NEW YORK, NEW YORK–(Marketwire – Oct. 12, 2007) – Internationally renowned peace leader and spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy passed away yesterday morning in his home in Queens, New York. The cause of death was a heart attack.
Respected and loved worldwide, Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy for world peace was manifested through a wide array of activities, ranging from literature to art to sports to music. The universal nature of his philosophy embraced and encouraged people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities to work together for peace.
Hailed as a modern day renaissance man, Sri Chinmoy wrote over 1600 books of prose and poetry, composed over 20,000 pieces of music, played over 800 Peace Concerts in venues like Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and was an avid runner, tennis player and champion weightlifter.
President Mikhail Gorbachev wrote,
“Your enormous and significant activities are helping people to live better lives in peace, friendship and love. Whatever you dedicate yourself to – art, poetry, drawing – all this is connected with peace, peace amongst people and peace amongst nations.”
Sri Chinmoy was born on August 27, 1931 in a small village in east India. Orphaned at the age of 11, Sri Chinmoy traveled with his six brothers and sisters to a spiritual community in south India, where he spent the next 20 years in intense prayer and meditation. Heeding an inner call, he traveled to the United States in 1964 and made New York City his home.
In the 43 years since his arrival in the West, Sri Chinmoy became a model of the potential of humankind. Opening centers throughout the world for peace and harmony he tirelessly traveled the globe to share his inspiration and goodwill.
Of his contributions to peace, President Nelson Mandela wrote,
“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 we all must heed.”
A champion of interfaith harmony, Sri Chinmoy was beloved by religious leaders of all denominations. From Mother Teresa to Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II to the Dalai Lama, Sri Chinmoy was celebrated as a true servant of God.
“I am so pleased with all the good work you are doing for world peace and for people in so many countries,” wrote Mother Teresa. “May we continue to work together and share together, all for the glory of God and for the good of man.”
Sri Chinmoy was an ardent supporter of the United Nations. Since 1970 he had served as the leader of the Peace Meditation at the United Nations, an association of delegates and staff he founded under the aegis of the third UN Secretary-General U Thant.
“The outer message of the United Nations is peace. The inner message of the United Nations is love. The inmost message of the United Nations is oneness,” said Sri Chinmoy.
Javier Perez de Cuellar, the fifth UN Secretary-General said,
“Sri Chinmoy, you are the heart of the United Nations. In all the years I was Secretary-General and even before, you were always with us. Your message was always with us, and we were being inspired by you.”
Sri Chinmoy’s love of sports spanned a lifetime and resulted in a number of landmark programs for peace and self-transcendence. In 1987, Sri Chinmoy founded the World Harmony Run, the world’s largest relay for peace involving tens of thousands of participants in over 70 nations.
Sri Chinmoy also founded the Sri Chinmoy Marathon team which is a leading promoter of ultra distance races, sponsoring events ranging from marathons to the world’s longest footrace, a 3100 mile run.
“The physical and the spiritual must go together,” taught Sri Chinmoy. “They cannot be separated.”
In this light, Sri Chinmoy astounded sports heroes and luminaries through a weightlifting career which he began in 1986, at the age of 55. Weight being anything but insurmountable, Sri Chinmoy credited his inner peace for the ability to lift thousands, sometimes even tens of thousands of pounds. From cars to animals to small planes, Sri Chinmoy lifted almost every object imaginable in various styles of strongman lifts.
“I have learned from Sri Chinmoy that the size of the arm does not make the man; the size of the heart makes the man,” said five-time Mr. Universe and Best Built Man of the 20th Century, Bill Pearl. “Nobody on earth has done what Sri Chinmoy has done.”
A musician since his youth, Sri Chinmoy made dozens of recordings, composed over 20,000 songs, and offered more than 800 Peace Concerts – all free of charge.
“Sri Chinmoy has a tremendous, a fantastic creative urge!” exclaimed Indian maestro Ravi Shankar.
A humanitarian, Sri Chinmoy’s service organization, the Oneness-Heart-Tears and Smiles collected and distributed millions of dollars of medical supplies throughout Asia and Africa. Dedicated to easing pain and alleviating suffering, Sri Chinmoy once wrote, “My Lord, do give me the capacity to wipe every tear from every heart.”
Sri Chinmoy practised a life of spiritual discipline and never married. Over 7,000 people continue to follow his philosophy through the over 100 Sri Chinmoy Centres worldwide.
- Sri Chinmoy.org
- Extended Biography of Sri Chinmoy
- Kind Words on Sri Chinmoy
- Passing of Sri Chinmoy at by S. Neil Vineberg
- Sri Chinmoy dies in New York – at New York Daily News
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