- Chinmoy, Sri
- (1931– )teacher of integral yoga and peace activistSri Chinmoy has established centers and a fol-lowing for his spiritual teachings, in the tradition of Sri AUROBINDO, in many countries around the world. His teaching makes use of his own music and art, and of sports, as well as MEDITATION.Chinmoy Kumar Ghose was born, the young-est of seven siblings, on August 27, 1931, to a Kshatriya family in Shakpura, a small village in the Chittagong District of East Bengal (now Ban-gladesh). His father, Shashi Kumar, was a super-visor for the railroad and later a banker. Both his father and his mother, Yogamaya Vishwas, died before Chinmoy was 12 years old. In 1944, the 12-year old child took residence at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, South India, where his eldest brother, a sannyasi (renunciant), and some elder members of the family were already living. Here he practiced meditation, wrote poetry and essays, and created songs as part of his spiritual practice. He also excelled in sports.The young Chinmoy studied in Pondicherry for 20 years and often took the blessing of both Sri Aurobindo and the MOTHER. After achieving accomplishment in advanced states of meditation, he moved to New York City in 1964 at the age of 32 to share the spirituality of India with seekers in the West. He continues to travel widely, offer-ing concerts, lectures, and public meditations. He does not charge a fee for his spiritual guidance or performances.His teaching focuses on the heart’s aspiration as the creative spiritual force that lies behind all great advances in religion, culture, and science. Self-tran-scendence and living in the heart advance fulfillment and attunement to the highest reality. His message is consistent with the basic themes of Hinduism: that God is inside each person and that God at every moment is transcending his own reality.Sri Chinmoy has centers in various parts of the world where his students practice spiritual disciplines according to his inspiration and guid-ance. Each Sri Chinmoy Centre is dedicated to harmonizing the inner life of aspiration and the outer life of dedication.Chinmoy has been creative in several fields—writing and performing songs and music, creating visual art, and engaging in sports. He sponsors many events in support of peace and international cooperation, including the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, a relay that covers more than 77 countries. His extensive Web site offers informa-tion about all of these activities.Further reading: Sri Chinmoy, The Garland of Nation-Souls: Complete Talks at the United Nations (Deerfield, Fla.: Health Communications, 1995); ———, Mother India’s Lighthouse: India’s Spiritual Leaders (Blauvelt, N.Y.: R. Steiner, 1973); ———, The Oneness of the Eastern Heart and the Western Mind, Parts 1–3 (Jamaica, N.Y.: Agni Press, 2003–4).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.