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Weightlifting 23rd Anniversary Function, New York

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  • arpan_deangelo
    June 26 is the 23rd Anniversary of the beginning of Sri Chinmoy s serious weight lifting and the 20th Anniversary of the `Lifting Up The World program. Here
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 26, 2008
      June 26 is the 23rd Anniversary of the beginning of Sri Chinmoy's
      serious weight lifting and the 20th Anniversary of the `Lifting Up
      The World' program. Here in New York at our Wednesday night function
      we celebrated these auspicious dates with a long and sweetly emotional
      function which I will attempt to describe.

      Walking into Aspiration-Ground one would expect that someone special was
      about to be lifted. Sri Chinmoy's overhead lifting apparatus was set
      up with 800 lbs. on top along with a framed photo of Mother Kali. His
      chair and table were also set up with a few medals that he would give to
      the honored `liftee' as well. Beautiful life-size cut-outs of
      Sri Chinmoy doing various lifts such as standing overhead two-arm lifts
      and standing and seated calf-raises were spread out around the grounds.

      First we had our regular meditation and singing program including
      Ramamoorthy singing two songs most soulfully and Satyajit's Group
      performing live music and a recital on `Surrender'. The opening
      prayer was, "My Supreme, my Supreme, please bless me with an
      ever-blossoming surrender-life." Parvati's singing group sang an
      English weightlifting song, then a large group of good singers from
      various groups sang a few special songs for the weightlifting including:
      `I Am A Brave Weightlifter , Constant sloth and weakness
      fighter.' We also sang `The Body's Fitness Gong, the
      Soul's Fullness-Song.' We finished with the traditional
      song,`Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart, the Hour of God and
      His Victory's Start.'

      After that last powerful and very familiar song some tears began to
      flow. It felt like we were right there with Guru who was ready to honor
      some guests by lifting them overhead. Biswas, who made many of the
      special lifting machines, got up to the microphone to introduce the
      program and to tell a few stories. But after just a few words he could
      not hold back the tears and many of us were feeling these powerful
      emotions as well. He managed to say a few lines but then handed the
      microphone over to Abakash who told a few wonderful stories about some
      of the important figures in the field of weightlifting and bodybuilding
      who were honored by Sri Chinmoy and who in respected and appreciated his
      efforts most sincerely. Then many others followed up with their own
      personal stories related to Sri Chinmoy's weightlifting. The stories
      went on and on, some quite humorous and others very personal and sweet.

      It was and still is obvious that Sri Chinmoy's weightlifting was not
      really about a strong man trying to get stronger. It was really about a
      great Spiritual Master who had a dynamic approach to faith in God and
      tried to include as many people as were inspired to participate in his
      efforts to show how important and real this faith is for all of us in
      our own lives. His lifting of seemingly impossible weights, objects and
      subjects was a dramatically convincing way to show us how any of us,
      even a small Indian Yogi, can work toward achieving what only seems
      impossible to our minds if we use our faith and hearts of Oneness.

      Sri Chinmoy honored thousands of people from all walks of life by
      lifting them overhead just as a sports team might lift their hero
      overhead for his or her achievements of the moment. Whether the person
      was already well known or was just like you and me, it did not matter to
      Sri Chinmoy who felt and knew that we are all children of the Supreme.

      After the very entertaining and uplifting stories from over a dozen
      people including Biswas, who was finally able to enlighten us on what it
      was like to build a lifting apparatus and make it work, we watched
      about thirty minutes of video. The first one was in August 1985, just a
      few months after starting his serious weightlifting program. Sri Chinmoy
      was in his house with seven people looking on. After some warm-ups with
      very light weights, he proceeded to lift a very heavy dumbbell, I think
      it was 100 lbs., from the ground all the way overhead and do repetitions
      with it. His dynamism and enthusiasm were contagious as it was obvious
      he was doing this to inspire anyone who was fortunate enough to witness
      it or to watch the video which was equally impressive and delightful.

      Then there were other videos from other years including events from the
      Lifting Anniversary functions held in a huge University Auditorium over
      the years. Over a three day period of various lifting events both
      indoors and outside as well, Sri Chinmoy lifted a cumulative total of
      290,527 pounds of weight with arms and legs through various lifts and
      lifting apparatus'.

      The last videos we watched were the cutest and most impressive. In 2002
      in New Zealand Sri Chinmoy lifted many lambs overhead and cows as well.
      Then we saw his most recent animal lifts of baby elephants in Mongolia
      on February 21, 2007. It was scorching hot that day and Sri Chinmoy had
      to wait for hours in the hot sun for the elephants to be coaxed onto the
      lifting platforms. In one lift of a full grown elephant Sri Chinmoy
      lifted 8,622 pounds on the standing calf-raise machine.

      We could have watched videos all night as it felt we were all right
      there with Guru enjoying the fun and splendor of these amazing programs
      once again. What was fun for us was quite an amazing effort for him as
      he strained and labored on each and every lift. But his Oneness-Heart
      with our joy and inspiration from witnessing these sometimes rather
      unusual endeavors gave him utmost joy as well. He knew that whatever he
      has to share should and could be shared with the rest of humanity, with
      those who can see and care to feel the incredible power and strength of
      faith in God and in our own capacities to manifest that in our own lives
      as well.

      We then took special Prasad including three birthdays, Aranyani,
      Bhashwar and Agragati, and various other special prasads including
      delicious gourmet cookies from our good friend Michael who most lovingly
      sends them quite often to us, and special Kebob Dumbbells by Guru's
      weightlifting assistants, ice cream sandwiches from the girls'
      weightlifting manifestation team and Japanese crackers from Bashata for
      her anniversary on the path 19 years.

      I was fortunate enough after all this to have the stamina to stay and
      help some of the volunteers who had to put away the machine and take
      down the decorations. This could be a difficult task late at night after
      a long day and a long evening function. Instead, it turned out to be a
      very rewarding and inspirational effort on everyone's part. Handling
      the immortal overhead lifting machine and hearing stories from Biswas
      and others who were intimately connected to all the events and machines
      was all very energizing and spiritually invigorating.

      The power of this special occasion was still lingering quite vividly
      right there, just a few feet from the Samadhi, where we were working and
      where we had this marathon function. We could feel our sweet and
      powerful Spiritual Master lifting us up with his Oneness-Heart of
      concern and love as he does everyone, near or far, here or on the other
      side of this physical planet. His lifting of physical weights was just a
      metaphor for the much more meaningful and significant lifting of the
      human spirit and strengthening of the inner faith, not so much the outer
      muscle. The courage and strength demonstrated in these lifts over the
      years were to encourage us all to conquer our own lethargy and
      weaknesses so as to add something quite dynamic, positive and peaceful
      to the world. This is simply expressed in Sri Chinmoy's own words to
      one of his songs, "I am a brave weightlifter, constant sloth and
      weakness fighter." [unofficial]

      Gratefully,

      Arpan







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