Stories by Sri Chinmoy's students
Bipin Larkin • New York, USA

Building a sacred space

I remember when I first got the phone call. I was working at a construction site. Back then there were no cell phones, but I was helping to build a house, climbing all over it, when my boss found me and said, “There’s a phone call for you.”

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It was Ashrita, who often assisted Guru directly. It wasn’t a regular occurrence to get a phone call from Ashrita, so I knew it was something important about Guru.

Ashrita said that Guru wanted me to come and build a tennis court for him. I was very shocked, but I said, “Well, of course I would like to do it, but when?”

“Tomorrow,” Ashrita said. “Wow,” I thought to myself.

If it’s your Guru asking you to do something, you just do it! I told my boss that I had to go. I knew that Guru would take care of me and that this project was meant to be. The second part of Ashrita’s message had been that Guru said if I didn’t want to, he would get someone else to do it. But I was thrilled to be part of this venture. Guru always said that if you have eagerness, if you have enthusiasm, anything is possible.

Sri Chinmoy plays on Aspiration-Ground

So I went the next day, and I and some other disciples started building what is now known as Aspiration-Ground, the name that was eventually given to the tennis court. Guru wanted it done as quickly as possible, and it took about a month. It’s important to realize that I was about 23 or 24 years old and I didn’t really know how to build a tennis court—none of us did. We only tried to do what Guru asked of us. So we read, we asked questions, and we learned. It was not perfect by any means, but when we were finished Guru played on the tennis court, and he was very, very happy.

I got my spiritual name from Guru the next day.

I never thought of Aspiration-Ground as a sacred place when we were building it. We were just trying to fulfill Guru‘s wish. Now it has become a very sacred place to his disciples and all those who have visited there.

With our aspiration-heart
And our dedication-life,
We can build
A most satisfactory Heaven
Here in the world-arena.

Sri Chinmoy1

  • 1. Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 27
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