A mystic journey in the weightlifting world, part 3

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An extra twenty pounds1

Today I lifted up 180 pounds in each arm. There is such a difference between 170 and 180! Our body is a unit, so the whole body has to take an extra 20 pounds. It is not just 10 pounds. The new total is 360 pounds, not 340 pounds.

Soon I shall try 200 pounds and then I will catch all the boys who weigh more than 200 pounds.

MJW 78. 21 March 1999

Unbelievable things do happen2

I cannot believe it! Unbelievable things do happen. This morning I lifted 200 pounds in each arm simultaneously. First I lifted 200 pounds once with my right arm and once with my left arm. As I was approaching my double-arm lift, I heard Ranjana’s soul screaming, “Where is your belt?” I had forgotten to put on my weightlifting belt and her soul was warning me. It is so dangerous to lift 400 pounds without the belt. Ranjana’s soul came to me like a seven or eight-year-old girl and was screaming for me to put on my belt. You can see on the video how I had completely forgotten it.

Today there were two cameras: Dhanu’s automatic one plus a rented one. Before I lifted, I meditated and meditated. Today my meditation was not ending. I was not in this world. I was hearing Lord Krishna playing His flute. He was playing so loudly. Then I saw that my family had all come to watch. My family and Ranjana were all wearing white and Lord Krishna was dancing on their heads and playing His flute.

Because I was concentrating so hard, I forgot to turn on the video camera. But then I remembered and turned it on.

On the very first attempt, the two dumbbells went up more than seven inches. My knees were straight. This lift is in no way lower than my 180-pound double-arm lift was. I finished the lift and Dhanu’s camera was still going on. So I had more time. But what more could I do?

I never thought that I would be able to do 400 pounds before April. But God does not believe in the future. He practises His Philosophy in and through me.

As soon as I had finished this lift, my mother said to me in our Chittagong dialect, “My son, God has done many, many important things in and through you and He will do many, many more.”

Then I called my sister Lily. She had a fever and did not want to speak to me at first. But after a few minutes she spoke to me and I told her all about the lift. She was very, very happy.

MJW 79. 22 March 1999

Longing for muscles3

Today was my rest day. I thought of measuring my arm muscles. My right bicep was 13 3_4 inches and my left bicep was 13 1_2 inches. Poor me! How I wish I could have 15-inch arms! Mine are not even 14 inches.

MJW 80. 24 March 1999

Wear and tear4

Today, on my seated double-arm machine, I lifted 150 pounds in each arm simultaneously. At first, the right hand did not go up but then on my second and third attempts it went. Four or five months ago, how much I struggled with this lift. Perhaps the machine is now becoming weaker from wear and tear and that is why I am able to lift up so much weight!

MJW 81. 26 March 1999

Lifting in solitude5

On very rare occasions I invite the disciples to watch when I do my lifting. I prefer to lift in the morning when I am alone. Then I am in my own consciousness. It is just me and my lift. Nobody is there to distract me.

MJW 82. 26 March 1999

My disappearing calf muscles6

A few days ago I hurt my left knee while I was out walking. I was going along 150th Street and I passed by the bus stop. One lady had missed the bus and she was screaming. I felt such sympathy for her. I turned to look at her and I twisted my left knee. Who knows when and why these things happen!

About fifteen years ago, all of a sudden, my calf muscles atrophied. They disappeared. I do not know how I was able to support my bodyweight. They were not painful, but they were very, very weak. I still do not know how it happened.

MJW 83. 27 March 1999

Like Muhammad Ali7

This evening, when I was lifting 200 pounds with alternate arms, it was as if I were lifting 145 pounds! It was going so high. I shall have to grow taller if I have to lift higher! When you see my arm action, it is like Muhammad Ali’s jab.

There were two witnesses: one was God and one was Parvati the great.

MJW 84. 28 March 1999

God does not want me to be proud8

Today I lifted my 200 pounds with both arms three times and these lifts are definitely higher than the lift that is being shown on television. First Dhanu did me a favour — his camera did not work — and then Mridanga did me a favour — his video camera ran out of tape. God does not want me to be too proud!

MJW 85. 31 March 1999

All my strength vanished9

What a stupid thing I have done today! When I was doing the seated double-arm lift, instead of putting the pin at 120 pounds, by mistake I put it at 180 pounds. Can you imagine! The sign said 120 pounds, so I thought that was the weight. I was killing myself but it was not going up. I said, “O my God, today all my strength has gone. Today’s performance is so bad.”

At last I realised what I had done and I changed the pin. How stupid I am! I am an April fool!

MJW 86. 1 April 1999

Tempted by 200 pounds10

Today I did not mean to lift 200 pounds in each arm, but I was tempted! Then I lifted it twice and I was more than satisfied. Nowadays I have to pull down two screen blinds before I lift so that the photo will turn out better. For some reason, the blinds were giving me so much trouble today. As soon as I pulled one down, the other would go up. They did not want to stay down.

MJW 87. 1 April 1999

The side show11

Today I lifted 200 pounds in each arm twice. When I asked the disciples to watch the video, I said, “Come and see the side show!”

You can see how much time I spend in the beginning gathering my concentration. It never ends! Then I was able to lift quite high.

MJW 88. 2 April 1999

New Olympic-style weights12

Yesterday Unmilan put new Olympic weights on my 200-pound dumbbells. These weights have a two-inch diameter for the centre hole and so my bar has to be thicker to fit.

After I lifted the dumbbells three times this morning, I told Unmilan that his massive creation did not frighten me.

MJW 89. 3 April 1999

Looking for new ideas13

Today at the tennis court I practised on twenty different machines. These things I have already done before. I strongly feel that there should be something new to draw public attention. I do not want to do the ones that I have already done. It becomes monotonous.

I thought of lifting up a globe of the world. It could be on top of my lifting machine. Around the globe, three people would be standing holding peace torches. This lift will be so symbolic. Now I shall have to find someone to make it.

MJW 90. 5 April 1999

No final14

I am still lifting up 200 pounds with both arms. After lifting it fifty times, I will have confidence. I need practice, I need confidence. Then I will try to increase the weight. Since the Supreme said, “No final!”, I have to prove it.

MJW 91. 9 April 1999

My jailbird shorts15

Every day when I do my weightlifting I wear the shorts that my Canberra Centre disciples have sent me. When I went there a few years ago, I bought some and I like them very much. They are rugby shorts.

This morning, however, I wore a bright green pair that I bought in Indonesia. When I put them on, I looked like a member of the Jamaica West Indies soccer team.

MJW 92. 10 April 1999

Reducing my screams16

You will notice when you watch the video of my 200-pound double-arm lift from this morning that my screaming is not as loud as before. This is definitely not my 100 per cent effort. It is only 85 or 90 per cent. If I give more effort, I will scream more loudly, but this height is more than enough for my regular practice.

MJW 93. 10 April 1999

At what point the telephone will ring17

This morning I started my serious lifting just after seven o’clock. I was determined to go higher in my 200-pound double-arm lift, but just after I had taken my first breath a telephone call came. I feel that I could have broken my record, but unfortunately that kind of determination one cannot get back immediately. Today I would have been the happiest person, but for this interruption. Who knows at what point the telephone will ring? How much concentration I was putting into that lift! Even one minute before or one minute after for the telephone to ring would have been fine.

Life is always comedy and tragedy — then we have to go beyond it.

MJW 94. 13 April 1999

Relying on others18

Today I lifted 230 pounds with one arm more than forty times almost in a leisurely way. It went very, very high. I do hope that Unmilan is keeping the correct weight!

MJW 95. 13 April 1999

This is the highest!19

Today I lifted my 200 pounds in each arm simultaneously absolutely the highest. According to my physical height, I cannot go any higher. How can I go beyond my height? Once my knees are locked, I cannot straighten my body any more.

You will see that this lift has now become very smooth. There is no jerking. And, unlike before, there is hardly any screaming.

MJW 96. 18 April 1999

Time out for tennis20

Yesterday I played ten games of tennis with Mahiyan after many, many months of not playing. After that, my whole body was aching. I had to give up my precious weightlifting for one day.

MJW 97. 19 April 1999

Something has gone wrong21

For the last few days I have not been taking even 600 calories, but I am unable to lose weight. Something has gone wrong. I am stuck at 161 pounds.

MJW 98. 20 April 1999

A new type of exercise22

Today I lifted my 200 pounds simultaneously two times. The second lift was excellent. It went smoothly, then there was another push.

Now it is becoming boring. I need a different type of exercise to get joy.

MJW 99. 22 April 1999


Today I took predictions from the children singers and others on what I will be lifting with two arms by the time my birthday arrives on August 27th.

Most of the little girls said 270 pounds, but one girl is the best. She predicted I will lift 330 pounds in each arm. Savyasachi said 230, and Mridanga and Dhanu both said 300. Then Pranika had to come and say 550 pounds. Where did she get that figure?

MJW 100. 25 April 1999

Pizza power24

Today on the very first day and the very first attempt I lifted 220 pounds in each arm simultaneously. All the advisers say to increase the increment by five pounds a month. It is such a big jump to add 40 pounds.

Yesterday at five o’clock I had pizza. That is why I had strength. If I do not eat pizza or something else that is filling, then I do not have strength.

Strangely enough, I felt my body shaking. Then I realised that the whole house was shaking, plus I heard noises. Finally, I came to realise that somebody had left the dryer on upstairs.

MJW 101. 27 April 1999

Savyasachi's prediction fulfilled25

This evening I decided to do another weightlifting session. This time Unmilan loaded my dumbbells with 230 pounds on each side. I started to lift at twenty minutes to nine. First I did my seated double-arm lift and then my standing double-arm lift. Then I came to my one-arm lift with 250 pounds. I did it 25 times on each arm, but it was not my full effort. I was preserving my energy for my two-arm lift.

Finally, I came to my two-arm lift. During the day, secretly I had asked Unmilan to put 230 pounds on each side. You can see how much concentration I am using. When I take my breaths in the beginning, I am not thinking of anybody. No thought is coming. Then I was successful in lifting up 230 pounds in each arm simultaneously three times. The third lift was the best.

Savyasachi’s prediction has been fulfilled exactly four months early! I am acting like a giant!!!

MJW 102. 27 April 1999

A new record26

Yesterday I tried lifting 250 pounds with each arm for the first time, and my second and third attempts were successful. Unfortunately, I did not use the video. Today was my second day with this weight.

When I made my first attempt, the camera started clicking and then it ran out of film. But both the dumbbells did move considerably.

When I was making my second attempt, Alo came and I invited her to sit down and watch.

My third attempt was absolutely the best, specially the final push.

MJW 103. 1 May 1999

The first time in my career27

Today I lifted 270 pounds in each arm for the first time in my weightlifting career. The total is 540 pounds. I lifted it eight times and number six is the best. There the dumbbells travel so visibly. There is such dramatic movement. Number six gave me such satisfaction. I do hope Dhanu’s camera has caught it!

This 270 pounds I will do for three or four days and then I will try to go higher.

MJW 104. 3 May 1999

Taking promotion28

I have now lifted 270 pounds 12 times in two days. I am not going to do it any more. I am wondering whether to take promotion and go to 300!

MJW 105. 4 May 1999

Baby-cries and Emperor-Smiles29

You may wonder why in my prayer this morning I spoke about “Baby-cries and Emperor-Smiles.” It is because my intuition was working. I was seeing that I would be able to lift up 300 pounds in each arm. The total is 600 pounds. Yesterday I asked Unmilan to put 300 pounds on each side. My bodyweight is now 165 pounds. So it is 135 pounds over my bodyweight with each arm.

I tried to lift this 600 pounds three times — and three times I was successful. The side view shows the movement very clearly. I have lifted the dumbbells more than an inch. The right arm is going higher than the left, but the left is also going. In nine days I have increased the weights by 100 pounds on each side.

I wanted to keep my lift a secret, but my stupid smile gave me away. When Shikha saw me smile, she immediately knew that I had done it.

MJW 106. 6 May 1999

Solid strength30

Now my bodyweight is 165 pounds. I know fat is not strength, but when I see my muscles bulging up, my mind sees it as strength. My stomach has become quite large, but as soon as I am standing under my 300-pound dumbbells, I feel my stomach is all strength, not weakness. Fat does not register there.

When I lifted up 200 pounds in each arm, I weighed 162 pounds. So I have gained only three pounds for 200 pounds more total weight.

MJW 107. 6 May 1999

Two souls watching31

This morning, when I was lifting up my 600 pounds, I was seeing with my human eyes two souls watching: my sister Lily and Ranjana. My sister’s soul was clapping and Ranjana’s soul was full of awe and fear because the dumbbells are so massive. On the video, you can see me looking at the door where they were stationed.

MJW 108. 18 May 1999

Raising up the floor32

Today I shall ask Unmilan to raise up the floor under my 600 pounds. I am not getting the proper pressure from my legs. They are straight even before I start. If the floor is just half an inch higher, I will be able to apply more pressure.

Today’s fourth lift is absolutely the highest. I declare it!

MJW 109. 19 May 1999

The best among the worst33

Today my 600 pounds was very bad. I do not know what has gone wrong. I tried to lift it six times and I think five were failures. My fourth attempt was the best among the worst. After this kind of frustration, does one feel like lifting any more?

MJW 110. 23 May 1999

What has gone wrong?34

Today’s 600-pound lift was better than the day before yesterday, but it is still not as high as it was previously. I do not know what has gone wrong. It seems to me that my push is stronger than my pull. If I can make the pull stronger, then I will have more balance and I will be able to lift higher. Also my quadriceps are stronger then my hamstrings. I need to make my hamstrings stronger!

MJW 111. 25 May 1999


Today I tried seven times to lift up 600 pounds (300 pounds in each arm). All the attempts were negligible and useless. On other days, when I spend so much energy, it goes, but today no. Something is wrong with my footing perhaps. Otherwise, this kind of pushing is in no way less than what I did before. Or perhaps it is the breathing. Previously, towards the end of the push, I used to take a fresh breath. That one breath is so important. Nowadays I have not been doing that. Strangely enough, I feel stronger than I felt three weeks ago.

MJW 112. 26 May 1999

Overjoyed at last36

At long last, after disappointment for a whole week, today I was successful in lifting up 600 pounds (300 pounds in each arm). I made two attempts and both were good. Yesterday Unmilan widened the space between the dumbbells by one inch and it has made so much difference. I never imagined that one inch could create such problems! After so many days, today I am overjoyed.

MJW 113. 29 May 1999

No practice at all37

Today I made a new record on my seated calf raise machine. I lifted 860 pounds. On the way, I did 400, 500, 600, 700 and 800. Can you imagine! The seated calf raise, which I do not practise at all, is giving me joy. I will start giving a prayer for this exercise.

MJW 114. 17 June 1999

Pathetic walking38

This morning I did all my lifts and then I went out to walk one mile. It took me 33 minutes. Do you know the meaning of the word ‘pathetic’? When I walked today, it was pathetic. Four or five times I had to stop. I was suffering from agonising pain in my knee. My back was very stiff, but my knee was impossible.

MJW 115. 22 June 1999

A different approach39

I have decided that I will not try to lift up 300 pounds in each arm for the time being. I want to have some joy. Why make my morning miserable? So Unmilan has put 250 pounds on each side and today I did it four times. The last lift was very good.

MJW 116. 23 June 1999

Sixty-eight summers40

My birthday is fast approaching. Sixty-eight summers I have seen. After summer, I think winter comes. Before winter comes, let the summer remain for a long time.

MJW 117. 23 June 1999

Grandfather's strength41

Today I lifted 900 pounds on my seated calf raise machine for the second day. This time it was really high. All the sides were clear. When it came down, it made such a sound!

What am I going to do? My present machine cannot go any higher. I shall have to ask Bishwas and Sumadhur to add more weight.

Today is Grandfather’s Day. You are seeing that this Grandfather has so much strength!

MJW 118. 1 July 1999

Sweeping the ground42

I have started a new lift. I did it many years ago, at the very beginning of my weightlifting career. The proper name is clean and press. Perhaps it is called ‘clean’ because you are sweeping the ground!

With both arms I was able to lift up 40 pounds and with my right arm I lifted 70 pounds. I feel I could have gone to 80 pounds. This is one lift that I have never shown on the stage.

MJW 119. 3 July 1999

In the grip world43

Now I am in the grip world. So many exercises I am doing every day to increase my grip strength. Today I tried ripping a deck of cards. I went up to seven cards. It is great fun!

MJW 120. 10 July 1999

Growing muscles44

My muscles have definitely increased this past week since I have started doing so many finger, grip, wrist and forearm exercises. Now before exercising my bicep is 14½ inches.

Today I watched a video of the Highland Games in Scotland. When they lift up those huge stones and other heavy objects, they wear kilts. I have a kilt…

MJW 121. 11 July 1999

Bringing down the ceiling45

Today was my highest lift for 250 pounds in each arm. I have changed the position of my hand. I have brought it forward one inch so that the dumb-bell has more balance.

You will see that my screaming is nothing in comparison to when I first started. In those days I used to bring down the ceiling! The whole room used to vibrate.

MJW 122. 12 July 1999

God makes fun of the giant46

We do not know at which point God will use His Power to make fun of the giant. A giant can have a huge body, but a tiny drop of poison can destroy it.

In my case, this morning I was trying to tear open a plastic bag to get out a new shaving blade. I could not tear it. I tried using a towel. Then I took the nail cutter to make a very small cut. So this is how God was making fun of me.

MJW 123. 15 July 1999

Sandow the strongman47

Today I went for a haircut. The last time I went, the barber was telling me how strong I am. This time also he said I am very strong. After he had finished, I stood up to go. He put his hand on my arm and said, “Sandow! Sandow!”

I said, “Why are you calling me Sandow?”

He said, “I watched you on television. You are another Sandow.”

Then he was cutting jokes with me. He said, “Do you want me to trim your eyebrows?”

I said, “Why? Do you want me to go to jail?”

In India, we feel that if you shave the eyebrows you look totally different. Thieves do it to change their appearance. So I did not want him to alter my appearance.

MJW 124. 16 July 1999

God, save me!48

This morning I did not warm up even for a minute. Only I took a shower. Then I said, “Now, God, save me!” First I used the seated double-arm machine and then I lifted 250 pounds in each arm. Because I did not warm up at all, I was warming up during my first three lifts. I was just pushing it. Then I lifted it seriously three times. All three were excellent. I was so thrilled with my performance. But I still feel I will be able to lift it one inch higher.

Then I went to my 300-pound dumbbells. Unmilan has kept them there on the side. Knowing that the camera would not work even if I lifted them, I was just trying them to get the feeling. I was just fooling around.

MJW 125. 26 July 1999

Clean and press49

Today I did the clean and press up to 85 pounds with one hand. Then I pumped it eleven times. How difficult it is to take this weight from the ground! The other way, with a power rack, is safe. If you cannot do it, you cannot. Here you need strength plus balance plus timing. A very strong grip is needed to grab it and lift it. Then you have to use so much control to bring it down to the ground again. Others can bend but I cannot bend, so it is harder for me.

MJW 127. 30 July 1999