Part XICSC 96. On 12 August 1989, Sri Chinmoy was interviewed at Aspiration-Ground by Mark Teich from Omni magazine.
Question: Lifting up human beings looks very easy for you.Sri Chinmoy: Tomorrow I shall complete 1,300. It will be my last day of lifting.
Question: Why do you want it to be your last?
Sri Chinmoy: Somewhere I have to stop! I have been to six continents and I will have lifted 1,300 human beings. It is enough for me.
Question: You have not puffed up exactly. You do not have a huge frame. What are the principles you use? What has made you this strong without looking huge?
Sri Chinmoy: Prayer and meditation. I pray and meditate and I entirely depend on God's Grace, God's Compassion.
Question: Before you used to run and then I understand that you hurt yourself?
Sri Chinmoy: I ran beyond my capacity and hurt my right knee. I should not have run 22 marathons and a few ultra-marathons. It was not meant for me. In India, I was a sprinter.
Question: You are built more like a sprinter.
Sri Chinmoy: I was brought up in a spiritual community. There I practised sports — running, jumping, throwing and so forth.
Question: The prayer and meditation you do, are they more or less helpful according to what type of training you do?
Sri Chinmoy: It is prayer and meditation that bring to me the things that are necessary, essential. Prayer and meditation determine beforehand what is needed. To give you an example: here in America, I needed some special weightlifting equipment. God envisioned the fulfilment of His Dream in and through me, and God chose an Australian student of mine as the instrument to build my exercise machines. I sincerely feel it is a great blessing and God's boundless Grace. He has helped me tremendously, far, far beyond my imagination, in my weightlifting world for the last four years.
Question: But God wanted you to work to achieve it.
Sri Chinmoy: Yes, physically and spiritually. Matter and spirit must go together. Spirit is within, matter is without. We have to sow the seed under the ground. Then only it germinates and becomes a tiny plant, and then a huge tree, a banyan tree. But the seed was sown under the ground. Similarly, our inner life comes first. When the inner life comes to the fore, it accepts, assimilates and transforms the outer life in order to make us perfect.
Question: Right before you lifted, I saw you focussing. In sports now the big thing is visualisation. Were you doing anything of that or was it just prayer?
Sri Chinmoy: At that time, I was only silencing my mind. When I do anything, to start with I silence my mind. When I silence my mind, tremendous energy flows in and through me; I draw cosmic energy. As soon as I silence my mind, cosmic energy enters into my entire being.
Question: Are you thinking anything?
Sri Chinmoy: Just the opposite; my mind is absolutely blank. Once you silence the mind, it becomes as vast as the sky, as vast as the ocean. When we think, we limit ourselves. Thoughts enter into our mind in a fleeting second. It is like a tug-of-war or a zoo. But if we silence the mind, then we feel that we are flying in the sky like a bird. The sky is not affected by the bird flying and the bird is enjoying itself and getting energy and inspiration from the sky itself.
Question: It is very similar, really, to what they talk of as the white zone in sports. The athlete gets to the purely instinctive level where there is no thought. When you are first learning, you analyse what you are doing. At a certain point, you stop.
Sri Chinmoy: When you reach a certain level, it becomes automatic. A singer takes lessons for years, but once he develops a haunting voice, he does not have to go through all the preliminary exercises. When he is actually performing, he does not have to worry. A dancer learns all the steps while practising, but at the time of the actual performance, his movements will be spontaneous. Something reveals itself from within.
Question: The irony of it is that it is trained instinct.
Sri Chinmoy: There is no time to think, you just do it. There is a spontaneous joy. When we practise, we develop confidence. If we do not practise, we have no idea what we can do, how much can be brought to the fore.