Sri Chinmoy

Sri Chinmoy Kumar Ghose was born in the small village of Shakpura in East Bengal on August 27th, 1931. He entered the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Southern India as a youth and spent the next 20 years in spiritual practice. In 1964, Sri Chinmoy moved to New York City to offer his dedicated service to the West through music, concerts, literary outpourings, athletics and art. He lived in New York until his passing in 2007.

Sri Chinmoy serves as an inner spiritual guide to seekers and students in some 60 countries around the world. He encouraged a harmonious lifestyle that blends the inner discipline of prayer and meditation with the dynamism of modern life. 

Sri Chinmoy did not charge a fee for his spiritual guidance or concerts in the firm belief that meditation is everyone's birthright.

In a phone interview, Sri Chinmoy answers the question - are Westerners suitable for Eastern spirituality?

The creative works of Sri Chinmoy

Sri Chinmoy often described himself as a mere instrument of the creative energy that flows from the heart of  meditation. In the 4 decades he lived in the West he was able to offer an outpouring of achievements in various fields.

Sri Chinmoy was a prolific artist, with over 140,000 artworks to his name. This photo is from 1977 - Sri Chinmoy is painting 'CKG Transcends', one of his largest works

Prose and poetry

Sri Chinmoy meditates and reads from his much-loved poetry series 'My Flute'

Sri Chinmoy’s published works in the West over 50 years – and number nearly 1,600.

389 University Lectures
272 lectures at universities in the USA, including all the Ivy League universities, plus universities in all 50 states.
117 at universities in other countries

120,000 Published Poems
50,000 poems from Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees series
27,000 poems from Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants series
10,000 poems from Ten Thousand Flower-Flames series
2,240 rhyming poems
1,301 poems written in 24 hours (August 7th-8th, 1996)

Sri Chinmoy's 'Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants' series was published in 270 volumes of 100 poems each.

63 Plays published in 16 books
11 full length plays (7 on the lives of the Avatars) and 52 one-act plays

3,950+ Published Stories
400 instructive Master-and-disciple stories
482 biographical stories
364 autobiographical stories
398 light or entertaining stories
2,287 autobiographical anecdotes
54 children's stories
6 translations of other Bengali writers
675+ Published Jokes

Sri Chinmoy's most popular book, The Wings of Joy has sold over 100,000 copies.


An August 2000 concert in the Riverside Church, New York

In an odyssey that has spanned four decades, Sri Chinmoy composed a total of 13,000 songs in his native Bengali and 7,000 in English. Since 1964 Sri Chinmoy steadily increased his compositional outpourings decade by decade, composing an average of nearly 500 songs per year — many hauntingly prayerful, others powerfully dynamic.

He also gave hundreds of concerts in the US and abroad, including Carnegie Hall and the Riverside church in New York.

Sri Chinmoy's music

Sri Chinmoy training, 1992


Sri Chinmoy is perhaps unique among spiritual Masters in his dedication to sports as part of a balanced spiritual life. He was a champion sprinter in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram as a youth. In the West he took part in many track meets, and completed over 225 road races that including 22 marathons and 5 ultra-marathons.

In later years he took up weightlifting. His weightlifting philosophy had a particular emphasis on not surrendering to age: "Age is in the mind, not in the heart".

Challenging Impossibility: a documentary about Sri Chinmoy's weightlifting, featuring bodybuilding luminaries Bill Pearl, Frank Zane and Wayne DeMilia, strongman Hugo Girard, and athlete Carl Lewis.

Sri Chinmoy paints Jharna-Kala drawings based on spiritual qualities


Starting in 1974, Sri Chinmoy painted over 140,000 mystical Jharna-Kala artworks. Jharna-Kala means fountain-art in Sri Chinmoy's native Bengali language, it expresses art flowing from an inner divine source.

In 1991, he began drawing 'soul-birds', sketches of birds which symbolised the freedom of the human soul - he drew over 16 million of these.

Sri Chinmoy drawing 'soul-birds' in his house

Sri Chinmoy's love of America 

Sri Chinmoy expressed his appreciation of America and the American ideal in countless poems, songs and writings.

More: Writings on America

America: quality or quantity?
Both quality and quantity!
America's heart of light is quality.
America's mind of wisdom is quantity.

O American soul, you are ready.
Therefore the seeker in me sincerely loves you.
You are running.
Therefore the seeker in me unreservedly loves you.
Your goal is nearing.
Therefore I unconditionally love you.      

America has the best of everything
Because its heart has housed the many
And allowed them to live freely in their own way.

Dear America,
I love your heart-beauty's cry because it needs me.
And I need it, too!
It needs me openly and I need it unmistakably.

Sri Chinmoy