Sri Chinmoy 1931 - 2007
Beloved Spiritual Leader Sri Chinmoy Passes Away
NEW YORK, October 11, 2007 - Internationally renowned peace leader
and spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy passed away yesterday morning in
his home in Queens, New York. The cause of death was a heart attack.
Respected and loved worldwide, Sri Chinmoy's philosophy for world
peace was manifested through a wide array of activities, ranging from
literature to art to sports to music. The universal nature of his
philosophy embraced and encouraged people of all backgrounds, faiths
and nationalities to work together for peace. Over 600 leaders,
luminaries and professors had nominated Sri Chinmoy for the 2007
Nobel Peace Prize. He was one of the finalists for this year's prize,
which cannot be awarded posthumously.
Hailed as a modern day renaissance man, Sri Chinmoy wrote over 1600
books of prose and poetry, composed over 20,000 pieces of music,
played over 800 Peace Concerts in venues like Lincoln Center and
Carnegie Hall and was an avid runner, tennis player and champion
President Mikhail Gorbachev wrote,
"Your enormous and significant activities are helping people to live
better lives in peace, friendship and love. Whatever you dedicate
yourself to - art, poetry, drawing - all this is connected with
peace, peace amongst people and peace amongst nations."
Sri Chinmoy was born on August 27, 1931 in a small village in east
India. Orphaned at the age of 11, Sri Chinmoy travelled with his six
brothers and sisters to a spiritual community in south India, where
he spent the next 20 years in intense prayer and meditation. Heeding
an inner call, he travelled to the United States in 1964 and made New
York City his home.
In the 43 years since his arrival in the West, Sri Chinmoy became a
model of the potential of humankind. Opening centers throughout the
world for peace and harmony he tirelessly travelled the globe to
share his inspiration and goodwill.
Of his contributions to peace, President Nelson Mandela wrote,
"It is a very rare gift indeed for humankind to be blessed with such
a selfless individual who has dedicated his entire life to the
service of world peace. Your work has inspired spiritual growth,
resilience and well-being, especially in view of the present and
unprecedented onslaughts against humankind. Yours is a voice of
reason we all must heed."
A champion of interfaith harmony, Sri Chinmoy was beloved by
religious leaders of all denominations. From Mother Teresa to Pope
Paul VI and Pope John Paul II to the Dalai Lama, Sri Chinmoy was
celebrated as a true servant of God.
"I am so pleased with all the good work you are doing for world peace
and for people in so many countries," wrote Mother Teresa. "May we
continue to work together and share together, all for the glory of
God and for the good of man."
Sri Chinmoy was an ardent supporter of the United Nations. Since 1970
he had served as the leader of the Peace Meditation at the United
Nations, an association of delegates and staff he founded under the
aegis of the third UN Secretary-General U Thant.
"The outer message of the United Nations is peace. The inner message
of the United Nations is love. The inmost message of the United
Nations is oneness," said Sri Chinmoy.
Javier Perez de Cuellar, the fifth UN Secretary-General said,
"Sri Chinmoy, you are the heart of the United Nations. In all the
years I was Secretary-General and even before, you were always with
us. Your message was always with us, and we were being inspired by
Sri Chinmoy's love of sports spanned a lifetime and resulted in a
number of landmark programs for peace and self-transcendence. In
1987, Sri Chinmoy founded the World Harmony Run, the world's largest
relay for peace involving tens of thousands of participants in over
Sri Chinmoy also founded the Sri Chinmoy Marathon team which is a
leading promoter of ultra distance races, sponsoring events ranging
from marathons to the world's longest footrace, a 3100 mile run.
"The physical and the spiritual must go together," taught Sri
Chinmoy. "They cannot be separated."
In this light, Sri Chinmoy astounded sports heroes and luminaries
through a weightlifting career which he began in 1986, at the age of
55. Weight being anything but insurmountable, Sri Chinmoy credited
his inner peace for the ability to lift thousands, sometimes even
tens of thousands of pounds. From cars to animals to small planes,
Sri Chinmoy lifted almost every object imaginable in various styles
of strongman lifts.
"I have learned from Sri Chinmoy that the size of the arm does not
make the man; the size of the heart makes the man," said five-time
Mr. Universe and Best Built Man of the 20th Century, Bill
Pearl. "Nobody on earth has done what Sri Chinmoy has done."
A musician since his youth, Sri Chinmoy made dozens of recordings,
composed over 20,000 songs, and offered more than 800 Peace Concerts -
all free of charge.
"Sri Chinmoy has a tremendous, a fantastic creative urge!" exclaimed
Indian maestro Ravi Shankar.
A humanitarian, Sri Chinmoy's service organization, the Oneness-Heart-
Tears and Smiles collected and distributed millions of dollars of
medical supplies throughout Asia and Africa. Dedicated to easing pain
and alleviating suffering, Sri Chinmoy once wrote, "My Lord, do give
me the capacity to wipe every tear from every heart."
Sri Chinmoy practiced a life of spiritual discipline and never
married. Over 7,000 people continue to follow his philosophy through
the over 100 Sri Chinmoy Centres worldwide.
For more information, contact Sri Chinmoy Centre Media Relations at
+1 347 968 9417