Sri Chinmoy – Into The Unknown
The following is an article that was written in 1990.
It is a few minutes before 5.30am. The Indian meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy quietly walks into his light blue living room which, strewn with barbells and weightlifting machines, looks more like a gym.
After several minutes of prayer and meditation the 75-year-old spiritual master positions himself beneath two giant dumbbells suspended from metal frames, each one equivalent to his own body weight of 150 pounds.
Grasping a dumbbell in each hand, he pauses again, drawing upon inner reserves beyond the physical before straining upwards against their combined weight. A loud, humming groan accompanies his effort, as, freed from gravity the dumbbells rise up into the air.
After holding the weights aloft for five seconds, he lets them return to their metal harness – a loud clang bounces off the walls before the room returns to silence.
This latest recent effort represents a further attempt by Sri Chinmoy to demonstrate that mind and spirit can move mountains.
"Physical energy has only one source and that source is spiritual energy. As long as we remain conscious only of the body, we are not aware of this. But when we go deep within through meditation, we see that spiritual energy is the source of physical, vital and mental energy," says Sri Chinmoy of his remarkable effort.
"What I have done in weightlifting offers a golden opportunity for people who remain only in the body and do not care for the spiritual to see what can be done on the physical plane by virtue of the spiritual. And people who have spiritual awareness, who practice prayer and meditation-life, will see how spirituality can become part and parcel of physical activity."
This synthesis of outer fitness and inner search is present throughout the teachings and activities of the spiritual Master, sports philosopher and master athlete, Sri Chinmoy. The qualities needed to attain a difficult physical goal are the same ones needed for the training of the spirit. We all have unlimited potential, he says. To bring these capacities to the fore, we need faith, discipline and the determination never, never to give up.
Sri Chinmoy is unique among Eastern spiritual Masters in emphasising the importance of sports in the spiritual life. His yoga encompasses not only profound mystical philosophy, but also physical fitness, a full acceptance of ordinary life, a vision for world harmony, and a deep involvement in poetry, art and music.
The cornerstone of this yoga is the principle of aspiration – the urge to transcend, to reach for something higher and more fulfilling. This continual movement toward greater perfection, Sri Chinmoy believes, is the creative and energising force of the universe – the electrical current that runs God’s cosmic game. Our purpose in life, he teaches, is to plug into this divine current and allow it to guide our lives so we can ultimately transform ourselves and the world.
Sri Chinmoy is not a mere philosopher, he's a living philosophy, for if nothing else, he practices what he preaches. To see him struggling along with his students in a 26-mile marathon, or the 47-mile ultra-marathon he holds each year on his birthday, is convincing proof that this master is one with his followers.
His international Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, which now sponsors more than 500 races a year, is more than a classy running club. It's one of the flagships of his spiritual vision. It's motto – Run and become. Become and run. Run to succeed in the outer world. Become to proceed in the inner world – is a call to both body and spirit to strive for something beyond themselves, a personal best on the race course and in life as well.
This athletic view of life, with its constant drive for self-transcendance, finds its consummate expression in Sri Chinmoy himself. During the 24 years he has lived in the U.S. he has written more 1000 books of spiritual poetry, plays, stories and philosophical essays, composed several thousand devotional songs and completed some 250,000 paintings and drawings – visions, he says of higher worlds he has experienced during meditation.
Sri Chinmoy attributes all of his accomplishments to God's Grace: speaking of his recent weightlifting he commented:
"Great champions are of the opinion that 70 to 75 percent of weightlifting is mental preparation. But in my case, 100 percent is due to God's Grace and God's Compassion. Without my prayer-life and meditation-life, I am sure I could not lift more than 60 pounds."