Sri Chinmoy was born in East Bengal, India (now Bangladesh) in 1931. When orphaned at the age of 13, he entered the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in south India, where he prayed and meditated for several hours a day, having many deep inner experiences. He also took an active part in ashram life and was decathlete champion for several years. It was here that he first began writing poetry to convey his widening mystical vison.
After coming to the United States in 1964, Sri Chinmoy continued his literary activities – eventually completing thousands of poems, essays and questions and answers, as well as large numbers of paintings, drawings and songs. His poetry touches upon virtually every aspect of the spiritual journey – from the struggles and wonderment of the young pilgrim to the ecstatic realizations of the illumined Master. His prose is equally encompassing – focusing on man’s relationship with God, global peace, worlds beyond the mind and the vast universe within. Viewed as a whole, his writings offer a unique, deeply spiritual, luminous world view.
Sri Chinmoy’s creative output grew out of his work as a teacher and man of peace. During the years he lived in the West, he opened more than 100 meditation Centres worldwide and served as spiritual guide to multitudes of students. He offered twice-weekly meditations at the United Nations and gave hundreds of peace concerts in Canada and overseas. In addition, he founded the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, a biennial Olympic-style Relay in which runners pass a flaming peace torch from hand to hand as they travel around the globe. He also promoted international good will through his own athletic endeavors, running, tennis and weightlifting, and towards the end of his life worked tirelessly to encourage peace through sports. Sri Chinmoy passed away in 2007 at the age of 76.
Sri Chinmoy visited Halifax on four occasions. He offered talks on spiritual philosophy at Dalhousie University and 2 Peace Concerts at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium. During the Peace Concerts, Sri Chinmoy performed on many instruments including the esraj, flute, harmonium and keyboard, interspersed with moments of meditative silence. He also offered a Lifting Up the World program in Point Pleasant Park and performed an extemporaneous piece on the organ at St. Mary’s Basilica. While in Halifax he continued his own daily running and commented on how hilly Halifax is. It seems he ran up Citadel Hill.
The longest certified race in the world, inspired by Sri Chinmoy and organized by his students, is the 3100 mile race held annually in New York City.
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