To Be A Chittagonian

Sri Chinmoy was born in the district of Chittagong and spent the first 12 years of his life in the tiny Indian village of Shakpura. In 2006 he composed his 13,000th song and dedicated it to Chittagong

In 2003 Sri Chinmoy said of Chittagong

“My Chittagong,
May the world-citizens
To your heart-beauty throng.”

“Chittagong is the chief Indian Ocean port city in the south-east of Bangladesh. The name also refers to one of the six divisions in Bangladesh. Even though Bengali, a derivative of Sanskrit, is spoken and taught throughout Bangladesh, the residents of Chittagong Division much prefer to speak their own dialect. The curious thing is that Chittagong dialect has no official status and is not taught at any level in schools. It exists solely as an oral language, with subtle variations from north to south, and from Muslim to Hindu. In the written form, correct Bengali is used exclusively.”

From article by Dr Vidagdha Bennett “To Be a Chittagongian”

Early life of Sri Chinmoy in Chittagong

Should we be afraid of Death?

Sri Chinmoy says of death:

“What is death? Death is the immortal pilgrim’s short rest along the road of Eternity. Death is a necessary experience for human beings at the present state of their evolving consciousness.”

Excerpt from My Rose Petals, Part 3 by Sri Chinmoy.

Death is the journey into the unknown. Death means the end of our physical body; to some people this feels like the end of life. However, the Seer Poets have suggested that we are not the body but spirit. If we can have an identity with our inner self then we will lose our fear of death. Death becomes instead merely a process of transition from one stage of life to the next.

On the day I die, when I’m being
carried toward the grave, don’t weep.

Don’t say, “He’s gone! He’s gone!”
Death has nothing to do with going away.

The sun sets and the moon sets,
but they’re not gone. Death
is a coming together.

– Rumi (1)

To overcome a feeling of death we need to cultivate a sense of spiritual identity. If we live only in the mind and intellect we will always be sceptical about the spiritual life. The intellect has its purpose and benefits, but the mind also has its limitations. To discover our real self we need to transcend the mind and dive deep into our spiritual heart, where our soul abides. If we can learn to meditate and quieten the mind we will become aware of a powerful inner reality. This embodies a consciousness more illumining and real than our ordinary mental awareness. We may not be able to prove this to others; it is something we can only experience for ourselves. Through meditation if we can feel a real and abiding peace then we will feel the soul is a living reality and not a mental hallucination. The lofty inspirations of the Seer poets will resonate with our inner realisations.

“Death is but changing of our robes to wait
In wedding garments at the Eternal’s gate.

– Sri Aurobindo (2)

In the west the concept of reincarnation does not have widespread belief. However in Buddhist and Hindu traditions reincarnation is an integral part of their philosophy. The idea of reincarnation is that the human soul needs to experience many different experiences before it is able to achieve liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Reincarnation enables the human soul to gain experiences, through which it can make spiritual progress.

Nothing on earth is permanent. The only certainties in life are that all creatures must die and pass away. Death is as natural as birth; why should we fear that which is perfectly natural and inevitable? That which gives us life also takes away life. But here death only means the extinction of the body. The soul merely passes from one body to another. For the soul life is immortal, death has no meaning. This is the message of the Upanishads, as Sri Chinmoy says

“Before death, life is a seeker.
After death, the same life becomes a dreamer.
Before death, life struggles and strives for Perfection.
After death, the same life rests
and enjoys the divine Bliss with the soul.” (3)


(1) Rumi ode 911 translated by Coleman Barks

(2) Excerpt from: The Fear Of Life And Death by Sri Aurobindo

(3) Excerpt from The Upanishads: The Crown Of India’s Soul by Sri Chinmoy.

See articles on The Vedas and Upanishads

Article by: Tejvan Pettinger, Oxford, Sri Chinmoy Centre

World Harmony Run

The World Harmony Run is an initiative founded by Sri Chinmoy. It seeks to bring people together in a spirit of friendship and harmony. The essence of the Run is summed up with the motto “harmony begins with me”. If people can bring more harmony into their own lives this will spread to their friends and the wider community. The aim of the Run is to meet with many people from different cultures and traditions and share the common aspiration for a better world.

The World Harmony Run takes place in each of the 5 main continents. The European leg recently started in Portugal and will not finish until October in Holland.

Mark Collinson from Bristol took part in the WHR last year for over 6 months. He shares some of his experiences from the run here: World Harmony Run 2006 – A Short Note

It was almost 12 months ago that I embarked on an amazing 6 month journey with the European leg of the World harmony Run that was to take me through 30 countries and leave me with such wonderful memories that they will stay with me forever.

For regular updates on the progress of the World Harmony Run you can visit the website of the run: World Harmony Run

(1) Photo from Morocco

notes from Sri Chinmoy Triathlon Festival

See also: previous entry: Sri Chinmoy Triathlon Festival

For the last few years it has been my task to set up swim courses. Measuring distance on the water is the key factor, and a few different methods have been employed over the years. A cumbersome, now obsolete method, used a string on a reel with a counter attached. The string
was tied to a swim buoy and, as you moved away, the counter told you how far away you were. Laser-sighting binoculars were much better. You aim them at an object, press a button, and instantly you have a digital readout of the distance. But they were expensive, and not
waterproof! One pair met their watery end in Lake Burley Griffin. So, for the last few years I have used a small GPS from a camping store. It’s accurate to within a few metres, it’s waterproof, and it floats.

I put all the swim buoy weights into the boat. They weigh about 20kg each, and are made from concrete. Then I inflated all the swim buoys. They are big yellow plastic cone shaped things. To inflate them, I use the high-tech method of employing a 20-year old vacuum cleaner with
the hose stuck in the other end, so it blows air instead of sucking. I motored out onto the lake with a big procession of buoys towing along behind.

I had been congratulating myself on having worked out all the swim courses in advance. I had to set a 500m course for the Sprint Triathlon, a 1.5km course for the “Classic” Tri, and a 3.2 km course for the Champions Challenge. The Sprint required only one swim buoy. The Classic required four. These courses I had set in previous years. The Champions Challenge was a new course. I had done some measurements on a map, and it seemed to be a simple extension of the Classic course. I had designed m maps for the race, and they had been on the
web for months.

After setting the Sprint and Classic, I discovered, to my surprise, that there wasn’t enough room for the course I had planned. If you got Champs Challenge course you can see the course I wanted to set. Instead, I had to go a long way eastwards to set the first Champions Challenge buoy. When I say first, I mean the first buoy that isn’t also part of the Classic course. Okay, it’s not so easy to explain. I always end up with a sheet of paper full of figures from the GPS readings as I try to figure out the trigonometry. By the time I finished it was after dark.
All the Sri Chinmoy Centre members, locals and visitors, were at the Centre for a meditation. I had toyed with the idea that I could motor up Sullivans Creek in the boat and get to the Centre that way. But I hadn’t brought my clothes for meditation, and anyway it was too late by the time that I had finished with the swim courses….

Wow! This is an exciting post! All about GPS readings and swim buoys!
Hopefully the next one will feature topics with a more general appeal!

post by Rathin

Dealing With Anger

The essential message of Sri Chinmoy is for each human being to cherish their own inner peace. For the world to make progress it is important to focus on good, divine qualities. When emotions like anger come we should firmly resist letting them take hold.

See: Dealing With anger

The difference between peace and anger is vast, especially for a spiritual seeker.

Sri Chinmoy says:

Anger says:
“I can destroy
The whole world.”
Peace says:
“Not when I work
Inside you.”

Excerpt from Somebody Has To Listen by Sri Chinmoy.

Seventy Seven Thousand Service Trees

When the flowers sing
I feel a new dawn in my heart.


The children of happiness
Will create a new world.


Without speech
Is most powerful


The mind never takes advice
From the heart!


No enthusiasm,
No success or progress-
Either in our outer life
Or in our inner life.

By: Sri Chinmoy
From: Seventy Seven Thousand Service Trees

photo by: Richard, Sri Chinmoy Centre

Sri Chinmoy Triathlon Festival 2007

This year’s Sri Chinmoy Triathlon Festival has just wrapped up in
Canberra, Australia. But this is not really a race report. It’s just
some words about the experience of helping to make it happen. We
started setting up for the event last Wednesday, in the idyllic
environment of Yarralumla Bay. The green lawn slopes gently down to
the strip of golden sand that borders Lake Burley Griffin. Big leafy
trees provide shade and respite from the often merciless summer sun.
Small picturesque islands can be seen from the shore. Swans and
various waterfowl glide placidly across the surface of the lake.
Sometimes you can recognise a swan family you saw a few months back,
when a little troop of fuzzy grey cygnets trailed behind their elegant
parents. This time the young are bigger, two-thirds adult size, but
still covered in grey down, yet to sprout the sleek black feathers
that signify maturity.

This year the traditional long-course event was replaced with a longer
one, featuring a 3.2km swim, 120km ride, and 30km run. The weather in
the week leading up to the event was strange and unpredictable. The
almost constant fine weather was broken by thunderstorms. Then on
Tuesday Canberra experienced its most ferocious hailstorm in decades.
The next morning saw drifts of hail piled up in the city, more than a
foot deep in some places, like snow. Very, very odd conditions to be
found at the tail end of a typically hot summer down under. But all
this ice and water had the beneficial effect of topping up our lake,
which had been quite low of late.

So after the dramatic leadup, we were blessed with clear blue skies
when the first race started on Friday. The childrens’ Joyathon races
are a fun way to start the Festival, with many youngsters lining up
for their first triathlon. Most of the bikes are too small to fit on
the bicycle racks, so they are parked underneath, using the kickstand…

to be continued!

By: Rathin Boulton, originally posted on Sri Chinmoy Inspiration Group

Results from Sri Chinmoy Triathlon at Sri Chinmoy Races

See also Sri Chinmoy sport section at Sri Chinmoy Bio

Sri Chinmoy Lifting Elephants

Recently Sri Chinmoy lifted some baby elephants whilst visiting an elephant sanctuary in Thailand.

It was also at the same elephant sanctuary that Ashrita attempted a record for the most number of squats – whilst on an elephant.

Photo by Projjwal.

Quote: Human Love

Ordinary human love with its fears, accusations, misunderstandings, jealousies and quarrels is a fire clouding its own brightness by a pall of smoke. The same human love, arising from the meeting of two souls, is a pure and radiant flame. Instead of smoke, it emits the rays of self-surrender, sacrifice, selflessness, joy and fulfilment.”

By: Sri Chinmoy

From: Eternity’s Breath: Aphorisms and Essays