Sri Chinmoy was a fully realised spiritual master dedicated to inspiring and serving those seeking a deeper meaning in life. He was born in Bengal, India, in 1931, and while still a child had many deep mystical experiences. At the age of twelve, after the death of his parents, Sri Chinmoy entered an ashram or spiritual community. Here he spent the next twenty years leading a life of intense spiritual practice, deepening and expanding his inner vision and reaching the rare state of oneness with God that various traditions call Enlightenment or God-Realisation.
Sri Chinmoy would have been content to spend the rest of his life in a samadhi trance, maintaining only the slightest connection with the physical world, but an inner command that he leave India and offer his realisation to aspiring humanity brought him to the United States in 1964. From there he established meditation centres throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Central and South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Because Sri Chinmoy believed that spirituality and inner peace are everyone’s birthright, his centres are dedicated to the goal of offering free meditation classes to aspiring seekers.
Besides meditating for several hours a day and guiding his numerous meditation centres, Sri Chinmoy conducted meditations twice a week for United Nations delegates and staff in New York. He also lectured at the United Nations and was frequently invited to speak at universities around the world.
Sri Chinmoy taught that meditation not only brings inner peace, but also stimulates creative expression. A prolific writer, he published more than 1,500 books of spiritual poetry, aphorisms, essays, short stories, and lectures. He also completed countless paintings that were exhibited at various galleries and museums in the US and abroad. An accomplished musician, he composed more than 13,000 songs and performed hundreds of concerts in North America, Europe, Asia, and South America.
Having been a decathlon champion in India, Sri Chinmoy recognised the importance of having a fit physical body to support one’s meditation life. As well as maintaining his own daily routine of physical exercise, running and weightlifting, he encouraged his students to run or walk daily. He founded the international Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team to offer short races, triathlons, marathons, and ultra marathons to running communities around the world.
His life was truly a testimony to the philosophy of self-transcendence.
When Mikhail Gorbachev learned that Sri Chinmoy would be performing a concert at UN headquarters to honour the 50th anniversary of the UN, he said: “…I cannot fail to express once more my admiration for your creative energy and versatile talents… I sincerely wish you success, and I am sure that the concert will become yet another significant contribution to peace and understanding among peoples, for culture and spirituality are the everlasting values which sustain the universe.”
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