Recitation of poems from 'The Golden Boat'

Mahiruha reciting poems from The Golden Boat
Mahiruha reciting poems from The Golden Boat.

On 21 June, Mahiruha Klein recited 1,000 poems from a series of poetry by Sri Chinmoy entitled "The Golden Boat." This is a series of poems that Sri Chinmoy wrote back in 1974 and are based around multifarious aspects of the spiritual life and spiritual experience. Sri Chinmoy often commented that learning spiritual poetry by heart can be a rewarding spiritual discipline, enabling the seeker to gain a glimpse into the spiritual essence of the poetry.

"Poetry is the short-cut to reach the subtle and tangible Goal of goals — Delight infinite. A poem starts in streaming tears and ends in soaring smiles."

- Sri Chinmoy 1

During the marathon poetry reading at the Chicago Sri Chinmoy Centre, Mahiruha began at 5 o'clock in the afternoon and finished eight hours later, with just a two-minute break in between each set of 100 poems.

Speaking about the event, Mahiruha says he was physically tired at the end of the marathon poetry session, but also deeply moved by the experience.


He said:

"It took me three years to learn the one thousand poems of the Golden Boat. I practised the poems every day for at least an hour and a half to learn them.  I divided the poems and typed them up by themes, like sincerity, gratitude, etc.  That made them a lot easier to learn.  I further organised them in my mind by the first letter and also by picking a key word from each poem.  Then I just practised and practised them until I knew them all by heart.

At work I’ll often ask customers to give me a topic or key word and I’ll give them a poem from the Golden Boat based on that key word.

For example, one customer asked me for a poem on happiness.  So I recited this poem:

Speak without words.
You will be happy.

Dedicate without proclaiming.
You will be happy.

Love without being loved.
You will be happy.

Surrender without being subjugated.
You will be happy.

Become without being known,
without being caught,
without being sought.
You will be happy.

Sri Chinmoy, 2

The customer really enjoyed that poem immensely! These poems have transformed my life.  I feel I have grown and changed with these poems.

If I had to pick a poem that I feel expresses the loftiest height, it would be this absolutely immortal gem:"

“My heart conceals
The pangs of ages.

My heart conceals
The failures of human races.

My heart conceals
The indifference of God’s faces.

But
My heart feels
Only one thing:
God’s Heaven-free
And
Sky-vast changes.”

Sri Chinmoy, 3


Mahiruha also recited a whole poetry series "Transcendence-Perfection" at a recent edition of "Challenging Impossibility" - an event organised by the Sri Chinmoy Centre, where individuals are invited to try and transcend their limitations and achieve some challenging task. These can be sporting, musical, test of skill or in Mahiruha's case a test of memory and devotion to poetry.

Mahiruha works at a health food store in Chicago, US.

More of Sri Chinmoy's poetry is available at Sri Chinmoy Poetry.