Sri Chinmoy Weightlifting 3

Many people from the body building and weightlifting world have offered their support and admiration for his spectacular achievements. In particular Bill Pearl (5 times Mr Olympian) has closely followed Sri Chinmoy’s weightlifting career kindly offering advice and acting as Master of Ceremonies for his weightlifting anniversary lifts.

Sri Chinmoy is no longer a threat to the weightlifting or bodybuilding world, because what he is doing is absolutely unbelievable. He has moved beyond the threatening into the unbelievable. It is beyond human comprehension!

- Bill Pearl (1)

As Master of Ceremonies for the 1999 weightlifting anniversary Bill Pearl introduced Sri Chinmoy by saying

"This evening you are going to see some amazing feats of strength performed by a sixty-eight year old man weighing 167 pounds. In no way do I classify this person as the world's strongest man; I think of him as a world class spiritual leader. Today you are going to see some amazing feats of strength that I myself - and I have been in the industry for fifty -five years - would not even attempt to perform.. I believe you are in for a big surprise at what small man with a gigantic heart and soul can accomplish."

From: The Bill Pearl Story


It was Bill Pearl who advised Sri Chinmoy to lift objects people could identify with. Many people struggle to differentiate between 1,000 lbs and 2,000 lbs but it is much easier to appreciate the weight of real objects like animals and cars. Over the past few years Sri Chinmoy has experimented with lifting various objects such as Airplanes, Cars, Elephants, Panda’s and various combinations of people. On a vacation in New Zealand (28 Nov – 6 Dec 2002) Sri Chinmoy lifted in a seated double Arm overhead lift 1,000 lambs and several hundred cows, in a specially constructed lifting apparatus. See article on Sri Chinmoy Inspiration. Sri Chinmoy says he wished to lift cows in particular because they are sacred in India for their qualities of sacrifice. Lambs on the other hand remind him of the saviour Christ because of their qualities of innocence.

For Sri Chinmoy weightlifting is more than just lifting weights it is an opportunity to honour people or in the case of New Zealand honouring animals.

Sri Chinmoy’s weightlifting career has been unique as Jim Smith says

"We're into galactic proportions with the amount of weight he's lifting. As far as I know, that's the greatest weight anyone has ever held overhead with one arm or two arms. I don't think anybody can fully appreciate the ability and capacity of this man. Sri Chinmoy is truly the eighth wonder of the world!"

- Jim Smith (Ref: 1)

The weightlifting of Sri Chinmoy has sometimes been criticised for ignoring and going beyond the standard lifts of weightlifting. Some weightlifters don’t recognize lifts which fall out of the boundaries of established lifts. Sri Chinmoy responds by firstly emphasizing it is not his objective to compete with others, he wants to only follow the inspiration of his inner pilot. Also like many other aspects of his creative output Sri Chinmoy likes to create newness and freshness. Lifting in different ways and lifting different objects gives newness and vitality to a sport. In a revealing answer to why he doesn’t stick to conventional lifts Sri Chinmoy says:

Why should we remain always with the same lifts? If there is only the dead lift and other standard lifts, then there will be no newness, no invention. Should there be only one game? No, hundreds of games have been discovered. Then shall we play only football, volleyball and basketball? There should be more games. In a garden will we keep only four types of flowers? If another type of flower appears, we will not cry, "Oh, this is not a flower because for years and years in our garden there have been only four flowers."

Unfortunately, when one invents something, it is frequently not accepted. Then a day comes when people forget about the criticism. At first, how much Newton and Einstein suffered! Afterwards, everybody accepted them. In the beginning, newness will always be suspected. It will not be admired and adored. But then, based on that newness, people go forward.

From: A Mystic Journey in the Weightlifting World by Sri Chinmoy (Note: 2)

Despite Sri Chinmoy’s advancing years it appears he is able to still transcend his previous records. It is very rare if not exceptional that someone of his age is still able to reach new athletic peaks.
In Nov 2004 at a 2 day weightlifting extravaganza Sri Chinmoy lifted a total of 290,527 lbs. Most of this was on the evening of 13th November. Highlights of the evening programme included:

For this remarkable achievement the magazine "Muscle and Fitness" awarded Sri Chinmoy's weightlifting demonstartion as one of the top 10 greatest sporting achievements of the year. The magazine ranked the lifting of 100 tonnes in a single night as number 2.



(1) Weightlifting Tears and Smiles at Sri Chinmoy Library

(2) A Mystic Journey in the Weightlifting World

(3) Muscle and Fitness Magazine (April 2005)

(4) Beyond The Universe - The Bill Pearl Story ISBN 0-88497-048-5 -2405




Sri Chinmoy Calf Raises