Sri Chinmoy

Sri Chinmoy is my spiritual Teacher…he is my Guru. The Guru-student relationship can take on different flavors. The Guru may play the role as “Master”, or guide, or dearest friend. For me, Guru played the role of spiritual Father. Ours was a Father-son relationship. Guru counseled me, certainly, but he also taught me, encouraged me, scolded me, forgave me…but above all, my Guru loved me, my Guru loved me…yes, my Guru loved me.

I was one who never wanted for love in the outer sense. There was always plenty of it to go around. But in truth, the real thing of love, that “unconditional love” which represents love in the purest sense of the term, I only found in Guru. Guru embodied the brand of humanity I wish to embody. He was a living example of the kind of human being I wanted to be. And this is how he taught. From him, I learned what patience is, what concern is, what forgiveness is. As a son, I could get mischievous at times, and so I saw all of these qualities in my Guru…and then some.

Guru is typically introduced in terms of his remarkable outer accomplishment, which is remarkable by any standard. He has authored some 1600 books on all aspects of yoga and the spiritual life. His writing include essays, prose and poems by the thousands. He has lectured at almost every major university in the world. He is an artist, painting more that 180,000 acrylics, some as large as a billboard, some as small as a post card. His art has been displayed at major galleries around the world, including the Louvre in Paris and the United Nations in New York. As part of his artistic endeavor, he began drawing birds because he felt the bird is a wonderful metaphor for the human soul. It’s encaged in the body and wants to fly! He made a completely unique art form out of his bird drawings. His bird drawings number more than 18 million. He is a musician and composer. He composed some 18,000 devotional songs and performed on many, many instruments.

One of the aspects of Sri Chinmoy to which I was particularly attracted is that he encourages us to embrace the outer world and to be very active in the world. As such, he brought to his spirituality things that are not typically associated with a spiritual path…for example, physical fitness. Guru himself was an avid athlete, sprinter, marathon runner, tennis player and weight–lifter.

But above all, Sri Chinmoy is a genuine man of the spirit, a man of intense prayer and meditation. When he was just 12 years old, he lost both of his parents. He and his family of brothers and sisters then moved to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India. There he spent 20 years, meditating some 8, 10, 12 hours a day, and honing the literary, artistic, musical and athletic skills which he would eventually manifest in his spiritual path. It is based in this intense spirituality that all of his outer accomplishments derive both their inspiration and their power.

In 1964, following an inner dictate, he left his native India and moved to New York where he eventually founded the Sri Chinmoy Meditation Centres. In 1970, he was invited to lead meditation at the United Nations. There are now some 700 meditation groups and centres, where some 5,000 students study meditation. There is never a fee for such study.

I became Guru’s student in 1971. My Guru left this world on October 11, 2007 but he remains with me now and forever as a guiding light in my heart. This is my personal introduction to Sri Chinmoy. For a more formal and complete introduction, please visit http://srichinmoy.org.