CSC 98. On 16 December 1988, in Hong Kong, Sri Chinmoy was interviewed by Nick Bailey, a reporter from Hong Kong Today.
Question: May we have a tune from your flute before I talk to you?
[Sri Chinmoy plays the flute]
Question: Is that something you made up yourself on the spur of the moment?
Sri Chinmoy: Yes.
Question: Please tell us about yourself. You flew into Hong Kong yesterday and this is part of a tour of Southeast Asia. And you are promoting a programme that is known as "Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart." Can you explain all that?
Sri Chinmoy: I am a Truth-seeker and a God-lover. I feel that it is my bounden duty to be of service to mankind. "Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart" is our theme. I feel that if we have peace of mind, we will be able to raise the consciousness of mankind. This world belongs to God the Creator and, at the same time, God the Creator has become God the creation. Therefore, I go from one place to another and try to offer my soulful services to the citizens of each particular country.
Question: This is a message that you are getting from within?
Sri Chinmoy: Yes, from my Inner Pilot. Each person is led by something. Most often it is our mind that asks us to do something and we abide by the dictates of the mind. Again, if we pray and meditate regularly, soulfully and devotedly, we can listen to the voice of our heart. So, in my case, I try to listen to the voice of my heart and I try to establish my inseparable oneness with the world.
Question: People listening to this programme might find that a little difficult to understand or they might wonder what your motives are.
Sri Chinmoy: This world is full of misunderstanding. Misunderstanding reigns supreme in this world. God alone is to judge whether my motives are sincere and genuine. Here I have not come to propagate my views. Here I have come to be of dedicated service to mankind. I have been to many, many parts of the world to offer the same dedicated and devoted service.
This "Lifting Up the World" programme is quite recent. I have not even been doing it a full year. For the last three years I have been lifting up weights just for physical fitness. Previously I was a runner, but I had to stop running because of a severe knee injury. Then I took up weightlifting. By God's Grace, I got amazing results. And then, for the last six months, I have been lifting up human beings.
I believe that each individual has a body, vital, mind, heart and soul. So, while lifting up the person, I feel I am offering my dedicated service to that person and, with my dedicated service, I feel I am able to bring to the fore their own divine qualities which are of paramount importance so that we can lift up the world together.
Question: What sort of people have you lifted?
Sri Chinmoy: I have lifted people from all walks of life: diplomats from the United Nations, professors, boxers, singers, athletes, weightlifters, priests, nuns, doctors, lawyers and so forth.
Question: How much do you weigh?
Sri Chinmoy: Usually I weigh between 151 and 157 pounds.
Question: Who is the heaviest person you have lifted?
Sri Chinmoy: In California, I lifted a great saxaphone player named Clarence Clemons. He is known as the 'Big Man'. He was 283 pounds.
Question: Almost double your own weight!
Sri Chinmoy: Yes. And yesterday, here in Hong Kong, I lifted two photographers at the same time. Their combined weight was 265 pounds.
Question: We have to mention at this stage that you lift people with one arm. Which arm is it?
Sri Chinmoy: I lift with both my left and my right arms. They are almost equally strong.
Question: How do you manage to lift up double your bodyweight with one arm?
Sri Chinmoy: God's infinite Grace acts in and through me. I was never a weightlifter. In my youth, I was a sprinter, a decathlete. I was a runner all my life. But for the last three years, I have been lifting up weights. Here I have entered into a new field. I do not compete with others, but I enjoy competing with myself. I started with 40 pounds. Three years ago, it was almost impossible for me to lift up 40 pounds. Then gradually, slowly, steadily and unerringly, I have made progress and now I have come up to this.
Question: Do the people whom you lift get an uplifting experience? Excuse the pun! Do they feel much better for it?
Sri Chinmoy: Some of them say that it is not only on the physical plane that they are lifted, but also in the inner plane. About six months ago, a nun came from Philadelphia to participate. When she was lifted, she said she had the experience that both her body and spirit were lifted together. And, interestingly enough, on that particular day her horoscope read that somebody was going to lift her, physically as well as spiritually. So she came all the way from Philadelphia to New York. After I lifted her up, she narrated her experience.
Interviewer: I am glad it worked for her. Let us hope it works for those people who are going to be lifted here in Hong Kong later today. Sri Chinmoy, thank you very much and I wish you good luck in your quest for "Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart."