On January 30, 1987, in the very early hours of the morning starting at 1:25 a.m., Sri Chinmoy lifted 68 metal plates weighing 100 pounds each plus the very strong strut of steel bars that was holding them up in a strong steel cradle. The total weight lifted was 7,063 and ¾ pounds or 3,203.41 kilograms. Out of five attempts he successfully lifted it in its cradle three times. The first two attempts were unsuccessful, but the in next three there was definitely movement upwards. Twenty-four very lucky people were present to witness the event.
Last night, Wednesday, January 30, we celebrated this incredible achievement of Sri Chinmoy in Jamaica, Queens, New York City. There was a very large framed photo of this lift on an easle at the front of the meditation hall with a large bouquet of flowers in front of it. The intensity on Sri Chinmoy's face at the exact moment of the lift was quite impressive as well as the panoramic view of all 60 huge weights above his head. You could almost feel as if the event was happening right there and now.
During the program there was some readings of poems and accounts of the event. The first poem read out was the one that Sri Chinmoy spontaneously offered right before his lift attempts.
"God the Compassion,
Man the gratitude.
Man the height,
God the Delight.
Man the perfection-dream,
God the Satisfaction-Reality."
Another quote by Sri Chinmoy about his weightlifting was read out at the program:
"First we have to embody Peace, and then we have to reveal and offer peace to the world at large. That is what I am trying to do with my weightlifting."
There was a wonderful personal account of Dhanu read out by Snehashila, his mother, about preparing for the event and getting all the cameras ready for it. In a very intimate way you could feel what is was like back then as everyone was wondering exactly what was going to happen that night.
Later in the program some of the people who were actually present at the lift that night gave a brief account of their experiences. They all said that they did not know at the time that this was going to happen right at that time. Because the whole huge apparatus was just assembled that day they thought that they were called there just to see it and perhaps some day in the future Sri Chinmoy would practice enough to possibly lift it. Little did they know that after only two attempts he would be successful three more times right before their eyes.
Unbelievable but true, after 19 months of intense and dedicated weightlifting training, himself weighing only162and 1//2 pounds or 73.69 kilos, Sri Chinmoy successfully lifted 43.5 times his body weight overhead with his right arm after two initial attempts in his very first training session that night in front of 24 people.
Before watching a few videos of various training lifts, we sang a song that Sri Chinmoy composed two weeks after the lift. On February 14, 1987 we had a very big celebration at a meditation hall called Progress-Promise. The whole weight apparatus was there on the floor of the stage and Sri Chinmoy was reclined in front of it smiling broadly. We received this photo as one of the prasads last night as well. The words to the song are as follows:
"Seven thousand pounds,
I have reached my goal!
My poor body smiles
Through my rich soul.
God in Heaven,
God on earth
Asks me one thing:
Am I ready to sing?"
In the videos we watched some of the highlights of Sri Chinmoy's ever-transcending lifts leading up to that incredible feat over a 19 month period. We also saw some footage of visits by Jim Smith, an English Registrar of Records for the British Weightlifting Association and Mahasamrat Bill Pearl, one of the greatest body builders of all time and a 6 time Mr. Universe. He was and still is one of Sri Chinmoy's closest friends in the fitness world and offered Sri Chinmoy very helpful advice over the years. In some of the comments by Bill Pearl that were read out last night about Sri Chinmoy's weightlifting, he said:
"It is his feats of strength, combined with his love, that has had such an impact on the world. Guru's ultimate mission is to offer love and kindness. He wants to offer to the world love through his weightlifting. He wants to help to make the world a better place through each endeavor he undertakes. His weightlifting is another vehicle, like his music, art and poetry, for expressing his love."
There are probably no better words to express the meaning and intent of Sri Chinmoy's feats of strength and self-transcendence which may sometimes shock our minds but always seem to open our hearts.