Question: Why have you chosen weightlifting to transcend in?

Sri Chinmoy: My Inner Pilot wanted me to do weightlifting to inspire my fellow citizens of the world, and I am abiding by His Command. Through my weightlifting I am trying to show the world how prayer and meditation can give us inner strength, and how this inner strength can lead to peace and a oneness-world-family.

If we pray and meditate, we get inner strength and inner confidence. When we have inner confidence, we do not quarrel with anybody, we do not fight with anybody, we do not declare war on any nation. If we feel secure in the depths of our heart, then we shall not challenge anybody. So inner confidence is nothing short of inner peace.

The other day I lifted up an elephant with my legs. It weighed over 3,000 pounds. In terms of physical strength, I was no match for the elephant. Since it knew perfectly well that it was infinitely stronger than me, it did not have to threaten me or frighten me. Similarly, if we can develop peace of mind and inner security, then we will not threaten anybody and there will be real peace in the world. And if we can have peace, then we can establish a oneness-family. So the main purpose of my weightlifting is to offer the little peace that I have to the world at large.

Question: Is there anything special that you meditate on or think of when you are about to attempt incredible lifts?

Sri Chinmoy: I do not think of anything. I only concentrate most soulfully and most powerfully on the lift itself.

Question: Why do you choose to live in America when you could live anywhere in the world?

Sri Chinmoy: Again, the same answer. I do not belong to myself. I belong to my Lord Supreme. I was in India. Then my Lord Supreme commanded me to come to America and to be of service to Him here. He knew that America would be the best place for me to offer His Peace, Love and Light to the world at large. I have not chosen anything. I have no choice of my own. His Choice is my only choice.

Question: Have you ever been hurt in the course of your weightlifting?

Sri Chinmoy: Never! My Beloved Supreme protects me.

Question: What vitamins do you take?

Sri Chinmoy: Vitamin B complex, vitamin C and a balanced multivitamin —- Arginine. This is what was recommended to me by Bill Pearl. He has been very kind to me, so I am listening to his advice.

Question: Is there something that you would like to say to our readers?

Sri Chinmoy: If you do not mind, I can share with you the prayer that I offered this morning. Every day, before I lift, I offer a prayer to my Lord Supreme, my Inner Pilot. This morning I offered a special prayer to Him. My latest goal was to lift up 700 pounds with one hand, and this morning I did it. So this was the prayer that I offered before my lift:

My Lord Supreme,
My Beloved Supreme,
Your infinite Compassion decides
The choice Hour for me.
Your infinite Compassion
Also transforms
My human greed into your divine Need.

The human in me wanted to lift up 700 pounds. That was my greed! My Beloved Supreme transforms my greed into His Need by using my achievement to inspire people. If I can lift up 700 pounds, then countless people will be inspired, because they see that I do not have the physique of a bodybuilder or weightlifter.

When people in the weightlifting world see a 55-year-old man who does not have giant muscles and who has had only 16 months' practice lifting 700 pounds, they will definitely be inspired to go beyond me. And even people who are not in the weightlifting world will be inspired to pray and meditate so that they can accomplish what they want to accomplish in other fields.

Question: You do so much! When do you have time to sleep?

Sri Chinmoy: I sleep two or three hours a night. Of course, some nights I cannot sleep because my students bring me lots of problems. Again, I take their problems as opportunities to become a better instrument of my Lord Supreme. If I can solve their problems soulfully and effectively, then I feel that I am becoming a better instrument of my Lord Supreme.

Question: You are always competing with yourself. What would you say is the greatest gift that you have given to the world? Is there one special thing that you want to leave for everyone?

Sri Chinmoy: Everything that I am doing is aimed at one goal — the establishment of a oneness-family founded upon peace. If I have peace and you have peace and everybody has peace, then only can we have a oneness-family. So everything that I am doing in the physical world, the vital world, the mental world and the spiritual world—all my art, my music, my writings, my weightlifting—is to inspire mankind to see and grow into a universal oneness-family. Those who are inspired by my soulful activities are sailing in the same boat with me towards the same destination.

Question: I understand you wish to perform ten special feats before you leave for Argentina in a few weeks. Why do you feel this need?

Sri Chinmoy: These are my students, my spiritual children. When we are with children, we talk children's language. They brag to their spiritual father that they are going to do this and I brag to them that I am going to do that. If I do not do it or cannot do it, they are not going to sue me and I will not be embarrassed. In a family, it is like that. When you are with the members of your sweet, little family, everybody brags; it is normal. This is how we exchange our sweetness and affection and maintain our family-oneness. So it is only a sweet family gathering. If I cannot do even one feat, I will not be sad in the least.

Question: Will you be at the New York Marathon tomorrow?

Sri Chinmoy: Definitely. Two hundred of my students will be running. These are my spiritual children. I identify myself implicitly with their activities the way they always identify themselves with my performances. I will be running inside them with my prayer and meditation, my joy and my pride. Every time my students run, I feel that I am running inside them. Again, they depend on my inner blessings. It is such a difficult thing to run 26 miles. I am extremely proud of them and they look to me for inspiration and guidance. So I will definitely be there right from the beginning to the end.