From the ocean of dynamic peace inside him, Sri Chinmoy continued to find greater and greater reserves of strength. It seemed that wherever he cast his net of dreams, reality was caught, while far away in the depths, the beginnings of new dreams glimmered and flashed.

"Perfection is not something static; it is dynamic," he explained. "In perfection, we are all the time transcending our capacities. Being a truth-seeker and a God-lover, I have come to realise that self-transcendence is the only perfection that we are aiming at."

Self-transcendence is the key to understanding Sri Chin-moy's weightlifting. It immediately solves the puzzle of why he does not like to repeat his lifts, why he is always reaching for more difficult lifts, higher goals and unattained perfections. The message of self-transcendence is the message of eternal freshness, enthusiasm and inspiration at every step of life's journey.

On October 27th Sri Chinmoy inaugurated a series of daring leg presses. A long platform had been attached to the top of the machine in place of the traditional weights. For his first lift, two children sat on the platform. Their weight, together with that of the plank, was 256 pounds. Lying with his back braced against a pad, Sri Chinmoy grasped two chain grips suspended from the plank and began to push. The loaded plank rose several inches. Its upward trajectory was limited for safety reasons by two metal frames.

Sri Chinmoy then asked two boys to sit on the platform. A 10-pound weight was added to one end in order to equalise the load. The final weight was 322 pounds. Again, Sri Chinmoy seemed to encounter no difficulty lifting it, and the boys exchanged places with two men. In this instance, an extra 35 pounds were added to the right-hand side in order to distribute the load more evenly. The final weight was 441 pounds. This lift placed considerable pressure on Sri Chinmoy's painful right knee. However, he was keen to pursue it to its limits. Discarding the use of the hand grips, he lifted the two men and their places were immediately taken by two slightly heavier men and a balancing 50-pound plate. This was Sri Chinmoy's last leg press for the morning. It totalled 510 pounds. The photograph of Sri Chinmoy lifting the two men shows that the plank has begun to bow quite markedly in the middle from the pressure of his upward thrust.

Sri Chinmoy resumed his workouts on the leg press machine on October 31st. He first lifted two men at a weight of 370 pounds and then an unprecedented four men, two at either end, at a weight of 690 pounds. He duplicated this feat the very next day by lifting two men (443 pounds) and then three men (686 pounds). Significantly, these lifts were undertaken at the end of a gruelling morning of standing and seated calf raises.

Sri Chinmoy's final morning of outstanding leg presses was on November 8th when he lifted two people (372 pounds) and then four people (607 pounds). The unequal loading of this last lift, despite the addition of an extra 60 pounds, is reflected by the angle of the plank as Sri Chinmoy lifted it.

Because the tennis court was sodden with rain, it had been necessary to place the leg press machine on top of the platform of the standing calf raise machine. Bundled up against the cold and the wet, Sri Chinmoy was making a final stand against the onset of winter. Soon he would be forced indoors where he would turn his attention once more to the grey monolithic stacks of metal plates.



On November 18th Sri Chinmoy's outdoor lifts took a dramatic new turn with the completion of an elevated bridge. This was an adaptation and extension of the standing calf raise machine. A huge steel frame with a wooden platform on top was attached directly to a shoulder yoke. When the machine was at rest, this platform hooked onto another steel support at the front. In an elevated position, the hooks rose clear of this support and the entire weight was borne by the lifter.
Unlike the standing calf raise, however, this lift was performed with both feet level on a raised foot platform. In effect, this transferred the emphasis of the lift from Sri Chinmoy's calves to his thighs and shoulders, as in a squat. For this reason, he gave the lift the name "Climbing Shoulder Bridge."

On that first morning, which also happened to be one of his most exhausting mornings of unusual seated calf raises, Sri Chinmoy began by lifting five people. Their combined weight of 701 pounds, coupled with the mobile parts of the lifting apparatus, came to 1164 pounds. He then proceeded to lift eight women (1519 pounds) and seven men (1734 pounds). The new machine had been inaugurated.
Sri Chinmoy next explored its potential on a blustery morning five days later when he made eight more spectacular lifts. He was fighting against time and the coming of the extremes of a New York winter. On this day he lifted a small printing press (920 pounds) and then added a printer to give a total of 1135 pounds.

Some ocean sports were then highlighted. Sri Chinmoy lifted four windsurfers and their crafts (1264 pounds), five scuba divers and their gear (1596 pounds) and nine English Channel swimmers (1899 pounds). Again, the height of this lift and the comparative ease with which it had been executed were strong indications that Sri Chinmoy had only just touched the surface of its potential.

He completed the morning by lifting seven women (1641 pounds) and, in honour of Thanksgiving, three pilgrims and five turkeys (1156 pounds). Finally, a little menagerie consisting of some goats, an ostrich and a Shetland pony, were led up the tall ramp onto the machine. Since one more candidate, a llama, stubbornly refused to ascend the steep ramp, this lift of 1338 pounds was immediately followed by another assorted menagerie lift on the standing calf raise machine. It weighed a hefty 2928 pounds.

Something new had been introduced during the previous two bridge lifts. A narrow toe platform had been added to Sri Chinmoy's lifting area. Thus, the bridge had been converted into another type of standing calf raise machine. Sri Chinmoy commenced each lift with his heels in a dropped position, exactly as before, and then raised them as high as possible. As a result of this extra flexion, Sri Chinmoy was able to obtain more than 10 inches of elevation in all succeeding bridge lifts.
November 23rd was a momentous day for another reason. On this day Sri Chinmoy reached his goal of 100 unusual and imaginative lifts. Never had such a gala festival of weightlifting been envisioned. Every conceivable scene and object had participated in helping to cross the gulf between dream and reality, between earth and sky, between the terrestrial mind and the heaven-free soul. Behind them, they left a trail of shining memories —and an energy which continued to burn.
On November 27th, Sri Chinmoy unveiled a host of new bridge lifts. Still in the animal world, he lifted a donkey (1442 pounds), a bull and its trainer (1547 pounds) and, the weightiest of all, a cow (2000 pounds). Lastly, an oldtime stage coach was hauled aloft. Sri Chinmoy lifted it once on its own (1292 pounds) and then with five excited children inside (1492 pounds).

November 27th was a red-letter day in Sri Chinmoy's wcightlifting adventure —but not because of these spectacular bridge lifts. They were the celebration of something that had occurred much earlier that morning in Sri Chinmoy's home: it was a one-arm lift of staggering proportions.