Spiritual Master Lifts Elephants
This article was published in the 'India Tribune' – a monthly newspaper that serves the Indian community of New Zealand and Australia – in March 2007.
Seventy-five year old world harmony leader and spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy last week completed a month long visit to Thailand which featured several unusual displays of strength. Defying age and gravity the Indian born meditation master and longtime advocate of physical fitness hoisted a 785 lb baby elephant on a specially modified calf raise machine.
Sri Chinmoy has been travelling throughout Thailand during the past month with more than 400 members of his international humanitarian and harmony organisation as part of his annual goodwill travels. His calf raise lift was a dramatic show of support for the elephants continued survival and conservation. At another elephant park in subsequent days Sri Chinmoy went on to calf raise a further twelve elephants, nine of them large adults. The last and heaviest lift with mahout atop weighed an enormous 8,622lbs. In previous years the impossibility-challenger lifted 6 times Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis on the back of a circus elephant in New York, another remarkable strength feat demonstrating the power of the mind and honouring the Olympian.
Sri Chinmoy is a noted advocate of inner concentration and meditation as a way of harnessing the unlimited potential of the human spirit. His extraordinary weightlifting achievements have inspired citizens of all ages and redefined our understanding of human potential. When asked why he performs such superhuman feats he commented, "With my weightlifting, I am trying to inspire and encourage people of all ages to transcend their own limits. With determination we can conquer the age barrier."
Sri Chinmoy's dramatic elephant lifts are also some of the heaviest calf raise achievements ever performed according to longtime Registrar of the British Amateur Weightlifters Association Jim Smith. "What a phenomenal achievement for any human being! The best bodybuilders and lifters in the world cannot come close to Sri Chinmoy's calf raise, and he is more than twice as old as they are!"
In Chiang Mai Sri Chinmoy offered a concert of peaceful music, playing on a dozen instruments from around the world. The world acclaimed maestro has offered over 700 peace concerts in such venues as the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall in New York, Nippon Buddokan in Tokyo, the Royal Albert Hall in London and Auckland's Aotea Centre and Town Hall.
Sri Chinmoy and his students were extremely moved by the loving kindness and hospitality of the Thai people. Sri Chinmoy has composed nine songs about Thailand and it's beloved King.
Sri Chinmoy stands before the elephants he has just lifted
Sri Chinmoy's students describe their inner and outer experiences.
My inner callingPurnakama Rajna Winnipeg, Canada
Why run 3100 miles?Smarana Puntigam Vienna, Austria
An early spiritual experienceAshrita Furman New York, United States
My RoomPreetidutta Thorpe Auckland, New Zealand
How I learned from Sri ChinmoyPradhan Balter Chicago, United States
The day my Guru accepted me as his discipleBanshidhar Medeiros San Juan, Puerto Rico
My first GuruAdarini Inkei Geneva, Switzerland
The day I saw my Guru for the first timeNatabara Rollosson New York, United States
A love that was thick like butterMahatapa Palit New York, United States
The Ever-Transcending GoalPreetidutta Thorpe Auckland, New Zealand
The spiritual life is normal to meShankara Smith London, United Kingdom
Learning to follow my intuitionSaranyu Pearson Geelong, Australia
interviews with Sri Chinmoy's students