Chittagong

 

A Childhood Pastime of A Great Spiritual Master

by Dr. Vidagdha Bennett

It is November 12th, 2008 and … my thoughts turn to a young boy of nine or ten years’ old, who used to sit in the public gallery of the High Court of Chittagong almost half a century ago. In my mind, I see him peering over the railings at a trial taking place in the main courtroom below, listening intently to the speeches made by the lawyers of both sides and examining the faces of the miscreants with keen interest. The boy’s name is Madal. In later years, he would become internationally revered and beloved as Sri Chinmoy – dreamer of peace, poet, musician, artist, athlete and spiritual guide. Read more

 

 

A Life Nearly Snuffed Out

by Dr. Vidagdha Bennett

Sri Chinmoy graced this earth for seventy-six years, but his life nearly ended after barely three years when he contracted such a severe case of smallpox that the doctors gave up hope for his survival. Had their prognosis been correct, the world would have lost one of its most revered spiritual leaders at the very dawn of his life. The story of how the infant Madal survived against all odds is a testament to the miraculous power of prayer – in this case, the ceaseless prayers and unwavering faith of his mother, Yogamaya. Read more

 

 

A Life Once Spared

by Vidagdha Bennett

Indians of all castes and from all walks of life traditionally worship numerous cosmic gods and goddesses – Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Durga, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Kali, Parvati, Ganesh, Kartikeya and many more. To the Western mind, this pantheon of divine manifestations can be mystifying, whereas, for an Indian, they belong to a time-honoured way of life that is perfectly natural. Read more

 

 

Encounter with a Royal Bengal Tiger

by Dr. Vidagdha Bennett

The Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), known in Bengali as bagha or shardul, is the largest member of the cat family on the face of the earth. A male specimen averages 9 feet 5 inches from head to tail and weighs approximately 480-600 pounds. The female measures around 8 feet and weighs in the region of 300 pounds. Its canine teeth can be up to 5 inches long and its claws are razor sharp. It is said that a Royal Bengal tiger can kill an elephant or carry a fully grown cow over a ten foot fence. In its natural habitat, it stands indisputably at the top of the ecosystem – and it is the national animal of both Bangladesh and India. Read more

 

 

Of Turtles and Other Delicacies

by Vidagdha Bennett

In Sri Chinmoy’s teachings, a vegetarian lifestyle plays a most significant role in the life of a spiritual seeker. He believed that a vegetarian diet can greatly enhance the seeker’s purity and inner aspiration, and help that individual to make faster progress.… Again, he insisted that merely becoming a vegetarian was no guarantee of spiritual progress. Read more

 

 

Sri Chinmoy’s Childhood Ambition

by Dr. Vidagdha Bennett

It is a peculiar fact of human nature that the sweet and innocent ambitions of our childhood linger in our later years. Thus it is possible to find at the core of every great statesman or inventor or writer a desire to become something quite simple and ordinary. The greatest human being I have ever known is Sri Chinmoy. He was a spiritual guide, first and foremost, but within this calling he encompassed the roles of poet, artist, composer, musician and athlete. Given his vast accomplishments in each field, it is uniquely touching to discover that as a child his only longing was to work on trains. Read more

 

 

The Animal Companions of Sri Chinmoy's Childhood

by Dr. Vidagdha Bennett

In his later years, we saw what lengths Sri Chinmoy went to in order to express his fondness for various members of the animal kingdom – whom he referred to as his younger brothers and sisters. He lifted white horses in Mongolia, elephants in Thailand, lambs and cows in New Zealand and even an aquarium of tiny fish in New York. With immense affection and tenderness, he raised these “creatures great and small” into the air. … It comes as no surprise, then, to find that even as a child in Shakpura, Sri Chinmoy (Madal) had a number of assorted pets. Read more

 

 

The Most Bitter Medicine

by Vidagdha Bennett

In his childhood, Sri Chinmoy had an encounter with one of the largest and most powerful of cats – a Royal Bengal Tiger. He also had an encounter with one of the tiniest members of the animal kingdom – a mosquito. Which one is the more deadly? In Sri Chinmoy’s case, by God’s infinite Grace, he was not harmed by the tiger, but he did suffer greatly from the mosquito. He contracted malaria and endured a number of virulent attacks of malarial fever during his youth in Shakpura. Read more