If a wish comes from the soul, it will be granted


It was 1978, and I had just moved to New York, to finish my Bachelor of Music degree at Manhattan School of Music. A friend invited me to come to see Sri Chinmoy at a public meditation. At that time Sri Chinmoy used to offer a public meditation once a week at St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University. I had not practised formal meditation at that time, and also did not know what having a Master meant for one’s spiritual life. I had taken some classes in Kundalini Yoga, mostly for relaxation, but did not feel at home with it. A few years before, an acquaintance kept asking me, "Have you read the Upanishads yet?" He asked so many times that I ended up walking into a bookstore and requesting a copy of the Upanishads. So I started reading the Upanishads. Some passages I found beautiful, while other passages were incomprehensible to me.

The interior of St Paul's Chapel, Columbia University

On this particular evening in July of 1978 I entered St. Paul’s Chapel without any expectation. After all, I did not know what a spiritual Master was, and I did not know what meditation was, either. I had been searching for the Truth for a few years, but did not know how to find it! My only advantage that night was that this search of mine had left me quite empty inwardly, bereft of many things that might otherwise have stood in the way... I remember walking up the steps of the chapel that night feeling fresh, with no expectations, as I was totally ignorant of what meditation was, and what a spiritual Master was as well.

Cross-posted from www.srichinmoycentre.org

The connection between Sri Chinmoy's music and my soul


Guru's music is a very big connection between him and my soul. He has said that his music is not secondary to his meditation, and if you know how Guru meditates, you know it's the infinite consciousness.  

I don't know how to describe it. It's almost like a river or an ocean, but it's a river between earth and heaven. It is a direct connection. You touch the river here, but the river touches Heaven also. So, what happens to me is I that I make arrangements for Guru’s music intuitively, so I feel my soul in the music that I do.

Sri Chinmoy introduces a performance of his 13,000th song performed by his students. Kamalakanta can be seen at the left of the male choral section

Sometimes the songs will come to me asking me to do something with them. You probably all know the song Asundar je bhitar bahir.  A few years ago, I was in Manhattan with some boys. We had a class and we were leaving, we were going to get pizza. Suddenly the song was coming very powerfully and knocking in my heart. You know, it's a very sad song. But I remember when Guru composed that song in Brazil, I remember falling in love with that song immediately because it is so, so tenderly human.

Cross-posted from www.srichinmoycentre.org

Our Guru becomes the perfect disciple

Sri Chinmoy meditates on a statue of Sri Aurobindo. Before coming to the west, he lived over 20 years in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, practising meditation and spiritual discipline.

Guru came to England many, many times. He gave several concerts at the Royal Albert Hall; many beautiful experiences meeting people.

But one of the very special memories for me was Guru's visit to Cambridge University in 2003. Guru was coming to Cambridge to honour professors, to lift professors in the Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart programme.

Cross-posted from www.srichinmoycentre.org

'It was like I was seeing who Guru really was: this extraordinary, beautiful being inside a physical body'


I was asleep in New York when the phone rang, and I was invited to go up to Guru's house. That was about 1:00 in the morning. I went to his house, and there were about six boys and maybe six girls there in the room.

Sri Chinmoy meditates in his house

Guru didn't say very much, but he asked us to walk around the room as a walking meditation past him and round the back in a circle. We walked around him about seven or eight times very, very slowly.

When I walked past Guru, I began to see this extraordinary being that I had never really seen before. It was like I was seeing who Guru really was, this extraordinary, beautiful being inside a physical body. Guru looked like some very ancient, very majestic and quite incomprehensible spiritual force. I realised that I was really getting a glimpse of man in God or God in man, that there was this very powerful being inside the finite body that was Guru. I realised that Guru would always be beyond my comprehension, that my mind could not fathom how vast Guru really was.

Cross-posted from www.srichinmoycentre.org

Guru the child with his London disciple-children


Guru was in Scotland and he left Scotland. We thought Guru had gone back to New York. Ashrita called London and he said, "Guru is not in New York. Nobody knows where he is." 

In London we got a call from Guru. The father of Shankara and Dipika, two of the British children, whose name was Ongkar, was a disciple to the end of his life; he has passed away now. That year, he was opening a new divine enterprise, called Run and Become, which still exists. The shop was not open to the public yet. It was still being refurbished. Guru asked us all to meet there.

The original Run and Become store. Sri Chinmoy also visited the store quite a few times after its opening.

He came in the evening and we all met in this shop, which had two floors, a ground level and an upstairs level. Guru said all the children should come upstairs with him and for all the adults to stay downstairs. He invited all the children to come upstairs.

Cross-posted from www.srichinmoycentre.org

My wife's soul comes to visit


I was married to Subarata, an Irish disciple, for 20 years. She passed away from a very rare disease in the year 2000. When she passed away, Guru said to me, “Do not grieve too much. The secret of life is that there is no death.”

Sri Chinmoy offers flowers at a memorial for Subarata, March 2000

One night, about three months later, I was back in New Zealand. I was asleep in my room and I got woken up at three o'clock in the morning. There was a very strong and very beautiful fragrance of flowers in my room. I had a feeling in my heart that her soul was there in the room and she had come to visit. I jumped out of bed and I sat in the little side room where she used to meditate.

Ten minutes later, the telephone rang. It was Ashrita or someone in New York calling me up. He said, “Guru told me to call you and tell you that your wife's soul is there in the room. She has come to visit you.”

Cross-posted from www.srichinmoycentre.org

How our spiritual journey with Sri Chinmoy started


We heard of Sri Chinmoy through a radio program that was conducted by one of his disciples. He kept talking about his teacher, Sri Chinmoy, and I wrote a letter to ask if we could meet Sri Chinmoy. So, he was in touch with us, and he invited us to come to his house.

Then he took us to the New Year's meditation. It was the end of 1973, and he took us to that public meditation. Nandita was very pregnant with Bishwas when we went. I was impressed because the disciples who were ushers, the disciples who were helping, were so nice. Guru invited groups up to sing or just to meditate on stage, and Guru himself spoke and sang.

Sri Chinmoy meditates while singing groups perform during the New Year meditation in Hunter College, December 21, 1973.

But what really captivated me, what really excited me, is they showed a picture, a movie, a close-up of Guru's face while he was meditating.

Cross-posted from www.srichinmoycentre.org

The day I saw my Guru for the first time


Guru was flying through Los Angeles; he had a layover of a couple hours. So, the idea was that we would all spend time with him in the airport.

We sat waiting for Guru. It was very early in the morning, and we found a corner of the airport that didn't have anyone in it.

Before I flew down to Los Angeles, some disciples in Seattle told me their stories of meeting Guru for the first time. They told stories of seeing light and angels and all kinds of wonderful, fantastic things. This created some expectations in my mind. So in the airport, when Guru finally came, he came in a tracksuit, which I didn't expect, and Guru looked tired, and he was kind of limping because his knee had hurt. My mind started looking at these things and getting confused.

We found this corner and everyone, of course, was thrilled to see Guru. They were obviously feeling wonderful things, but I wasn't feeling anything.

Cross-posted from www.srichinmoycentre.org

Guru was teaching us through his music


I remember Guru running the 47-mile race at August Celebrations. It was the second time that he did it. We, the children, would stand on the course and sing songs. When Guru would run by, we would sing for him because he was really suffering. We could see him suffering so we would sing songs for him. Then when he went past, we would run across to the other side of the course and wait for him and sing for him there. Guru would give us a nice little blessing as he would go by.

Sri Chinmoy running the 47 mile race in 1980; waving to onlookers; finishing the last lap with the customary victory flag; and after the race.

Also during that Celebrations, Guru taught the children songs. There was a big group of children there. I remember learning Tomare Rakhibo. I think it was new then, and Guru was teaching us all. A lot of our interaction with Guru was Guru calling us up and teaching us songs or singing with us.

Cross-posted from www.srichinmoycentre.org

“You must always be prepared to receive the presence of your Master.”

Sri Chinmoy in Pulak's car. This story marked the beginning of a twenty-plus year period where Pulak would drive Sri Chinmoy on an almost daily basis.

When I first moved to Queens, I was doing carpentry work. One day after my job, I was going to the Guru Health Foods store. I parked my car just on the corner below the block, just off 86th, 87th Avenue.

So, I bought my stuff, and as I was coming out of Guru Health Foods (which was right in the middle of the block, further down the hill, not at the corner the way it is now) …as I walked outside, I looked up and saw that Guru was walking down the hill. This was a summer day, and he was wearing shorts and a polo shirt. I just stood there with my hands folded. I was trying to be devoted.

Parsons Boulevard, 1990s: this block contains many 'divine enterprises' where Sri Chinmoy's students work, including Guru Health Foods

   As Guru was walking down the hill, he saw me there. He stopped in front of me and said, “Sal, (at that time my name was Sal) …do you have your car here? And I said, “Yes, Guru.” He said, “Go bring it. bring it.”

But I had just gotten off my carpentry job, and the car was basically my work place. It was where my equipment was; all my tools were there. There was sawdust on the seat. There was sawdust on the floor. There were pieces of wood scraps everywhere and tools.

Cross-posted from www.srichinmoycentre.org