Meditation Functions with Sri Chinmoy
The following meditation functions took place during March 2004. Subsequent pages will document functions throughout the rest of 2004. We hope to soon have notes of functions from other years, and also from Sri Chinmoy's Christmas trips with his students to different countries.
Wednesday March 3, 2004
by Arpan DeAngelo
8:34 p.m. Sri Chinmoy enters the hall on his red electric cart and does his mobile meditation for 18 minutes. Most times he has changed to other carts but tonight it was one continuous meditation with only one change of direction. It was a very powerful and deep experience as usual. Of course it depends on each person's mood and receptivity at the time as to whether one feels the actual depth and light that is being offered during these laps of powerful light and love.
Next was a practice of a song taught the other day to honor one of Sri Chinmoy's dear friends who recently met with an untimely death. We practiced for about 15 minutes and then recorded it. At the end, he told Tanima to say on the recording,"This prayerful and soulful song is composed by Sri Chinmoy."
9:18 p.m. Sri Chinmoy plays the light colored esraj, the German one I think. I believe it is his favorite.
After 5 minutes he asked if it sounded satisfactory because they were still experimenting with the new Bose speakers that Maral invested in for the stage. Most people seemed to like the new sound system so far. Next he played the black flute and then the big, light colored wooden recorder, again asking whether the sound was good. He played well as usual and it was a short but beautiful performance.
9:34 p.m. Playing a keyboard, he started singing My Lord Beloved Supreme, with every breath of my heart… Then he stopped to tell us all to fold our hands as this song is very important and devotional. He said that we should sing it every morning after the Invocation. After we sang the song with him, hands folded, he told us what he has been doing as regular daily disciplines since Christmas without fail. He said that he is doing it, "for my spiritual children with the hope that they will take their spiritual life seriously." He composes one English song, one Bengali song, 4 prayers or aphorisms, writes the word 'Supreme' on four pages with two columns per page and also writes down the Invocation at least once.
9:50p.m. He taught us the Bengali song that he composed that day. The translation goes, "With my devotion, My Lord, I shall worship You And not with my fake, deceitful tears of my eyes. I shall proclaim Your Victory By virtue of my sleepless self-giving life." (unofficial)
Then he proceeded to teach us the prayers that he wrote for that day. They were (all unofficial):
Cry, cry, cry, cry, sleeplessly cry,
Cry, cry, cry, cry , breathlessly cry,
God will teach you how to fly
In His own heart-sky.
I am happy and I am safe
Precisely because my Lord Supreme
Has the last word."
The unconditional surrender has another name:
The purest and the mightiest thrill.
My Lord, do You not mind
When You so often suffer for my sake?
No my child,
I love the suffering,
I just love it.
No desire of my mind
Can ever enter into my
10:05 p.m. Sri Chinmoy said that every day he also draws seven pages of birds which he will show us on Wednesdays and Saturdays. He had a disciple show us today's birds done in magic markers with each page of birds a different color. They were blue, green, red, purple, orange, yellow, black and then the last one was using all the colors, he said. They were all quite unique and beautiful but the last one with birds of all seven colors in it was stunning, a rainbow of magnificence and splendour as only Sri Chinmoy can spontaneously create with such life and vividness.
Other things that he said he does daily is read 5 jokes, "my favorite subject", he said jokingly. He sings 25 songs and wants to get up to singing 50 songs daily, He also said that he plays at least 50 songs on his sitar. He plays his violin every day as well but he said that "my violin does not want to talk to me, one day it will be kind enough to talk to me." He also takes exercise every day and has been walking indoors somewhere. He told some funny stories about the people he encounters there. One person who was working there even offered him a job when seeing him walk so briskly every morning.
10:31p.m. Sri Chinmoy starts playing harmonium and singing. He said this is his most favorite song from the Christmas trip - Jago, jago, jago, jago… 1Then he played Chal, chal, chal, chal, chal, chal, chal, chal, hriday gabhire... 2
Next there were the newest English songs:
- There is no curtain between my Lord and my heart.
- My body goes to my Lord walking, God's Heart comes to me flying.
- You need, he needs, I need, we all need, The Golden Dust of God's Feet.
- Any moment is the right moment to please God. 3
We sang each of these songs after he did, but the last one we sang together four times, then the women 4 times, the men 4 times and together again 4 times. He said, "I sing it at least 20 times. I like it so much, at least 20 times I sing."
Near the end of the function he asked again how we were hearing the new sound system. There were varying opinions as to where the speakers sound the best and what sounds better than other things. I am sure by Celebrations that it will all be perfected. To start Prasad, he handed Alu Pie to each of us in honor of Saraswati's birthday. He said that she is a constantly self-giving life and expressed this a number of times.
He told us a story about Pulak and how Pulak argues with him. When he tells Pulak to do something, sometimes Pulak says "Sorry, it cannot be done, it is not possible." Sri Chinmoy said something to the effect that he came into the world to do the impossible. That was basically the end.
Some later notes added by Arpan:
Two important things I forgot to mention about the function.
One is about a booklet that was sold inexpensively and was well worth it. It is called How Nolini-da Wanted Me To Be His Secretary 4. I remember him telling this story in Bali on January 13th of this year, and here it is in print with some fantastic historic photos. It takes place mostly in the year 1955 around January 13th, Nolini's birthday. Sri Chinmoy's cousin, Nirmala-di, begged Chinmoy to write something in honour of Nolini's birthday and the story starts from there. I just love the story which becomes many stories of his experiences with different jobs in the Ashram and many great figures of his time. It ends with this poem:
While entering into your sanctum sanctorum
To do my humble service,
My heart saluted
The unfathomable silence-freedom
Of your sea-deep eyes. 5
Adhiratha kindly reminded me of the other thing I forgot to mention: When Sri Chinmoy lovingly criticised Pulak for arguing with him and saying that what he asked was not possible, he also complimented Pulak in the same breath, saying that Pulak has a very big heart and when asked to do someone a favor he usually goes out of his way to help others. Having known Pulak since our infancy days in the spiritual life together, I must agree that he definitely is one of the kindest-hearted souls I know, no matter how great his argumentative mind may sometimes get.
March 6 2004
2 mile Self-Transcendence Race
by Mahiruha Klein
I ran the race this morning and here's the wonderful prayer Sri Chinmoy offered:
No age will replace
Our Master’s tears
And our Master’s smiles.
No age will replace
My children’s love for me
And their faith in me.
No age will replace
My gratitude to their hearts
And their gratitude to my life. 6
I haven't run this race in such a long time. What a wonderful way to start my Saturday!
Additional comment by Aparajita Fishman:
After the Self-Transcendence 2 mile race this morning, Sri Chinmoy gave us a beautiful and touching prayer that gives a wonderful feeling of the closeness of the relationship between a spiritual Master and his disciples. Truly the depth and beauty of the Master/disciple relationship can only be felt and never expressed. How lucky we are!
Sun Mar 7, 2004
30th Anniversary of Sri Chinmoy's first piano performance
by Arpan DeAngelo
Sri Chinmoy came in at 8:50 p.m. and did his soulful and powerful riding meditation with the red cart for 16 minutes, changing direction after 8 minutes. He then went on stage and meditated on the arrangement of beautiful flowers embellishing a bust of the great composer and pianist Schubert and a large photo of the great American composer who befriended Sri Chinmoy towards the end of his life, Leonard Bernstein.
He then proceeded to play a big and powerful grand piano provided by Klavierhaus, Sujatri's Divine Enterprise. The performance lasted 21 minutes and was very powerful, sweet, melodious, playful, dynamic, lilting, meditative, harmonious and captivating--although not necessarily in that order. I am sure there are others who can give a more detailed and soulful rendering of an almost indescribable performance.
After the performance, which drew a standing ovation from disciples and invited seekers alike, the good singers were called up to sing the main piano song written by Sri Chinmoy many years ago. The (unofficial) English translation of the Bengali song is:
"Piano, piano, piano, piano,
You beckon me towards the vastness of Infinity.
Piano, piano, piano, piano,
You embody Infinity's music-treasure.
Piano, piano, piano, piano,
Sleeplessly you offer me your heart flooded with divine love."
After the piano was packed up and moved off stage at 9:45pm, we watched a video of Sri Chinmoy meeting with an important musician and his wife who admire Sri Chinmoy deeply, and who had a long meditation and discussion with him before his performance last night.
Prasad was then personally handed to the invited seekers, to whom Sri Chinmoy said he was offering his soul's highest blessings, his heart's deepest love, deepest joy, deepest concern and gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.
Sunday, March 11, 2004
by Arpan DeAngelo
Sri Chinmoy offered a very sublime twenty-minute meditation while on his electric cart, going in two directions. Around 9:00 pm he started to offer us the poems that he wrote today. They are as follows:
"I need a God-dreaming heart.
I need two Man-serving hands."
"God is extremely fond of the fragrance of my soul-smiles."
"God is extremely proud of the beauty of my heart-tears."
"In the twinkling of an eye my Lord's Smile lifts me all the way up."
At 9:20 pm Ramamoorthy sang for us three of Sri Chinmoy's songs most soulfully as he played the synthesizer.
At 9:27 pm Parvati's Group started singing 10 English songs which were Christmas prayers put to music by Sri Chinmoy:
1. To God, nothing is more important than my tearful heart and my blissful eyes.
2. My mind and I, when we depend on each oher, we miserably fail.
3. My heart and I, when we depend on each other, we invariably succeed.
4. My God-obedience is my God-given golden flute melody life.
5. My God-disobedience is the thunder drum sound cherished by the hostile forces.
6. My Master reveals the unseen God to me at the very right moment.
7. God is ready to discuss with me not about my past, not about my future, but about today.
8. My real homeland is my God-aspiration heart.
9. Long ago you lost God. You are now rediscovering Him. God is helping you.
10. My heart is my Master's home, only home. I must not roam, I must not roam. 7
9:33 pm Sri Chinmoy was about to play the esraj, first asking Maral and Sumadhur who he is playing for this time. He was referring to the fact that every week they are trying a new setup of a new sound system, and they want Sri Chinmoy to test it out and see what he thinks. After playing quite soulfully for seven minutes he said that he was not at all satisfied with this particular set up. He could not hear the sound on the stage that well - it was very faint. One of these days they will get it right I am sure.
9:44 pm He taught us the daily songs he wrote today:
- I need, I need, I need from God: Enlightenment.
- I need, I need, I need from Man: Encouragement.
(unofficial) He sang these songs and we learned them and sang them a few times. He also offered and taught us one Bengali song without translation:
Chaowa paowar kanna hasi
Thambena hai thambena
Param pita kothai tumi
Dakbona ki dakbona 8
10:00 pm Eight of his newest bird drawings were shown. The first seven were each individual colors and the last was a combination of all the seven colors. They were drawn with marker pens on 12"x14" white paper, it seems.
Then the Swanson Brothers showed us a magnificent slide show of their recent trip to India. They visited very holy cities such as Rishikesh, Varanasi, Vrindaban, Haridwar. They went to ashrams, temples, the Ganges River ghats, etc. Sri Chinmoy commented on some of the slides and asked some questions as well.
Dakshineswar from the Vivekananda Bridge. Photo by Ranjit Swanson.
At the end of the function Sri Chinmoy told a story about Swami Vivekananda, but I could not hear it well from where I was sitting. There were also some nice stories by his students which Sri Chinmoy likes to hear. Some are quite elevating and some are quite funny. I had to leave so I had no time to write them down.
Basically though, the general theme of the functions lately has been the daily devotional songs, poems, artwork, etc. that Sri Chinmoy has been creating. He offers them to us in a loving and soulful way as only a hard-working father can offer to his children to make them happy.
Friday 12 March, 2004
Today's creative offerings from Sri Chinmoy:
Every day I compose songs, every day
In God's Heart-Garden to sing and play. 9
Bengali song (both lyrics and translation are unofficial):
Sakal kichui charte raji
Kebal amar gan
Gan je amar chirantaner
I am ready to relinquish everything
Save and except my song.
My song is my Eternity's God.
Prayer-poems (all unofficial):
- Do you want to become young? Then smile.
- Do you want to become very young? Then smile soulfully.
- Do you want to become very, very young? Then smile self-givingly.
Hope needs and deserves to be fed constantly.
Saturday 13 March 2004
2 mile Self Transcendence Race - morning
by Arpan DeAngelo
It was a cold and blustery day in Jamaica, Queens this morning as we ran the two mile race. But things soon warmed up as we were offered a very heart-warming and uplifting prayer by Sri Chinmoy at 8:30 a.m. Halfway through the prayer the microphone stopped working. The wind was howling loudly, so he had to recite the rest of the prayer quite powerfully as he had us all get quite close to the car where he was sitting. Prasad and walk past meditation following this powerful prayer made for a great way to start a cold Saturday morning in New York City.
Winter does not seem to want to leave New York yet, but the light and aspiration from this particular spiritual community and this great teacher will last for a long, long time.
The race prayer:
Be brave, be brave, be brave!
Live not in fear-torture-cave.
Be brave, be brave, be brave,
The way to God’s Home to pave. 6
* * *
2 mile Self Transcendence Race - morning
additional comment by Aparajita Fishman
Man, was it cold! I was happy just to finish alive. Sometimes I wonder, what was God thinking when he created cold? I guess it makes us value the warmth when it finally comes!
This poem was especially meaningful to me. Before I returned home from the Christmas trip, I was determined to make this year better than last year from a spiritual point of view. Yet as soon as I returned home many of my old bad habits started to reappear. I just passed my 24th disciple anniversary, and it was a little discouraging to be fighting the same old battles again and again, to see the same weaknesses in myself, to see so little progress towards my illumination.
This morning, as I was meditating, I said to myself, "If I had the opportunity to speak to Guru, I would say to him, 'You have to illumine me! What is the one piece of advice I need to make spirtual progress?'"
When I finished the race this morning, I went right over to Guru's car and sat down. No one else had come over yet. Guru was meditating, and I offered my question to him inwardly, adding, "Guru, I have come into this world to serve the Supreme in you. Don't let me lose this opportunity!"
The moment I heard the words, "Be brave! Be brave! Be brave!" I felt this message was the direct answer to my prayer -- the one piece of advice I need to overcome my (sometimes overwhelming) inner and outer obstacles and pave the way to God's Home. This message resonated with me especially since my name means "The unparalleled victor. The seeker-hero who knows no defeat."
Brave we must be! As Swami Vivekananda once said, "The soul cannot be won by the weakling."
Saturday, March 13th, 2004
Evening function - 28th Anniversary of Sri Chinmoy first playing the flute
by Aparajita Fishman and Arpan DeAngelo 10
In honour of Sri Chinmoy's 28th anniversary of playing Western flute (which was actually on Wednesday), he played a short concert. As far as I can remember, the instruments were esraj, Western flute, bamboo flute, cello, sitar, and singing with synthesizer. Guru has a new synthesizer that has a very simple sound, similar to the tote-a-tune, but it has a bigger keyboard and sits on its own legs.
He sang each song once or twice and then we joined him for several more repetitions: 11
There is no curtain
Between my Lord
And my heart. 12
My body goes to God walking.
God's heart comes to me flying.
You need, he needs, I need, we all need
The Golden Dust of God's Feet.
Is the right moment
To please God.
God loves to be chased
By my heart-cries.
I came to Your Lotus-Feet, my Lord,
With a helpless hope-heart
To be forgiven. 13
I shall never have
A God-empty heart,
I shall never.
My heart is my Master's home, only home.
I must not roam, I must not roam.
The morning race prayer posted earlier on Saturday was put to music by Sri Chinmoy today and Paree sang it to us, teaching us this most
beautiful rendition of such a powerful prayer. We sang it a number of times.
Be brave, be brave, be brave!
Live not in fear-torture-cave.
Be brave, be brave, be brave,
The way to God’s Home to pave. 14
Radha then taught us another of Sri Chinmoy's compositions, composed just today:
Ego-life, treacherous. 9
The prayers composed today by Sri Chinmoy (all unofficial):
When my God-obedience disappears,
My Lord's justice-sky thunders.
My full God-Manifestation hope
Is as essential as my life-breath.
My love of God
Heartily laughs at impossibility.
Attachment to oneself
Is infinitely worse
To somebody else.
After the concert there were several student performances. First Satyajit and his band of merry men performed. The theme of their performance last night was Guru's songs, in honour of Guru passing 17,000 songs during the Christmas trip. They sang Katha Gan Ami, the translation of which goes as follows:
How many songs have I sung?
How many more have I still to sing
here on earth?
Within and without I have been
searching for myself through my songs.
With deep pangs my heart cries;
My self-form is not visible yet.
In the vast life-ocean, I am floating all alone. 15
After Satyajit's performance, Ketan's group did a short play, which I unfortunately missed. Then Databir performed a play which was based on stories Guru told about a disciple at the Sri Aurobindo ashram named Mridu-di, who was like a mother to Guru. She showered him with affection. The stories were full of sweetness and humour, and all of the actors gave wonderful performances. It was at once simple, sincere, soulful and funny. It was very cute because Databir, Utthal and Abakash all played Mridu-di during the performance. Each one did a few stories. At one point Utthal fell down (I think that was part of the story), but as he currently weighs in at over 300 pounds, he couldn't get up, try as he might! Finally he had to kind of roll off the front of the stage so he could stand up again.
At the end, Ashrita read a poem that Sri Chinmoy wrote in Mridu-di's honour upon her passing. You can read the poem here....
During this performance, Guru was riding a stationary bicycle in front of the stage on the right side. He was watching with great interest and laughed with tremendous joy many times during the performance. When the performance was over, he was inspired to tell many more stories about his ashram days. This lasted for about 15 minutes, then Guru went back to his chair on the stage.
Then there was prasad, and what a prasad it was! 28 items to celebrate Guru's 28th flute anniversary. After prasad Guru asked for the disciples to come up and tell inspiring stories. I started out with a story about how Guru's music cured someone's insomnia. This inspired several more miracle stories.
Then Sri Chinmoy gave us a bit of good news - it seems there is a book that came out in India called "101 Indian Saints". He said that India has had thousands and thousands of saints, but he was lucky enough to be listed in the book, right after Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu!
Monday March 15 and Tuesday March 16, 2005
by Projjwal Pohland
I am happy to share some of Sri Chinmoy's most recent prayers (all unofficial):
"God tells me that here on earth
He will create a special Heaven for me
If I constantly obey Him.
The master's inner presence is made of forgiveness.
The master's outer presence is made of compassion.
When I one-pointedly concentrate
My name becomes success-height.
When I self-givingly meditate
My name becomes progress-delight.
The morning-sun blesses me
With beauty's hope and duty's promise."
"There is only one way to make God happy
And that is to make me feel that He alone is my all.
My heart and I are extremely happy
Because we always obey our Lord's Heart-whispers.
Every day my mind and I
Desire our success-fulfilment.
Every day my heart and I
Pray only for one thing:
God's full manifestation-satisfaction
In God's own Way."
Wednesday 17th March, 2004
by Salil Wilson
The evening began for me waiting for Sri Chinmoy to arrive. In New York at the moment we have gotten about 6 inches of snow, and even Jamaica is looking like a winter wonderland. It was very silent and pure.
Sri Chinmoy arrived, exited the car and proceeded to the entrance of the function hall. On the way past me he asked, "Salil, are you getting better?" (I had been quite sick for a few days.) I responded that yes, I was feeling better.
Sri Chinmoy said, "You looked so pale and weak yesterday." I mumbled something in agreement. Sri Chinmoy then asked me to carry some gifts he had brought with him.
After that little interaction I was flying pretty high. Sri Chinmoy has this unique capacity to inject so much love, concern and affection into a simple conversation. He does it all the time, he can't help it. The love is just brimming over, looking for someone to envelop.
Wednesday 17 March 2004
by Aparajita Fishman
Vilupti's daughter received her spiritual name - Chidroopa - from Sri Chinmoy. Watching someone recieve their soul's name is always a beautiful moment for everyone.
Several disciples shared some inspiration with us. Aruna said she is running 4 miles every day for 40 days, ending on April 13th, and her Centre is sending flowers to Sri Chinmoy every day for 40 days, ending on April 13th.
Nishtha told some inspiring stories about a student (not Nayak) who was recently in the hospital with serious, lift-threatening heart problems. The doctors thought he might not make it, yet with Guru's grace he made it, and as soon as he recovered enough from the operation, every day he would go to an atrium at the hospital and play Guru's music on the flute, hiding behind a plant!
Because of the construction of the hospital, the music reached the whole hospital. The patients were all saying, "What is that music? I feel so much better!" The doctors were noticing that the patients were healing much faster!
I wonder what would happen if hospitals around the world started playing Guru's music?
Saturday 20 March 2012
Morning 2 Mile Self Tanscendence race
By: Arpan DeAngelo
It was a sunny but cold morning in New York on this first day of Spring. The snow that fell twice this past week is almost all melted already and the feeling of new life and an upcoming 40 year Anniversary is in the air. Sri Chinmoy was driven around the whole race course before stopping near the finish line to illumine us with his uplifting prayer.
My prayerful and soulful service
Is not my sacrifice.
It is the gigantic fulfilment
Of my Heaven-climbing
And God-fulfilling dream. 6
Saturday, 20 April 2004
Evening Meditation function
by Aparajita Fishman
Sri Chinmoy entered the hall around 9pm with a very distinguished guest and his wife, with whom Guru has been friends for many years. We greeted them with a standing ovation of welcome. Guru and his guests sat in chairs at the foot of the stage, facing the stage so they could watch the evening's performances.
The singers sang three songs for Guru's guest. Two were in Bengali and were about the guest himself. The third was set to the English words of the guest. I was singing, and I found the Bengali songs were especially beautiful.
Then the singers sang two Bengali songs, "Eso eso more jiban majhare" and "Jago...mayer kripa puta chite".
Then Agraha read a stirring narrative of Guru's meetings with a dignitary during our recent trip to Indonesia. For those of you who might have heard the full version, which took 45 minutes to read, this was an abridged version. I think it took about 10 minutes.
Then we watched a video of a very significant "Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart" ceremony that took place in Bali.
Then we saw several plays by Sri Chinmoy's students. First was Abakash's play, which dramatised stories from Sri Chinmoy's book A Service-Flame And A Service-Sun - the stories were about Nolini Kanta Gupta and two American ladies who had come to the Ashram, one of whom was Ida Patterson. Abakash and Databir played the two ladies. They were extremely cute in their dresses and wigs! Pulak played Nolini, Ashrita played Guru as a young man. Pulak had a wig and moustache that made him look very much like Nolini.
Ketan's troupe performed a rendition of scenes from the play Deshabandu by Sri Chinmoy 16. Ketan was very funny as the Vaishnava sage who keeps asking for a ticket.
Palash performed a very soulful and beautiful rendition of the story Krishna, the Widow and Her Cow, a traditional story that has been retold by Sri Chinmoy.17 Palash played Arjuna, Bileena played Krishna, and Tanima played the Krishna devotee with the cow. The play was extremely simple, soulful and sweet. Afterwards I felt the sweet feeling I must have felt as a child after my mother would tell me a bedtime story.
Then Paree and Govinda dramatised stories Sri Chinmoy told about his experiences while walking. It was so joyful and funny! Paree did a brilliant imitation of Pulak, Agraha and me, all in the same play!
The funniest experience (this is from memory): Guru was walking to and fro, when suddenly a very important looking lady came out from a door and approached him. She said, "I always see you walking here so smartly. Would you like to have a job with us? You could be a messenger, carrying messages here and there."
Guru replied, "When I was young I used to run, but my knees are painful and now I only walk."
"What do you do for work now?" the lady asked. What could Guru say? He repeated that he could only walk now. "You should teach children!" the lady suggested. Little did she know that is exactly what Guru does!
The performances gave all of us tremendous, tremendous joy, especially Guru and his guests. They enjoyed it so much! Guru was making commentary to his guests throughout the performances.
At the end, Guru's guest spoke to the assembled students. He said many inspiring things, but one stands out in my heart. He said that we may think we are insignificant in the grand scheme of things, that there is nothing we can really do in our own small way to change the world, but it fact every little thing we do for the betterment of ourselves and the world is significant. So he encouraged us to continue doing what we are doing.
The guests left, and we had prasad and heard stories from the disciples. Someone announced Ananda Fuara's18 stunning achievement of 807 customers served in one day. We offered our thunderous applause. Guru was so proud!
Wednesday March 24 2004
by Agragati Siegel
The function began around 8:40PM. The traditional rush to sit down before Sri Chinmoy arrived was not evident, as he arrived quite unexpectedly. Sri Chinmoy entered while the room was still buzzing with movement and voices. He was wearing a light blue sweater and dark blue pants. He entered from the hallway on one of his miniature vehicles. As he drove in front of the stage, he made a left turn at the aisle near the women's seating area. He then continued and made another left turn, cutting across the hall, then another left, passing down the aisle where the men were seated. He then completed this circle six or more times before reversing, all the while in a deep meditative mood. When he drove the opposite way, I was able to see his face quite clearly. I happened to be sitting on the aisle, and each time he passed by, I received an inner joy and thrill that is hard to describe.
After the meditation, which lasted about fifteen minutes, he went on stage and sat in his meditation chair. Sri Chinmoy called up R, who is a close Indian friend who worked with him many years ago. R. played a few of Sri Chinmoy's songs on a keyboard while he sang. This is a tradition that goes back some years, and I must say, he has made considerable progress in his singing. He sang "Charana Tale Asan Pele," then "Bulite Diyona" (the second version) and finally "Rama Raghava". Sri Chinmoy then honored him by offering a "gratitude flower" from the stage for his birthday. We all sang the birthday songs for him.
Sri Chinmoy then called up Radha's singing group to offer twenty songs. He had given these specially selected songs the name: Twenty Very Special Song-Flowers in my Heart-Garden.19 He had chosen these songs for many of the New York singing groups to learn. (This does not include Parvati's group, which sings only English songs).
It took Radha's group twenty-seven minutes to sing those songs. The last song, Dake Dake was not sung to Sri Chinmoy's satisfaction, so he asked them to kindly sing it again. He said that they should sing it with utmost prayerful concentration, and to imagine a swing moving in their mind while they sang. When this did not yield the quality and feeling that he was looking for, he asked them to sing it a third time. On this third attempt, he asked them to sing "cheerfully, as cheerfully as you can, from beginning to end." When they were finished, he enthusiastically said "much better, excellent, excellent."
Sri Chinmoy had previously composed songs for each member of Tanima's singing group. He called each one on stage and asked them to meditate while he sang their particular song. Sri Chinmoy was playing a small tote-a-tune while he was singing. He had small note cards which he used to read the music. Each one in the group went on stage while he sang out their song. After the third member came on stage, the tote-a-tune he was using stopped working properly. He then asked Bishwas to get his larger blue one. He mentioned that Panchajanya would bring some small ones from Germany to New York in April.
Guru's latest Jharna-Kala bird paintings on 5x7 cards were then shown to the audience from the stage. Each drawing was a different color. The colors, in order, were: blue, red, green, purple, orange, pink, and black. Finally, out of a large envelope came a 12x14 print that was totally astounding! It was stunning, full of color and life. That particular painting had all seven of the colors.
Sri Chinmoy resumed his performance of songs for Tanima's group. He started at the beginning with her song and then continued.
Sri Chinmoy left the hall for a short while. When he returned, he had removed his sweater and was wearing a short sleeve shirt. He then got on an exercise bike that Bishwas had positioned at the front of the men's seating area.
Satyajit's group came on stage. There were four musicians and a chorus. They began by singing Sundara Hate, the song about the beauty of the Lord Supreme. Satyajit soulfully and powerfully then recited some of Sri Chinmoy's poems. They then sang Maner Atite Praner Atite with a violin, flute, trumpet and harmonium accompaniment. It was a beautiful and stirring rendition. Satyajit's energy, intensity and determination were evident during the performance. All the while Guru was riding his stationary bike.
Sri Chinmoy then handed out flowers to a few people, including one of his students who was quite ill the week before.
Sri Chinmoy then called for prasad to be given. He then realized that a new book was to be released, and asked for it to be bought out first. The title is My Christmas-New Year-Vacation-Aspiration- Prayers Part 24. The preface states: "Sri Chinmoy offered the following prayers during his visit to Solo, Indonesia in December 2003." It has a beautiful cover: a close up view of several pink lotus flowers, with a picture of Sri Chinmoy playing the esraj in the upper left corner.
While prasad was being readied on the stage, he read out the names of those who had contributed the items for the evening. The items were: a cookie (in honor of the 20th anniversary of his Cologne concert, the first big concert of 8,000 people in 1984), an orange, a V8 vegetable juice (in honor of the 25th anniversary of his fastest marathon at Toledo, Ohio), mango lassi, a samosa, and rice pudding.
Sri Chinmoy spoke of his concert in Cologne: "I have given hundreds of concerts, but I will never forget Cologne. It gave me the utmost joy and satisfaction." He spoke of how sweet the flowers smelled at that place. His former athletic coach from his early ashram days had come to visit him, and it gave him such joy. (Video on right shows opening meditation and flute performance from that historic Cologne concert. 21)
Sri Chinmoy called up people to take extra mango lassi, extending his stay by a few minutes. Finally, he arose and walked towards the exit. "Alright" he said, smiling, as he left the hall around 11:15pm.
Saturday March 27, 2004
2-mile Self-Transcendence Race
From Salil Wilson
Here is the prayer that Sri Chinmoy offered at the race:
I must transcend my previous
Aspiration-heart-height, I must!
I must surpass my previous
Dedication-life-length, I must!
I must deepen my previous
Ecstasy-soul-depth, I must! 6
Saturday March 27, 2004
Evening Meditation function
From Salil Wilson
Tonight's function was a concert by Sri Chinmoy followed by plays performed by his students. Sri Chinmoy arrived at 8.00 pm, which was fairly early, and most people hadn't yet arrived. He began by meditating for a few minutes and then walked over to the grand piano which had been brought in for the concert.
Sri Chinmoy then embarked on one of the greatest piano performances I have had the good fortune to experience in recent times. This veritable cascade of notes and melodies lasted 20 minutes, keeping the audience spellbound throughout.
At the completion of the piano performance, Sri Chinmoy then invited all those who weren't present for the opening meditation to join him in meditation now. Yet another example of his efforts to include all his spiritual children in the evening's events, even the latecomers.
This was followed by a sublime esraj performance. Those people lucky enough to be coming to New York in April will see and hear how beautiful this new esraj is. Sri Chinmoy then invited the New York singing groups to perform one song each in turn.
Following that, Sri Chinmoy performed for about 20 minutes on his new sitar that had been brought from India. Sri Chinmoy was truly delighted by his new instrument (as was the audience) and was explaining its pedigree. Apparently it was made by a gentleman who makes sitars for one of the most renowned and accomplished sitar players in the world.
After the concert there were six plays. I'm too tired to tell you about them, except to say they were all very good--both the women's and the men's.
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
by Agragati Siegel
In New York, the weather had been rainy but not so cold that it was unbearable. April is nearly here, and that's good news for us visitors.
As I entered the hall, the energy swept me away; what a difference from last week! The spirit of April Celebrations can now be tangibly felt, with more activity and more people. Already a few visitors have begun to appear. In light of the forthcoming events, I took perhaps my final opportunity to secure a seat in the fifth row of the hall. Starting soon, the days of packed functions, filled to capacity, will return.
I half expected Sri Chinmoy to enter the hall on one of his motorized vehicles. Ever unpredictable, he entered on foot, wearing his blue sweater and dark blue pants. He walked to the stage and sat down. He then engaged in a very deep and powerful silent meditation that lasted ten minutes. During this time, I felt as though the stage was flooded with light. (8:50pm)
After this beautiful experience, Sri Chinmoy's bird drawings for the day were displayed. As happened last week, seven images were presented. Each drawing had a unique color. They were, in order: blue, red, green, brown, orange, pink, and black. As part of his regular spiritual discipline, he is drawing these special birds every day. The final presentation was on a larger page: many birds, using all of the colors from the day's palette. (9:02pm)
No sooner had Sri Chinmoy uttered the word "Satyajit" than a group of five musicians and eight singers approached the stage. The group performed a beautiful rendition of Man khanire karbo binash and Andhar guhai parbona. Satyajit recited poems that Sri Chinmoy has written about the importance of always soulfully crying for God. (9:15pm)
Sri Chinmoy then asked his students to bring out copies of a book called "101 Great Indian Saints." This hardcover book offers a brief history of spiritual teachers from hundreds of years past to the present day. Sri Chinmoy is featured as one of these saints, along with other notable spiritual teachers such as Sri Chaitanya, Sri Yukteswar, Paramahansa Yogananda, Guru Nanak, the Buddha, Sri Anandamayi Ma, Ramana Maharshi, Mother Teresa, Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, and others. Featured on each page is a drawing of the person along with a brief biography. The introduction states: "Saints of India hold utmost importance in the historical India. '101 Great Indian Saints' pays a special tribute to these immortal souls who have shaped India to become a country rich in teachings and literature." Sri Chinmoy said the book was "Pratyaya's gift" to him. She is the centre leader of Ottawa and is responsible for many of the activities in Canada. (9:23pm)
Sri Chinmoy offered to write our own names on the page about him, along with a small bird drawing. I was curious to see how he was portrayed in the book. It would also be interesting to compare the drawing of him with the actual person before me. Large stacks of books were positioned next to Sri Chinmoy, and he would open a book to his page, draw something, and then hand it back to the person. As I waited in line for my turn, I observed the others. While he was drawing, the person receiving the book would sit directly in front of him, so that only a few feet separated them. I was overjoyed with the prospect of standing in close proximity to my teacher.
After some time, Sri Chinmoy asked us to take the book and open it to the page about him (page 20) before approaching him. This would save time. While I waited in line, I tried to prepare myself inwardly. For years, I felt very nervous when approaching Sri Chinmoy. I was never quite sure if he would say something to me, and if he did, how I would react. I had a strong feeling that Sri Chinmoy might say something to me tonight, so I did my best to relax.
Finally, I approached him with the book (9:48pm). In a sweet and soft voice, he asked, "What is your name?" "Dave," I replied. 22 He was holding the book and looking directly at me while I sat Japanese style directly in front of him. His eyes were nearly fully closed. There was a long pause. I could feel that he was concentrating on me. "You are the one who… gave me the Tagore music?" I said, "Yes, Guru." I had sent a complete set of Tagore's songs on CD to him a few weeks before. "Very good," he replied. "I'm very happy. Only the songs are sung by modern women. I went through all of them. Forty or fifty years ago the songs were sung so beautifully. Now they are so modern." "Yes," I said. He again mentioned how he was not satisfied with the modern singers of Tagore's music. He was not writing while he spoke; rather, he gave me his complete attention. My eyes were half open and half closed as I sat in front of him. I felt as though I was looking at the sun. I concentrated on his words but also tried to feel the meditative aura that glows in and around him. I momentarily thought of offering to find more music; yet something drew me back within. Not wanting to engage in conversation, I enjoyed the silent, meditative quality of the moment. He drew something in my book. He smiled as he handed it back to me. "Not your fault," he said, as I walked off the stage. I was smiling as he made this comment, and continued to smile all the way back to my seat. (9:50pm) ... Parvati's singing group was called to the stage. They performed seven English songs for the audience, written by Sri Chinmoy. (10:00pm)
Sri Chinmoy asked us if we wanted to see a video of a lifting event that took place recently. If not, he said, we could just see a few pictures. Sri Chinmoy then took a poll of the audience. Many raised their hands for the video, so he asked Mridanga to show it. Mridanga hurriedly set up the equipment as Sri Chinmoy's chair was moved to the side of the screen. After sitting back down, Sri Chinmoy turned to two special guests and said, "Am I blocking your view?" (10:05pm)
The video was a very good representation of the event. The guest of honor was a woman nearly Sri Chinmoy's age. The video showed her arrival, the actual lift, speeches by she and her friend, and her interaction with Sri Chinmoy and others visiting our "Pilgrim- Museum." This is a small house off the tennis court proper that features some of Sri Chinmoy's most exquisite Jharna-Kala artwork on display. While in the museum, she signed the guestbook. She asked Sri Chinmoy why he does things like drawing and lifting. He replied, "From my prayer and meditation I get inner messages." Sri Chinmoy made an age comparison with her; she is only two years younger than he is. The similarity of their philosophies about transcending the barriers of age was evident. Sri Chinmoy mentioned that age is only in the mind. She made a comment which Sri Chinmoy had quoted earlier in the evening: "When you lift you are holding the weight of the world and you are holding the sky for us." Upon leaving, she said: "Keep holding the sky up." Throughout the video, she seemed visibly moved and openly wept a few times.
Sri Chinmoy talked about his history with the Sri Aurobindo ashram. He said that at one and a half years of age, he first visited the ashram. Then, in April 1944, at the age of twelve and a half years, he visited permanently. He said that between the ages of seven and twelve and a half, he studied Bengali in textbooks. He had to learn by heart many poems which he still knows and loves. He said that they still give him "enormous joy and immediate thrill." He added, "seven, eight, nine, ten years old, to learn these poems by heart!" (10:30pm)
Recently, he set forty of them to music. He asked Dhanu to play a tape of twenty songs that he sang in Pulak's car. He said, "Identify yourself with the sentiment that I try to express through these songs." After the first song was played, he said that the car had a lot of noise. When he had listened to the tape before, he had not noticed so much ambient sound. He asked Dhanu to explain why that was happening. The amplification from the stereo system we were now using was the reason; the noise was always there, only now it was more noticeable.
After the songs had been played, he said that the second recording session would be done at his home. "There will be no noise, except Chela," he said, referring to his pet dog. He did not complain about the car noise, though. "It keeps me awake," he said. (10:50pm) ... Sri Chinmoy mentioned the upcoming April Celebrations and discussed a special event which would take place. Then he offered "children's Prasad" to the younger members of the centre who were present. Sri Chinmoy said the item was "a little chocolate lamb." This resulted in a few affectionate "awws" from the audience. One Asian girl from the New Zealand centre came up and Sri Chinmoy said, "Why are your eyes wet; are you crying?" She was smiling with affection and delight. He added, "In New Zealand I lifted 1,000 lambs." He smiled and gave her the chocolate lamb. "What country are you originally from?" "Thailand," she replied.
Sri Chinmoy called for Prasad (for the grown-ups), and read out the list of those who had offered Prasad for the evening. The items were: mango lassi, an orange, Alu Chop (made at Annam Brahma restaurant), a marshmallow bird, and a chocolate brownie from the Oneness-Fountain-Heart restaurant. This item was offered in honor of Aparajita's birthday. He is not only the owner of the restaurant, but is presently in Yogyakarta, offering meditation classes there. We had stayed in that city of Java for three weeks, the result of which was the formation of a new meditation centre. Sri Chinmoy spoke about it for a few minutes. He was very pleased with the students there, noting a time when he had asked them to sing the Invocation, which they did to his absolute satisfaction. (11:00pm)
After my dialogue with Sri Chinmoy, I had inwardly hoped that he would also speak with my good friend Arpan. I wanted to feel oneness and share in the experience with him. Just before we took prasad, Sri Chinmoy said, "Arpan, please bring the photos." They were images of a recent lifting event. Arpan placed them on the stage next to the other items.
Sri Chinmoy offered a birthday meditation to an African girl (sorry, I did not catch her name), calling up her mother on stage afterwards. He then offered a meditation and a "gratitude flower" to Bijon, a visiting student from the U.K., for his birthday. He called up Bijon's mother to join him.
It was now a quarter past eleven. I was wondering when Sri Chinmoy would call San Diego. Due to the three hour time difference, the opportune time was fast approaching. It was not long after this thought that Sri Chinmoy said, "At eleven-thirty I have to call our San Diego Centre in honor of Sujantra's birthday." He said that Sujantra has inspired hundreds of people to enter into the spiritual life. Sri Chinmoy then added that our San Francisco restaurant, Ananda Fuara, recently served over 800 people in one day. He seemed amazed at this figure, and a few in the crowd reacted with gasps of awe.
While preparing to leave, Sri Chinmoy spoke briefly to his two guests. He discussed plans for an event which promises to be of unique historical significance, and mentioned his travel itinerary for the year. Sri Chinmoy smiled at his two special guests, and at us, as he left the hall. (11:22pm)
- 1. Composed by Sri Chinmoy on December 25, 2003, appears in the songbook Ashar Duar, part 1
- 2. Composed on Dec 8 2003, this song appears in the songbook Ashar Duar, part 1 - score available here at srichonmoysongs.com
- 3. These songs were published in the songbooks Enthusiasm, parts 7 and 8
- 4. The title refers to the time Sri Chinmoy spent as the personal assistant to the great Bengali savant Nolini Kanta Gupta, between 1955 and 1963.
- 5. This poem was also printed in the book Nolini: Sri Aurobindo's Unparalleled Friend-Son-Disciple, Agni Press, 1984.
- 6. a. b. c. d. Published in My Race-Prayers, (volume 1) Agni Press, 2004.
- 7. All songs were composed by Sri Chinmoy on January 13, 2004 except for the last one which was composed on December 23, 2003. They are published in the songbook Enthusiasm, Part 7.
- 8. Unofficial translation by Rintu Chakravarty:
The tears and smiles of begging and receiving
Will not stop, O, will not stop!
My Supreme Father, where are You?
Won't I call You, won't I?
- 9. a. b. Published in the songbook Enthusiasm, Part 9
- 10. Aparajita provided the description, Arpan listed the prayers and songs sang during the performance.
- 11. There is a discrepancy here between Arpan's and Aparajita's reports. Aparajita indicates he sang each of these songs, Arpan states he recited them as poems.
- 12. All songs published in the songbook Enthusiasm, Part 7 unless otherwise stated
- 13. Composed January 12 1987, published in the songbook Are You Looking for Your Heart? Here, Come and Take It! The word helpless has sometimes been written as 'hopeless'- however the version written here is the correct version of the song to the best of our knowledge.
- 14. The poem is published in My Race-Prayers, (volume 1) Agni Press, 2004. The song is published in the songbook Enthusiasm, Part 9.
- 15. Composed and translated by Sri Chinmoy on December 17, 1972, published in the songbook The Garden of Love-Light. The score is available here at Sri Chinmoy Songs.
- 16. The full play can be found here on Sri Chinmoy Library
- 17. The story can be Commentary On The Bhagavad Gita, Agni Press, 1971 - the link to the story is here.
- 18. A restauraunt owned by Sri Chinmoy's students in San Francisco
- 19. On 25 February, Sri Chinmoy selected these songs as favourites out of all the songs he had composed over the years. The sheet music for the songs is available as PDF download.
- 20. This happened before Malancha recieved his spiritual name.
- 21. Available to download on Sri Chinmoy TV
- 22. This took place before Agragati recieved his spiritual name.