Sri Chinmoy (born as Chinmoy Kumar Ghose in Chittagong, Bengal Province, British India on 27 August 1931, died on 11 October 2007), was an Indian spiritual teacher, poet, artist and athlete who inspired many in the endurance sports world. He is the namesake of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team that holds many athletic events worldwide including the International Self-Transcendence Marathon-Schwimmen. He founded the Sri Chinmoy Centre and wrote over 1,300 books including 120,000 poems, 9 plays and 20,000 songs, created 200,000 paintings, and gave almost 800 free peace concerts around the world.
He advocated meditation, chanting mantras and prayers, performing dedicated service to God as a way to personal enlightenment.
Inspired by Sri Aurobindo (1872–1950), Chinmoy was encouraged to pursue his athletic abilities - he was a decathlon champion at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, as well as captain of the soccer and volleyball teams. During his years at the ashram he spent many hours daily in deep meditation.
Chinmoy opened up meditation centers and gave music concerts around the world, and many of his talks and writings were published. He advocated self-transcendence by expanding one's consciousness to conquer the mind's perceived limitations. In the spirit of self‑transcendence, his students have completed extraordinary feats of endurance. Members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team have swum the English Channel over forty times. Other feats include ultra-distance running, including the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, mountain climbing and long distance cycling.
He was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Administrator in 2011. He was recognized and honored at the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on the RMS Queen Mary on 22 September 2012 in Long Beach, California.
Chinmoy has received many awards honoring his humanitarian work. In 1998 he was awarded the ‘Pilgrim of Peace’ prize from the ‘International Center of Assisi for Peace among Peoples’. In October 1994 he received, jointly with Martin Luther King’s wife Coretta Scott King, the ‘Mahatma Gandhi Universal Harmony Award’ from the American branch of Indian cultural institute Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan On 27 August 1997, the international magazine ‘Hinduism Today’ presented Sri Chinmoy with the ‘Hindu Renaissance Award’, honoring him for teaching a yoga which combines aspects of ancient Hinduism in a modern setting.
- Visva Sama Duta, meaning "Ambassador of Universal Peace", title conferred by the Asgiriya Order of Buddhist Monks in 1990. The first non-Buddhist in Sri Lankan history to receive such an honorary degree.
- Mahatma Gandhi Universal Harmony Award received jointly with Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King Jr., from the American branch of the Indian cultural institute Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in 1994.
- Fred Lebow Award, in the name of the founder of the New York City Marathon, presented by NYC Marathon Director Allan Steinfeld and Umberto Silvestri, President of the Rome Marathon in 1996.
- Hindu of the Year (1997) and Hindu Renaissance Award presented by the international magazine Hinduism Today in 1997, honouring him for teaching a yoga which combines aspects of ancient Hinduism in a modern setting.
- Pilgrim of Peace prize from the 'International Center of Assisi for Peace among Peoples' in 1998.
- Mother Teresa Award presented by President of the Republic of Macedonia Boris Trajkovski in 2001.
- Medal of Honor For the Cause of Peace and Friendship Among Nations presented by Vietnamese Ambassador to the United Nations Le Luong Minh in 2004.
- Honorary Doctorate of Humanities in Peace Studies presented by the Science Council committee of Cambodia's International University in a unanimous decision in 2005.
- In 1977, the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team was founded, which holds running, swimming, and cycling events worldwide, from fun runs to ultramarathons and the International Self-Transcendence Marathon-Schwimmen. Its precursor was the 1976 Liberty Torch Run, a relay in which 33 runners marked America’s bicentennial by covering 8,800 miles in 7 weeks, mapped out over 50 states. This concept was expanded in 1987 to become the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run (later renamed World Harmony Run), generally held every two years. The first Peace Run was launched in April 1987 at the World Trade Center in New York City.
- In 1985, Chinmoy with the Mayor of Oxford, inaugurated the first "Sri Chinmoy Peace Mile", which is a measured mile in Cutteslowe Park, Oxford giving joggers something against which to measure their progress. There are now numerous "Peace Miles" around the world.
- Many of Chinmoy’s followers run daily for health and physical fitness. Chinmoy himself continued to enter races until his sixties when a knee injury hampered his ability to run; afterwards he turned his attention to tennis and weightlifting.
- Other programs founded by Chinmoy include the Self-Transcendence 6 & 10 day and the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, described by the New York Times as the "Mount Everest of ultramarathons".
- In the 1970s and 1980s, he was an active long-distance runner, completing many marathons, ultra-marathons and shorter races. For many years he played tennis almost every day, and frequently competed in track-and-field events in Masters Games, including the World Masters Games in Puerto Rico in 1983, and the World Veterans Games in Miyazaki, Japan in 1993. He took up weightlifting in the mid-1980s and over the years set several records in the calf-raise and one-arm lift.
- Sri Chinmoy founded the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team in 1977, and his vision, inspiration, encouragement and intuition have been the guiding force behind its growth into what is today the world's largest organiser of endurance events. His innate understanding of the limitless potential that lies within each human led him to conceive of endurance events that to others seemed beyond the bounds of human possibility - the prime example, of course, being the 3100 Mile Self-Transcendence Race, which has been running for eleven years and still remains the longest certified road race in the world. From just three starters in its inaugural year 1997, the race has expanded to a field of up to 15 international runners and has attracted much international media attention and admiration.
- Sri Chinmoy was a formidable athlete, and the dedication which he put into his training inspired his fellow Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team members to expand their own capacities in participating in and organizing events. A champion athlete in the spiritual community where he spent his younger days, Sri Chinmoy inspired the newly-formed Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team through the intensity of his own example, completing a total of 22 marathons and 5 ultra-marathons before injury curtailed his career. Undaunted, he turned to the field of weightlifting, and soon began setting eye-opening records in this discipline
which challenged everyone's perceptions as to what was truly possible. His final months on earth saw no halt to his inspirational dedication - as recently as August, Sri Chinmoy succeeded in lifting overhead 800 lbs. using only his right arm.
- Sri Chinmoy believed that a balanced lifestyle fosters harmony and inner peace. His integral approach to life encourages physical fitness and sports as a vehicle for personal transformation.
- Sri Chinmoy practiced sports not only for the joy of it, and to keep the body fit, but also because he saw sports as a natural vehicle for expressing his philosophy of self-transcendence. Inspired by his example, many people have attempted to stretch their own personal limits - setting new world records in various fields, running multi-day races, swimming the English channel and climbing some of the world's highest mountains.
- To foster peace, harmony and international friendship by transcending not just personal limits but political, cultural, religious etc. boundaries and to strengthen the spirit of one world family, he inspired the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run (also called World Harmony Run between 2001 and 2012), a global torch relay, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017.
Members of SCMT inspired by Sri Chinmoy
1 1985 Vasanti Niemz, 17:01, Germany
2 1985 Adhiratha Keefe, 14:51, USA
3 1987 Pravaha Meywald, 11:29, Germany
4 1987 Praphulla Nocker, 13:39, Germany
5 1987 Annette Schill, 13:02, Germany
6 1987 Guy Girardet, 10:38, England
7 1987 Michael Brisson, 20:07, USA
8 1988 Sunil Davidson 13:49, USA
9 1988 Dhruva Hein, 15:03, USA
10 1988 Howard Shraddha, 15:09, USA
11 1988 Ursula Moehrle, 14:28, Switzerland
12 1988 Michael Brisson, 13:32. USA
13 1988 Siegfried Schill, 13:03, Germany
14 1988 Jacques Bayle, 12:22, France
15 1988 Anugata Bach, 13:05, USA
16 1989 Vincent Pogacher, 15:50, Canada
17 1989 Gyde Conrad, 18:01, Germany
18 1990 Robert Sara, 16:15, England
19 1990 Vedika Bolliger, 14:45, Switzerland
20 1996 Vedika Bolliger, 16:00, Switzerland
21 1997 Karteek Clarke, 11:57, Scotland
22 2000 Tejaswi Van der Walt, 13:22, Australia
23 2000 Karteek Clarke, 14:52, Scotland
24 2001 Ahelee Osborn, 11:22, USA
25 2001 Karteek Clarke, 12:49, Scotland
26 2001 Vedika Bolliger, 16:29, Switzerland
27 2002 Karteek Clarke, 10:53, Scotland
28 2002 Vedika Bolliger, 22:30, Switzerland
29 2003 Vedika Bolliger, 22:27, Switzerland
30 2003 Mate Szekely, 13:05, Hungary
31 2003 Karteek Clarke, 16:05, Scotland
32 2004 Karteek Clarke, 16:13, Scotland
33 2004 Josef Lendacky, 14:28, Slovakia
34 2005 Karteek Clarke, Scotland
35 2005 Beate Kunze, 14:06, Germany
36 2006 Karteek Clarke, 16:18, Scotland
37 2006 Igor Nenko, 10:29, Ukraine
38 2007 Vijaya Claxton, 22:25, USA
39 2008 Karteek Clarke, 14:54, Scotland
40 2009 Karteek Clarke, 16:49, Scotland
41 2010 Angikar Sasa Djordjevic, 19:24, Serbia
42 2010 Vasanti Niemz, 16:50, Germany
43 2011 Abhejali Bernardova, 14:37, Czech Republic
44 2013 Adriano Passini, 11:10, Brazil
45 2014 Karteek Clarke, 19:01, Scotland
46 2014 Angikar Sasa Djordjevic, 18:41, Serbia
47 2017 Tatjana Kvasova, 20:13, Russia
The members have also been honored with the following awards or recognitions:
1. Vasanti Niemz 1985, 1st German woman who swam the English Channel under CSA; 2010, 1st German woman to swim the Channel twice
2. Annette Schill 1987, the fastest German female crossing
3. Pravaha Meywald 1987, the fastest German crossing
4. Ursula Moehrle 1988, the 1st Swiss swimmer who swam the English Channel
5. Vedika Bolliger 5 crossings, is awarded the Gertrude Ederle Award for most meritorious Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation swim by a woman in 2004
6. Karteek Clarke 11 crossings
7. Igor Nenko 2006, the 1st swimmer from the Ukraine who swam the English Channel, was awarded the ‘Pride of the Country’ National Award 2006, nomination ‘Record of the Year’
8. Vijaya Claxton 2007, was awarded the Gertrude Ederle Award for the most meritorious Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation English Channel swim by a woman in 2007 and the Cape Storm Award 2007 for the longest solo swim of 2007. She also set a new American record for the oldest woman to swim the English Channel.
To honor The English Channel Swimmers for their achievements Sri Chinmoy awarded many of them including Alison Streeter ‘The Queen of the Channel’ and Kevin Murphy, The King of the Channel, with His ‘Lifting Up The World With Oneness-Heart’ Award program. Applying his music talent, he composed the song dedicated to the Swimming the English Channel. This Song was performed each time when a channel swimmer was being lifted.
Chinmoy wrote numerous works, including the popular book titles listed below. He also wrote short stories, essays, plays, poems questions and answers.
- (1974) Yoga and the Spiritual Life - Aum Publications
- (1974) The Inner Promise: Paths to Self Perfection - Wildwood House
- (1975) Astrology, the Supernatural and the Beyond - Aum Publications
- (1977) Everest Aspiration - Aum Publications
- (1984) The Summits of God-Life: Samadhi and Siddhi - Aum Publications
- (1986) A Child's Heart and a Child's Dreams - Aum Publications
- (1989) Meditation: Man-Perfection in God-Satisfaction - Aum Publications
- (1990) On Wings of Silver Dreams - Aum Publications
- (1992) Kundalini: The Mother-Power - Aum Publications
- (1994) Garden of the Soul - Health Communications Inc.
- (1994) My Life's Soul-Journey - Aum Publications
- (1997) God Is... - Aum Publications
- (1997) Wings of Joy - Simon and Schuster
- (2007) Power Within: Secrets of Spirituality and Ocultism - Guru Noka Publications
- (2007) Heart-Garden - New Holland Publishing
- (1979–1983) Ten Thousand Flower-Flames - Agni Press (100 volumes)
- (1983–1998) Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants - Agni Press (270 volumes)
- (1998–2007) Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees - Agni Press (50 volumes... unfinished)
- (1973) The Dance of Life
- (1974) The Wings of Light
- (2000–2007) My Christmas-New Year-Vacation-Aspiration-Prayers (51 volumes)
- (1973) Sri Ramachandra - My Rama is My All - A play on the life of Sri Ramachandra
- (1973) The Singer Of The Eternal Beyond - A play on the life of Sri Krishna
- (1973) Siddhartha Becomes The Buddha - A Play on the life of Lord Buddha
- (1973) The Son - A play on the life of Jesus Christ
- (1973) Lord Gauranga: Love Incarnate - A Play on the life of Sri Chaitanya
- (1973) Drink, Drink, My Mother's Nectar - A play on the life of Sri Ramakrishna
- (1973) The Heart Of A Holy Man - various plays on spiritual figures
- (1973) Supreme Sacrifice - a book of spiritual plays
- (1974) The Descent of the Blue - A play about the life of Sri Aurobindo
Books of Sri Chinmoy in Library of Congress
- Arise! Awake! Thoughts of a Yogi; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 0811902072
- Astrology; the supernatural and the beyond; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 088497037X
- Commentaries on the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita : the three branches of India’s life-tree; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 0884971139
- Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita; the song of the transcendental soul; Chinmoy, Sri, Published/Created: Blauvelt, N.Y., R. Steiner Publications
- Death and reincarnation: eternity’s voyage; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 0884970388
- Garden of the soul : lessons on living in peace, happiness, and harmony; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 1558743146
- The garland of nation-souls : complete talks at the United Nations; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 155874357X
- The goal is won; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 0884970922
- God is-- : selected writings of Sri Chinmoy; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 0884970590
- Gorbachev : the master-key of the universal heart; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 0884979849
- Heart-songs : everyday prayers & meditations; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 1568381034
- The inner promise; paths to self perfection; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 0671217208
- Light of the Beyond : teachings of an illumined master; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 0884974812
- Meditation : man-perfection in God-satisfaction; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 0884974448
- Mother India’s lighthouse: India’s spiritual leaders; flame-heights of the West; Chinmoy, Sri, Published/Created Blauvelt, N.Y., R. Steiner Publications
- Mother Teresa : humanity’s flower-heart, divinity’s fragrance-soul; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 1885479085
- My flute; the poetry & teachings & philosophy of Sri Chinmoy; Chinmoy, Sri
- My Lord’s secrets revealed; Chinmoy, Sri, Published Herder and Herder
- Nelson Mandela : the pinnacle-pillar of mother earth; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 0884970434
- The silent teaching : a selection of the writings; Chinmoy, Sri
- Songs of the soul; Chinmoy, Sri, Published Herder and Herder
- The spiritual life : selection of writings; Chinmoy, Sri
- The Supreme and his four children; five spiritual dictionaries; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 0830301216
- A true disciple; Chinmoy, Sri, Published/Created Jamaica, NY : Agni Press, c1998.
- The wings of joy : finding your path to inner peace; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 0684822423
- The wisdom of Sri Chinmoy; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 1884997236
- Yoga and the spiritual life; the journey of India’s soul; Chinmoy, Sri, ISBN 088497040X
- Sri Chinmoy (1 March 2003). Wisdom of Sri Chinmoy. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. pp. 82–. ISBN 9788120819436. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- Sri Chinmoy (January 1997). Sri Chinmoy. ed (in Spain).
- Jardin Del Alma (GARDEN OF THE SOUL). Editorial Sirio, S.A.. pp. 119–. ISBN 9788478082308. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- Mother India's Lighthouse: India's Spiritual Leaders, by Agni Press in 1971;
- Entertainment Versus Enlightenment, Agni Press, 1973;
- Gopal's Eternal Brother And Other Stories For Children, Agni Press 1974;
- Great Indian Meals, Agni Press 1979;
- Big Pot, Little Pot, Agni Press, 1981;
- Vivekananda: An Ancient Silence-Heart And A Modern Dynamism-Life, Agni Press 1993;
- To The Streaming Tears Of My Mother's Heart And To The Brimming Smiles Of My Mother's Soul (biografical stories), Agni Press 1994;
- all in www.srichinmoylibrary.com
- Garden of the Soul, Health Communications, 1994
International Self-Transcendence Marathon Swim
- Rohan More Talks About His Cold Water Adventures On WOWSA Live
- International Self-Transcendence Marathon-Swim information
- Marathon Swimming
- World's Top 100 Open Water Swims
- International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame website
- A Short List of Marathon Swims
- Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team Switzerland
- Sri Chinmoy Marathon Swim Rapperswil-Zurich
- Open Water Swimming
- When The Egyptians Came Up Into The Swiss Alps
- Sri Chinmoy In The Open Water
- Peacefully Running Along The Coast
- Extending Oneself For A Better World
- 30th Sri Chinmoy Marathon Swim Lake Zürich
- Adriano Passini Pioneers Swim From Laje de Santos
- World Open Water Swimming Association
- Given Time, The Body Is An Amazing Instrument