Now that Sri Chinmoy had lifted one ton in the one-arm lift, it only remained for his calves to reach the same destination. On October 31st, he had lifted 1700 pounds at the tennis court. Shortly afterwards, the massive machine was transferred to Sri Chinmoy's home, where he could practice lifting undeterred by the weather.
On November 29th, he attempted to lift 1800 pounds and succeeded. The following day, as Sri Chinmoy meditated prior to lifting, he offered a spontaneous prayer:
"My Lord Supreme, my Lord Supreme, today I shall make a soulful attempt to lift up 2,000 pounds with the calf raise. Four days ago Your Grace, Your infinite Grace, Your unconditional Grace, enabled me to lift up 2,000 pounds with one arm. Now I am invoking the same Grace and Compassion and, if it is Your Will, my Lord Supreme, I shall definitely succeed. If it is not Your Will, then some other day I shall succeed.

"Your Victory, Your Victory, only Your Victory I wish to offer to the world at large at Your choice Hour. My Lord Supreme, You are Your Compassion sleepless, birthless and deathless, and I am trying to be what You want me to be, soulfully, and selflessly: Your humble instrument."

He mounted the steps to the foot platform and bent his shoulders under the towering arms of the machine. After a few preliminary lifts, he set the pin at his goal weight: 2,000 pounds. Heroically, he faced the mountain-cliff before him. A moment more of concentrated silence and suddenly he began to push upwards against the iron grip of the weights. The great machine creaked in its traces as it absorbed the full impact of Sri Chinmoy's power. It was not a struggle of flesh against metal; it was the call of the soul from heights unknown to inconscient matter. Beneath the thrill of this transfiguring touch, the huge stack of plates swung upwards.


By 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 3rd, Sri Chinmoy had had a long day. In addition to conducting a twice-weekly meditation service at United Nations Headquarters, he had given special attention to his favourite pursuits of weight-lifting and music. As Sri Chinmoy relaxed over a late supper, it seemed that he might allow a well-earned rest to overtake him.

However, it was not to be. Instead of saluting the activities of the day goodbye, Sri Chinmoy disappeared briefly, only to re-emerge in brilliant red and yellow sports clothes. Something was in the air and, instantly, his students became alert.
No further explanation was needed when Sri Chinmoy entered into his weightlifting room and began some preliminary warm-up exercises. The centrepiece of the room, dominating all the other pieces of equipment, was the standing calf raise machine, scarcely recognisable as the original commercial model he had bought six months previously. It was still loaded with twenty-one 100-pound plates from Sri Chinmoy's volcanic lift of November 30th. The plates were painted in a host of bright colours, giving the effect of some exotic bird of paradise. The sight of it incongruously located in Sri Chinmoy's tiny gym brought forward sweet reminiscences of endless mornings under the canopy of trees and sky when he first began to explore the potential of the lift and develop it to its utmost.

In silence, Sri Chinmoy donned his thick leather belt and weightlifting shoes. It was 12:55 a.m. He folded his hands in prayer and his students felt instinctively that something of tremendous consequence was about to happen. Following his usual custom, Sri Chinmoy advanced quickly and deliberately to the peak of his workout, completing two repetitions each of 400, 600, 800, 1000 and 1200 pounds. He then jumped directly to 2000 pounds. Once again, his immeasurable stores of energy erupted on the physical level and the plates began their inexorable transit. High above the plates, Sri Chinmoy's face, straining upwards, reflected the magnitude of his effort. He suspended the plates in space while photographic records were taken and then lowered them to their original starting position. Easing out of the shoulder yoke, Sri Chinmoy took a few seconds' rest and then confronted this immense weight one more time. His ability to tolerate pain and his utter freedom from fear seemed humanly incomprehensible. Again, his lift was successful. He had now lifted the 2,000-pound weight a total of three times.

From the summit, Sri Chinmoy began the second half of his workout. It was to prove equally spectacular. According to his established pattern, he gradually decreased the amount of weight and dramatically increased the number of repetitions performed. Sri Chinmoy preferred not to divide his repetitions into various sets but to complete them in an unbroken series. He had developed a rapid gunfire action, and this was sustained until the burning sensation in his calves forced him to halt. During the next thirty minutes he recorded the following statistics:

1600 lbs. X 19 reps.
1400 X 41
1200 X 55
1000 X 83
800 X 90
600 X 124
400 X 156

The entire workout, including the lead-up to 2,000 pounds and rest breaks, lasted only 39 minutes. It totaled 457,600 pounds—equivalent to 228.8 tons. Imagine the scene. A brightly lit room shining through the darkness of a New York winter’s night and, inside it, one man shifting weights beyond human possibility. The quality of the energy emanating from this room is of the rarest kind - not the turbulent, scattered energy of our struggling world but an inlet of another, splendid kind of energy: an energy of cosmic proportions. If you have ever sensed the great forces that govern and maintain the bodies of this vast universe, if you have ever touched upon the power that creates and transforms, if you have ever longed to be one with the divine fount of all power — then that was the feeling Sri Chinmoy's presence and feat invoked.

Even after the workout was over, this feeling of spiritual elevation remained. Smilingly, Sri Chinmoy turned to those who had witnessed the night's events and quoted a line from one of his own poems:

"My days and nights dissolve in God's own Light."

And, in the deep silence that followed, there came to mind another set of exquisitely apt words from the same poem:

"Above the toil of life my soul
Is a Bird of Fire winging the Infinite."

(from poem "Revelation" from My Flute by Sri Chinmoy



Sri Chinmoy Calf Raises