Stories by Sri Chinmoy's students and friends

Stories by Sri Chinmoy's students and friends

You have a multitude of questions,
But there is only one answer:
The road is right in front of you,
And the guide is waiting for you.
—Sri Chinmoy

We, Sri Chinmoy's students, are grateful for the opportunity to share some of our most precious experiences of Sri Chinmoy with you. Like many-faceted gems, these stories reveal the powerful guidance, sweetly intimate moments, and deep inner connection that the students of a true spiritual Master can experience.

Sweet moments with our Guru

Kamalakanta Nieves • New York, United States

I know where you are

At the store, we had a red phone for Guru to call if he was looking for Ashrita. If it rang five times, then I was supposed to pick up the phone.

So this particular day, I told Guru I did not know where Ashrita was. And then Guru said, “But I know where you are. You are inside my heart. You are inside every heartbeat of mine.”

The Master’s heart
Is made of affection.

Sri Chinmoy 1

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Everyday Miracles on Sri Chinmoy's Path

Begabati Lennihan • Boston, United States

Keep doing the right thing

Begabati in her health food store

One weekend in New York I was invited to a disciple’s birthday party, celebrated in Guru’s customary way—disciples sitting on Guru’s living room floor as paper plates of curry and birthday cake were passed around. It was a typical time for chitchat with Guru. “So, Marion,” Guru said, catching me by surprise (Guru so rarely spoke to me), “when will you open your restaurant?”

I nearly choked on my curry. “Wha - wha - what restaurant, Guru?”
“First choice restaurant, second choice health food store.”
“But I don’t have any money, Guru!”
“Your parents will give you,” Guru reassured me. “Can you have it open by April 13th?”

But that gave me only six weeks to convince my parents, find a location, buy the equipment, and set it up. And I had never even run a cash register, let alone a business!

When Guru asked us to do something, he would put an incredible force on it. It was as though a divine wind was blowing inexorably towards a particular goal, and all I had to do was to spread my sails to catch the wind. In one way it did feel like an enormous amount of hard work, but in another way, it felt effortless, as though everything was already done.

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Dynamic Spirituality

Bishwas Polissar • Seattle, United States

'Will I be able to lift it?'

Bishwas played an instrumental role in designing and building many of the apparatus that Sri Chinmoy used for his weightlifting feats.

Audio Interview

Guru periodically performed weightlifting exhibitions in which he would perform one enormous and creative lifting feat after another. He announced in the fall of 2004 that he would like to have another such exhibition. He wanted ideas for new lifting machines. That was when we built his “shrugging” machine and one or two other new ones like the leg press machine.

I had the idea that Guru could lift his own cute little blue smart car, but from overhead rather than from underneath. I told Guru that this was definitely a more difficult way of lifting the car, but that as long as the car wasn’t over 2,000 pounds, I thought he would be able to lift it. Guru liked the idea, and immediately called Prataya to ask what the weight was because she had bought the car for him. It turned out that the weight was 1,971 pounds.

So Guru asked us to start building a machine to lift the car right away. But he also kept asking, “Will I be able to lift it?”

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Achieving the Impossible

Vasanti Niemz • Heidelberg, Germany

Swimming in the infinite consciousness

In 1985, I became the first student of Sri Chinmoy to swim the English Channel. It was a very, very special experience. As I was told later, Guru was sitting at home, meditating for most of the time on my swim, always trying to get information on how I was doing.

I was blessed with an extremely easy swim. When I stepped into the Channel water at Shakespeare Beach at 7 a.m., I was full of confidence that I would make it. After six hours into the swim, when I could see both coasts, I had the firm conviction that on the inner plane, it was already done—it just had to be executed outwardly. I felt carried by a wave of inner joy and bliss most of the time.

After ten hours, the cross-current set in and it was slowly getting dark. Previously I could not imagine swimming in the dark. I would never have dared to get into pitchblack, unknown water at night. Now, with the gradual transition into night, I felt extremely comfortable. I enjoyed the star-strewn sky above me each time I took a breath. And when I looked down into the black water—where earlier I had enjoyed watching the dance of the rays of sunlight—I started to see bright light once again. In the midst of the darkness, Guru's face - his transcendental photograph that we use in our meditations - appeared.

Because of the unpredictable, strong cross-current, I had to swim for five hours more, but it did not matter to me. For those hours, I was swimming into the light of the Transcendental, into Guru's infinite consciousness of light and delight, which was right in front of me like an ever-transcending goal.

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Inner communication

Sarita Earp • Halifax, Canada

Every second with your Master on earth is precious

The Masters speak of the inevitable dry spells along the journey to our self-realization. I experienced one after twelve years on Sri Chinmoy’s path, when I felt flat for a number of weeks. I thought to myself, “I have not made any spiritual progress,” and one day I simply knew I had to go to New York to be with Guru.  

I arrived very late, and in my morning meditation the next day, I felt no enthusiasm to be seeing Guru soon. I went to Aspiration-Ground (the tennis court where we met) despite this, where there were only a few dozen disciples waiting for Guru’s arrival. Suddenly, I felt a strong inner push to get my camera from my accommodations―just a small, ordinary camera. I ran as fast as I could so that I could return quickly, saying to myself, “Every second with your Master on earth is precious.” (How quickly things had already changed for me inwardly!)

I made it back before Guru arrived, and when he did, he called for a photographer. This day was one of his tennis anniversaries, celebrating his accomplishments in playing the game.

I looked around and none of the usual photographers seemed to be there, so I went and stood on the far side of the net. He would play a set with one of his tennis court assistants; they would then come to the net, Guru would place his tennis racket on the person’s head in blessing, and I would come close and snap a picture of the moment. Guru had asked for a photographer knowing that for each player, the blessing-photo would be a treasured memento. Somehow I got the inner message to run for my camera even though I was in the depths of a spiritual dry spell!

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Constant Growth and Progress

Jogyata Dallas • Auckland, New Zealand

The white bird and the lake

In my early years of exploring meditation and the little-known subject of reincarnation, I came across a rather discouraging description of the long passage of time the soul supposedly takes from its very earliest entry into the earth arena until its full blossoming in God-realisation. Imagine, said the words of an old Indian text, a beautiful white bird flying to a large lake once every several thousand years and taking away a single drop of water in its beak. The length of time it takes for the bird to empty the lake is a description – metaphorical of course – of how long it takes for this journey to be concluded, for realisation or self-blossoming to be won.

A rather bleak thought! But encouragingly, it did add the further comment that for those who have a curiosity or an awakening interest in spirituality, the lake is almost empty and the long journey of the soul is not in front of us but already behind us.

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the life-saving Divine Force

Arthada Platzgummer • Vienna, Austria

My spiritual heart specialist

As a medical doctor, I have often been in the intensive care unit. Once the Supreme also wanted me to get to know the other side. And so it happened that I found myself in this unit with a fellow sufferer next to me. He was in a deep coma and his chest was rising and falling in perfect time to the rhythm of the respirator, producing a hissing sound. This mechanical sound was intermittently complemented by a gurgling caused by the extraction of mucus from his lungs. The poor fellow wasn’t able to swallow any more either. He was receiving medication by intravenous infusion and I could tell by the electrocardiogram on the control screen that his heart could say good-bye anytime. He seemed to be a cardiac patient who had suffered an embolic stroke.

Now there I was, hooked up to infusions and monitors myself. Out of the blue my heart had gone berserk, so I landed in the hospital, where they finally moved me into the cardiac intensive care unit to better supervise all the medical experiments to be carried out on me. Being a professional doctor, I could easily interpret the graph that was bouncing on the monitor over my head: my two ventricles had started to fall out of sync and beat totally independently from each other.

This condition diminishes heart effciency and, more importantly, it induces the great risk of thrombosis with an ensuing brain embolism (a blood clot in the brain) The latter may occur after a period of 48 hours and results in a hemiplegic stroke, with the possible outcome of being unable to swallow or to speak or to think, or even death. These embolisms tend to appear particularly at the stage where your heartbeat normalises. So, after this 48-hour period elapses, it is above all extremely dangerous trying to convert the heartbeat to a normal rhythm. The doctor in charge had never in his whole life seen this condition in someone of my age.

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Treasured friendships

Agraha Levine • Seattle, United States

Guru's first meeting with Mother Teresa

A joyous moment with Sri Chinmoy, Mother Teresa and the nuns of the Sisters of Charity as Mother Teresa holds the Peace Torch

Audio Interview

We were told Mother Teresa was staying at a church in Rome, very close to the Coliseum. It was near a church but it was a convent. It was so simple. There was no running water or heat, and the nuns lived with such simplicity. Guru was so excited and so delighted.

When Guru got there, Kailash was driving, and I got to be in the car with Guru. There were about 50 disciples who were already there waiting. They wanted us all to gather at the back entrance of the convent. It was quite beautiful. There were beautiful trees and a view of Rome.

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