On American Soil

Sri Chinmoy lands at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on Monday at 3:30 p.m. on the Air India flight 101A from Madras. On arrival at JFK, he is welcomed by his sponsor, Sam Spanier, Sam’s friend Eric Hughes, and Sri Chinmoy’s co-sponsor Ann Harrison. He stays as the guest of ‘Samie’ and Eric at their Greenwich Village apartment in Manhattan.

* The photograph above is from Sri Chinmoy’s first passport, issued in India in March 1964.

 

1st Anniversary

 

2nd Anniversary

Sri Chinmoy gives a talk on ‘The Quintessence of Hinduism’ to the Adult Class of Comparative Religion at Temple Beth-El — a liberal Jewish congregation — in Laurelton, New York, at the invitation of Rabbi Ronald Millstein.

 

3rd Anniversary

 

April 13th 1967 message

 

My spiritual children,
If I have Love, if I have Compassion,
if I have Light,
If I have Power, if I have Peace,
if I have Delight,
Then it is all for you, all for you, all for you.
O my sweet children,
It is with you, for you and in you
that I exist here on earth.

— Sri Chinmoy


Published in My Consulate Years

 

First official April 13th celebration

 

On Thursday, 13 April 1967, the two Aum Centres (Santurce, Puerto Rico and New York City) celebrated the third anniversary of Sri Chinmoy’s arrival in the West.

Each Centre marked the event with a special spiritual and cultural program. In Puerto Rico a tape-recorded message from the Guru was played, in which every disciple was individually greeted by Sri Chinmoy. This was heard after a special meditation. The function was most devotedly conducted by the President, Sudha. Selected readings from the Guru’s works were given by the disciples, who also offered their own soulful appreciation of his divine mission on earth.

In New York, a significant meditation also started the program. Moving tributes to the Guru were then offered. This was followed by a program of songs, readings and dramatic performances by the disciples.

Both functions were followed by delicious refreshments, generously provided and beautifully arranged by the disciples of the respective Centres....

Sri Chinmoy offers his deepest gratitude to all his esteemed friends and disciples who were present at both the Centres and made each function a spiritually elevating experience.


Published in AUM – Vol. 2, No. 9, 27 April 1967

 

4th Anniversary

 

April 13th 1968 message

 

“O Supreme, to Thee I offer what I am:
My soul’s eternal breath of gratitude.
O children of the Supreme,
to you I offer what I have:
My life's eternal service of oneness.”

— Sri Chinmoy


Published in ‘The Life of Sri Chinmoy’ by Madhuri

 

The day itself proved to be most beautiful-mild, sunny and filled with the warm and joyous promise of spring. Because the celebration the previous year, when the group was considerably smaller, had, even then, been quite cramped in the little apartment that served as the Centre, this year’s festivities took place in the rented hall of a nearby church.

The afternoon was filled with an enormously varied, absorbing and frequently deeply moving programme presented by the disciples and devotees of the New York Centre. Uniting our celebration with those taking place simultaneously in Puerto Rico, Florida and Jamaica, and adding much joy for all of us who were able to meet her at last, was the presence of Sudha, who was able to make a brief visit from Puerto Rico for the occasion.

At the beginning of the programme were three songs. The first, a section of a Bach partita, was played on the viola by Dulal, the President of the New York Centre.

Sri Chinmoy himself sang the second song, as an invocation to the Supreme. Singing unaccompanied, his voice rose in surpassing purity and soul-stirring beauty. The song was his own musical setting of the Sanskrit passage from the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.

One of the youngest of his devotees, Radha, aged twelve, sang a Bengali song, a composition of Rabindranath Tagore that Sri Chinmoy taught her specially for the occasion.

Just as moving and memorable were all of the heartfelt contributions of the devotees, whether they raised their voices in song, read poems or appropriate passages from letters.

The attendance at the anniversary programme, which would have been com­pletely impossible to contain in the Centre’s normal quarters, served to underline the urgent necessity of a move from the radiant, but far too small, East Side apartment.


Extracts adapted from ‘The Life of Sri Chinmoy’ by Madhuri

 

5th Anniversary

 

April 13th 1969 message

given by Sri Chinmoy
to all the members of the AUM Centres

 

We have one choice and one decision.
Our choice is to become one with God’s Life.
Our decision is to be the ever-dedicated breath in the fulfilment of God’s universe.

O Supreme, to Thee I offer what I am: my life’s soulful gratitude. O children of the Supreme, to you I give what I have: my life of selfless dedication and oneness. My love is my weight. My love is my height. My love is at once my weight and my height. My love for the devoted disciples, on the strength of my oneness with them, is my weight. My love for the Supreme, on the strength of my oneness with Him, is my height. Read the full talk...

Meditations: Food for the Soul

by Sri Chinmoy

April 13

O Supreme, to Thee I offer what I am: my life's soulful gratitude. O children of the Supreme, to you I give what I have: my life of dedicated service and oneness.

April 14

Five years ago my life was born in the West. The Western world has accepted me with love and joy. I have accepted the Western world with confidence. The New World has accepted me with certainty. I have accepted the New World with my soul's inner urge.


Published in Meditations: Food for the Soul

 

6th Anniversary

The name of the AUM Centres is changed to the Sri Chinmoy Centres.

Sri Chinmoy offers a special message to the disciples. The celebration is held at the Victoria Congregational Church, 144-64 87th Ave (corner of 148th Street and 87th Ave), Jamaica, Queens, New York, at 5:00 p.m. The Sri Chinmoy Centre Orchestra is inaugurated on this day and opens a programme of performances that continue for the next four hours.

Sri Chinmoy also inaugurates the Sri Chinmoy Library and dedicates it to Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge. This first branch is located in the basement of Sri Chinmoy’s home, which is the New York Centre.

 

7th Anniversary

 

 

8th Anniversary

 

Photo by Sarama Minoli

 

Photo by Sarama Minoli

 

Photo by Sarama Minoli

 

Sri Chinmoy’s April 13th Anniversary is held at Victoria Congregational Church in Briarwood, New York.

 

9th Anniversary

Photo by Sarama Minoli

 

Sri Chinmoy celebrates the ninth anniversary of his arrival in the West, at a special function held in the Unitarian Church of Weston, Connecticut.

The First Selectman of Westport, Connecticut, John Kemish, addresses the gathering and wishes Sri Chinmoy 999 years of victory in his mission.

 

10th Anniversary

 

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of his arrival in the West, Sri Chinmoy works through the night, unassisted, to prepare 10 separate dishes for a huge anniversary dinner held at his home. Approximately 400 of his students attend, arriving in groups of 50 or 60. This is the second time that day they have come to his house. Earlier in the morning, they had meditated there with Sri Chinmoy in groups.


Some four hundred disciples from Europe, Canada and across the United States converge in New York to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Sri Chinmoy’s arrival in the West.

The festival begins the evening of April 12, with a performance of the Sri Chinmoy’s play, The Son, and continues past midnight on Sunday, April 14. Highlights include a public meditation, a bazaar, a circus and a six-hour celebration of spiritual music and drama.

 

Photo by Sarama Minoli

 

At the public meditation, Sri Chinmoy says: “The aspiration-child of the West is no longer crawling, stumbling… walking, marching. It is running… fast, faster, fastest towards the Golden Shore of the ever-transcending beyond.”

He says that he has learned two significant things during his ten years in the West: “how to admire the soul of the West most devotedly...” and “how to love the heart of the West most soulfully.” “The soul of the West,” he says, “is for Divinity’s full manifestation on earth. The heart of the West is for humanity’s totally transformed perfection.”

Sri Chinmoy concludes his April 13th message by saying that even if he offers ten million flowers of gratitude to the Western soul, it would be inadequate.

“But to each of you I wish to say that my fervent prayer to the Supreme was to be of you and for you. And the Supreme, out of His Infinite Bounty, has granted my prayer to be implicitly of you and to be unconditionally for you.”


* Adapted from Anahata Nada – April 2, 1974, Vol. I. No. V

 

11th Anniversary

 

Photo by Sarama Minoli

 

Sri Chinmoy’s eleventh-anniversary celebrations are held in White Plains in New York state. As part of the programme, a group of his women disciples present a water ballet, called Jala-Ramani.

 

12th Anniversary

 

Photo by Sarama Minoli

 

A five-day festi­val celebrates the 12th anniversary of Sri Chinmoy’s arrival in the West. The event, which draws visitors from the USA and overseas, includes dramatic and musical performances, a circus, a parade, a Jharna-Kala painting exhibition, and a special free concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

 

Photo by Sarama Minoli

 

Photo by Sarama Minoli

 

Sri Chinmoy and his disciples offer an evening of spiritual music at the concert, which he calls Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. All the music performed is composed by Sri Chinmoy, except for a medley of tunes from Indian ragas, which Sri Chinmoy plays on his esraj. Sri Chinmoy’s Jharna-Kala artworks are also exhibited. The programme notes and an article about Sri Chinmoy and his art have been printed in Carnegie Hall’s official magazine, Intermezzo. This is Sri Chinmoy’s first concert at Carnegie Hall and his first public performance of the esraj and the cello.

For the finale, Sri Chinmoy asks the different instrumental groups to play simultaneously the individual pieces they had performed during the concert.

Sri Chinmoy describes this new music as the “dynamic spirit of divine soldiers.”

“There is full freedom, but at the same time, there is unity and uniformity... This music brings to the fore the heroic quality, and dauntless quality, and at the same time a real bond of oneness.”

The next day, on April 14th, to commemorate his twelfth year in the West, Sri Chinmoy conducts a special public meditation at Hunter College Auditorium — 66th St. and Park Ave. — in Manhattan, at 7:30 p.m. There are musical performances by Sri Chinmoy and his disciples and at the end of the evening, Sri Chinmoy offers prasad to all those present.

 

13th Anniversary

 

Photo by Sarama Minoli

 

Sri Chinmoy celebrates the anniversary by offering a 13-hour meditation. It first takes place at All Angels’ Church in Manhattan and then continues at Public School 86 in Jamaica, Queens. Here, Sri Chinmoy invites the children on stage.

 

14th Anniversary

Visitors from around the world come together in New York to celebrate the 14th anniversary of Sri Chinmoy’s arrival in the West with a 10-day festival of plays, songs, athletic events and silent meditation.

Highlights of the event include a circus, a Jala-Ramani water ballet, a parade up New York’s Madison Avenue and a major public meditation at Hunter College.

 

 

On April 13th, there is a full programme of activities, beginning with a 10-mile run for men and a 7-mile run for women. Sri Chinmoy participates in the run.

 

 

The evening function is held at the Greenwich Civic Center on Harding Road in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. There, Sri Chinmoy sings fourteen recently-composed special songs — one for each of his years in the West. He ends by singing his most sacred song, ‘The Invocation’. The recording is later released as ‘The Flood of the Light Supreme’. The scores for the 14 songs appear in Journey’s Goal, Part 9b.

During the evening, he also holds fourteen seven-minute meditation sessions.

 

 

Sri Chinmoy’s sister Lily (centre), visiting from India, joins in the week-long celebrations for the anniversary of her brother’s arrival in America. Here, on April 15th, she heads the parade in Manhattan, arm in arm with Gauri (left) from Puerto Rico and Madhuri (right), a long-time New York disciple and author of the book ‘The Life of Sri Chinmoy’.

 

15th Anniversary

Sri Chinmoy receives congratulatory messages from Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, New York Governor Hugh Carey, New York Mayor Ed Koch and many other dignitaries in recognition of the 15th anniversary of his arrival in the West:

“As United States Ambassador to your native India, as Ambassador to the United Nations – where you have served so selflessly and so well – and now, as United States Senator from New York, I have followed your important work in America with growing admiration. You have brought joy and spiritual enlightenment to countless Americans, and indeed, to the people of many nations, and for this, we are all very much in your debt.” – Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

“On the occasion of your 15th year of spiritual leadership in the United States, I am pleased to extend my congratulations to you.” – New York Governor Hugh L. Carey

“Poet, writer, artist, musician and, most importantly, spiritual force for the fulfilment of goodness in mankind, you have made many contributions to New York City.” – New York Mayor Edward I. Koch

“Your roles as teacher, writer, poet, artist, musician and spiritual leader lead me to believe you are in the fullest sense the Renaissance Man' of our times.” – New York State Senator Hugh T. Farley

“As a spiritual leader, teacher, writer, artist and musician, you have enriched the lives of many people in Queens, our City, at the United Nations headquarters and across our nation.” – Queens Borough President Donald R. Manes

“The many lives you have touched, with your prayers, words, songs, art and deeds, proves that you are a messenger, a catalytic atom of that Great Power that guides us all through this beautiful experience – life. Your fifteen years here in the West ... only proves that you were chosen by Him, because His divine love always  met and always will meet every human need and the world is indeed  – grateful.” – Roy Allen, Producer/Director of ‘The Way to Go’, WCBS-TV

“Having long earned my living with words – as a teacher and a broadcaster – I know of the power words have. They can be used as friends or as weapons. Your words have touched me deeply. For, your words do not claim to be wiser or better. Your presence, your accomplishments, the love of those devoted to you in your gentleness and strength speak louder and more meaningfully than any mere words in voice or print can!” – Joel Martin, Host. ‘Long Island Spectrum’, WBAB Radio

Disciples from three continents — North America, Europe and Australia — gather in New York for a two-week celebration that consists of silent meditations, performances of Sri Chinmoy’s plays, a circus, a water ballet and athletic events.

On 16 April, Sri Chinmoy conducts a special public meditation in honour of his anniversary at the Community Church of New York.

 

16th Anniversary

 

A two-week festival — that includes public meditations, spiritual concerts, plays, a classical music concert, a circus and a parade, a water ballet and various athletic events — honouring Sri Chinmoy’s 16th year in the West attracts disciples from around the world to New York.

At 6:00 a.m. on April 13th there is a 7-mile race for girls, followed by a 13-mile race for boys, held at Jamaica High School track.

Queensborough President Donald Manes presents Sri Chinmoy with a proclamation declaring 13 April 1980 as ‘Sri Chinmoy Day’ in the Borough of Queens, New York.

Later in the morning, Sri Chinmoy records a personal best for a 10-km race-walk in the New York Walkers Day Walk in Central Park, New York. He finishes in a time of 1:07:57 (10:57 per mile pace). Afterwards, Sri Chinmoy meditates and chats with the disciples in Central Park.

 

Photo by Sarama Minoli

 

The evening programme, held at Public School 86 in Jamaica, New York, lasts until the early hours of the next morning.

 

17th Anniversary

 

 

 

Photos by Bhashwar Hart

 

Sri Chinmoy offers a seven-hour meditation at the Community Church of New York on East 35th Street in Manhattan.

 

18th Anniversary

 

Sri Chinmoy’s 500th book, entitled I Am Ready, is published in April and launched on 13 April. The book, consisting of 40 poetic aphorisms in Sri Chinmoy’s own handwriting, is dedicated to his father Shashi Kumar Ghosh. The cover features a composite picture of the only known photograph of Sri Chinmoy’s father and a photograph of a teenage Chinmoy. The book is die-cut in the shape of a heart. Sri Chinmoy signs the book at the evening function.

 

19th Anniversary

Sri Chinmoy commemorates the 19th anniversary of his arrival in America.

Starting in 1980 a 12-hour walk became part of the April Celebrations. This year when it starts at midnight in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Sri Chinmoy is there. Throughout the night he both runs and walks; he leaves the park at 6 a.m. and then came back at 9:30 a.m. and finishes a total of 19 miles, which he did in honour of his 19 years in the West.

 

Photo by Bhashwar Hart

 

On April 16th, Sri Chinmoy and his disciples offer a public concert at Columbia University in New York as part of his 19th-anniversary celebrations.

 

20th Anniversary

Sri Chinmoy celebrates the completion of his 20th year in the West by singing 20 new songs dedicated to America that he had recently composed. The remainder of the programme includes silent meditations and renditions by different singing groups of some of the 20 ‘Peace songs’ that Sri Chinmoy wrote earlier in the year.

In April, Sri Chinmoy composes a special song for April 13th. It is one of the 20 songs he sings on April 13th:

 

Lyrics

April thirteenth nineteen sixty-four!
Khuliyache mor hiya dor.
April thirteenth nineteen sixty-four!
Dure bahu dure ama nisha ghor.
April thirteenth nineteen sixty-four!
Tumi mor maha swapaner bhor.
April thirteenth nineteen sixty-four!
America’s oneness-core.
April thirteenth nineteen sixty-four!
Arrived at the world-power-shore.
April thirteenth nineteen sixty-four!


Published in Namo Namo Namo Shakti Pujari

 

21st Anniversary

The programme for the anniversary of Sri Chinmoy’s arrival in America begins in the morning with meditation at Progress–Promise meeting hall in Jamaica, New York. And, in the evening, Sri Chinmoy offers a 4½-hour concert playing 21 instruments at Richmond High School in Jamaica, New York.

The recordings of Sri Chinmoy's performances at the concert appear on Aspiration-Cry CDs 4, 6 and 9. Here is a selection:

 


Listen to Sri Chinmoy playing the bass recorder

 


Listen to Sri Chinmoy playing the French flute

 


Listen to Sri Chinmoy playing the vibraphone

 

Mayor Stephen P. Clark of Metropolitan Dade County, Florida, issues a proclamation honouring Sri Chinmoy’s 21st anniversary in the West.

 

22nd Anniversary

 

The celebrations begin at 10 a.m. at Aspiration-Ground, Sri Chinmoy requests all the American disciples to walk by him in one line, and to chant inwardly: “April 13th, 1964. Supreme, I bow to Thee.” 

He then requests the rest of the disciples to do the same in this order — Canada, Germany, Great Britain and France, the rest of Europe, Australia and Puerto Rico. 

He then asks the Puerto Rican disciples to sing the first line of ‘The Invocation’ in Spanish; followed by the same countries above individually singing it in English.

After prasad, Sri Chinmoy calls all the children down to stand in a line. Then, in a good-humoured manner, he asks different individual children various questions about himself and his family to test their memories. He poses the last question as a prediction: “When am I going to lift 250 pounds?”

The evening function is held at Julia Richman High School in Manhattan. At 5:45 p.m., Sri Chinmoy first starts by sitting below the stage and having a recording of him singing ‘Gratitude’ played. He then goes on to the stage and we join him in singing ‘The Invocation’. Sri Chinmoy bows to the picture of Mother Kali then bows to the picture of Sri Krishna. Sri Chinmoy sings five songs, accompanying himself on the tote-a-tune: ‘Never Say No’ in five languages, Jiban Debata, Amito Tomare, Ekti Katha, and Hiya Pakhi.

Various performances by different countries and groups are offered, including a presentation by the great Olympic athlete Sudhahota Carl Lewis. Sri Chinmoy speaks to him at length, calling him not only a supreme athlete but a supreme pioneer for a new world that will dawn. Sri Chinmoy tells him that his inspiration and dedication will be appreciated for centuries to come.

Then Sri Chinmoy sings, in alphabetical order, the names of each of the 50 United States, which he had set to music in 1975. For each state, he calls up any disciple who had been born in that state.

At 1:45 a.m. the birthday cake is presented and after that Sri Chinmoy hands to each disciple a copy of the ‘Gratitude’ tape that had been played at the very beginning of the function. At the end of the function, at 2:30 a.m., Sri Chinmoy says (paraphrasing): “If God has given me a heart, I am sure along with it He has given me gratitude as well; and that gratitude-heart to each of you I am offering.”

 

23rd Anniversary

 

April 13th 1987 message

by Sri Chinmoy
at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York

 

A long twenty-three years ago my Beloved Supreme Absolute brought me to America to be of most soulful service to Him in the West. He blessed me with His infinite Hope, infinite Inspiration and infinite Aspiration to serve Him in the West.

You are my sweet children. You are my service-plants. You will one day become huge banyan trees. I am not only helping you; I will make you realise the Absolute Supreme and I will manifest Him in and through you at His choice Hour.

You are my choice children. With you and in you I see the perfection of humanity’s heart and life. Love the Supreme in me infinitely more. Be devoted to the Supreme in me infinitely more. Lo, yours will be the sleepless joy and breathless satisfaction. Yours will be the complete perfection that humanity has been longing for centuries and centuries.


Published in Twenty-Five Aspiration-Flames

 

Sri Chinmoy offers a piano performance at New Rochelle High School in New Rochelle, New York.

 

24th Anniversary

Sri Chinmoy plays tennis from around 9 a.m. and gives different mantras to various country groups of disciples.

 

Photo by Prashphutita Greco

 

The evening function is held at Bronxville High School in Bronxville, New York. Sri Chinmoy begins by meditating, taking one rose after another from a tray of 24 red roses and holding each one to his heart and chanting ‘Supreme’ twice. When he comes to the last rose, he continues holding it and chants ‘Supreme’ many times. Sri Chinmoy then offers a number of recently composed aphorisms.

 


Listen to Sri Chinmoy reciting the aphorisms

 

Performances continue until the function finishes around 3 a.m. 

Among the many who offer their congratulations to Sri Chinmoy, is Sudhahota Carl Lewis:

I want to say, “Happy 24th year!” It’s so special for me to be able to take part. I see people who mean so much to me, and each year you are able to touch so many more of us. Twenty-four means 24 karats and that’s what you are to all of us.


Published in Carl Lewis: the champion inner runner, part 2

 

25th Anniversary

 

Silver Jubilee

Sri Chinmoy’s 25th year in the West

Video by kedarvideo

 

In Sri Chinmoy’s Silver Jubilee year tributes pour in from around the world. 

Heads of state and nearly half of America’s Senators send congratulatory letters. There are commendations or special proclamations from dozens of US Congressmen, Governors, Mayors, religious leaders, sports figures and media and entertainment personalities.

Japanese Prime Minister Takeshita sends a statement commending Guru for his “activities to enrich human love,” while Canada’s Prime Minister Mulroney cites his work in “furthering the spirit of understanding and sharing.” 

US Senator Daniel P  Moynihan calls Sri Chinmoy “our ambassador of peace and inner goodness for a quarter of a century,” and Senator Conrad Burns of Montana says his “dedication toward peace on our planet is something that deserves our country's highest praise.”

In addition, Sri Chinmoy receives ‘The Governor’s Salute to Excellence’ from Gov. William Schaefer of Maryland, the state’s highest individual honour; the 1989 ‘Man of the Year Award’ from Dan Lurie, President of the World Body Building Guild; a New York Road Runners Club citation for “innovative leadership, enthusiastic support and dedicated service to the world of running;” and a tribute from General A. M. Gray, US Marine Corps Commandant, who describes Sri Chinmoy’s contributions over the past 25 years as “certainly beyond the call of duty.”

Other tributes come from Olympian Calvin Smith, boxing champion Ken Norton, Sufi leader Pir Vilayat Khan, and TV personality Joe Franklin, who calls Sri Chinmoy, “the true global man of the 20th century.”

Leonard Bernstein sends Sri Chinmoy a telegram:

 

Dear Sri Chinmoy: It is an honor to know you and to be counted among your friends. — Leonard Bernstein

 

Sri Chinmoy composes a special song for April 13th:

 

Lyrics

Nineteen sixty-four, April thirteenth,
Our Master Lord was born in America.
Eureka, eureka, eureka, eureka!


Published in Namo Namo Namo Shakti Pujari

 

On 21 April, a gala dinner to celebrate Sri Chinmoy’s Silver Jubilee is held at the New York Penta Hotel in Manhattan. There are approximately 670 guests, including disciples. Speakers praise Sri Chinmoy’s 25 years of service. Near the end of the evening, Sri Chinmoy lifts many of the guests and also goes from table to table offering red roses to his many friends.

 

26th Anniversary

 

Sri Chinmoy’s students come to Jamaica, New York, from around the world to celebrate the 26th anniversary of his arrival in America.

 

Video by kedarvideo

 

The evening programme of music and meditation takes place on a stage decorated with pictures of various spiritual Masters: Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Christ, Chaitanya, Rama­ Krishna and Aurobindo. 

At the start of the function, Sri Chinmoy meditates in front of each photograph while groups of children sang a song he had written about the particular spiritual figure.
 

Sri Chinmoy composes a special song for April 13th:

 

Lyrics

April thirteenth, April thirteenth, April thirteenth
Nineteen sixty-four, Nineteen hundred and sixty-four!
My Supreme opened His Heart’s
American door, Western world-door.
Nineteen sixty-four, thirteenth of April:
My Supreme’s Vision-blossoming Thrill.
April thirteenth, April thirteenth, April thirteenth
Nineteen sixty-four, Nineteen hundred and sixty-four!


Published in Namo Namo Namo Shakti Pujari

 

27th Anniversary

Earlier in the year, Sri Chinmoy began the challenge of doing 27 different things to celebrate the 27 years since his arrival in America.

On April 13th, Sri Chinmoy offers a 3-hour-long concert, singing and playing on 30 different instruments, at Silver Cup Studios in Long Island City, New York.

 

28th Anniversary

 

Photo by Prashphutita Greco

 

Video by kedarvideo

 

The celebration function for the 28th anniversary of Sri Chinmoy’s arrival in America starts at 10:00 a.m sharp at Aspiration-Ground with walking meditations during which the disciples were all singing Dak Eseche. Then, Sri Chinmoy calls down the local residents to sit in front of him on the court.

Sri Chinmoy reaffirms his faith in America as “the land of hope, the land of promise” in an extemporaneous talk. Here, in part, is what he says:  

Aum... My dear spiritual children, you are of my heart and I am for your life. You are of my life-breath and I am for your supreme realisation of the Absolute Lord Supreme.

Twenty-eight years ago, I came to America. My Lord Beloved Supreme brought me to the New World, the world of newness. No matter how many unfortunate things are happening in America, no matter how many discouraging, disheartening and devastating things are taking place in America, America will forever and forever remain the land of newness. And inside the heart of newness, there shall be fulness, either today or tomorrow, either in the near future or in the distant future. Newness is nothing other than openness, and this openness will always be blessed by the Divine Light, and the Divine Light will be ultimately manifested in its infinite Fulness.

America, America, the land of hope, the land of promise. Where is that hope gone? Where is that promise gone? If it is true that hope is buried in oblivion, if it is true that promise is not to be found throughout the length and breadth of America, I wish to tell you that America will get back its promise, America will get back its hope. When, how and why? These questions right now I am not entitled to answer.

But I would like to tell you, in all sincerity and on the strength of the divine message that I have been carrying in the depths of my soul for centuries and centuries and centuries, the darkness-night of America will definitely be transformed into brightness-day.

When? At God’s Choice Hour. I may not be here on earth. You people also may not be here on earth. But there will be countless Americans who will be able to bask in the brightest sunshine of American divine reality. Not in vain, no, no – for there was a very, very special purpose why my Lord Beloved Supreme carried me here and placed me inside the heart-garden of America.

And now I would like all of you to believe me when I say America for me America means the West. Not only the West but east, west, north, south – the entire globe. My aspiration and my dedication are for the entire world. My realisation, God-realisation, and manifestation, God-manifestation, are for the entire world. So, for me, there is no such thing as America; there is no such thing as India or any other country. There is only one reality in me and that is the entire creation.

He urges his students to never give up the struggle to achieve positive things in their lives even though they are most difficult.

Each time you accomplish a difficult task and do something positive,” he declares, “you are helping God to establish His own kingdom of Heaven on earth....

You have the capacity and you are the capacity. The Supreme in you is your capacity.

Sri Chinmoy receives many cards and letters congratulating him on his 28th anniversary in America. One, is from US Senator John Seymour:

“Your continuous efforts to spread the message of peace and hope to citizens across this country and around the world are indeed highly commendable and most worthy of our deepest appreciation.”

 

29th Anniversary

 

An exhibition of 32,000 Soul-Bird drawings opens on April 13th at Kennedy International Airport in New York.

The exhibit of bird drawings by Sri Chinmoy seeks to promote “the cause of international friendship and harmony through art,” says a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is sponsoring the exhibition.  

The birds, symbolising the human soul, are carrying the message of freedom and peace, declares Sri Chinmoy.

“Each bird is a prayer of my heart that I am offering to the highest absolute Lord Supreme to bless us with His Infinity's Freedom and Immortality’s Peace.” 

The small drawings, no more than a couple of inches high, span the upstairs corridor connecting the East and West wings of the air terminal. 

The exhibition runs for several weeks.

 

30th Anniversary

 

Sri Chinmoy’s soulful tributes to his mother Yogamaya on her birth centenary year (born: 8 April 1894) are expressed in poetry and stories in his book, To the Streaming Tears of my Mother’s Heart And To the Brimming Smiles of my Mother’s Soul. It is Sri Chinmoy’s 975th published book.

 

Sri Chinmoy composes a special song for April 13th:

 

Lyrics

I bow to the body of New York.
I bow to the heart of America.
I bow to the soul of the world.
I bow to the infinite Compassion-Ocean
Of my Absolute Lord Beloved Supreme!


Published in Namo Namo Namo Shakti Pujari

 

31st Anniversary

 

Video by kedarvideo

 

Despite storms the evening before, all-day functions for Sri Chinmoy’s April 13th Anniversary are held at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York, on the 13th. In the morning, at 11:00 a.m., Sri Chinmoy meditates with the disciples. The bleachers are full to overflowing and there is pin-drop silence as Sri Chinmoy begins by walking up and down the court, quite briskly, for about thirty minutes. Then Sri Chinmoy sits in his chair and meditates again, calling for various singing groups to come down and sing. In the evening, he sings quite a few of his songs, accompanying himself on the harmonium, and then reads poems from his book Peace-Blossom-Fragrance, part 5.

Sri Chinmoy also receives a Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Science from St. Mark’s Major Seminary and College in Minnesota.

 

32nd Anniversary

 

33rd Anniversary

 

Video by kedarvideo

 

Sri Chinmoy’s April 13th Anniversary is held at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York. In the morning Sri Chinmoy meditates as the Bhajan Singers perform a selection of his spiritual songs.

 

Photo by Pulak Viscardi

 

Later in the day, Sri Chinmoy meets with President Gorbachev and Raisa Maximovna Gorbacheva at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. It is Sri Chinmoy’s 7th meeting with the President.

 

In the evening, at Aspiration-Ground, Sri Chinmoy performs on various instruments like the esraj, the harmonium, the flute and the synthesizer.

 

34th Anniversary

 

35th Anniversary

 

Four Weightlifting Prayers

 

My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme!
Thirty-five years ago
I came from India — the Old World —
To America — the New World.
Before I left,
I prayed to the soul of India
To bless me.
The soul of India compassionately
And tearfully
Fulfilled my desire.
On my arrival here in America,
I prayed to the heart of America
To embrace me.
The heart of America smilingly
And unreservedly embraced me.
My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme!

At 7:10 a.m. before using a seated double-arm machine up to 160 lbs. five times with both arms simultaneously.

 


Listen to Sri Chinmoy reciting this prayer

 

My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme!
Thirty-five years ago
I stoically wanted
To change the world,
But now I am desperately trying
To change myself.
My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme!

At 7:25 a.m. before using a standing double-arm machine up to 160 lbs. with both arms simultaneously.

 


Listen to Sri Chinmoy reciting this prayer

 

My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme!
Thirty-five years ago
I thought that the world
Belonged to the strong,
Both inwardly and outwardly.
But now I see that the world
Belongs to the morally sick
And spiritually weak.
My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme!

At 7:37 a.m. before lifting 230 lbs. forty-three times with one arm. (20 right, 21 left plus once each arm to maximum extension)

 


Listen to Sri Chinmoy reciting this prayer

 

My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme!
Thirty-five years ago
This world of ours
Was clear, pure and certain.
But now, alas, alas,
This world of ours
Is confused, blind and greedy.
My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme!

At 7:48 a.m. before lifting 200 lbs. with both arms simultaneously. (Total: 400 lbs.) Lift number twenty-seven.

 


Listen to Sri Chinmoy reciting this prayer

 


Published in My Morning Soul-Body Prayers, part 4

 

Video by kedarvideo

 

Sri Chinmoy’s April 13th anniversary celebration is held at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York.

 

 

Sri Chinmoy’s 1300th book, entitled The New Millennium, is published by Agni Press in New York.

 

Bulgaria, Estonia and Sweden are declared Sri Chinmoy Peace-Blossom-Nations.

 

On April 18th, 1999, Sri Chinmoy composes a special song for his 35th anniversary in the West:

 

Lyrics

At the age of thirty-two, here I came
To give my dreaming heart’s aspiration-flame.
At the age of thirty-two, here I came
To spread in the U.S.A. my Supreme’s Name.
America gave me a protection-nest,
My God-service-life is treasured by the West.


Published in Miscellaneous Songs 1999

 

36th Anniversary

 

37th Anniversary

Sri Chinmoy receives the Heart of Italy Award.

 

Photos by Adarini Inkei

 

Sri Chinmoy offers a Peace Concert, performing on 30 instruments to an audience of 1,500, at Queens College Auditorium in Flushing, New York.

 

38th Anniversary

 

 

Video by kedarvideo

 

Sri Chinmoy offers a Peace Concert, performing on 38 different instruments in honour of his 38 years in the West, to an audience of 1,300, at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York. At the beginning of the morning function, Sri Chinmoy opens a day of celebrations with a walking meditation and rides on a special golf car in a high state of consciousness.

 

39th Anniversary

 

Photo by Prashphutita Greco

 

Video by kedarvideo

 

The annual 12-Hour Walk finishes early on the morning of the 13th.

Sri Chinmoy celebrates April 13th at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York. And, later in the day, Sri Chinmoy gives the following talk:

 

God-devotion, God-realisation

 

A talk by Sri Chinmoy
at West Colden Auditorium, Queens College, Flushing, New York

 

We shall chant ‘Supreme’ thirty-nine times. Each time we chant “Supreme,” we must feel gratitude inside our hearts, and this gratitude we are offering to our Absolute Lord Beloved Supreme.

My Guru is my Lord Beloved Supreme. Your Guru is the same Guru, the Lord Beloved Supreme. Everybody’s Guru is the Lord Beloved Supreme. The Guru of the entire Universe is the Lord Beloved Supreme. From our soulful and prayerful songs, we come to learn how to increase our devotion to our Absolute Lord Beloved Supreme.

No God-devotion, no God-realisation. No God-devotion, no God-realisation. No God-devotion, no God-realisation.


Published in Our Sweetest Oneness

 

40th Anniversary

 

Sri Chinmoy lifts Madhurima Judith Light
Photo by Adarini Inkei

 

Sri Chinmoy lifts Ambassador Chowdhury
Photo by Adarini Inkei

 

Sri Chinmoy lifts Amritananda Russell Barber
Photo by Adarini Inkei

 

Sri Chinmoy lifts Mahasamrat Bill Pearl and Bhavatarini Judy Pearl (left)
Photo by Adarini Inkei

 

Sri Chinmoy lifts 13 people, including actress Madhurima Judith Light; Bangladeshi Ambassador Anwarul Karim Chowdhury; broadcaster Amritananda Dr. Russell Barber; Five-time Mr. Universe Mahasamrat Bill Pearl and his wife Bhavatarini Judy Pearl; and Mr. America and Mr. Olympia Chris Dickerson, at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York.

Sri Chinmoy receives congratulatory mes­sages from around the world:

“Your compassion and kind spirit shine through your prose and poetry, your music and paintings, and your commitment to alleviate suffering throughout the world.”  — Former US President Bill Clinton

Sri Chinmoy’s life is a “gift to all who have been inspired by your message of peace, understanding and the potential of the human spirit.” — US Senator Joseph Lieberman

“Blazing with brilliance” among the saints and sages who have guided humanity through the ages “is Sri Chinmoy, whose messages of Love and Harmony are solace to the millions of people all over the world.” — Dhiru S. Mehta, Executive Secretary of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in India

 

Photo by Adarini Inkei

 

Video by kedarvideo

 

41st Anniversary

 

The 12-Hour Walk begins at 7 p.m. on April 12th, and finishes at 7 a.m. on April 13th.

All-day celebrations are held at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York where Sri Chinmoy offers a Peace Concert to a gathering of 1,200.

The Day of Smiling

A talk by Sri Chinmoy at Aspiration-Ground

 

All of you kindly smile at me! Today is the day of smiling. Today I came to America, I came to the West, so I expect a smile from all of you. Smile, smile, smile! You have no idea how much strength I get from your smiles! If you do not smile at me, I feel that you weaken me. Since you are so kind to me, I expect only smiles and smiles from you.

It seems that some people have never learnt how to smile during their entire life. Once upon a time I was one of those! In my Ashram life I did not know how to smile. One picture was taken of my boss, Nolini, his wife and me — the three of us together. In that picture I smiled broadly. Nolini said that it was the first time he had seen me smiling!

I had two other names at the Ashram. One was “Fire.” Always people used to see fire inside me. And because of my delicate movement, people used to call me “Japanese Girl.” My movements were delicate, specially when I played ping-pong.


Published in His Compassion is Everything to Us

 

42nd Anniversary

 

Photo by Prashphutita Greco

 

The April 13th celebration is held at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York.

 

On April 10th, 2006, Sri Chinmoy composes a special song for his anniversary in the West:

 

Lyrics

Forty-two years ago,
I came to America,
The land of might and Light,
Heaven and earth-delight.
Eureka, eureka, eureka!


Published in Enthusiasm, Part 11

 

43rd Anniversary

Photo by Adarini Inkei

 

Sri Chinmoy lifts a stone fountain filled with 50 red roses, dedicated to all 50 States of America, at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, Queens, New York.

Reminiscences from April 13th 1964

On April 13th 2007, Sri Chinmoy is asked what the weather was like on his arrival in New York. The question prompts this humorous response:

Curiosity reigns supreme! On April 13th, 1964, at the airport I became curiosity — plus, perhaps, helplessness. An Indian gentleman was so kind to me. He knew that I was lost, completely lost, so he helped me out. He asked me if anybody outside was waiting for me. I said, “Definitely my sponsors are waiting for me.”

The weather was very good, very good, not like today’s weather. I enjoyed everything on the 13th. It was like a dreamland.

When I came to New York, I used to meditate for hours, and I enjoyed window-shopping! Every night I used to meditate and meditate, and then talk to the Lord Buddha. My sponsor, Sam Spanier, had a huge statue of the Lord Buddha that was absolutely alive, alive, alive. I used to meditate and talk, talk, talk to the Lord Buddha.

Greenwich Village! Nowadays I do not know how it is, but in those days it did not have night; it was all day. There were thousands of people in the street. At around three o’clock or three-thirty in the morning I used to go out. My sponsor was shocked. How could I go out at that hour? I said, “There are so many people.” He said, “It is not safe.” Then I believed him, so I stopped going out at three o’clock.

I had another sponsor. Her name was Anne Harrison. She was extremely, extremely devoted and fond of me. Her husband was one of the owners of The New York Times. In her car a doll was hanging. The doll would “tell” her when to turn and when to go forward. Sometimes she would drive through a red light. Why? Because the doll was telling her by moving forward. Then, when there was a green light, if the doll did not move, she did not move. I had to say, “Anne, Anne, I beg of you, when I am in your car, please follow the red lights and the green lights!”

I used to go to Woodstock quite often. Anne Harrison was very kind. Once, on my birthday, she took me to a bakery. She went into the bakery, and I remained inside the car. A policeman came and asked me to move the car. I said, “I do not know how to drive.” He said, “No, you have to go!” The car was on. I saw “R” and I said to myself, “ ‘R’ means ‘right.’ ” I did not know anything about driving. The police car was behind me, and very nicely I dashed against it. The policeman started barking at me. Then Anne came out and started barking at the policeman. She said, “Why did you ask him to drive?” That was a very funny experience, a significant experience. I thought that “R” means right, but “R” means reverse.

Many, many, many happy experiences I had, and many, many, many sad experiences also. The sad experiences I bury forcefully into oblivion. The good experiences, healthy experiences, I try to remember. ...


Published in God-Made, God-Moulded, God-Shaped

 

Another question about his inner experience when his feet first touched the soil of America, evokes more memories for Sri Chinmoy:

Only one thing I can say. When I stepped onto the soil of America, joy and bewilderment, joy and bewilderment in measureless measure I felt. ...

Both joy and fear I felt while walking on the street in New York — tremendous joy, and fear also. Such huge, huge human beings! I could not understand their language, although they were speaking English.

I had a friend who was so kind to me. He was from Brooklyn. His name was John Kelley. Alas, I could not understand anything he was saying. His accent was too much for me! Even now, Brooklyn pronunciation still puzzles me. Queens and Bronx pronunciation I understand, but in Brooklyn, their English is totally different.

I used to type 60, 65 or more words per minute in India. Then, for months I did not practise. A score of 33 was needed for the Indian Consulate, and I got less than 33. John Kelley was so kind, so kind, so kind. When he heard that I needed to practise typewriting, he immediately took me to get a typewriter. At the Ashram I used a Corona that had belonged to President Wilson’s daughter Margaret, whose spiritual name was Nishtha. Then Nolini gave it to me. Here in New York, John Kelley immediately got me a typewriter. I practised a little, and right away I went over 33 words per minute.

That night Mr. Mehrotra’s secretary, who was from the West Indies, phoned me up and said, “Ghose, tomorrow morning come and see Mr. Mehrotra at nine o’clock.”

The next morning Mr. Mehrotra said, “We shall take care of you.” ...


Published in God-Made, God-Moulded, God-Shaped

 

Video by kedarvideo

 

Perhaps the most poignant part of the April 13th programme is when Sri Chinmoy calls for his visiting disciples to pass by him in country groups as he blesses each group with his soulful words, “I bow to the soul of [country]...” The groups arrange in alphabetical order, with Australia first and the final place in the line reserved for the United States of America.

With the passing of Sri Chinmoy later in the year, this is the last time April celebrations are held in his physical presence. Though, each year since, his disciples, friends and well-wishers continue to celebrate this day, to honour Sri Chinmoy’s unparalleled contributions to the world.