1931 - 2007
"It is through music that the universal feeling of oneness can be achieved in the twinkling of an eye." Sri Chinmoy
"The people of our country are both humbled and honoured to have received inspiration from you during our struggle for democracy. We offer all our support and encouragement for your initiatives."
Sri Chinmoy was born in the tiny village of Shakpura in the eastern region of bengal, India (now Bangladesh) on August 27th, 1931. At the age of twelve he lost both his parents and moved, with his elder brothers and sisters, to live in the Sri Aurobindo ashram in Pondicherry, South India. The ashram was the epicentre of a spiritual and cultural renaissance led by Sri Aurobindo.
It was in this community that Sri Chinmoy began to study spirituality and to practice integral yoga - the application of Spirituality to Body, Mind and Spirit. He was a champion athlete and captain of the football and volleyball teams. He began to write the first of many poems, studied music and began devoting several hours everyday to meditation. It was at this tender age that he began to have profound inner experiences and dedicated himself breathlessly to serving the divinity in humanity.
Inspired by the words and works of Jefferson, Emerson and Thoureau, Sri Chinmoy followed an inner call and came to live in New York in 1964.Taking up a simple clerical job at the Indian Consulate, he was soon discovered by Western seekers, philosophers and savants who invited him to speak and perform his haunting devotional songs.
In the 60s and early 70s, the foundations of the Sri Chinmoy Centre were established. Through mutual friendships with revered individuals such as the United nations Secretary General U Thant, Pope Paul VI, Maestro Pablo Casals and Leonard Bernstein, Sri Chinmoy's love for humanity inspired seekers in many different countries.
For more than 40 years, Sri Chinmoy worked tirelessly for the establishment of tolerance, oneness and peace. His prolific creativity was an expression of his firm realisation that, in essence, each human being is infinite, eternal and immortal. His abundant art, poetry, music and humanitarian initiatives will serve as a source of inspiration for aeons to come.
Maestro Leonard Bernstein
"Sri Chinmoy is a miraculous model of the abundance in the creative life and I can only hope that someday I may participate in that cosmic fountain of stillness and profound energy which he inhabits."
"I am most grateful to you for the most wonderful moment of my life." (Pablo Casals made this comment to Sri Chinmoy after their significant meeting in 1972).
"What Sri Chinmoy does is God-given. He has a tremendous, a fantastic creative urge."