Sri Chinmoy was born in the small village of Shakpura in East Bengal, India (now Bangladesh) in 1931. He was the youngest of seven children in a devout family. In 1944, after the passing of both of his parents, he joined his brothers and sisters at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a spiritual community near Pondicherry in South India. He prayed and meditated for several hours a day, having many deep inner experiences. It was here that he first began writing poetry to convey his widening mystical vision. He also took an active part in Ashram life and was an athletic champion for many years.
Heeding an inner command, Sri Chinmoy came to the United States in 1964 to be of service to spiritual aspirants in the Western world. During the 43 years that he lived in the West, he opened more than 100 meditation Centres worldwide and served as spiritual guide to thousands of students. Sri Chinmoy’s boundless creativity found expression not only in poetry and other forms of literature, but also in musical composition and performance, art and sport. In each sphere he sought to convey the diverse experiences that comprise the spiritual journey: the search for truth and beauty, the struggle to transcend limitations, and the supremely fulfilling communion of the human soul with the Divine.
As a self-described student of peace who combined Eastern spirituality and Western dynamism in a remarkable way, Sri Chinmoy garnered international renown. In 1970, at the request of U Thant, third Secretary-General of the United Nations, he began the twice-weekly peace meditations for delegates and staff members at UN headquarters that continue to this day. He offered hundreds of peace concerts, always free of charge, in the U.S. and many other countries. He founded the World Harmony Run, a biennial Olympic-style relay in which runners pass a flaming peace torch from hand to hand as they travel around the globe bearing the message of universal oneness. And he established the Oneness-Heart-Tears and Smiles humanitarian organization, which serves the less fortunate members of the world family by supplying food, medical and educational equipment and other urgent support.
On 11 October 2007, Sri Chinmoy passed behind the curtain of Eternity. His creative, peace-loving and humanitarian endeavours are carried on worldwide by his students, who practise meditation and strive to serve the world in accordance with his timeless teachings.