1. The early years
  2. Biography
  3. Jharna-Kala - The Artwork of Sri Chinmoy
  4. Jharna-Kala - The Artwork of Sri Chinmoy
  5. art
  6. Questions & Answers on Art
  7. Achievements in the weightlifting world
  8. A loving Master
  9. The Master in Meditation

Sri Chinmoy (1931 - 2007)

A Peace Visionary

Sri Chinmoy (1931 - 2007)
A Peace Visionary
The early years
In the Pondichery Ashram

In the Pondichery Ashram

There was an orphan boy.
His name was Madal Chinmoy.
He hailed from a wee village, Shakpura.
He became his Family’s ananda fuara.

He lost his Father at the age of eleven.
The following year, his Mother
        Was summoned by Heaven.

At the age of twelve, he came to Pondicherry
To be a passenger of his Master’s Ferry.
Sports he liked and became a mountain-champion,
But neglected not his dream of God-union.

One night his Guru Supreme
Entered into his sweetness-dream,
        “Get up to meditate. Get up to meditate.
         In years to come you will have to navigate
         The birthless and deathless mankind’s sorrows
         To the Golden Shore of Tomorrows.
         Give due importance to your body, vital,
                 Mind, heart and soul
         To help the world reach its destined Goal.”

Madal, kettledrum of the cosmic Gods,
        Became Chinmoy Consciousness-full.
God’s Compassion-Eye made him
        A teacher of His inner School.
His student-life he took as his life’s bondage-night.
Therefore, his heart pined for Freedom-Light.

Now that he is a teacher of the inner School,
He realises that he is an unspeakable fool.
Humanity’s transformation-fate
Is a completely closed iron gate.
He breathlessly cries to God,
        “Save me, my Lord, save!”

“For you, no rest. Sunlit Path you needs must pave.
For you, no rest, no rest, not even a fleeting rest
Because in you I have found My Heart’s Satisfaction-Nest.”

“O Lord, I am crying, bleeding and dying.”

“Who prevents you from smiling and flying?”

The whole world came to him.
        He desperately wanted to hide.
His Absolute Lord commanded him
        All-where with Him to ride.

Tokyo 1992 / Photograph by Kedar Misani

Tokyo 1992 / Photograph by Kedar Misani

Born Chinmoy Kumar Ghose in the small village of Shakpura in East Bengal (now Bangladesh) in 1931, Sri Chinmoy was the youngest of seven children. In 1944, after both his parents had passed away, 12 year-old Chinmoy entered the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a spiritual community near Pondicherry in South India. Here he spent the next 20 years in spiritual practice – including long hours of meditation, practising athletics, writing poetry, essays and spiritual songs. In his early teens, Chinmoy had many profound inner experiences, and in subsequent years achieved very advanced states of meditation. In 1964, he moved to New York City to share his inner wealth with sincere seekers in the West.Sri Chinmoy sees aspiration – the heart’s ceaseless yearning for ever higher and deeper realities – as the spiritual force behind all great advances in religion, culture, sports and science. By living in the heart and aspiring for continual self-transcendence, men and women can bring forward the best in themselves and find their path to true satisfaction. In his words:

“Our goal is to go from bright to brighter to brightest, from high to higher to highest. And even in the highest, there is no end to our progress, for God Himself is inside each of us and God at every moment is transcending His own Reality.”

Sri Chinmoy serves as spiritual guide to students in some 60 countries around the world, encouraging a balanced lifestyle that incorporates the inner disciplines of prayer and meditation with the dynamism of contemporary life. His life was an expression of boundless creativity. His vast output spans the domains of music, poetry, painting, literature and sports. His contributions in each of these fields have been striking and far-reaching. Sri Chinmoy frequently travelled throughout the world to offer free concerts, lectures and public meditations, to meet with his students, and to meet and discuss spirituality with world and community leaders. Sri Chinmoy did not charge a fee for his spiritual guidance, concerts, lectures and public meditations. He entered Mahasamadhi – the mystic process through which spiritual Masters leave the body, on the morning of October 11, 2007.

Jharna-Kala - The Artwork of Sri Chinmoy

From 1974 until his passing in 2007, Sri Chinmoy created over 140,000 pieces of abstract mystical art, along with almost 16 million drawings of birds symbolising the freedom of the human soul.


Scetches, Acrylics and Bird Drawings


Questions & Answers on Art

In painting, are there some colours that are more inspiring or more spiritual than others?

Sri Chinmoy: It entirely depends on the artist. In my case, it isn't the same colour every day that will inspire me more than the rest. No. Some days blue will inspire me more; other days it will be green or red or pink or yellow. It is like that.

Some artists say that there are certain colours which impress them most all the time, and in their case this is true. But, in my case, it changes considerably. One day I prefer one colour, and the next day that colour may not inspire me at all. So, to say that some colours are more spiritual than the rest will be a mistake. But all the colours have a divine Source: therefore, we cannot say that any colours are unspiritual.

How can we be more conscious in our dat-to-day life of the beauty of your art?

Sri Chinmoy: You can be more conscious in your day-to-day of the beauty of my art by becoming more beautiful inwardly. How can you become more beautiful inwardly? Through consious aspiration and constant dedication. This conscious aspiration and constant dedication are not mere terms; they are real realities - like inhaling and exhaling. You breathe in because it is necessary; you breathe out because it is necessary. Inhaling and exhaling are part and parcel of your life on earth. Similarly, aspiration and dedication should be part and parcel of your day-to-day life. If you can have that kind of conscious aspiration and constant dedication - which means self-giving here - then easily you can be conscious at every moment of the inner and outer beauty of my art, which is nothing but a sea of beauty, a flood of beauty, both within and without.

From JHARNA-KALA magazine, Vol. 3 No. 3, July-August-September 1980

Achievements in the weightlifting world

Sri Chinmoy began weightlifting in 1986, aged 54. Sri Chinmoy saw weightlifting as a way of demonstrating to the world that matter and spirit are not separate, but inter-connected. Between 1986 and 2007, his weightlifting career saw a rapid progression in conventional lifts, such as standing calf-raises and bench press dumbbells. He also undertook a panorama of unconventional lifts, including people, objects and animals - which gave a new and unique direction to his weightlifting. One particular programme was entitled 'Lifting up the World with a Oneness-Heart'. This involved lifting people from all walks of life, in a symbolic gesture of oneness with their uplifting achievements. Over 8,000 individuals were lifted and honoured in this way, including President Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Javier Pérez de Cuéllar.

Sri Chinmoy's journey into weightlifting was unusual for a Spiritual Master, but he said that he said that he felt compelled from within to take this new direction.

"From the outer point of view, I have taken up weightlifting because my knee injury has kept me from running and compelled me to do something else. So the unconscious human in me thought of weightlifting. But the conscious being in me took up weightlifting at the express command of my Inner Pilot. The conscious being in me has listened to and has obeyed implicitly the dictates of my Inner Pilot."

Sri Chinmoy also said a motivation for his weightlifting was to inspire other people, showing that prayer and meditation could give both inner and outer strength.

Some of Sri Chinmoy's most significant achievements in the weightlifting world:

  • 7063 3/4-lb in a one-arm lift (right arm) 30 Jan 1987
  • 1,500 pounds in the seated calf raise. November 13th, 2004. Public weightlifting anniversary.
  • 2,400 lb in the standing calf raise. November 13th, 2004. York College.
  • 270 lb wrist curl in both arms, Jan 30th, 2006.
  • 350lb in both arms, bench press dumbbells. July 11th, 2000.
  • Lifted a total of 111,524 pounds during a public three day weightlifting celebrations September 15-17, 2006
  • Lifted over 8,000 people overhead as part of Lifting up the World with a Oneness-Heart (1988-2007)
  • Lifted 1,000 lambs and 200 cows over a 2 week period during a visit to New Zealand in 2002.
  • 1,300 pounds in the standing double dumbbell lift (2000)
  • 100 repetitions of his own body weight with one arm 1:17 minutes (November 13th, 2004)
A loving Master

Pictures from around the world