Lifting Up the World
Dreamer of World Peace
by Palash Bosgang
For over thirty years Sri Chinmoy has tirelessly dedicated his life to the pursuit of world peace and to the fulfillment of the unlimited potential of the human spirit. A prolific author, poet, artist, and musician, an enthusiastic athlete, and a respected spiritual leader, Sri Chinmoy has inspired and encouraged millions of people the world over to discover the wellspring of peace and fulfillment that lies deep within each of us.
Born in India, Sri Chinmoy is a modern spiritual Renaissance Man whose life is an example to all of us of the unlimited potential present in the human spirit. Following are just some of his many accomplishments:
Meetings with World Leaders
In his wholehearted quest for peace and understanding, Sri Chinmoy has shared heartfelt moments of mutual inspiration and encouragement with heads of state, religious leaders, and luminaries. In addition to those pictured, Sri Chinmoy has met with such leaders as U Thant and three other UN Secretaries-General, Czech President Vaclav Havel, King Birendra of Nepal, Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Maestro Pablo Casals and legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin.
Service to the United Nations
In the spring of 1970, at the invitation of the United Nations Secretary General U-Thant, Sri Chinmoy began leading twice weekly Peace Meditations at the UN for delegates and staff. Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations, as this meditation group is now called, also sponsors an ongoing series of programs, lectures and concerts to promote world peace, often in cooperation with UN Member States as well as with organizations supporting the ideals and goals of the United Nations.
Musician and Composer
Sri Chinmoy has offered more than five hundred peace concerts to half a million people around the globe, always free of charge. Peace Concerts have been performed at many of the worlds most prestigious concert halls, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York and the Royal Albert Hall in London. He has also performed at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, and at private performances in Presidential Palaces. In concert, Sri Chinmoy performs on a dozen or more instruments. He has composed over 14,000 songs which, in their lyrics and in their melodies, explore the length and breadth of the aspiring human experience.
Author and Poet
In nearly 1,200 books of poetry, essays, stories and plays, Sri Chinmoy conveys the richness and diversity of the quest for peace and self-understanding. His books have been translated into twenty-four languages and have been published by Simon & Schuster, Harper & Row, Hazelden, Health Communications, Herder & Herder and others.
Sri-Chinmoys vast outpouring of artistic works has given joy and inspiration to people at galleries worldwide. He calls his art Jharna-Kala - Fountain Art in his native Bengali - to signify art flowing from the Source of inspiration. His works include more than 150,000 acrylic and watercolor paintings, as well as over seven million peace-bird drawings which symbolize peace and the freedom of the soul.
Oneness-Home Peace Run
In 1987 Sri Chinmoy founded the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, historys longest and largest relay run for peace. This annual event has brought together millions of people from different cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs in the spirit of friendship and harmony. While passing a flaming Peace Torch from hand to hand and heart to heart, participants in the Peace Run have covered over 250,000 miles -- the distance to the moon -- in seventy countries on all seven continents.
The Sri Chinmoy International Peace-Blossoms is a family of nearly 600 significant landmarks in fifty nations dedicated as daily reminders of the need for peace. The Peace-Blossoms family includes the capitals of Canada, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Scotland, Wales, Zimbabwe and Fiji; the Matterhorn and the highest mountains of eleven countries; Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls, Lake Baikal and the Great Barrier Reef; the entire border between Russia and Norway; hundreds of cities; bridges joining a dozen nations; the Sydney Opera House; and international airports.
A Vision of Peace
Honors and Awards
Sri Chinmoy has received numerous awards, proclamations and honorary degrees in honor of the diverse ways in which he has enriched the lives of others and his work towards the betterment of humanity. These include the Ghandi Peace Award (jointly received with Coretta Scott King) and UNESCOs Nehru Medallion.
Weightlifter, Runner, and Athlete
Sri Chinmoy advocates physical fitness as a means of developing ones outer capacity and inner potential. He is himself an avid tennis player, sprinter, jumper and record-holding weightlifter, and he has completed twenty-one marathons and five ultramarathons. He is also the founder of the international Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, which sponsors more than 500 athletic events annually, including the worlds longest race.
Through numerous creative and personal endeavors, Sri Chinmoy has fostered love, admiration and respect for all religions. He has shared soulful and prayerful discussions with leaders from all faiths, and was invited to offer the opening meditation at the First Plenary Session of the 1993 Parliament of the Worlds Religions, the most representative gathering of religious leaders in history, as well as an interfaith program to honor UN Secretary General Kofi-Annan.
International Peace Centers
For three decades Sri Chinmoy has been fostering peace in the aspiring heart of humanity through the Sri Chinmoy Centers International. The Centers are composed of individuals from all faiths and walks of life who seek to cultivate harmony and goodwill both in themselves and in their communities. In 350 cities and towns around the globe, members of the Sri Chinmoy Centers promote peace through a wide range of innovative grassroots programs.
In Sri Chinmoys words, Peace means a flood of love in the world family.