumaris, I would like to express my gratitude for his example and my deepest sentiments to his close family and to the family of the great nation of South Africa.
Nelson Mandela’s favourite poem from which he drew inspiration while in prison, often reciting it to fellow inmates at Robben Island, was Invictus, by English poet William Ernest Henley.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.