By his own admission Sri Chinmoy does not consider himself to be a weightlifter, nor does he feel a particular attraction to the sport generally preferring the freedom of running.
In a life of many activities such as writing, poetry, music, art and spiritual teacher, weightlifting is a relatively small part of his life. Sri Chinmoy will only spend a small % of his time practising weightlifting. However for the past 20 years it has, at various times formed a part of Sri Chinmoy’s own spiritual discipline and on going pursuit of self transcendence.
One reason for taking up weightlifting was that Sri Chinmoy was no longer able to run, due to a knee injury. Thus weightlifting provided an opportunity for him to keep taking part in physical exercise (of which he is a firm believer) However Sri Chinmoy says the main reason for taking up weightlifting was because of the inner inspiration, a prompting from his own inner pilot.
“ I did not choose to start lifting weights. If one prays and meditates sincerely, somebody within him talks to him and tells him what to do and what not to do. You use the term "God"; I say my "Inner Pilot". Last year, when I was praying and meditating, that somebody within me - you can call it an inner voice or a source of inspiration - asked me to start weightlifting. That is why I am doing it”
Excerpt from Aspiration-Body, Illumination-Soul Part 1 by Sri Chinmoy.
Sri Chinmoy began weightlifting on June 26 1985 with a clean and press 40 lb lift. By November of 1985 he had succeed in lifting his own body weight of 155lbs. His progress was rapid breaking all usual conventions about slow and steady progress.