At the age of seventy-five, Sri Chinmoy is a man who is truly living his own philosophy of spirituality, self-transcendence and going beyond the mind. Sri Chinmoy is an artist, a poet, a writer, a musician, and an athlete, but first and foremost he is a man of deep prayer and meditation.
Sri Chinmoy says:"I try to be integral — physically, vitally, mentally, psychically and spiritually. I feel that we should do everything together. That is why I do so many different things. God gave us the body, vital, mind and heart. Each one is part of our existence. We try to bring the best out of them for manifestation. Whatever is good inside the body should be brought forward for its manifestation, whatever is good inside the mind and so on."
From an early age Sri Chinmoy embodied a tremendous spiritual depth, which he developed during the early years of his life in his motherland of India. When he moved to America in 1964, Sri Chinmoy met with many people who had a sincere interest in his teachings and philosophy.
Sri Chinmoy has dedicated his life to inspiring and serving people from all walks of life to go beyond their mental limitations and seek the higher deeper reality that we all have within us. He uses the term "self-transcendence", and in all of his different activities, from art to writing to music to sports, he shows that when you can silence the doubting, restless and limited mind and operate from the peaceful and unlimited source within you, it is not only possible, but also inevitable that you will find true satisfaction, happiness and meaning in your life.
Sri Chinmoy was thirty-three years old when he first came to America. He enjoyed many different sports, but his favorite was running, and he has participated in many running races from 100 metres up to ultra marathon distance. He founded the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, which puts on hundreds of "Self-transcendence" races of all different lengths every year around the world. Leading by example, he actively encourages his meditation students, friends and admirers to run. He sees many parallels between spirituality and running, or what he calls "The outer running and the inner running". He says:
"The physical and the spiritual are of equal importance. For us, the physical is the temple and the spiritual is the shrine. If there is no shrine inside a temple, people will laugh. What kind of temple is it? Again, if there is no temple, the shrine will not exist for long. So the temple and the shrine, the body and the soul, go together."
In 1985, due to injury, Sri Chinmoy could not run so easily, so he took up the sport of weightlifting, and made incredible progress in his weightlifting capacities. Sri Chinmoy says;
- "Weightlifting goes side by side with this work. Everything that inspires a human being to be a better citizen of the world is good and divine. As a poet, if I can write inspirational poems, then definitely they will serve humanity’s aspiration. As an artist, if I can draw something beautiful and soulful, then again it serves and inspires mankind. As a singer and composer, it is the same. No matter what I do, if there is aspiration behind it, then that aspiration enters into mankind as inspiration. When I am composing or performing or doing anything else, the capacity of my aspiration will eventually enter into human beings as inspiration, and they will derive much benefit from it.
- The things that I am doing are not my sole monopoly. Everybody can try them and everybody, if they are sincere and dedicated, will reach their goal. When I do weightlifting, I pray and meditate. When I compose songs, I pray and meditate. It is the prayer and meditation in each and every activity of mine that is helping me and others. But this aspiration-life is for all. Everybody wants to succeed. Everybody wants to achieve personal goals in his inner life or his outer life. Everybody wants to be a better person, to make progress, to go beyond. And the best and fastest way to do these things is to use prayer and meditation along with the outer things that are required to achieve the goal."
Nowadays, at the age of 75, Sri Chinmoy is still exercising very regularly, usually for around 3 hours a day,transcending his weightlifting achievements, and even running short distances, despite contending with serious shoulder and leg injuries. He strongly feels that age is in the mind and not in the heart;
"The important thing is not to use the mind when age is descending upon you. Only use the heart. Just say, "At this point I have to blossom in this way; at that time I had to blossom in a different way. A few years from now I will have to blossom in a totally different way." Each moment has its own most significant beauty. When the time comes, when your life-flower is fully blossomed, then it will be able to give much more joy and fragrance to mankind."