Biography of Sri Chinmoy

Introducing Sri Chinmoy's inspirational life and activities...

Introduction and Early Life

What a wonderful thing is the life story of a spiritual Master. The great sages and luminaries who have walked this earth over the centuries – pathfinders like the Christ, Buddha, Krishna and so many others – come to awaken in us a sense of our divinity, to bring a touch of the sacred to our everyday lives and to point the way to a higher, more fulfilling life. From them we come to understand that we are spiritual beings on a journey of awakening – and having made the journey before us, they illumine every step of the way with their wisdom, love and guidance. They remind us of what is best in us and that our spirituality is the greatest force for good on earth. From them we come to understand the true purpose and meaning of our lives. Sri Chinmoy is one such being.

Sri Chinmoy

Sri Chinmoy

In Brief

Sri Chinmoy 14yrs

Sri Chinmoy at 14 years

Sri Chinmoy (pronounced Shree Chin-moy) was born on August 27, 1931 as Chinmoy Kumar Ghose in the village of Shakpura, Chittagong, in East Bengal (now Bangladesh). He is a spiritual teacher well known for his prolific legacy of published writings, musical compositions, art and poetry and for his lifelong commitment to world harmony. During the past four decades Sri Chinmoy has inspired a worldwide organisation that seeks to encourage and foster a brighter future for humanity through initiatives in sports, music, the teaching of meditation and humanitarian aid. His vast body of creative works and diverse activities are unified by this single purpose. Sri Chinmoy has lived in New York city since 1964.

Early Life

Seventy-four year-old Sri Chinmoy was the youngest of seven children, the son of Shashi Kumar Ghose, a railway inspector and later founder of a small Chittagong bank, and Yogamaya Ghose. During his childhood Sri Chinmoy was known by the affectionate Bengali nickname Madal, meaning 'kettledrum', a reference to his noisiness and liveliness. Prophetically, Yogamaya said of her son, "My Madal is destined to be played on by the gods and goddesses in the skies!".

When Sri Chinmoy was 11 his father died – a year later his mother Yogamaya also passed away and the young Madal left Bengal permanently to join several of his family members in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in South India. Sri Chinmoy spent the next two decades immersing himself in the dynamic culture of a large and active ashram. He was a talented athlete and excelled as a sprinter and decathlete; wrote and published frequent articles and poems, the beginnings of a prolific literary career; and developed a profound love for meditation which he would often practise for up to fourteen hours a day. On April 13th, 1964, at the age of 32, Sri Chinmoy moved to the West to share, like Vivekananda and other Indian sages before him, the teachings of India and to serve the goal of world harmony. (More: Life of Sri Chinmoy)


Yogamaya – Sri Chinmoy's Mother


Sri Chinmoy was born into a Hindu family but is best known for his deep respect for all religions and spiritual paths and his own deep love for God. In his own words: "True religion has a universal quality. It does not find fault with other religions. Forgiveness, compassion, tolerance, brotherhood and the feeling of oneness are the signs of a true religion". "Spirituality is not hospitality to the other's faith in God. It is the absolute recognition of the other's faith in God as one's own."

In a significant tribute, in both 1993 and 2004 Sri Chinmoy was invited to offer the opening meditation at the Plenary session of the Parliament of the World's Religions, which forms the largest gathering of spiritual and religious leaders and organisations in history. Sri Chinmoy has promoted many interfaith activities to encourage religious unity and goodwill – often at the United Nations where he shares silent non-denominational meditations with UN leaders, staff members and diplomats each week.

Sri Chinmoy with Mother Teresa

Sri Chinmoy with Mother Teresa

Sri Chinmoy was a close personal friend of the late Mother Teresa and has met with many religious leaders to discuss religious harmony. Sri Chinmoy, however, describes his own teachings and guidelines as a spiritual path, not a religion, thus focusing on inner development and personal practice rather than a framework of formal beliefs.

Next: Biography of Sri Chinmoy – Part 2

This biography has been translated into the following languages

Espanol: Biografia – The Sri Chinmoy Centre of Spain. Japanese: Biography – The Sri Chinmoy Centre of Japan. Deutsch: Biographie Sri Chinmoys – The Sri Chinmoy Centre of Germany. Dutch: Biografie van Sri Chinmoy – The Sri Chinmoy Centre of Nederland.