INSPIRATION highlights no.3
- Inspiration highlights - week ending 31st March:
There have continued to be various projects to celebrate Sri
Chinmoys's 40th Anniversary in the West. One of these is the project
to translate the poem "O My Lord of Beauty" into 40 languages,
organised by Kamalika. So far, she has 33 different languages.
See post #3382
New York Trip Report: Wednesday, March 24, 2004
From David Siegel
Greetings to the worldwide Sri Chinmoy Centre!
The function began around 8:40PM. The traditional rush to sit down
before Sri Chinmoy arrived was not evident, as he arrived quite
unexpectedly. Sri Chinmoy entered while the room was still buzzing
with movement and voices. He was wearing a light blue sweater and
dark blue pants. He entered from the hallway on one of his miniature
vehicles. As he drove in front of the stage, he made a left turn at
the aisle near the women's seating area. He then continued and made
another left turn, cutting across the hall, then another left,
passing down the aisle where the men were seated. He then completed
this circle six or more times before reversing, all the while in a
deep meditative mood. When he drove the opposite way, I was able to
see his face quite clearly. I happened to be sitting on the aisle,
and each time he passed by, I received an inner joy and thrill that
is hard to describe.
After the meditation, which lasted about fifteen minutes, he went on
stage and sat in his meditation chair. Sri Chinmoy called up R., who
is a close Indian friend who worked with him many years ago. R.
played a few of Sri Chinmoy's songs on a keyboard while he sang.
This is a tradition that goes back some years, and I must say, he
has made considerable progress in his singing. He sang "Charana Tale
Asan Pele," then "Bulite Diyona" (the second version) and finally
"Rama Raghava". Sri Chinmoy then honored him by offering a
"gratitude flower" from the stage for his birthday. We all sang the
birthday songs for him.
Sri Chinmoy then called up Radha's singing group to offer twenty
songs. He had given these specially selected songs the name: "Twenty
very special song flowers in my heart-garden". He had chosen these
songs for many of the New York singing groups to learn. (This does
not include Parvati's group, which sings only English songs). You
can read more about these twenty special songs in a previous posting
on the Sri Chinmoy Inspiration site:
It took Radha's group twenty-seven minutes to sing those songs. The
last song, "Dake Dake" was not sung to Sri Chinmoy's satisfaction,
so he asked them to kindly sing it again. He said that they should
sing it with utmost prayerful concentration, and to imagine a swing
moving in their mind while they sang. When this did not yield the
quality and feeling that he was looking for, he asked them to sing
it a third time. On this third attempt, he asked them to sing
"cheerfully, as cheerfully as you can, from beginning to end." When
they were finished, he enthusiastically said "much better,
Sri Chinmoy had previously composed songs for each member of
Tanima's singing group. He called each one on stage and asked them
to meditate while he sang their particular song. Sri Chinmoy was
playing a small tote-a-tune while he was singing. He had small note
cards which he used to read the music. Each one in the group went on
stage while he sang out their song. After the third member came on
stage, the tote-a-tune he was using stopped working properly. He
then asked Bishwas to get his larger blue one. He mentioned that
Panchajanya would bring some small ones from Germany to New York in
Guru's latest Jharna-Kala bird paintings on 5x7 cards were then
shown to the audience from the stage. Each drawing was a different
color. The colors, in order, were: blue, red, green, purple, orange,
pink, and black. Finally, out of a large envelope came a 12x14 print
that was totally astounding! It was stunning, full of color and
life. That particular painting had all seven of the colors.
Sri Chinmoy resumed his performance of songs for Tanima's group. He
started at the beginning with her song and then continued. Sundari
was called up, but because she wasn't there, Pipasha and Anjali
stood in her place and meditated while he sang. (They are both in
Sri Chinmoy left the hall for a short while. When he returned, he
had removed his sweater and was wearing a short sleeve shirt. He
then got on an exercise bike that Bishwas had positioned at the
front of the men's seating area.
Satyajit's group came on stage. There were four musicians and a
chorus. They began by singing "Sundara Hate," the song about the
beauty of the Lord Supreme which Kamalika has been working to have
translated into 40 languages. See:
Satyajit soulfully and powerfully then recited some of Sri Chinmoy's
poems. They then sang "Maner Atite Praner Atite" with a violin,
flute, trumpet and harmonium accompaniment. It was a beautiful and
stirring rendition. Satyajit's energy, intensity and determination
were evident during the performance. All the while Guru was riding
his stationary bike.
Sri Chinmoy then handed out flowers to a few people, including one
of his students who was quite ill the week before.
Sri Chinmoy then called for prasad to be given. He then realized
that a new book was to be released, and asked for it to be bought
out first. The title is "My Christmas-New Year-Vacation-Aspiration-
Prayers Part 24." The preface states: "Sri Chinmoy offered the
following prayers during his visit to Solo, Indonesia in December
2003." It has a beautiful cover: a close up view of several pink
lotus flowers, with a picture of Sri Chinmoy playing the esraj in
the upper left corner.
While prasad was being readied on the stage, he read out the names
of those who had contributed the items for the evening. The items
were: a cookie (in honor of the 20th anniversary of his Cologne
concert, the first big concert of 8,000 people in 1984), an orange,
a V8 vegetable juice (in honor of the 25th anniversary of his
fastest marathon at Toledo, Ohio), mango lassi, a samosa, and rice
pudding. Finally, Sandesh and my good friend Alex from San Diego
jointly offered Russian chocolate in honor of Alex's 10th
anniversary of working at Jyoti Bihanga vegetarian restaurant. See:
Sri Chinmoy read out the dedication and then said to Sandesh, "Alex
is your uncle?" and Sandesh nodded his head. Alex happened to be
sitting next to me and enjoyed listening to their conversation.
Sri Chinmoy spoke of his concert in Cologne: "I have given hundreds
of concerts, but I will never forget Cologne. It gave me the utmost
joy and satisfaction." He spoke of how sweet the flowers smelled at
that place. His former athletic coach from his early ashram days had
come to visit him, and it gave him such joy.
Sri Chinmoy called up people to take extra mango lassi, extending
his stay by a few minutes. Finally, he arose and walked towards the
exit. "Alright" he said, smiling, as he left the hall around
Saturday March 27
2-mile Self-Transcendence Race Prayer by Sri Chinmoy
"I must transcend my previous aspiration-heart height, I must.
I must surpass my previous dedication-life length, I must.
I must deepen my previous ecstasy-soul depth, I must."
Saturday Race Prayer
New York Function - Saturday 27 March
It is 12.00 midnight and the function just finished, so I thought
I'd write a little report about the goings on.
Tonight's function was a concert by Sri Chinmoy followed by plays
performed by his students. Sri Chinmoy arrived at 8.00 pm, which was
fairly early, and most people hadn't yet arrived. He began by
meditating for a few minutes and then walked over to the grand piano
which had been brought in for the concert.
Sri Chinmoy then embarked on one of the greatest piano performances
I have had the good fortune to experience in recent times. This
veritable cascade of notes and melodies lasted 20 minutes, keeping
the audience spellbound throughout.
At the completion of the piano performance, Sri Chinmoy then invited
all those who weren't present for the opening meditation to join him
in meditation now. Yet another example of his efforts to include all
his spiritual children in the evening's events, even the latecomers.
This was followed by a sublime esraj performance. Those people lucky
enough to be coming to New York in April will see and hear how
beautiful this new esraj is. Sri Chinmoy then invited the New York
singing groups to perform one song each in turn.
Following that, Sri Chinmoy performed for about 20 minutes on his
new sitar that had been brought from India. Sri Chinmoy was truly
delighted by his new instrument (as was the audience) and was
explaining its pedigree. Apparently it was made by a gentleman who
makes sitars for one of the most renowned and accomplished sitar
players in the world.
After the concert there were six plays. I'm too tired to tell you
about them, except to say they were all very good--both the women's
and the men's.
Thanks for reading, and any other New Yorker please feel free to add
Sometimes we joke about the differences between women and men, but
it was nice to hear what Sri Chinmoy said in Sudhira's post:
Recently, Sri Chinmoy made an off-the-cuff comment that goes
something like this (I paraphrase): "The time will come when men
will sincerely appreciate the divine qualities of women, and women
will sincerely appreciate the divine qualities of men. At that time,
both will be able to make the fastest progress."
With this in mind, it's worth mentioning that there have continued
to be many inspiring and soulful comments from women about their
experiences in the Centre:
This is in response to the "Question for the Women," which caught my
eye and raised some issues on which I would like to share my views.
Perhaps it is best to first tell a little about myself. My name is
Tanima, and I have been a student of Sri Chinmoy for 36 years, since
February 1968, when I joined at the age of 20, in my last year of
college. Actually, my mom first joined Sri Chinmoy Centre and then
inspired me. She had heard about Sri Chinmoy from the publicist for
the Off-Broadway show she was performing in, and she joined in 1967.
I am fortunate to have been an integral member of Sri Chinmoy Centre
from the beginning, and have been deeply involved in the activities
of Sri Chinmoy and his students, mainly as a leader of singing
groups, teaching and performing his devotional songs. Since 1970, I
have lived in Jamaica, Queens, New York, which is the central
location of the Centre.
Now, to get to the question. The writer refers to the many abuses
women are subjected to in the outer world, and asks: "Is Sri Chinmoy
Centre a safe place for women?" The answer, of course, is an
Obviously, I can speak only from my own experience; however, that
experience has been long, extensive and comprehensive. It would be
impossible to be closely associated on an almost daily basis for 36
years with an organization and its leader, and not know the truest
nature of both on every level. I can unequivocally say that Sri
Chinmoy, his path and his disciples embody only the absolute highest
standards, not only of purity, but also of spirituality, morality
and integrity. I have never, ever once, in my thousands upon
thousands of interactions with either Sri Chinmoy or his male
disciples, personally been the recipient of, or witnessed, or even
heard of any abusively untoward, undivine or impure actions. (Let me
also say that even on a subtle plane, we women have a special inner
"antenna" when it comes to this. There is not a woman in the world
who wouldn't recognize a man's "vibe", look, innuendos or actions
that indicate his impure intentions.)
Sri Chinmoy is a spiritual Master of the highest principles, the
highest purity, and the deepest goodness, and his students reflect
this high standard in all that they do. The way both he and his male
students relate to the female students is always, under all
circumstances, on the purest level, following the ancient Eastern
spiritual traditions. To give a few examples: at all meditations and
functions, the women and men sit completely separately; women and
men do not ride together in a car, except perhaps for couples and
relatives; even when we perform spiritual plays, the women and men
rehearse in completely separate groups.
As far as the writer getting "the feeling that many women stick
close to Sri Chinmoy Centre because they feel protected there," for
myself--and I think for many of my longtime friends on the path--I
would not say that we stay in the Centre solely for this reason,
though the protection of our pure lifestyle is certainly an added
"plus." We stay because our lives have been transformed and continue
to be transformed for the better. We stay because Sri Chinmoy is
such a remarkable, elevated, and illumined spiritual Master who
teaches us how to bring forward and strengthen our very best
qualities, how to transcend our limitations and weaknesses, how to
aspire, pray and meditate, and become better citizens of the world.
The writer also speaks of people saying that women who choose the
spiritual life are "repressed." For myself, it is exactly the
opposite. Nothing could be more liberating than not to have to rely
on or answer to a male partner, or to be bound to the full-time,
almost lifelong responsibility of raising children. Don't
misunderstand me: many women are happy and fulfilled with such a
life. We need them in the world, and I do not look down upon them.
However, I could not be happier with the choice I have made--to lead
a dedicated spiritual life, a life which, thanks to my spiritual
Master, Sri Chinmoy, is fulfilled in unceasing self-transcendence.
I thank the author of the question, and thank all those who might
read this for the opportunity to share my views.
I am extremely fortunate to have been a student of Sri Chinmoy since
the age of 18. I am now 54. For 36 years I have been privileged to
receive Sri Chinmoy's illumined spiritual guidance and encouragement
in every aspect of my life.
As a woman on this path, I am able to cultivate my capacities and my
feminine qualities in a powerfully nurturing environment together
with my fellow students. I feel safe; I feel strong. In the Sri
Chinmoy Centre, I meditate, I sing, I write, I run, I organise
projects, I perform in plays, I travel and meet people from many
different cultures with remarkably similar aspirations. In the job I
have held in the so-called "outer world" for 27 years, I work hard
and interact cheerfully and harmoniously with my colleagues. Thanks
to Sri Chinmoy, the inner life and the outer life, for me, have
become seamless. There is no difference. The spiritual life is
everything, and everything in life is spiritual.
I know my goal, be it ever so far, and I know my way. Along the way,
opportunities reach out to me constantly, thanks to my spiritual
teacher. Every aspect of my life is tended to with utmost care and
concern. Sri Chinmoy has given me the most beautiful name--which
means sanctity, purity, sacredness--and he has given me the constant
encouragement to grow into these divine qualities. What more could I
ask from life? For all the blessings I have received, I am
Another activity inspired by Sri Chinmoy's 40th Anniversary has been
the chanting of "SUPREME" 40 million times. Prachar elaborates:
Adiratha announced a .pdf file people can download containing the
sheet music to learn Sri Chinmoy's "Top 20" songs for 2004:
Kedar and Projjwal were among those who marked the 20th Anniversary
of Sri Chinmoy's historic Cologne concert with their remininscences:
Kedar also reported on a Joy-Day in Steinach with over 300
Earlier, Suswara described a 40-hour event in London:
Suchana has been praising Purnahuti and the Guatemalan students for
their efforts to publish 40 books by Sri Chinmoy in Spanish:
Projjwal invited people to submit book titles by Sri Chinmoy which
they would like to see reprinted by Perfection-Glory-Press:
David Siegel continued his "40 Poems" series in honour of Sri
Chinmoy, and Arpan DeAngelo inaugurated his own series:
Arpan marked the 25th anniversary of Sri Chinmoy's fastest marathon
(Toledo). Video of the race is now online at Sri Chinmoy TV:
Kamalakanta is enriching Radio Sri Chinmoy with more LP albums by
Sri Chinmoy. He has also put recent functions online, as well as
posting more gratitude poems:
The Aspiration Ground guards have both amused and inspired us with
challenges such as eating at 40 restaurants and losing 40 pounds
collectively. Projjwal and Sanjay tell us more:
In post #3216
Matt Boulton asked if anybody would like to sum up The meaning of
life in 7 words or less. There have been various suggestions:
"The kingdom of Heaven is within you."
-- Jesus Christ
"You are a fantastic dream of God."
-- Sri Chinmoy
"Let Thy Will be done, My Lord."
He (Sri Chinmoy) said that you didn't need to read any of his
writings or any of his books, if you just said the following mantra:
"God loves me, I need God."
I think the idea was that this mantra contains the essence of all of
Thanks to all the posters this week.