How did the spiritual life change you?

Max talks about how following a spiritual path changed his outlook on life and about himself. Max found that being on Sri Chinmoy's Path helped him to overcome insecurity and uncertainty, but gain a new self-confidence founded upon inner peace.

Encounters with Sri Chinmoy

In this video Chidananda describes the joy of being with Sri Chinmoy in person. For Chidananda the great value of being with his spiritual Teacher was not the outer conversation, but the inner meditation and sense of spiritual light.

An airport meditation experience

Jogyata describes a meditation experience with Sri Chinmoy in a busy airport, and how he learned that meditation is something that you can do any time of day, no matter where you are.

Progress-Pilgrimage: A 1200km run from Vienna to Paris

In early 2019, Shamita ran from her home in Austria to Paris. This short video shows some of the experiences she had on her 16-day adventure.

My first Guru

by Adarini Inkei
Geneva, Switzerland

Often I would call my Dad 'Guru' and Guru 'Dad'. It used to bother me that my tongue would play this type of trick. So one day, in a sweet, relaxed moment while chatting with my Guru, Sri Chinmoy, I casually asked him why this was happening to me. Guru gently replied, "It is quite normal. Your father brought you to me, so he was your first Guru".

This is why this story is mostly about how my father became Guru’s disciple, and why I will be eternally grateful to him.

Many years before this incarnation of mine, my father was having a rough time in Hungary. His father had died of poisonous water during the Second World War. At that time my father was four years old. But before that, something unusual had already happened. At the time of my father’s birth, my grandfather found a Guru and became vegetarian, which was very unusual at that time in a goulash-lovers’ country. My father maintained that diet in a fanatical manner even during his orphanage years.

Now we jump forward to when my father was 15 years of age. Being in a Communist country, the advantage was that playing sports was free. My father did judo and gymnastics as extracurricular activities. One day during recreation, my father helped a boy who had been beaten up by five bigger boys. In those days, fights among classmates were quite brutal. At the end of that one they were asking "to whom this ear belongs."

My Dad, despite having grown up without any religious background, made a deal with the Supreme: if the Supreme helped him escape from Communism, he would go and light a candle in the church every day. Then and there my father started planning his escape. Skipping a few incredible details, I will go straight to the juicy story. At that time he was 20 years old and the Hungarian Revolution had just started. The escape agent had been caught right in front of my father by the Hungarian military. Now my father was lost in the forest and started walking aimlessly, looking for a way out, when suddenly a light came straight out of his heart, guiding him out of the forest. It must have been amazing not knowing anything about spirituality, trusting basically the only thing that shone on earth at this moment of despair.

After many other quite unusual episodes, my Dad then boarded a truck with other escaping Hungarians. He was hoping for the final crossing to the other side, the 'free world'. This was when something more amazing happened – something that really shows that, when the Supreme wants you to be somewhere, He will find an instrument anywhere. The story goes something like this: The truck in which my father was hiding got pulled over by the Hungarian military and all the refugees were held at gunpoint outside the truck – except my father, who was the last one to exit the truck. He was held back with a rifle pointed at him. His first thought was, "That’s it, he’s going to shoot". But you will not believe what happened. Remember the boy that my father helped in a fight when he was 15 years old? Well, yes – it was him! He recognised my father and let him pass through the border.

On the Austrian side, all the refugees had to wait for the proper papers and a country of adoption. My father’s first choice was Sweden, but fate chose otherwise. In the office that helped all the exiled Hungarians was a man whom my father knew. He was in charge of sending people to Switzerland. So, within a very short time my father was sent to Winterthur, a Swiss city. This was another miracle, as some of the other refugees had to wait a very long time to get a country of adoption.

As promised, my father’s quest for spirituality got really intense – or rather, the Supreme’s promise to guide my father to Guru was fulfilled in October 1971. In a violent dream involving being shot at by arrows, my father ran to escape the arrows. Then, suddenly, a brick wall appeared with an image of a face on it. This was where my father took the ultimate leap of faith. He jumped into the face and woke up.

Six months later, in March of 1972 on a poster on a Geneva wall, my father recognised the same face he had seen in his dream. Recently, going through my father’s collection of photos and poems of Guru, I discovered the poster that 'found' my father on a Geneva street. The face on it was none other than Sri Chinmoy's transcendental photograph - the one his students use for meditation every day.

According to my research, in March 1972 a lecture on meditation was given by a Japanese disciple of Sri Chinmoy living in England; presumably the lecture advertised in the poster and the one my father went to. In those days, to be accepted by Guru you just had to send a letter and a photo directly to Guru’s house. Guru would respond himself with a letter. And this was how I became at the age of 7 a devoted, loving disciple of my Beloved Guru.

Guru actually came in June of the same year to Geneva and again in the summer of 1973. My father had organised a conference for Guru. All my family went to wait for Guru at the airport. We then invited Guru to our small apartment to have tea and some delicious pink cake that my mother had specially made. We had photos of Guru on the wall and to us, the kids, Guru was our uncle.

I remember Guru touching our heads, my sister, my brother and me. This was my first conscious blessing. Even though on the outer plane I had no idea what was going on, I loved my 'uncle'; he was so beautiful. We also had a lovely boat trip with Guru. I think my first surrender-moment was when we were asked to sit next to Guru for a photo. I remember being squished under Guru’s arm next to my brother. I could not even lift my head, so tightly was I held there. What a blessing I got! But back then I was probably wondering how I could escape.

That evening Guru wanted my mother to come to the conference, so Guru requested Kailash, another Swiss disciple, to babysit us. I don’t remember how we behaved and I hope Kailash has forgotten – we the little monsters! We also had a picnic in a park where I was wondering why people were sitting so far away from Guru. He was all alone under a tree, writing. He looked so beautiful.

So this is the story of how my father and I became disciples. My father passed away in September 2003. During his years as a disciple he had many incredible inner experiences that only an Avatar such as our Guru can reveal to his student. Since we joined, it has been transformation at the speed of a bullet – even though I know that many opportunities were missed that could have made us fly much faster. But our Guru will never give up. He gives and gives and gives, even when our head hits the wall. My gratitude to my Beloved Guru is measureless for Eternity.

Cross-posted from us.srichinmoycentre.org

Running for peace in the South Pacific

Nirbhasa describes his recent experiences on the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, explaining how the team of Peace Runners were warmly welcomed by local residents who instinctively recognised the value of sharing this message of Peace. As part of the 2019 Southern Hemisphere Peace Run, Nirbhasa visited Bali, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and the Soloman Islands.

Meditation: you make progress just by doing it

Many people give up meditation and the spiritual life just because they feel that they are 'no good' at it, or they are not making immediate progress. Jogyata explains that it is important not to judge your progress, and that just by doing it every day, you are progressing steadily towards your goal.

If a little meditation can give you this kind of experience...

by Pragya Gerig
Nuremberg, Germany

I grew up in a little village in the countryside, where being Catholic and going to church at least once a week was a must. When I was a little girl I asked my mother, "How do you pray?" She told me, "You just have to imagine talking directly to God." This was the best part of my spiritual education.



When I turned 20 I moved to Nuremberg. In Nuremberg I attended services at different churches, but there I felt nothing. At the same time I heard for the first time of the teachings of Sri Krishna and Buddha. I learned that they had taught the same principles as Jesus – love, devotion, compassion, forgiveness. I felt confused, and since I often doubted certain things in the institution of the church, I stopped going altogether. I thought, "I will just be open to everything – one day I will find the right faith for me."

After I stopped going to church, I sometimes woke up in the middle of the night screaming and having the really intense feeling, "I have forgotten something!" At that time I did not consciously know what I had forgotten; but unconsciously I was searching for a connecting link with God. I converted from Catholic to Protestant and listened to various spiritual talks. Finally I went regularly to a Christian student community at the university. Whomever I met and felt inspired by, I asked: “Do you know the way to talk to God?” Even the priest at the university was asked this question. Every semester we had a brochure about the whole programme in this student community – from meditation to theatre practice. Finally the priest agreed to add one more item: “Talks about God.” Every programme was well attended, except for that one – it seemed nobody wanted to talk about God.

Then, finally, I thought I had found what I was looking for. In this student community I met some really inspiring girls who belonged to a Christian group. They lived a pure life – like nuns – in a normal world, with an open heart, and tried to be a shining example to the rest of the world. I was really impressed by them – how they behaved, and how strong their belief was. So I thought, “That‘s my new way.”

For years my boyfriend had been doing a kind of meditation of his own. Often I used to scold him, “That‘s just a waste of time, sitting there and doing nothing.” In the meantime my boyfriend had read a book about occult practices, and I thought, “Either I find him a meditation group that suits him, or I have to break up with him.”

Soon I discovered a poster for a lecture about meditation. It took me a whole day to convince him to come with me. The lecture and the person who gave it were not to my taste – I found everything quite boring. I would have left after five minutes, but my boyfriend insisted on staying, since I had bothered him the whole day and forced him to come with me. So I stayed until the end and even took a leaflet about their books with me.

One or two weeks later I got the idea that I could try to do meditation on my own. I found a little booklet with a simple meditation technique, where you imagine the sun in your heart. I was sitting there for maybe ten minutes, imagining the sun in my heart, and when I opened my eyes, I was overwhelmed with what I saw. Thousands of streaks of light were coming out of my body and mirroring my subtle body, so that I was just facing my subtle self. I thought, “If a little meditation can give you this kind of experience, how will it be when you really meditate?” At that moment I remembered the leaflet with the books about meditation and immediately ordered the book Meditation by Sri Chinmoy.

When I got the book and started reading, I thought, “That‘s what I have been looking for all along!” In previous years I had tried to read a few books about Zen, but I always fell asleep after a few pages. This book I could read for hours, and it contained all the themes I always wanted to know about. So, Zen meditation was not meant for me in this incarnation. I fell in love with the meditation book and read it a few times within a week – but I had a kind of fear when I saw the pictures of Guru. Then the idea came to me: "You just have to look in the eyes of the picture. There you will see the truth." 

The photo from the Meditation book.

So I took the photo which was captioned 'Sri Chinmoy demonstrates contemplation' and looked into his eyes.

 As soon as I looked into his eyes, my heart started racing – really fast and hard. Light was streaming into me, and it felt like an explosion of light in my heart. I could see my whole body filled with glowing light. Before, I had read in the leaflet that Sri Chinmoy was a sportsman. At that moment I was directly connected with Sri Chinmoy, and so inwardly I said, "I am very sorry, but I have to shut the book! I am not a sportsman like you. I think I will get a heart attack if I don‘t close the book!" I never, ever had this kind of racing heartbeat before or afterwards. I closed the book and was sure that I had found a real Master.

From that moment on, the only wish of my heart was to become a student of this Master. Within a few days I wrote to the address listed in the book and asked how I could become a disciple. One month after I got the book I was accepted as a disciple.

One month after I had sent in my picture, my boyfriend sent in his picture, too. When I told him my experiences while doing meditation, he said to himself, “What she can do, I can do, too.” And later he confessed that within three month he had made more progress than during the previous seven years, when he was meditating on his own.

I am eternally grateful that I got the chance to meet my Guru, and to be his disciple.

Cross-posted from us.srichinmoycentre.org

I want what he has

It was 1978, and I had just moved to New York, to finish my Bachelor of Music degree at Manhattan School of Music. A friend invited me to come to see Sri Chinmoy at a public meditation. At that time Sri Chinmoy used to offer a public meditation once a week at St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University. I had not practised formal meditation at that time, and also did not know what having a Master meant for one’s spiritual life. I had taken some classes in Kundalini Yoga, mostly for relaxation, but did not feel at home with it. A few years before, an acquaintance kept asking me, "Have you read the Upanishads yet?" He asked so many times that I ended up walking into a bookstore and requesting a copy of the Upanishads. So I started reading the Upanishads. Some passages I found beautiful, while other passages were incomprehensible to me.

On this particular evening in July of 1978 I entered St. Paul’s Chapel without any expectation. After all, I did not know what a spiritual Master was, and I did not know what meditation was, either. I had been searching for the Truth for a few years, but did not know how to find it! My only advantage that night was that this search of mine had left me quite empty inwardly, bereft of many things that might otherwise have stood in the way... I remember walking up the steps of the chapel that night feeling fresh, with no expectations, as I was totally ignorant of what meditation was, and what a spiritual Master was as well.

Sri Chinmoy during a public meditation

I remember sitting in the middle of that church, which holds maybe 2,000 people, and waiting. Sri Chinmoy walked in, dressed in a light blue dhoti. He sat on a floor-level chair with a back support, a chair without legs, on one of the platforms leading to the main altar of this church. He folded his hands in prayer, bowed to the audience, and then proceeded to start meditating in silence.

I did not know how to meditate, and did not know what to do, so I started admiring the architecture of this magnificent church. In Puerto Rico most of our churches are much smaller! During this process of admiring the architecture of the church, I noticed that a cloud of light was advancing from the front of the church, where Sri Chinmoy was, towards the back. This cloud of light seemed to be expanding! So I looked at it in admiration, and asked myself in silence, "What is this light, and where does it come from?"

As soon as I said this, I felt the cloud of light had reached me, and entered into me! This had a most wonderful effect: I felt that this light had washed me completely. It felt, as the evangelicals say in Puerto Rico, como un río de agua viva (like a river of living water), and I felt that it had purified me. I could feel I was washed, divinely washed, inside myself, and I felt real purity.

At this point I felt the need to look at Sri Chinmoy, and as I did, I saw that he was emanating this beautiful light. He was still meditating in silence, but was glowing with this beautiful light which I had just experienced. Immediately I said to myself, "Oh, it’s coming from him!" No sooner had I said this than I felt my heart jumping with joy and saying: "We found it! This is what we have been looking for! We’re home!" It felt like I had a very small child jumping on my shoulder, right next to my left ear. It was so powerful, so vivid, that my mind had no chance to doubt this experience.

Feeling my own joy, I thought, "This is the greatest joy I have felt in my life. I have tried everything, but this is the greatest joy. I am willing to follow this man’s instructions, because I want what he has!" After the meditation was over, one of Sri Chinmoy’s students announced that those who were interested in becoming Sri Chinmoy’s disciples could come and meditate with him. I stood up without thinking!

Sri Chinmoy was then seated on a white chair, towards the right of the church. I knelt in front of him and he asked me my name, and what I did, and then smiled. I had this overwhelming emotion inside me which prompted me to say, "I want to be your disciple, because I have this tremendous need for purity!" I had intuitively felt that his inner light, which I experienced during the meditation, was the purity my heart and soul wanted. Sri Chinmoy smiled.

So this is how my discipleship started.

Cross-posted from us.srichinmoycentre.org

I became conscious and that was it

by Rupantar LaRusso
New York

Rupantar is the race director for the ultradistance races we put on in the New York area, including the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile race - the world's longest race.

I was a classic unconscious seeker. I was an English literature major in college. I remember I was in my last semester and I had to write out a curriculum listing the courses I wanted to take. I saw a course on Eastern religions. I knew nothing about it and enjoyed reading; that was why I had taken that literature major. So I thought, “Let’s take this course.”



It was during the second class that the teacher mentioned the word “meditation”. I had never heard the word before. I thought, “Gee, that sounds interesting.” So I got on the line to talk to the teacher and ask him if he could recommend a book on meditation. I was interested to read a book on meditation. At that time there was a disciple of Sri Chinmoy’s in the class. He told me afterwards that he never, ever did this before: he just walked up to me and interrupted me on the line and started talking to me. Basically, as soon as he spoke one word, I became a disciple. I had never heard the words ‘meditation’ or ‘yoga’ before – nothing. I was an Italian, living in New Rochelle, in a narrow environment. But as soon as he said one word, that was it. Becoming vegetarian – no problem; cutting your hair – no problem (I never had long hair anyway). There were no problems for me at all. I was lucky. I was totally unconscious, and as soon as he said one word I became conscious and that literally was it.

I asked this disciple hundreds of questions every day. I became a member of the Connecticut Centre in Wilton. At that time (May 1971), the Centre was getting quite big and it was difficult to see Guru (Sri Chinmoy) during the meditation. What was unique was that, after the meditation, Guru would come downstairs and sit with us and everyone would be eating cookies and drinking milk right in front of Guru. You could just go up to Guru and say, “Hi, Guru, how are you?” Guru was there for everyone to talk to.

Cross-posted from us.srichinmoycentre.org

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