Wed May 26, 2004
by Agragati Siegel
I arrived in New York at half past six in the evening on May 22. A quick bite to eat and I was on my way to prepare for the evening function at Aspiration-Ground. Along with my usual travel gear was an unusual item. It was a record from the sixties that featured the voice of Rabindranath Tagore reciting his poems and songs. Sri Chinmoy is a huge fan of India's greatest poet and Nobel Prize winner, and this album would surely interest him. I was given direction to obtain it from Dharmaja, who posts regularly on this forum. Mridanga indicated that he would get it to Sri Chinmoy when he could.
Sri Chinmoy arrived at the Aspiration-Ground tennis court around 9PM. He sat quietly for a few minutes, and then began. "Please come and practice the song." He had composed a new song that very morning. He had set words by the great Swami Vivekananda to music, and now he wanted his advanced singers to perfect it. About fifty singers, mostly women, stood in front of him and sang it. The words in the beginning are something to the effect of "The real God- seekers never declare God's failure."
Following the singing practice, Sri Chinmoy called down Akuli. She had written a poem about Sri Chinmoy purely in Bengali, which is impressive, considering that she is a native Westerner. He was prepared to read out her poem when he noticed a few small errors in the piece. He asked her to fix them; he promised he would read it out in the near future. Sri Chinmoy told her that he was extremely proud of her Bengali writing capacity, calling her a "true Bengali scholar."
The evening program called for five live plays and one video- recorded play. The first was an offering by Vijali about a horse who wanted to have a longer neck and legs. It was then turned into a camel. Sad and upset, it begged to be changed back to its original condition. The moral of the story was not to desire physical changes but to be happy with what one has been given by God.
The second play was by Databir with Abakash, Pulak, Pradhan, and Adhiratha as a young Sri Chinmoy. It featured a story of Papali, one of the prominent disciples of Sri Aurobindo, the great spiritual Master. It detailed the interaction that Sri Chinmoy had with him when he was a young man. Papali was teaching a poem that would be recited to the Mother of the ashram. He asked each student to recite the words. When Sri Chinmoy gave his version, the teacher kicked him out of the class, saying that his was so radically different that it was unacceptable. The group performed their recitation for the Mother. Later in the story, young Chinmoy was invited by his teacher to teach his version to the class. He wanted to see which version the Mother would like more. They then performed Chinmoy's version in front of her. She immediately declared that she appreciated it more. It was a lesson in humility for Papali.
Next was a play featuring Tanima, visualizing a classic story about Sri Chaitanya and another writer (Raghunath), who were together in a boat. Raghunath was jealous of Sri Chaitanya, whose words were infinitely more powerful than the ones he had written.
Aushadi and Utthal performed a story of how a weak person asked a stronger one to carry some packages to the market. The stronger one made a deal with him that allowed the possibility of keeping the items himself. The weaker one utilized his friend's greed and tricked him into carrying all the packages for him. The story, which was narrated by Vikramadita, showed how one may have a weak body, but if his mind is strong, he can utilize it to accomplish something which he couldn't otherwise do.
Sri Chinmoy later invited his students onto the tennis court ground to catch a better view of a videoed play performance. It detailed a moment in the life of the Buddha. At the end of the video, Lord Buddha has a dialogue with his best disciple, Ananda, about manifesting truth here on earth. The costumes, set, and acting were on a very high level. Sitting in close proximity to Sri Chinmoy, I was able to clearly observe his movements. At times he would be very concentrated on the video, at others, he was in a meditative mood. It was a great joy to be there.
Finally, he called for prasad: an orange, a delicious dark chocolate, Japanese crackers, an apricot, a frozen fruit bar, mango lassi, the infamous Rhajbog Indian spice mix, and a spicy samosa. He read out the names of those who had contributed the items.
Recently Sri Chinmoy spoke of 4 doctors: the medicine doctor, the prayer doctor, the faith doctor, and the God Doctor. He noted that for the most fulfilling results these 4 doctors work together.
Tue Jun 22, 2004
by Kamalakanta Nieves
The Father's Day function lasted over 6 hours. I do not remember at what exact time Sri Chinmoy got there, but it was between 11:00 and 11:30 a.m.
First, there was a silent meditation, and then he proceeded to perform music. The esraj performance was extraordinary. At one point Sri Chinmoy started improvising on the esraj. Quite modern, I have to say!
Secondly, Sri Chinmoy sang while playing the harmonium. His voice is so beautiful! Recently he had a severe cold, and could not sing for weeks. I am very happy to see that his voice has come back.
Then he played the sitar. If you listen closely, you will notice he is doing something new on the sitar, which makes it sound more like a traditional sitar sound (not that I know too much about that!).
He also taught what he called "an immortal song." The text is (unofficial version, of course):
"There is only one Father, His name is: Supreme, Supreme, Supreme, Supreme, Supreme, Supreme, Supreme. I am His Heartbeat. He is my life's Dream."
Wed Jun 23, 2004
From: Nayak Polissar
A few days ago at a function, Sri Chinmoy offered one of his students her soul's name. This young woman is a lovely and deep person, and it was very moving to see her receive the name of her soul. Sri Chinmoy offers these names as a way for the student to make progress. He doesn't really change the name or create a name that is not there. No, this name has been there since the beginning of this lifetime, but we do not know our soul's purpose in coming into this lifetime and being part of the earth play. The name is simply the name of the quality that our soul is here to manifest. We cannot see it, but Sri Chinmoy or any great spiritual Master can.
I received my name in 1977 at a tennis court that was situated next to a 400-meter track in New York City. Sri Chinmoy had gone there to play tennis, and I was observing. At the end of his several games, he called me over and softly told me the name, how it was pronounced and the meaning of it. Those nearby grew silent during these special few moments. It was wonderful to receive that name, and I will always treasure it. The short meaning of "Nayak" is 'leader,' in the sense of one who leads people to the goal. This is my ideal, and I hope that I am growing into this as time goes on.
I have been present on a number of occasions when people have received their spiritual names, and it is truly a sacred moment. Potentially, everything that went before can be different than everything that follows. It is like being given a key to your heart.
Back to this young lady who was receiving her name. Sri Chinmoy meditated and she meditated, and all of us (over 100) were silent to the limits of silence, and then he handed her an envelope with her soul's name in it. The closed envelope always inspires the person receiving their name to open it later, in private, after meditating to receive the most out of the occasion.
What is in a name? A soul.
Sat Jun 25, 2004
Tonight Sri Chinmoy offered these four new prayer-poems:
I unreservedly believe In the very best Of every human being.
The pure heart Of a sincere man Is always at ease.
One becomes rich, very rich In the inner world By spending oneself Unconditionally.
The birthplace Of God's Smiles Is my own aspiration-heart
Wed Jul 28, 2004
by Sharada Crowe
Sri Chinmoy is lifting alot still. He is doing some very heavy lifts of groups of people. On the court there was a period (Sunday morning?) when he was looking for some of the heavier men and lifting them four at a time. On one occasion he lifted Databir, Rupantar, Udar and er... one other together (sorry, can't remember!). These lifts totalled around 800lbs and over, so they superseded the "heavy man" lift which Nayak mentioned earlier.
Sri Chinmoy is also playing his double bass a lot. He called for the 'excellent singers' at one point, and then there was a divine exchange in which Sri Chinmoy would play a song, and the singers would have to sing that same song. I think he played the double bass on both Saturday and Sunday morning at the court.
In case no one has posted it already, here is the race prayer from Saturday morning, July 23:
"I give my money-power to God. God smiles at me. I give my name, my fame, my joy and my pride to God. God smiles at me twice. I give my oneness-heart unreservedly to God. God smiles at me a million times And embraces me a million times. I give my cheerful, sleepless and unconditional surrender-breath to God. God smiles at me and deliberately forgets to stop, God embraces me and deliberately forgets to stop."
At the court on Saturday, this prayer was put to music to make a song.
On Saturday evening we had plays. Palash, Tanima and Lalita performed a very nice version of the 'Damodar' scene from Sri Chinmoy's Chaitanya play. This is a very cute scene in which Damodar tries to shoo a small boy out of the temple because he thinks that the place is only for adults who 'know how to pray and meditate.' Chaitanya intervenes and, of course, we realise that the child has a much better idea of prayer and meditation than does Damodar. We then had a play from Databir and Abakash based on a vignette from Sri Chinmoy's youth. Finally Aparajita performed from Everest-Aspiraton with Michael (who incidentally also did a very sweet portrayal of a younger Sri Chinmoy in the second play). The plays were great and a real treat to watch.
Kamalakanta has already provided you with a recording of another occurrence from Saturday night: Somebody had given out a copy of a certain piece of Sri Chinmoy's writing ("There was a time..."). Guru read this to us line by line and we repeated it back to him. There was also a musical performance by Kodanda's group, which Kamalakanta has also provided for your listening enjoyment (and with what speed!).
On Sunday afternoon, Sri Chinmoy visited a divine enterprise and composed a special song to celebrate the business and the occasion. Then he sat at the door of the shop whilst we all went inside to have a look around. The place has been very beautifully decorated and refurbished. Finally, we all took prasad (blessed food) - a delicious chocolate brownie and applesauce.