Question: Guru, are you offering special performances for the strongman Hugo Girard in response to something unique in his soul, or is there some special inner reason?

Sri Chinmoy: I am offering my little contributions to the strength indomitable and, at the same time, to the infinite power of the universal soul. There is an adage: Nayam atma bala-hinena labhyo — “The soul cannot be won by the weakling.” People who are by nature weak — physically, vitally, mentally, psychically, spiritually — will not be able to realise God. At the same time, one does not have to be a stronger than the strongest human being — no! The amount of physical strength God has allotted to each individual should come to the fore. Physical fitness is of paramount importance. Unfortunately, many spiritual Masters of the hoary past did not believe and also many spiritual Masters of the present-day world do not believe this infallible truth.

The universe has strength. Spiritually we use the term “power,” but when we use the term "strength,” it is mostly physical and vital strength that we are referring to. Mental power we do not see, but the physical power, the physical strength we do see, if we can lift something heavy.

I am honouring Hugo Girard. He is one of the world’s strongest men. Where can you find such a strong man — the strongest man? It is not an everyday affair to meet with an individual who is physically so strong, unimaginably strong. He deserves my utmost appreciation and admiration. I have lifted over eight thousand people. When I honour them in this way, I take it as my dedicated, devoted service. Otherwise, I could not have lifted more than fifteen or twenty or thirty people. The human mind would have come to the fore and said, “This is not appropriate for a spiritual figure.” The mind tells us all kinds of nonsense!

When we bring spirituality into any field, whether it is physical or vital or mental, the first thing that happens is that our human pride goes away. Many people may misunderstand me. They may think I am very, very proud because I lift such heavy weights. But I wish to say in all sincerity that I have taken my weightlifting as a dedicated service.

Again, my way is not the way. My Supreme’s Way is the only Way. When I was in India, heavyweight champions, people dealing with the body-consciousness, like wrestlers, boxers and weightlifters, I could not appreciate at all. I thought that something was wrong with them. How could they have any subtle feelings, tender feelings? How could they develop their intellect and other aspects of their being? But my way is not the way; God’s Way is the only Way. It was my Inner Pilot who wanted me to enter into weightlifting. Otherwise, if I had been left alone and gone in my own way, I would always have given a wide berth to weightlifting. It would have been impossible for me to enter into this field!

On the outer plane it is true that I am honouring Hugo Girard. I am honouring him the way I have honoured my supreme hero Mahasamrat Bill Pearl and others. It is not an easy task to be one of the strongest men in the world, and he has a very simple heart, a sincere heart and a pure heart. When simplicity, sincerity and purity I see in abundance in somebody’s life, I do have tremendous appreciation, admiration and love for that person. I love him because of his simplicity and sincerity, and also because he is a man of humility. Some champions in the physical field — boxers, wrestlers and others — do not believe in humility. When I see that somebody has contributed so much in the physical world and still maintains humility, I admire and I love that person. Hugo is one of those. Outwardly, I am honouring him with my utmost love and admiration. Inwardly, I am dealing with the soul, the soul of the universe that supplies us with energy, untiring energy and strength.

So many people with abundant strength do not believe in humility. They proclaim, “It is my strength, my strength, my strength!” Julius Caesar said, Veni vidi vici — “I came, I saw, I conquered.” We say, “I came, I loved and I became." That is our motto. I have become one with the physical and with the spiritual. My life-boat plies between the physical strength and the spiritual power.