The lifts that Sri Chinmoy developed on his seated calf raise machine during late October and November were among the most varied and joyful of all, like a vast archipelago scattered with islands of sunshine and mirth.

On October 25th the same steamroller which had been the focal point in several innovative standing calf raises was mounted onto the seated calf raise machine. It weighed 500 pounds and the supporting platform underneath it had been reinforced to weigh 105 pounds. Sri Chinmoy's face, visible between the crossbars of the steamroller, was a study in con­centration and intensity as he lifted it.

The next item to appear, this time on October 31st, was quite exceptional in itself. It was the largest and heaviest pumpkin in all New York City and State. With utmost diffi­culty, six men manoeuvred it indoors and up two flights of  stairs to the meditation hall where Sri Chinmoy's machine had been set up. The giant vegetable was roped onto the platform and Sri Chinmoy moved into position. All that was visible of him were two pencil-thin calves protruding, so it seemed, from the pumpkin. Flashcards showed the final weight to be 605 pounds. After a moment's silence, Sri Chinmoy emitted a sustained "maaaaa!" and the pumpkin rose into the air.

The following day found the machine installed back at the tennis court once more and Sri Chinmoy lifted two men (409 pounds), three men (571 pounds) and then three men plus one child (649 pounds). The tangle of arms, legs and heads this last lift completely obscured Sri Chinmoy from the front. His sense of humour is revealed by these intriguing visual arrangements. To cancel the grip of earth's descending pull is a solemn matter and the history of weightlifting is not known for a great many lighthearted moments. But Sri Chinmoy's creative might encompassed the extremes of high seriousness and joy.

This quality is particularly exemplified by an outstanding series of lifts which Sri Chinmoy performed on November 18th. He began by lifting a cluster of cast iron bells which weighed 435 pounds. Before the lift, he spontaneously composed a song about the bells which some of his students learned and sang during the lift. This was to be the pattern for each successive lift.

The next item was a refrigerator stocked with food. "Refrigerator, refrigerator, my hunger's immediate satisfier!" ran the words of the song, while the open door showing the shelves of food within substantiated these words. At 414 pounds, this weight was somewhat less than that of the bells. However, because of the height of the fridge, the danger of the lift was greatly increased and Sri Chinmoy ran the risk of having it topple backwards onto him.

A huge archway holding each of the 700 books Sri Chinmoy had written to that point was then mounted onto the machine. Gazing at his literary creations, Sri Chinmoy said: "These are my 700 books. These are my 700 gratitude-plants and I am placing them soulfully and unconditionally at the Feet of my Beloved Supreme. It is He who has given me the inspiration and the aspiration to be of soulful and cheerful service to Him at every moment of my heart's aspiration-life." The books weighed 477 pounds.

From the sublime, Sri Chinmoy turned to a lift that caused much laughter. A brightly painted ice cream cart was trans­ferred to the machine and an ice cream vendor stood along side it —holding freshly scooped ice cream! At 566 pounds this was to be the second heaviest seated calf lift of the morning.

An assortment of food types followed in rapid succession. There were cauliflowers in wooden crates (447 pounds); sacks of uncooked dal (451 pounds); boxes of tomatoes (470 pounds); potatoes (471 pounds) and onions (481 pounds). These raw ingredients later became the basis of a huge feast that was enjoyed by several hundred people.

Sri Chinmoy's last lift was to prove the heaviest of the morning. A gaily decorated Christmas tree was lifted onto the machine. At 630 pounds it was something more than a life-side ornament! Tiny coloured light bulbs continued to twinkle even after the tree was in position. Sri Chinmoy's hands grasped the outer edge of the supporting plank. He raised his heels and the tall tree ascended.
That evening he offered a short but important prayer.

I am my heart's new hope.
I am my life's new promise.
I am my soul's new smile."

Here is the quintessence of Sri Chinmoy's approach to spiri­tuality. Around him, nothing becomes old or tired or stale. It is an eternal beginning, an eternal song of newness.



Sri Chinmoy Calf Raises