Anahata Nada, Vol. 1, No. 3 – February 28, 1974.
Decathlon Poet: 200 Poems1 in 22 Hours
The yogi’s concentrated power and the poet’s soaring vision joined for a brief interlude earlier this month to produce a truly unparalleled achievement.
In a 22-hour period on Feb. 2, Sri Chinmoy wrote 200 poems in one sitting. That comes to one poem every six and a half minutes. In point of fact, however, the pace was even faster, since he interrupted his writing stride for at least one hour when he left his house to conduct a meditation for his Manhattan Centre meeting that evening.
The Master began writing at one minute after midnight, and concluded at 10:01 that evening. Then, in the next few minutes – just for the joy of it – he dictated an additional eight poems.
He does not find it difficult to write poetry, he said afterwards. Normally when one writes, he explained, one must wait for “the bird of inspiration to make its appearance.” But because of his own spiritual power, he said, when the bird flies by “I just grab it.”
Some of the poems he wrote while lying on his bed; others he wrote or dictated while sitting downstairs on his living-room chair. The whole house, but especially his bedroom, was literally charged with concentration, and the force was so palpable and intense that those required to disturb him for one reason or another did so with almost a muted sense of awe.
At 5:30 in the morning two disciples began typing up the poems he had written up to that point. They were the first of a long procession of typists, proofreaders, artists, printers, collators and binders – all disciples – who transformed the handwritten manuscripts into actual printed books in a massive cooperative effort.
As Sri Chinmoy was writing his third group of 50 poems, for example, two disciple-owned printing operations – Sri Chinmoy Lighthouse and Vishma Press – were getting ready to print the first two 50-poem series. Beginning at 12 noon that day, they worked all through the night and by noon the following day Feb. 3, had printed four volumes of 50 poems each. In this way the Master’s spiritual children helped bring their Guru’s achievement to full fruition.
The four volumes became part of a new 1,000-poem series Sri Chinmoy is writing called “The Golden Boat.” The first volume was printed by AUM Press of the San Juan, Puerto Rico Centre, and these four books constitute volumes two through five.
A large group of disciples were gathered at the Master’s house as the boxes of books were brought in from the two presses, ink still wet. As each group of printers arrived, they were greeted with loud applause. This joyful atmosphere persisted into the next week, when there was a big party to celebrate the achievement. Many of the disciples brought their Master gifts, which were carried up to him inside a large wooden boat. The disciples sang songs and told jokes, mimicked one another in impromptu skits, and performed feats of magic. The evening was topped off by a meal cooked by the New Jersey Centre.
Anahata Nada was the longest-running newsletter of the Sri Chinmoy Centre. It was first published on January 1, 1974, and chronicled Sri Chinmoy’s life and activities for over three decades until 2007.