Recollections on Sri Chinmoy: Guru at York College
- Sometimes York college would hold special functions for international events. In 2005, York college hosted the international Ramayana conference, which drew thousands of devout Hindus from all over the world. They asked Sri Chinmoy to open the weeklong program with a spiritual meditation. I just remember Guru playing the esraj, and singing a lively song, with the words, "Sri Ramachandra, Sri!" He smiled to himself while singing, he seemed happy. The conference organizer, when he introduced Guru, said, "I would like to welcome Sri Chinmoy, the great Yogi. If any Indian has accomplished something for the world, he has." His words about Guru were so heartfelt.
The following year, the local Bangladeshi community convened a symposium on Bangladeshi youth, with the theme, "Next generation not to be lost." They also invited Sri Chinmoy the open the program. The conference organizer invited Sri Chinmoy to stand him with on stage, and he welcomed Guru with folded hands. The Master took his hands in his own and meditated with the gentleman for perhaps five seconds, and then bowed his head to him. Then Sri Chinmoy sat down on a simple folding chair on the stage and began reading out some of his own English poetry on the theme of childhood, simplicity and innocence. I just remember the room was filled with crying and screaming Bengali children and their mothers, and that Guru seemed to radiate a childlike consciousness I had not seen for a long time. When he finished reading his poems, he walked back and forth on the stage, walking somehow like a child, almost stomping. Because he was surrounded by so many children, he became a child, too.
After Guru had finished and left the stage, some traditional Bengali dancers, all young women, went up. They danced to a song that had something to do with Krishna. In the course of the performance, whenever Krishna's name was mentioned, the dancers would fold their hands high over their heads in a gesture of obeisance. I didn't think they did traditional Hindu dances in Bangladesh anymore, but I guess I was wrong.
Both of these conferences were special opportunities for Guru to offer his unique inspiration to the local Indian community.
They were very sweet experiences!