“We are all members of a oneness-world-family. Together, as brothers and sisters, we are walking along Eternity’s Road towards tomorrow’s Golden Sunrise.” – Sri Chinmoy
Sri Chinmoy is a rare embodiment of ancient aesthetics, wisdom and ideals – a man with an irrepressible thirst for the alleviation of suffering and for the ultimate fulfillment of all humankind.
A tireless innovator, Sri Chinmoy has spent over 40 years creating powerful founts of inspiration and empowerment from the lofty realizations of a lifetime of inner discipline and devotion to the Supreme. Personally emboldened, encouraged and mentored by some of the 20th century’s greatest savants, leaders and visionaries, Sri Chinmoy has been able to channel the profound energies discovered within into tangible and practical tools for the betterment of the lives of his fellow human beings.
From his profound oneness with humanity, Sri Chinmoy has evolved a unique path to personal and collective happiness and well-being which he has offered humbly and selflessly through hundreds of avenues for more than four decades in a diverse and dazzling array of fields.
“It is a very rare gift indeed for humankind to be blessed with such a selfless individual who has dedicated his entire life to the service of world peace… Your work has inspired spiritual growth, resilience and well-being, especially in view of the present and unprecedented onslaughts against humankind… Yours is a voice of reason that we must all heed.” – President Nelson Mandela
“May constant self-giving be the guiding principle of my life.” – Sri Chinmoy
Sri Chinmoy was born in a tiny village in the far eastern region of India (now Bangladesh) on August 27th, 1931. His simple, idyllic upbringing in this enclave was nurtured by his loving parents, three elder brothers and three elder sisters. Indeed, Sri Chinmoy’s early years, enveloped by love and affection and punctuated by episodes of extreme mischief and daring adventure, evoke the universal reverie of childhood.
At the tender age of eleven, however, Sri Chinmoy’s father passed away, followed within one year by his mother, abruptly exposing the young boy to excruciating pain and sorrow. Orphaned, Sri Chinmoy traveled over 1,000 miles away to South India and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The Ashram was the epicentre of a spiritual and cultural renaissance led by Sri Aurobindo, the revolutionary-turned-sage, and was where Sri Chinmoy’s eldest brother had taken residence some years earlier.
It was in this community that the massive void in the young boy’s heart was filled and his unceasing aspiration to understand the roots of human existence was fulfilled through profound experiences of the Infinite, forever changing his perception of the world.
These colossal realizations of humanity’s infinite capacity and ultimate connection to the Supreme drove Sri Chinmoy inward in a journey of blissful self-discovery, where he would remain in deep meditation and contemplation for up to fourteen hours each day.
Rather than advocate escape from life, the Ashram demanded social interaction and connection to the physical plane. Sri Chinmoy excelled there in a number of capacities, including athletics. A champion sprinter and decathlete as well as a poet and musician, his talents were appreciated far and wide.
In time, however, a vision of a greater mission unfolded, and Sri Chinmoy began to yearn to share his realization and wisdom with those suffering from the inherent turmoil of life. This aspiration, coupled with a deep admiration for America’s ideals and promise, from years of study by great American voices like Jefferson, Emerson, Thoreau and the then-contemporary calls to service of leaders like President John F. Kennedy, drew Sri Chinmoy in 1964, aged 32, to the heart of New York City for a gradual revelation of his newfound life of service to humankind and a more global role in effecting change.
The 1960s was an era of experimentation and social change. For Sri Chinmoy it was a period of exploration of the potential of the West and a deeper understanding of the relationship between East and West.
Western seekers, philosophers and savants were charmed and captivated by this man young in years, but ancient in wisdom. They began eagerly offering invitations to Sri Chinmoy to speak and present his viewpoint and philosophy.
It was in the 1960s and early 1970s that the foundations of Sri Chinmoy’s path and mission were established. Through mutual friendships and mentorships with great individuals such as the third United Nations Secretary-General and great peacemaker U Thant, Pope Paul VI, Maestros Pablo Casals and Lenard Bernstein and Olympic hero Jesse Owens, Sri Chinmoy’s life of service blossomed and found a home in the hearts of many.
“My Friend, your enormous and significant activities are helping people to life better lives in peace, friendship and love… Whatever you dedicate yourself to – art, music, poetry, drawing – all this is connected with peace, peace amongst people and peace amongst nations.” – President Mikhail Gorbachev
“All that you are doing for the world is for the Glory of God and the good of people! Pray for me as I pray for you and for all of your many projects for world peace. Your works of love are works of prayer, and your works of prayer are works of God.” – Mother Teresa
In an era of globalization where technology and communication reveal the capacity to dissolve borders and enhance cross-cultural understanding as never before, gulfs between peoples and nations are deepening, sometimes with violent repercussions.
Perhaps none has stood across the years as committed to the immediate necessity for oneness and has worked so steadfastly to achieve it as Sri Chinmoy.
For over 40 years, Sri Chinmoy has spread the message of tolerance, oneness, and unconditional love to national leaders and members of world bodies such as the United Nations. He has shown the simplicity of achieving these goals through extremely effective programmes in sports, culture and the arts, which, when first initiated, were decades ahead of their time. A true visionary, Sri Chinmoy has, for decades, espoused the philosophy of the global village – that we are all one, bound to one another not only by politics, trade and culture, but more importantly, in spirit.
“Be affectionate and compassionate. Like you, everybody is desperately fighting against ignorance-night in the battlefield of life.” – Sri Chinmoy