Sri Chinmoy Biography


Sri Chinmoy served as a spiritual teacher to students in sixty countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia/New Zealand. His writings, paintings, lectures, record-breaking feats of strength, meditative concerts and humanitarian activities have inspired individuals from all walks of life.

He resided in New York City from 1964 until his death in October 2007. The Indian-born visionary demonstrated through his own life and mission the integration of inner spiritual disciplines and outer dynamic service to the community at large. He offered prayers and meditations at the United Nations since 1970 and was the director of an international marathon team which organizes an annual global event called the “World Harmony Run.”

Early Years

source: “Current Biography”reference book from Gale Publications.
See also: Early Years of Sri Chinmoy

“He was born on August 27, 1931, in Shakpura, a small village outside Chittagong in East Bengal, the youngest of the seven children of Shashi Kumar Ghose, a railroad inspector and banker, and Yoga Maya (Bishwas) Ghose. True to his given name, Chinmoy, which means “full of Divine consciousness” in Sanskrit, he early developed a religious aspiration, and at age twelve he entered the Aurobindo ashram, or spiritual community, in Pondicherry.

Good at track and field when he was a teen-ager, he won the ashram decathalon two years in succession. But his major occupation during twenty years in the ashram was the mastery of spiritual discipline. Meditating for increasingly longer periods daily, he eventually reached the habitual meditation state called Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the highest mystical state compatible with functioning in the physical world…”

Arrival in the U.S.

source: “Current Biography”reference book from Gale Publications.

“Sri Chinmoy left India and traveled to the West in 1964. Settling in New York, he at first held an administrative post there with the Indian consulate. In July 1966 he established his first spiritual center, in Puerto Rico, and a year later, upon acquiring his American residence visa, he began the full-time pursuit of his mission. He established the headquarters of that mission at the Aum Centre, as the Sri Chinmoy establishment in Jamaica Hills, Queens was originally called. In his first major lecture tour, in 1968, Sri Chinmoy spoke at Harvard, Yale, Brown, and other Ivy League universities. The following year he lectured at universities and held meditations in Japan, Hong Kong, India, and the Philippines, and in 1970 he made his first European tour.”

Prolific Output Unfolds

source: “Current Biography” reference book from Gale Publications.

“The pace of Sri Chinmoy’s activities became dizzying in 1974, when he lectured in each of the fifty United States, toured Eastern Canada, and wrote 1,000 poems-published as Europe Blossoms by Aum Publications within the year-during a visit to Europe. On that European trip he conferred with the late Erskine Childers, then President of Ireland, and President Kristjan Eldjarn of Iceland. Ninety-four publications by Sri Chinmoy, most of them transcripts of oral material, were issued during 1974, all of them by Aum Publications except one, “The Inner Promise,” which Simon & Schuster issued. Among the Aum books was Beyond Within, an anthology brought together for use as a text in a course on Chinmoy’s teachings offered by the University of Connecticut.”

Athletic Achievements As Well

source: “Contemporary Authors” reference book from Gale Publications.

“In recent years Chinmoy has turned to athletics as a means of publicizing the spiritual life. Besides participating in marathons and road races, he has also set two world records in weightlifting. On July 14, 1999, the 68-year-old Chinmoy lifted 1,000 pounds using a seated calf-raise machine. Hours later, he used a standing calf-raise machine to lift 2,000 pounds. As a writer in American Fitness reported, “international strength authorities are astounded not only by the tonnage Chinmoy has lifted, but by the dramatic progress he has made at his age.”

Philosophy and Comments

source: “Contemporary Authors” reference book from Gale Publications.

“Chinmoy has written in a variety of genres and dealt with a wide range of spiritual topics. He has published books of poetry, plays, stories, aphorisms, and religious philosophy, as well as books comprised of transcripts of his many talks. Despite their diversity of content and form, Chinmoy’s books, as Haas observed, “are all to be approached as guides to [spiritual] practice.” “The goal of art and the goal of the artist,” Chinmoy has written, “should be to serve God devotedly, soulfully, and unconditionally. As a seeker prays and meditates in order to achieve the highest and manifest the highest on Earth, even so an artist–a seeker-artist–must pray to the Absolute Supreme to grant him the capacity to realise the highest through art and literature and to manifest the highest through art and literature. For realisation and manifestation are the only things that a true seeker needs.”

Shermakaye Bass wrote in the Austin American-Statesman, “Espousing unity and compassion through words, music and action, Sri Chinmoy has advocated global harmony for decades, developing a vast following among international leaders, grass-roots activists and armchair peaceniks–all of whom revere the yogi as a multidisciplinary doer.” Speaking to Martha Sawyer Allen in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Chinmoy explained: “My ultimate desire is to see the world inundated with peace and bliss. And I would like to take part, soulfully and self-givingly, in that divine project. If the world becomes one with my hope, then there will be no misunderstandings, no disputes, no conflicts and no fights, no wars. Only harmony will reign supreme.”

Related Links

  • Sri Chinmoy Library – A growing collection of Sri Chinmoy’s literary publications. With over 1,400 books of poetry, philosophy, stories and plays
  • Sri Chinmoy Poetry – Selected poems and aphorisms of Sri Chinmoy.
  • Radio Sri Chinmoy – Online meditation music. Radio Sri Chinmoy offers audio recordings of Sri Chinmoy’s music composed by Sri Chinmoy. Recordings include concerts of Sri Chinmoy and also other music groups of the Sri Chinmoy Centre.