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International Day of Yoga 2017

In 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga.

The 2017 main events at UN Headquarters in New York, held on 20 and 21 June, were organized by the Permanent Mission of India in association with the UN Department of Public Information and the World Health Organization.

unisPhoto UNIS - International Day of Yoga, Vienna.

The theme for 2017,  “Yoga for Health”,  was highlighted in many local events worldwide this week  – recognising how yoga could help enable an integral approach to a healthy, balanced lifestyle which promotes long-term good health.

Yoga is an ancient art, combining physical, mental and spiritual practises to attain a union between man and the Ultimate Reality.

Since his arrival in the West in 1964, Sri Chinmoy has written extensively on the virtues of yoga and its capacity to expand the horizons of seekers and aspirants. In the very first edition of Aum Magazine (Sri Chinmoy’s first printed work in the West), Sri Chinmoy wrote about traditional yoga exercises.

“The traditional yogic exercises attempt to place the body in a state of receptivity in order to bring down peace and certain higher forces from above.”

Sri Chinmoy [1]

Sri Chinmoy teaches that through the practise of yoga, we can attain both peace of mind and an awareness of a more illumined consciousness.

“The very aim of practising Yoga is to have peace, peace of mind. When one acquires peace of mind, automatically one possesses indomitable inner strength.”

– Sri Chinmoy [2]

On 20 June, members of Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations celebrated the Day with a lunchtime meditation session for staff at UN Headquarters in New York. The Peace Meditation Group also offered a commemorative booklet on aspects of yoga to participants of the “Yoga Session” held that evening on the UN North Lawn, as well as the “Conversation with Yoga Masters” held the following morning in the ECOSOC Chamber.

Further links

 

References

[1] Sri Chinmoy, AUM, Vol.1, No..1, 1965

[2] Sri Chinmoy, Realisation-Soul and Manifestation-Goal, 1974.

Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race - 2017

This year sees the 21st edition of the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race. Ten runners took to the start line on June 18th to embark on the epic quest to complete 3,100 miles over the course of 52 days. Each runner will need to tap into deep reserves of - stamina, fitness, and inner strength - to meet the 60 miles a day average needed to complete the race. The race was founded by Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual teacher keen to promote physical self-transcendence as a way to the inner and outer enlightenment.

3100 mile race 2017Runners and team of volunteers before the start.

The race attracts international media attention for the unique personal challenge it presents. The race promoted by the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team has an international flavour with runners drawn from Europe, US and New Zealand. In addition to the ten runners, a team of volunteers look after the runners through cooking, medical team and lap counters.

3100

    “We compete not for the sake of defeating others, but in order to bring forward our own capacity. Our best capacity comes forward only when there are other people around us. They inspire us to bring forward our utmost capacity, and we inspire them to bring forward their utmost capacity”

– Sri Chinmoy [1]

Nridhuvi and Harita enjoying the start of the race.

3100 mile courseThe whole course is on a single concrete block, in Jamaica, Queens, New York.

Photos: Jowan and Utpal.


The runners this year include:

Vasu Duzhiy Age 51, St. Petersburg, Russia (5 finishes, one win)
Smarana Puntigam 46, Vienna Austria. Seven straight finishes.
Nidhruvi Zimmermann, 51, Vienna, Austria
Nirbhasa Magee, 37, Dublin Ireland
Andrey Andreev, 51, St Petersburg Russia
Sergey Kuzmin, 44, Nizhniy Novgorod Russia
Kaneenika Janakova, Age 47, Bratislava, Slovakia
Ananda-Lahari Zuskin, Age 42, Kosice, Slovakia
Yolanda Holder, 59, Corona,CA USA
Harita Davies, 42, Christchurch New Zealand

Full bios of runners

Paintings for World Peace and Harmony

In Geneva, several hundred paintings by Sri Chinmoy have been exhibited at the Palais des Nations, United Nations Office. The event was sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh in Geneva, with support from the Cultural Diplomacy and Outreach Section of the UN Office at Geneva, in collaboration with the Jharna-Kala Art Foundation.

The exhibit contains several distinct genre of paintings. These include a series of Peace-Bird drawings, originally exhibited at the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris, in 2006. Another series of 9”x12” acrylic paintings were first shown at an exhibition at St. Petersburg State University, Russia, in 2004.

At the opening event, H.E. M. Shameem Ahsan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh in Geneva, welcomed guests from the UN community and said that in “today’s conflict-ridden world, Bangladesh remains committed to and vocal for global peace and harmony”, and thus “deeply values the teachings of Sri Chinmoy, a son of the soil.” Noting that Sri Chinmoy taught that “by sharing goodwill and inspiration with others, and by spreading love and care, the world can be transformed and peace can be achieved,” Ambassador Ahsan said that Sri Chinmoy’s “paintings and music reflect his spiritual journey for the peace and well-being of humanity.”

Kenyan long-distance running champion and peace advocate Tegla Loroupe also spoke at the opening of the exhibit in Geneva, recalling how Sri Chinmoy had inspired her to work for peace. The event was moderated by M. Francesco Pisano, Chief of the Cultural Diplomacy and Outreach Section in Geneva. As Head of the UN Library there, he accepted a gift of a newly published book, Songs of Peace, collecting a number of songs that Sri Chinmoy had composed in dedication to the United Nations, as well as selections from his writings about the world body. Several of his compositions of music for peace were performed at the Geneva event, enhancing the peaceful atmosphere.

At the time of the 2007 exhibit of Paintings for World Peace and Harmony at the UN in New York, a number of world leaders and diplomats expressed their support. Nelson Mandela commented, “Within each of us lies the power to build a world where we respect each other’s beliefs, understand each other’s culture and support each other’s values — a world where hatred, pain and suffering have no place.  This is the great cause of world peace to which my dear friend Sri Chinmoy devoted his life and to which his Paintings for World Harmony at the United Nations are dedicated.” Mikhail Gorbachev commented that “Sri Chinmoy was a zealous supporter of the United Nations. He tried to inspire people who work in this worldwide organization. Therefore, it is remarkable that this gallery is taking place especially at the UN.”

During the 10 day exhibition, members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre offered musical performances to those attending the art exhibition.

Enjoying the music.

30th Anniversary Sri Chinmoy Peace Mile

Recently, the Sri Chinmoy Peace Mile in Oxford celebrated it's 30th Anniversary. The Peace Mile was inaugurated by Sri Chinmoy and the Mayor of Oxford back in May 1987. It serves as both an inspiring course for runners and a symbol of a more peaceful world. Sri Chinmoy considered himself a 'Student of Peace' and felt that running and the cause of inner peace had a complementary nature.

Sri Chinmoy at the opening of the Peace Mile with Bill Fogg, Mayor of Oxford

Peace Mile

Runners in the Anniversary Race organised by the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team.

Peace Mile

The Peace Mile was one of many Peace Miles located around the world. THe first Peace Mile was dedicated at Battersea in London in 1986. The Peace Miles are part of an initiative called "Sri Chinmoy Peace-Blossoms" - places and areas of significance that have been dedicated to the cause of peace.

O dreamers of peace, come.
Let us walk together.
O lovers of peace, come.
Let us run together.
O servers of peace, come.
Let us grow together.

- Sri Chinmoy

Related

Oneness-Dream Tour in Tuscany

Recently, the music group Oneness-Dream offered 31 acapella singing performances of Sri Chinmoy's music at spiritual locations throughout Tuscany, Italy.

tuscany

The members of the group are students of Sri Chinmoy and come from several different countries. During the tour, they performed in churches and monasteries in Florence, Sienna and Pisa, and the surrounding Tuscany countryside. The music group is led by Prachar Stegemann with Adarsha Kelly the lead soloist.

The concerts were attended by members of the public and members of the local congregations. Those who attended the concert expressed their appreciation for the uplifting music.

During his lifetime, Sri Chinmoy composed many thousands of songs and also offered many Peace Concerts as an offering to seekers. Sri Chinmoy felt music could be a vehicle for bringing the heart to the fore and dissolving the barriers which can exist between people.

“Music will play a most important role in bringing about world oneness, for music embodies the Universal Heart, the Oneness-Heart. Music transcends the barriers of nations, nationalities and religions.”

Sri Chinmoy.

One of the concerts in a Tuscan church.

This wandering monk happened to meet the group in Sicily in 2016, 15 months later he was very happy to 'happen by chance' to come across another performance in northern Italy.

Photos: Dhanu (except last photo, Suswara)

Seminar on Sri Chinmoy and Bangladesh Philosophy

Recently, an academic seminar was held at Chittagong University on 'Sri Chinmoy and Bangladesh Philosophy.'
Khoursed-Islam-speaks.-Eventorganizer-Prof.-Abu-Baker-is-far-right Khoursed Islam speaks during the conference

The historical "Seminar on Sri Chinmoy and Bangladesh Philosophy" was organised by the academic community of Bangladesh, and took place 19 February 2017, in Chittagong, Bangladesh. In the first of its kind, the one-day symposium, which was spearheaded by Chittagong University, brought together academics within and outside of Bangladesh. One goal of the symposium was to raise awareness in the Bangladeshi academic community about the philosophy, wisdom, and wealth of writings of philosopher, author, composer, and poet, Sri Chinmoy.
Professor-Kamrul-Ahsan Professor Kamrul Ahsan

Conference organiser, N.H.M. Abu Bakar, Chair of the Department Philosophy, Chittagong University, explained: "Here in Bangladesh, we teach different philosophies--Greek philosophy, European philosophy, British philosophy --yet the philosophy of Sri Chinmoy, a son of Bangladesh, has been neglected from our curriculum!" Professor Bakar and his colleagues are working currently to build a curriculum centred on the philosophy of Sri Chinmoy. The symposium was inaugurated by Prof. Dr. Iftekar Uddin Chowdhury, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Shireen Akter, Pro-Vice Chancellor, and Dr. Sekandar Chowdhury, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Humanities--faculty with Chittagong University. In addition, Prof. Lunthita Duthely, University of Miami, offered opening remarks as well. The conference opening was followed by a traditional floral reception, where the speakers were offered small flower bouquets by Chittagong University philosophy students. A total of six papers were presented. These included:
  • PhD candidate, Kamrun "Moni" Nahar, Dhaka University; "Spiritual Philosophy of Sri Chinmoy"
  • Prof. Lunthita M. Duthely, University of Miami, "Sri Chinmoy's The Path of the Heart Meditations in Education: Preliminary Findings"
  • Prof. Bakar, Chair of Philosophy, Chittagong University, “God Realization in Sri Chinmoy's Spiritualism”
  • Prof. Kamrul Ahsan, Jahangirnagar University, “Sri Chinmoy: A Spiritual Philosopher of Bangladesh"
  • Prof Shafiqul Alam, Chittagong University, “Sri Chinmoy and His Philosophy";
  • Prof. M. Shafiqul Alam, CU, "Sri Chinmoy and his Philosophy"
  • Mr. Sarwar Kamal, "Some Aspects of the Eastern Heart and the Western Mind: A Compatibility Debate in Sri Chinmoy’s Spirituality"
  • Miss Shantishri McGrath, "The Philosophy of Sri Chinmoy".
Approximately 200 students and faculty attended the day-long seminar. The seminar consisted of two half-day sessions, which included a combination of paper presentations, discussions, questions, and other commentaries. Interspersed within the presentations were facilitated discussions by Prof. Kamrul Ahsan, Jahangirnagar University, and Professors Lutfor Rahman and Abdul Hai, Chittagong University. Two spontaneous, but spirited talks, led by Prof. Kamrul Ahsan on “Divine Love”, and another by Kourshed Islam on “Oneness of Individuals, Religions, and Philosophies”, captured the hearts and minds of the Chittagong University students. The program ended with performances of Sri Chinmoy’s music, as well as a quiz, where approximately 40 students won either a book or a musical CD by answering correctly, questions related to the presentations. According to Prof Bakar, there are at least 10 researchers throughout Bangladesh, from master’s level up to post-doctoral level, currently researching Sri Chinmoy's philosophy. To facilitate this work at Chittagong University, a scholarship fund was created to fund one student researcher who will compete for the opportunity to use the scholarship to research the philosophy of Sri Chinmoy. Sri Chinmoy was born in Shakpura, Chittagong, East Bengal on 27 August 1931. Then part of India, the region is now part of modern Bangladesh. Article by: Lunthita M. Duthely Related

Six and Ten Day Races 2017

In Flushing Meadows, New York the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team are promoting the twenty-second annual Sri Chinmoy Ten Day Race. The event also encompasses a six-day race. The event was founded by Sri Chinmoy as a means to promote the ideal of self-transcendence - giving runners the opportunity to stretch their capacities - physical, mental and spiritual.

start-ten-day-race Start Ten Day Race. Photo Utpal.

 

This year's event has attracted an international field from across the world, including a total of 68 runners.

Runner enjoying the race. Photo: Utpal

 

  The one-mile course is set in a pleasant park setting - near the famous areas of the World’s Fair of 1964 and close to the USTA facility, home of the US Open. However, the runners have to battle against variations in the weather, minimal sleep and the challenges of running as far as they can in the allotted time.

bahula-medical-1000163 The race is supported by a team of volunteers who offer food, medical supporting and counting of laps. Photo: Utpal

 

In Sri Chinmoy's philosophy - self-transcendence plays an important role; Sri Chinmoy felt through self-transcendence we can all make progress, no matter our current capacity.

“Self-transcendence gives us joy in boundless measure. When we transcend ourselves, we do not compete with others. We do not compete with the rest of the world, but at every moment we compete with ourselves. We compete only with our previous achievements. And each time we surpass our previous achievements, we get joy.”

– Sri Chinmoy Follow the race

Bali Leaders Share their Oneness-Heart at Songs of Soul Concert

Recently, members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre performed a Songs of the Soul Concert in Denpasar, Bali; the event began with an interfaith prayer for peace. 20170205_SOTS-Concert-Bali_75-X3 “AUM Shanti Shanti Shanti AUM” – the atmosphere at Taman Budaya Art Center in Denpasar, Bali, was electric with spiritual energy on 5 February 2017, as over a dozen kings and representatives from the island’s royal families joined in chanting the traditional Balinese Hindu mantra, along with many religious and inter-faith leaders and over fifty visiting performers from the Songs of the Soul concert. The concert, which featured the soul-stirring music and poetry of Sri Chinmoy, including songs he wrote for Bali and Indonesia, was presented in gratitude to Bali and all those who continue to nurture the spiritual and cultural traditions that are at the core of Balinese society and inspire all humanity with their love of peace and oneness. Over 300 members of the Sri Chinmoy Centres International were visiting the island for two weeks on their annual retreat; they had chosen Bali because, while he was alive, Sri Chinmoy loved Bali deeply and travelled there on several occasions. 20170205_SOTS-Concert-Bali_02-X2 In a moving opening blessing for the concert, prominent religious leaders representing all the major religious faiths of Bali gathered on stage, each offering a prayer for peace from their tradition. The religious leaders -- representing Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism and Confucianism -- clasped hands in unity and bowed to the applause of the audience, before they took their seats to enjoy the concert, which was soulfully and charmingly introduced by the Balinese MC, Suhasini Mirah Septiarini. 20170205_SOTS-Concert-Bali_25-X2 Of the several musical groups performing, a highlight was the Sri Chinmoy Bhajan Singers, an international vocal and instrumental ensemble that has enchanted audiences in Bali over the years with their devotional songs. One of their presentations was a song written by Sri Chinmoy about Bali. Translated from his native Bengali, the song says: “Bali, Bali, Bali, you make my mind tranquil emptiness-fulness… Only one race and one code of life, the quintessence of Truth’s pinnacle-heights.” 20170205_SOTS-Concert-Bali_43-X2 Another of the musical groups, the Sahadeva Ensemble, performed a dynamic, new medley of several songs that Sri Chinmoy wrote in honour of Hanuman, a central figure of the Ramayana epic that is so beloved in Bali. Between musical acts, inspirational poetry by Sri Chinmoy, translated into Bahasa Indonesia, was presented by Narottama Wayan Sidhakarya. 20170205_SOTS-Concert-Bali_53-X2 In the powerful conclusion to the concert, over a dozen representatives of the royal families from across Bali and Surakarta were invited to the stage, along with the interfaith leaders and performers, to join in chanting AUM Shanti Shanti Shanti AUM, in the Balinese tradition. Special guests were offered a book of Sri Chinmoy’s poetry as a gift, to take home and cherish some of the evening’s peace. 20170205_SOTS-Concert-Bali_37-X2 The political leadership of Bali joined in sharing the message of peace and oneness on other occasions during the group’s visit, when the Office of the Governor of Bali and the Office of the Mayor of Denpasar each hosted an event for the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, on 31 January and 2 February, respectively, with hundreds of local students participating. Upon presenting the Peace Torch and offering the Torch Bearer Award to Mayor Rai Mantra Dharmawijaya, Salil Wilson, the Executive Director of the Peace Run, read aloud the soulful tribute that Sri Chinmoy had offered to Bali: “Of all the places I have visited, Bali is undoubtedly the best. It has everything: sincerity, simplicity, purity, humility and peace. Is there any divine quality missing here? This place is Heaven on earth.”   Addressing the government officials and international Peace Runners assembled, the Mayor, who is known for his efforts to preserve Balinese spirituality and culture in the face of modernization, commented with a big smile, “Sri Chinmoy is more Balinese than the Balinese!” Similar appreciation was expressed by Agung Rai, the founder of the ARMA Museum in Ubud, at a reception on 1 February opening an exhibit of Sri Chinmoy’s Paintings for Peace and World-Harmony. Since 2009, the museum has hosted a larger-than-life bronze statue of Sri Chinmoy entitled “Dreamer of World-Peace”, set among the lush green gardens. The ARMA Museum also actively seeks to preserve Balinese culture by offering expert instruction in gamelan music and traditional dance to local children. On any given day, visitors who come to pray and meditate for peace at the statue can also enjoy the intricate rhythms of the gamelan gongs and the children dancing nearby, all in oneness with the vision of peace and harmony that Bali and Sri Chinmoy share and offer to the world. Photos: Bhashwar Related                

Ultra-Runners racing towards enlightenment

The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team promote many ultra distance races, including the 24 hour race in London. In the latest edition of "The Week", a popular British news magazine, a featured article was about the efforts of self-transcendence by the various competitors who take on this challenge. The article, written by Adharanand Finn a journalist for the Guardian, gives glimpses into the motivation and joys of both those helping to set up the race and the runners who spend 24 hours racking up the miles. the-last-word-sri-chinmoyThe London 24 hour race was first started 30 years ago by Ongkar Tony Smith, a follower of Sri Chinmoy and founder of the popular running shop Run and Become. Sri Chinmoy encouraged ultra-running as a means for people to transcend their previous efforts and go beyond their mental limitations. As Shankara Smith, the race organiser, mentions in the article: “Sri Chinmoy used to say it’s not mind over matter, but heart over mind. If you can’t silence that mind, then you can’t do it, because your mind will tell you you can’t. Here, you can’t tell yourself it’s you versus that mountain, because there is no mountain. It’s just you versus you.” The article was originally published in the Guardian and syndicated by The Week. In the photo chosen by The Week - 'Sri Chinmoy in 2006' - Sri Chinmoy was playing the esraj - an Indian stringed instrument. Sri Chinmoy was also seated beneath his weightlifting equipment. Quite often Sri Chinmoy would honour individuals as part of his "Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart" Award. Before lifting, Sri Chinmoy would play the esraj to create a meditative atmosphere. It is an example of how Sri Chinmoy combined meditation, music, and physical, sporting transcendence. Related

Meditation techniques

In his writings and talks, Sri Chinmoy offered many different meditation techniques - from simple tips to still the mind - to the use of mantra, music and visualisation. meditation An example exercise to transcend the mind and invoke the soul "In order to purify your mind, the best thing to do is to feel every day for a few minutes during your meditation that you have no mind. Say to yourself, "I have no mind, I have no mind. What I have is the heart." Then after some time feel, "I don't have a heart. What I have is the soul." When you say, "I have the soul," at that time you will be flooded with purity." - Sri Chinmoy
222 Meditation Exercises meditation222 222 Meditation Exercises is a compilation of over 200 different techniques from the writings of Sri Chinmoy. With a wide range of different exercises, there is enough variety for any seeker to find some meditations which work for him. It also mentions some of the factors which can help make meditation a more integral part of someone's daily life - through cultivating qualities such as aspiration, gratitude and determination. The exercises can be a good way for people to give a new focus to their own meditation. visualisations "Inside our heart-garden are all our divine qualities. They are like beautiful and fragrant flowers. First, repeat to yourself, "I am inside my heart-garden." Try to see and feel all the beautiful flowers there. Then say, "I am my heart-garden. All the divine flowers inside my heart-garden are part and parcel of my own self." - Extract by Sri Chinmoy The importance of meditation techniques Meditation is an individual experience. Through developing a regular personal practise, seekers will find ways of meditation which ultimately work for them. Sri Chinmoy says the secret of meditation is for the seekers own soul to come to the fore and it is our own soul which will teach us how to meditate. However, in the beginning we value different techniques and guided meditations which help us to silence the mind and bring forward the heart and soul. More info on: The Meditation Book Review The book is well laid out, with excellent pictures and a feeling of simplicity and purity which is conducive to giving a good inspiration to our meditation. It is the kind of book which can be dipped into at regular intervals, allowing the reader to choose the exercises which appeal to them.
Related  

Sri Chinmoy Centre activities in Greece

In recent weeks, members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre from around the world visited Greece to take part in concerts, the Peace Run and meditations for the New Year. peace-run-greece On Boxing day 26th, the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run was warmly welcomed by the mayor and people of Kalamata during a one off run to mark the Christmas / New Year. The run was joined by local school children and the mayor of Kalamata. (See: Peace Run)
peace-run-group The Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run in Kalamata, Greece

On 3rd of January 2017, the all male acapella choir, Oneness-Dream, performed a concert of Sri Chinmoy’s songs in a church of Kalamata. church-kalamata The group have toured many countries around the world, performing in churches and sacred venues. It was the first time they had the opportunity to perform in a church of the Greek Orthodox church. The concert was warmly received by the local priest and parishioners.
oneness-dream-greece Oneness Dream performance of Sri Chinmoy's songs

On the 4th of January, members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre performed a play to a packed audience at the theater in Kalamata. new-year-play The play, written by Devashishu Torpy, incorporated elements of Greek and Indian culture - combined with excerpts from Sri Chinmoy's own writings - to offer an insight into the shared aspects of the eternal spiritual quest.
songs-of-soul Songs of the Soul, Athens

On the 5th of January, there was a Songs of the Soul concert in Athens, where groups of international musicians performed the music of Sri Chinmoy, during a two hour concert. Many people attended and were appreciative of the soulful and uplifting music. songs-of-soul In addition to these activities, members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre, on their annual Christmas festival took part in running races, the performance of plays and daily meditations.
jayasalina-running-kalamata-yatkara Race along Kalamata sea front.

  Photos: Yatkara Aleksapolskyy and Tejvan Pettinger Related

Impossibility Challenger 2016

Impossibility Challenger is an event organised by members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre, where individuals are given the opportunity to test themselves in seeking to transcend their own limitations. During the event, individuals or groups of people can choose any number of challenges which inspires them to seek their own self-transcendence. This can be either to set a new personal best or try to set a new world record. ic-1 This year event was held in Berlin, Germany. During the weekend there was a varied collection of events - ranging from attempts to run the fastest 100 metres whilst wearing flippers - to reciting an entire poetry book. Notable events included ic-2
  • Most one handed claps in a minute
  • Juggling 3* 5kg balls
  • Pulling 10 tonne tractor, plus driver
  • Memorising longest sequence of binary numbers in one minute
  • Most push ups on raw eggs in a minute.
  • Mahiruha's Klein attempt to memorise and recite 843 poems from Sri Chinmoy's poetry book Transcendence-Perfection.
ic-3 The event was founded by Sri Chinmoy who sought to encourage people to try gain joy from transcending their achievements and capacities.
"Either forget impossibility’s challenge Or challenge impossibility’s pride To become truly happy."

- Sri Chinmoy

Video of event https://vimeo.com/193895856 Video: Devashishu Torpy

Agnikana's Group tour of UK

Recently, the Czech music group "Agnikana's Group" toured parts of the British Isles to give free concerts of Sri Chinmoy's music. The group played in the major capitals of London, Cardiff, Dublin and Edinburgh, and also York, Bristol and Ipswich. agnikana-2-sgoup Agnikana's group in London agnikana-3 Outside London Church agnikana-4 Agnikana's group is an all female ensemble who perform the music of Sri Chinmoy. The concerts were well attended and received positive feedback with audience members describing the music as 'beautiful, peaceful and 'connecting with the soul'.   agnikana-5 The group played in Edinburgh. peace-mural-2 The previous week, the Sri Chinmoy Centre had been part of the Edinburgh Festival of Peace and Spirituality, with this artwork displayed at St John’s Church in Princes Street. concert in dublin Final concert in Dublin, Ireland. Related

Yoga and the UN Culture of Peace

The Sri Chinmoy Choir had the honour of performing arrangements of Sri Chinmoy's songs dedicated to the UN and peace at a programme entitled "Yoga and the UN Culture of Peace." The event was held at the United Nations in the prestigious Economic and Social Council Chamber the evening of 28 October 2016. Hosted by His Excellency Ambassador Durga Prasad Bhattarai, the Permanent Representative of Nepal to the UN, the event was webcast live, and the video is also available on the UN website (UN live weblink). The choir opened the programme, after the Deputy Permanent Representative of Nepal, Mr. Nirmal Raj Kafle, offered a few remarks on behalf of Ambassador Bhattarai, declaring that the wealth of yoga belongs to humanity in general. nilima silver Ms. Nilima Silver, Programme Coordinator of Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations and UN Staff Member, was invited by the organizers to serve as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. In introducing the Choir, she explained that in 1970, then UN Secretary-General U Thant invited spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy to conduct meditations for peace at UN Headquarters in New York. Until his passing in 2007, Sri Chinmoy offered his multifaceted inspiration to the UN community through twice-weekly meditations, concerts and other programmes for peace. Sri Chinmoy also founded a non-governmental organization accredited with the UN Department of Public Information, the international Sri Chinmoy Centre, which provides humanitarian aid and promotes a culture of peace.
8 Sri Chinmoy Choir

The singers are honoured to continue in this spirit. On this occasion the choir started with a poem by Sri Chinmoy, followed by several of his songs dedicated to peace and to the UN, with arrangements by members of the Choir.
Yogmata Keiko Aikawa Ms. Yogmata Keiko Aikawa

Following the choir, the guest of honour, Yogmata Keiko Aikawa, gave the Keynote Address, which was followed by a panel discussion, with questions and answers.
20161028_yoga-the-uncp_06 Deputy Permanent Representative of Nepal, Mr. Nirmal Raj Kafle

The event served as a continuum to the UN International Day of Yoga, first proposed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his speech to the General Assembly in September 2014. The Assembly later unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing that “wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practising yoga would be beneficial for the health of the world population,” and declaring 21 June the International Day. (See link to the resolution and draft showing initial co-sponsors)
panel Panel of speakers

delegates-meeting   See also: Yoga and the UN Culture of Peace Program.pdf

Concise Summary version

Fuller excerpts and related timeline links

UN Secretary General Message for IDY (2016-Jun21) Related

Pope Francis blesses the Peace Torch

pope-francis_blesses_the_peace-torch-1-observatory Pope Francis blessed and held aloft the Peace Torch from the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Run during his weekly audience in St. Peter’s Square on  12 Oct, 2016. blessing-torch It is the second time Pope Francis has blessed the Torch and offered his good wishes to all those who participate in the international Peace Run. pope-francis_blesses_the_peace-torch Salil Wilson, director of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run also gave the Pope a painting by Sri Chinmoy (founder of the Run) and a volume of selected drawings and messages of peace and love from children on six continents.  The Pope expressed his gratitude for the gifts. See more at Peace Run.org - Pope Francis blesses the Peace Torch.

Finale of European Peace Run

The meeting with Pope Francis was auspicious given the European Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run had recently finished its 2016 leg in Rome, the Eternal City, just a few days prior.
rome-group Peace Run team complete their momentous journey in Rome.

“Lasting peace must begin within the depths of the individual, and from there spread in ever-widening circles as a dynamic force for world change.”
– Sri Chinmoy
doves Doves of Peace

colloseum Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run

peace-run-final The finale

peace Many local Italian schoolchildren joined the event which sought to promote the ideals of peace and international friendship. Related

Adriano's account of swimming the English Channel

In a recent book, Adriano Passini from Brazil explains the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of successfully swimming the English Channel at his first attempt. adriano-karteek-chrisosmond-after-swim   For Adriano Passini the English Channel was a life-long dream, though one that seemed out of reach. After studying meditation with Sri Chinmoy, he gained a new belief and confidence that it would be possible. In this book, he shares the joys and hardships of his two-year-journey of preparation and finally completion. Short extracts from book adriano-english-channel-760"I feel that one of the greatest challenges for a person is to control their own mind. One main aspect of the spiritual life is to bring the mind and the senses under control in order to reach the ultimate goal: complete oneness with our “Inner Pilot,” the soul or God. This is not something that we will be able to achieve within a few weeks, months or years. It may take many incarnations of spiritual discipline to achieve this goal." "In long competitions, concentration and mental control are essential, and I believe that is why Sri Chinmoy encourages the practice of endurance sports. It is not only a question of having a healthy body, but also of developing our inner capacities through sport." "I have been learning more about this each day with my spiritual teacher. Through meditation it is becoming a reality, and I believe every day I am taking another step towards this inner goal. With each race I do, I am more convinced that this philosophy of self-transcendence in sports is helping us to learn to control and go beyond the mind. So we can tell our mind: “Look what I am capable of!” "Occasionally, my mind was still invaded by some negative thoughts, but as soon as I became aware of them, I let them burst like balloons. I did not dwell on them. I prayed, meditated and sang in silence all the time. I had memorized a series of aphorisms to recite during the crossing, but I forgot most of them. So I sang the same five mantric songs over and over again. To relieve my mental tension, sometimes I remembered some jokes or some funny incidents that had happened in my life. I thought of people mimicking others and other funny moments. I did everything I could to entertain myself a little and eventually I even laughed. All of those things made my crossing more pleasant." *** "Up to the fourth hour, my mind had been a little agitated at times, but when the barrier of four hours was broken, things got better. My mind had adapted to the situation and started to calm down. It seemed as though the swimming became more defined, and I was better able to maintain a peaceful meditative state for longer periods of time. The time had come to appreciate the English Channel crossing even more. During the rest of the crossing, I tried to keep just a few thoughts in my mind. One of them was: “I will not give up. I will not give up. I came here to cross the English Channel and I will not leave it except on the French coast!” *** "The mental control I needed during the second half of the crossing was extreme. I believe that, were it not for the meditation that I had been practicing for eight years, I would not have been able to achieve it, at least not on my first attempt. It is startling to remember how vulnerable I felt at times during the swim. Being in the middle of the English Channel with the waves of the sea, unable to see anything around me, not knowing where I was, felt frightening. When I read Sri Chinmoy’s line about the English Channel frightening the human body and puzzling the human mind, I did not quite comprehend what he meant, but now I really started to understand." Related

Peace Runs across the world

Recently, the US section of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run finished in Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza just outside the United Nations headquarters in New York. But, whilst the US section has finished for this year, other Peace Runs continue - in Australasia, Europe, and other locations around the world. global-peace-runners Runners from across the world, join in the final leg of the run through New York. tavishi-matthews Tavishi Matthews from Australia, ran all four months in the US relay leg. The teams of runners on the Peace Run are usually comprised of individuals from all other the world, who come in their own free time to be part of this unique event. Sri Chinmoy (in the background of the picture) founded the run in 1987, he hoped it would prove a dynamic vehicle for bringing people together from different nationalities and cultures. sri-chinmoy-1987-clarence-naradaAt the launch of the Peace Run in 1987 with Sri Chinmoy (holding torch), Narada Michael Walden and Clarence Clemmons. Whilst the US run has finished for 2016, the Peace Run continues in other parts of the world. ukraine-peace-run-group In the Ukraine, the European Peace Run continues its journey across the continent, aiming to finish in Milan Italy later this year. lone-runner-peace-run-2095-14 A lone runner in Australia takes the Peace Torch across a straight flat round during their Peace Run. rainbow-iceland-2096-16 In Iceland a local Peace Run involves school children from Reykjavík, who on this day run under a giant rainbow. “This world has everything Save and except one thing, Peace, And this peace has to blossom From within.” – Sri Chinmoy [source] Related

Mother Teresa - a Mother of Compassion and Sister of Affection

The occasion of Mother Teresa's canonisation brought to mind many memories of the kindness and affection that she showed Sri Chinmoy and his students over the years.
Sri Chinmoy and Mother Teresa had a very significant friendship; Sri Chinmoy often described her as his mother of Compassion, and at the same time his Sister of Affection. Over the years, they met quite a few times, and exchanged many letters and phone conversations. Sri Chinmoy and his students worked with Mother Teresa on a number of medical projects that were dear to her heart and she fully supported his peace-oriented activities.
mother-teresa-sri-chinmoy Sri Chinmoy often recalled Mother Teresa's qualities of affection and compassion; for example, during their meeting in 1994 when he presented her with the prestigious U Thant Peace Award on behalf of the Peace Meditation at the United Nations. “We were sitting at a very small table. My hands were folded over my heart,” recounts Sri Chinmoy. “After a few seconds, Mother reached out and pulled my left hand towards her. Then she started pressing my fingers, one by one, from the tip of the finger to the wrist. When she finished with my left hand, she took my right hand from my heart and did the same thing. One moment Mother was acting like a mother, the next moment like an elder sister and the third like a younger sister. It was like a brother and sister having a family gathering. No other world figure has shown me this kind of affection!” During that meeting, Mother Teresa held the Peace Torch from the international Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, the world's largest peace torch relay and offered a most beautiful talk on serving God in the poor. motherteresa She presented her favourite prayer; her prayer-card she charmingly called her “business card.” It reads:
“The fruit of silence is prayer. The fruit of prayer is faith. The fruit of faith is love. The fruit of love is service. The fruit of service is peace.”
Mother lovingly exclaimed to Sri Chinmoy, “I am so pleased with all the good work you are doing for world peace and for people in so many countries. May we continue to work together and to share together all for the glory of God and for the good of man.” “You are the Mother of Compassion,” he replied, deeply moved. “You are the Sister of Affection. You have conquered the hearts of all the poor and needy people you have served. You have not only conquered them, but you have conquered India. Not only India, but the entire world. The entire world has boundless gratitude to you. You have elevated the consciousness of the entire world.” Mother Teresa was to meet with Sri Chinmoy on three more occasions—each time at Mother’s Missionaries of Charity House in the Bronx, New York. Their final meeting took place on June 17th, 1997—during her last visit to America. Sri Chinmoy had planned to write a book for Mother’s upcoming birthday in August, but felt compelled from within to complete the book quickly—just in time for what turned out to be their last meeting. The soul-stirring book is entitled Mother Teresa: Humanity’s Flower Heart; Divinity’s Fragrance-Soul. mother-teresa-signs Mother Teresa exclaimed, “What a wonderful book! This is a most beautiful book! You have my blessings.” She signed one of the copies and gave it to Sri Chinmoy. Following are a few of the many poems about Mother Teresa in the book:
“My sisters and brothers of the world, Are we so blind that we cannot see God’s own Autograph On Mother Teresa’s forehead?”
“Mother, To be in your blessingful presence Is to breathe in A breath of living compassion.”
“Mother Teresa tells the whole world That a heart of love Is infinitely stronger Than we can ever imagine.”
Mother Teresa closed the meeting with her soulful request: “Pray for us that we continue to do God’s Work, and I will pray for you that you grow in great love for God and spread that love everywhere you go. Thank you very much.” After this final interview, Sri Chinmoy said: “In Mother Teresa I see so much of Mother Mary. Other women saints have prayed and have been very spiritual, but their works have been limited to a particular town or city or village. Here, in her case, the whole world she has covered. Is there any place she has not gone!” On the morning of her departure from America, June 27th, 1997, Mother called Sri Chinmoy and offered him her most loving and most affectionate blessings. She fervently requested him to pray for her and repeated her sweet demand for him to accompany her to China where she was eager to open a Missionaries of Charity House. That afternoon, just prior to her departure, she wrote a deeply moving letter to Sri Chinmoy: “Thank you for all you are to God, for the beautiful work you have done for the glory of God and the good of souls. I keep you in my prayer and I count on your continual support through your prayers and sacrifices that we may do God’s work with great love for His greater glory.”
Just a few days before Mother’s earthly departure, Sri Chinmoy called Mother Teresa for her birthday on August 27th, 1997 - Sri Chinmoy and Mother Teresa both share the same birthday. This was her 87th birthday and Sri Chinmoy’s 66th birthday. The Sisters caring for Mother mentioned that she had been eagerly speaking about Sri Chinmoy’s call several times. Following is a brief selection from their immortal final phone conversation: Sri Chinmoy: Happy, happier, happiest birthday, Mother! Mother Teresa: Ah! You know it is my birthday! Sri Chinmoy: Mother, who does not know that it is your birthday! When the sun shines, the whole world knows that the sun is shining! I am praying to the Saviour Christ to grant you His very, very special Blessings on your birthday. You came into the world to do something really great, and you have been doing that through your sleepless service to humanity. Mother Teresa: All that you are doing is for the Glory of God and for the good of people! Pray for me, as I pray for you for all of your many projects for world peace. Your works of love are works of prayer, and your works of prayer are works of God. On the evening of September 5th, 1997, in Warsaw, Poland, Sri Chinmoy received the shattering news of Mother Teresa’s passing. Immediately he held a long period of silent meditation with nearly 2000 of his students. In the following weeks, Sri Chinmoy offered his special prayers and held memorial programmes for Mother Teresa. His students sang a loving eulogy which he wrote for Mother and set to music entitled Mother Teresa: Calcutta’s Soaring Bird. This was sung at churches all over the world.
“Mother Teresa: Calcutta’s Soaring Bird India’s Sailing Moon The World’s Weeping Sky Earth’s Tearing Loss Heaven’s Dancing Gain The Christ’s Blossoming Promise The Mother Mary’s Harvesting Pride.”
 Related
  • Mother Teresa: Humanity’s Flower-Heart, Divinity’s Fragrance-Soul, part 1 at Sri Chinmoy Library

Close finish in Sri Chinmoy Self Transcendence 3100 Mile Race

Yuri Trostenyuk, a student of Sri Chinmoy from the Ukraine, won the 2016 edition of the 3100 Mile Race - with current record holder Asprihanal Aalto (Finland) finishing shortly after.
yuri-finish-line Yuri crosses the finish line after an epic journey of 46+ days

2016 was the 20th annual Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race and it provided the closest finish, with a late surge by Asprihanal making it a narrow margin of victory for Yuri, who also completed his fourth edition of the race.
yuri-asprihanal Asprihanal, the course record holder, offers his sincere appreciation to his brother competitor Yuri.

After finishing the race, Yuri Trostenyuk expressed his great joy and gratitude for completing the race. He talked about the inner significance of the race:
“We are not just running on a concrete sidewalk.  We are not on a path that leads to wealth and fame.  This path leads us to the depths of our hearts.  The place where God lives within us.  Where it is his home.  I was there.  There is everything there in order to be happy.”
yuri- In an epic race, Yuri finished in a time of 46 days +01:10:25 - averaging 67 miles / 108.346 km per day. yuri-finish-line-3 In 2015, Mr Aalto set the current all-time record for 3100 miles in a blistering speed of 40 days +09 hours. However, perhaps suffering from the effects of last years effort, Asprihanal struggled in the early parts of this years race, but the flying Finn finished in a flurry - covering an average of 78.61 miles over the final four days to push Yuri all the way to the finish.
3100-mile-race-2016-1 The start of the 2016 race

Other runners Atmavir Petr Spacil and Vasu Duzhiy are also close behind and set to finish very soon. In the womens race Kaneenika Janakova and Surasa Mairer are also edging closer to the magic 3100 mile mark. Related

Blue Flower - Music group

Blue Flower is a music group, dedicated to the music of Sri Chinmoy, which was formed in Novi Sad, Serbia in 1998. Recently, they have released a new album "In Ecstasy-Sea" which includes many soulful and haunting interpretations of Sri Chinmoy's compositions. Blue_Flower     Like many music groups of the Sri Chinmoy Centre, Blue Flower combine both Eastern and Western instruments with vocals, to create a unique sound, which has been appreciated by music lovers across Europe and the US. Their new album available at Radio Sri Chinmoy - 'In Ecstasy-Sea' Previous albums by Blue Flower O Beauty-Infinity (2005) Blossoming (2007) Petals of My Dreaming-Heart (2009) blue-flower Members of Blue Flower include
  • Keyboard – Eshana, Uchita; Harmonium, Eshana, Uchita; Guitar – Kulesvari; Cello – Chintamani; Metalophone – Kamaneeya; Drum – Svetlana; Flute – Rathika; Percussions – Martina, Prasatti; Voices – Celana, Chintamani, Eshana, Kamaneeya, Kulesvari, Martina, Prakashita, Prasatti, Purupriya, Ratkhika, Svetlana, Uchita, Viniyogaha.
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