I am very pleased to know that Dr. T. D. Singh will be blessed and celebrated on his 65th Birthday on December 9, 2002. I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to him as well as his spiritual family and community.

I remember that I first met Dr. T. D. Singh at the United Religions Initiative (URI) Global Summit at Stanford University in California, June 1997. He was looking like a traditional Hindu Pandit but very graceful and mentally open-minded. At first I felt about him as an old friend. We got together often at the meetings and he became a close colleague and brother to work for world peace with. Since then we met again at the annual Summit in 1998 and 1999 and built a deeper friendship. I recall that at the URI Charter Signing Ceremony in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 2000 he brought a musical group of his community to escalate the festive mood of the historical event. His prayer song was extremely moving to the audience. Generally, he used to represent Hindu tradition to URI, a kind of religious UN. In this last year, we had the first URI Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly in Bali, Indonesia. All participants of the event experienced how Dr. T. D. Singh has led and influenced the Hindu community there. His significant contribution to the Assembly was appreciated by everyone. He has always been sincere and kind in all matters.

On an other hand, I was impressed by Dr. Singh’s academic career as a scientist. He, a Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry, has been an advocate for synthesizing science and religion. Therefore, his talks are attractive and persuasive because his world view and way of thinking seems Hinduist but also scientific and rational.

I appreciate the personality and character of Dr. Singh as a good Hindu Acharya and interfaith educator. He always looks compassionate and humble. I believe that his friendship with various religionists could be a model for promoting peace and love among diverse people of the world. I estimate his efforts to promote inter-religious cooperation and education for peace and harmony in the society of India and world. I would like to support his valuable ideas and works including cooperation among religions, spirituality, ethics, and science for better world. I pray for a long life of Dr. Singh, for his better health, and for achieving his idea and vision for world peace.

Ven. Jinwol Lee
Zen Master, Jogye Oder of Korean Buddhism


I met Dr. T. D. Singh (His Holiness Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami) in Assisi only a few years ago when I invited him to take part in a round table conference on ‘The Role of the World’s Religions in Developing a Culture of Peace.’ The conference was held at our Franciscan International Centre for Dialogue in Assisi, Italy. From the first moment we met, Dr. Singh gave me the impression that he was an extraordinary personality.

Dr. Singh is a man with great human qualities, which stem from a great heart. He is a man of deep understanding, compassion, humility, love and spirituality. It doesn’t take long for Dr. Singh to understand the human qualities of a person with whom he comes in contact. Compassion and love in Dr Singh go beyond the barriers of race and religious background. Because of his respect for every human person, Dr. Singh doesn’t make any distinction between the rich and the poor, a VIP and the man in the street. He treats every single person with the same respect and love.

The intellectual qualities of Dr. Singh and his wisdom make him an excellent leader as one can see from his many followers all over the world. To those who follow him Dr. Singh is a good teacher not only on an intellectual level but also on spiritual level. He has a word of wisdom for every person he meets. He not only teaches with his word but also teaches especially with his life.

Being a man of inter-religious dialogue, Dr. Singh has come into contact with many outstanding religious leaders all over the world. He has fully understood the important role of inter-religious dialogue as a means of collaboration among the world’s religions to contribute to a lasting peace, to overcome the problems of the human family and to create a better world. I am very glad and honored of our friendship and collaboration. To H. H. Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami, my best wishes for many more years to come.

Father Maximilian Mizzi
OFM Conv. Delegate General for Ecumenism
and Inter-religious Dialogue, Assisi, Italy


I am a Christian priest. I am not interested in knowing about other religions simply from books. I always believed that other religious leaders and teachers would turn out to be attempting to achieve things similar to what we Christian teachers aimed at. The methods might turn out to be very different of course. So it has been a delight to begin to know something of Dr. T. D. Singh’s outstanding and humble leadership in his own faith.

In particular, I was able to observe first hand in Bali, in December 2001, at the interfaith gathering there, his manner of relating to and teaching and leading young and old disciples in the disciplines and delights of worship.

I watched with amazement the crowd of young people, like a flock of birds, who moved around with him waiting perhaps for any word of wisdom from him. This way of being a disciple I know from books is common to many religious traditions. But to see it first hand was real and delightful. It was also so clear that Dr Singh was a very upright and reliable person who would not lead anyone astray. In no way would he abuse peoples’ great trust in and reverence for him. I also observed him as a kind of “rock star” leading a dance involving hundreds of delighted young people. I could also see how he could encourage by example and deep teaching a group of boys committed to a religious life of strenuous discipline. Here was an inspiring hope for the future, something which the mothers and fathers and families of these boys were willing to support to the fullness of their capacity. Of such stuff is great religion made.

I have only begun to know Dr Singh. But the taste is sweet. I hope for more.

Our openness to one another as religious people is so important. My own Christianity has often been intolerant and behaved quite the opposite of what its founder, Jesus, intended. Its leaders have often, even in their religious zeal, led people astray. My own religion has been used to justify violence and abuse of power, even to the limits of imperial colonization. Our modern world can stand no more of that. We have to live together as brothers and sisters at last. Our religions have to see one another as brothers and sisters after all. With leaders like Dr. Singh, it is a wonderful prospect. What a brother!

The Rev. Dr. George Armstrong
Lecturer in Cross Cultural Theology
Te Rau Kahikatea, Kai Tiaki of St John’s College, Auckland, New Zealand


It is easy to celebrate Dr. T. D. Singh’s work for interfaith, understanding and cooperation. His gracious, joyous and humble spirit, his deep reverence for God, his keen intellect, his compassionate commitment, his gracious hospitality and his ready laugh are an inspiration, and are incomparable gifts to any interfaith effort for peace, justice and healing.

In particular, Dr. T. D. Singh has been an extraordinary gift to the United Religions Initiative. Over the years, he has contributed greatly to the URI’s chartering process. He has helped to create a charter that inspires people all over the world to act for the good of all:

We, people of diverse religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions throughout the world, hereby establish the United Religions Initiative to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.

But he went far beyond helping to write words on a page. Through his efforts those words have become a living reality. He has helped spread the URI’s vision throughout Asia and played a key role in enabling the URI’s regional conference for Asia and the Pacific in Bali, Indonesia in December, 2001. He helped plant the URI Cooperation Circle in Manipur, which inspires people all over the world with its dedication to living the URI Charter and being a force for peace, justice and healing.

It has been a privilege to work side by side with Dr. T. D. Singh, to travel with him, to share visions of the possible and to join hands to make those visions real. But perhaps the greatest privilege has been to sit with him in stillness in the presence of the sacred evoked so purely in his beautiful chanting.

It is easy to celebrate the work and the life of Dr. T. D. Singh.

The Rev. Canon Charles P. Gibbs
Executive Director
United Religions Initiative