My weightlifting tears and smiles, part 3
Some highlights of Sri Chinmoy's weightlifting to the end of 198826 June 1985 Began weightlifting with a lift of 40 pounds from the ground using right arm
6 September 1985 Lifted 85 pounds from the ground with right arm
9 October 1985 Lifted 106 3/4 pounds from a rack with right arm
18 November 1985 Lifted 155 pounds with right arm
16 January 1986 Lifted 170 pounds with right arm
6 March 1986 Lifted 200 pounds with right arm
10 April 1986 Lifted 103 3/4 pounds from the ground with right arm
1 June 1986 Standing calf raise of 400 pounds
14 June 1986 Standing calf raise of 1,000 pounds
30 July 1986 Standing calf raise of 1,500 pounds
31 July 1986 Lifted 250 1/2 pounds with right arm
11 August 1986 Lifted 303 1/4 pounds with right arm (214th attempt)
21 September 1986 Lifted 400 1/2 pounds with right arm
1 November 1986 Lifted 705 3/4 pounds with right arm
27 November 1986 Lifted 2,039 pounds with right arm
30 November 1986 Standing calf raise of 2,038 pounds
20 January 1987 Lifted 3,081 3/4 pounds with right arm
30 January 1987 Lifted 7,063 3/4 pounds with right arm
6 May 1988 Lifted 100 pounds in each arm simultaneously
13 May 1988 Lifted 120 pounds in each arm simultaneously
17 May 1988 Lifted 130 pounds in each arm simultaneously
13 June 1988 Lifted 150 pounds (equal bodyweight) in each arm simultaneously
26 June 1988 Began "Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart" programme by lifting Mahasamrat Bill Pearl
4 August 1988 Lifted 7,040 1/4 pounds with left arm
3 November 1988 Lifted 700th person (Fred Lebow) as part of "Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart"
7 November 1988 Lifted his own bodyweight, 155 1/2 pounds, overhead 100 times in 68 minutes 23 seconds, alternating arms
19 November 1988 Lifted his own bodyweight, 156 pounds, overhead 100 times in 22 minutes 43 seconds, alternating arms
My night-time tv appearanceI am sure you do not watch television at four o'clock in the morning, but had you been watching Channel 5 last night at four o'clock, you would have seen me lifting 200 pounds with one arm! Dhanu went to the store of the man who sold us the video camera that takes the weightlifting pictures and he said that he saw me on television. His little child was crying, so he had to get up at four in the morning. Then he turned on the television and saw me lifting. He was so happy and proud because he sold us the video camera which takes pictures of my weightlifting.
16 April 1986
Exercising to my Indian tapesWhen I take exercise in my main room, I put the tape recorder in another room so that I do not become totally absorbed in the music. Usually I take exercise for about 40 minutes. Every day I take a new tape and listen to it. I specially like the tapes of some famous Bengali singers singing songs by Rabindranath Tagore. Indian tapes are so unique! Sometimes there is talking during the singing, sometimes they cough. Everything is there, and then they sell these tapes!
23 May 1986
Finding my pictureI wanted to find my picture in the magazine "Physical Fitness and Muscular Development." When I was in Hawaii recently, I saw the clipping and so I knew it was in the November issue. When I went to buy the magazine, I saw that the cover was unbearable. Then I opened up the magazine and my picture was there.
2 November 1986
Bhavani's achievementBhavani's article about my weightlifting has come out in the British magazine "Strength and Health." It is a big, five-page article. California has also had good luck. The Californian newspaper "City Sports" has said that I am a modern Hercules!
2 November 1986
Showing the little tennis players my weightliftingIn the airport in Buenos Aires, we met some little children who were tennis players. Among them were the number one and number two tennis players in Chile in the under 10-year old category. On the plane Agraha showed them some pictures of me lifting 2,000 pounds with one arm. Immediately a few of them ran to me all excited and asked, "Is this you?" Then they went back to show the other children.
21 December 1986
En route to Chile from Buenos Aires
The frustrated lifterErnie Franz, the man who certified my 2,000-pound lift, is so frustrated with his own lifting. He keeps the book of my lifts next to his bed for inspiration. He has such faith in my lifting. Then when he tries to lift up heavy weights, he has problems and becomes frustrated. That is how people give up. I should have said in my book that I failed 213 times before I lifted my 300 pounds.
30 December 1986, Chile
My telephone conversation with MahasamratI spoke to Mahasamrat on the telephone and I was encouraging him about the New Year. Then Mahasamrat said, "Guru, I am telling you, I promised you I shall not fail you and I shall not fail you. I shall not fail you." His mantra was only, "I shall not fail you." His wife Judy was so happy. She has sent me a Christmas card and gifts.
R was in the other phone booth. She wrote down what I was saying; only what Mahasamrat was saying she could not hear.
/1 January 1987 Chile/
The largest dumbbell on earthWhen I was talking on the phone with Mahasamrat, he said one very important thing. He said that it is not just that I have lifted 2,000 pounds with one arm, but I have lifted the largest and heaviest dumbbell that has ever been made on earth.
1 January 1987, Chile
Everything has been saidThe first time I tried to call Mahasamrat today, he was not there. I was telling Agraha, "They have gone out for breakfast." I know that they rarely go out for breakfast.
Then, when I finally spoke with Mahasamrat, I asked him, "Where were you?"
He said, "We went out for breakfast."
Mahasamrat's whole gymnasium is flooded with my pictures. All the different lifts that I have done he has collected. As you know, he has given most beautiful and inspiring comments about each one. Now he says that there is nothing more in the outer world that he will be able to tell me. In the outer world, everything he has said. Only he will be able to tell me things in the inner world.
1 January 1987, Chile
A surprise telephone call to EnglandJim Smith was very, very happy when I called him this morning to wish him happy New Year. I gave him many, many prayers and also I told him all about our activities here. He was telling me, "What a wonderful surprise! What a marvellous heart you have!"
1 January 1987, Chile
Mahasamrat's powerful adviceMahasamrat has asked me not to dismantle my 2,000-pound power rack. He said people should see it. Then, to one of my disciples, he said, "As soon as your ego comes forward, only love Guru more."
Yesterday his wife's soul came to me ten times. She repeats her husband's spiritual name and now she is dying to have a spiritual name.
5 January 1987, Chile
My little wristEven in India, when I was an athlete, my friends used to laugh at the size of my wrists. Now, just before I am about to lift, I concentrate on my right wrist because I know it will hold ninety per cent of the weight. After I lifted 3,000 pounds, I looked at my wrist and I could not believe it.
24 January 1987, New York
Weightlifting and inner poiseAmong the spiritual qualities that I have, my inner poise is first and foremost. And this is the quality you can see in one of the pictures when I am lifting 3,000 pounds. There is no tension in this picture.
When people believe that by spiritual power I have lifted 3,000 pounds, when it is all settled in the mind-world, then only I shall show this picture. Otherwise, people will not believe that I am lifting that much weight. Once they believe it, I will show the picture.
When Mahasamrat heard the news, he said, "I won't believe it!" And then he said, "I have to believe it!"
24 January 1987
My 7,000-pound liftThis morning, after I had done my 7,000-pound lift, the disciples came to view the weight. It was on display in my house. Chayanika gets second prize. When she saw how huge it was, she cried and cried. Chayanika is a showcase! But Pragati's mother gets first prize. When she came, I could not believe how she was crying and crying. Some disciples came and laughed and laughed. The best was Dhananjaya.
31 January 1987
A future predictionOne owner of a gym in San Francisco has become very devoted to me. He says that one day I will be able to lift up 20,000 pounds. He has even drawn a sketch of the apparatus.
One girl could not lift something in his gym. He asked her to meditate on my picture. Then, after she meditated, she was able to lift the weight. Some people who lift weights in his gym say my name: "Sri! Sri!"
31 January 1987
An eminent Canadian visitorLast Wednesday night, when I was playing the cello during our meditation, somebody came in the inner world to visit me. At that time, I had lifted 3,000 pounds with one arm, but I had not yet done my 7,000.
When I saw the soul right in front of me, I said, "I cannot recognise you. Please tell me who you are."
He said, "I am Louis Cyr. You cannot recognise me?"
I am not familiar with his soul at all, but I have read about him and many pictures I have seen of him lifting. In his day, he was the strongest man in the world. I think he came from Montreal, Canada, and he was born more than one hundred years ago.
So I was playing my cello and Tanima's group was singing. Louis Cyr's soul came and stood right in front of me. Then he took off his weightlifting belt and placed it at my feet, saying he was no match for me.
I was not thinking of him at all. Believe me, I was not fishing for compliments about my lifting! I was only trying to play my music correctly on the cello. But the inner world has its own Hour.
31 January 1987
A Bulgarian admirerHow the coach of the Bulgarian weightlifting team came to hear about my 2,000-pound lift, God alone knows! I have been told that he is deeply impressed. Now he is in Finland and he is asking the disciples there all about me. He wants to print an article about it in their Bulgarian magazine. Mahasamrat and others have the utmost respect for the Bulgarian weightlifters.
3 February 1987
Kundalini power and spiritual powerThere is one gym owner in San Francisco by the name of Tom. Every day he reads my Kundalini book and then he tries to open up his chakras. He does not realise that kundalini power is nothing compared to spiritual power. Kundalini power is a form of spiritual power, true, but kundalini power will pale into insignificance when spiritual power, universal power, is used. I have the capacity to use universal power. I can say from my own inner experience that kundalini power is like a big wave, whereas universal power is the ocean. Kundalini power is connected with universal power, but it is not the universal power.
Let us say that kundalini power is like my arm. My arm is connected to my whole body. I can use my arm by itself, but if I can use the rest of my body as well, then I will be able to do much more. Universal power is definitely stronger than the kundalini power.
That is one point. There is also the question of book-knowledge and inner experience. An almanac can tell you everything: when it will rain and so forth. Everything is listed there. But if you squeeze the book, there is no water inside. Similarly, you can read books on kundalini power, snake-power, but that does not mean you will get the results. Where are the chakras? They are in the subtle physical. Just by reading about them, they will not open up. You have to go deep within to discover them.
The best thing is to meditate on God. He is the Owner of the kundalini-garden. All the trees and flowers and plants in it belong to Him. If we please God, will He not open up the garden for us? And then, if we please Him more, will He not give us the most delicious fruit in the garden? But if we do not please Him, why should He open up the garden for us and give us the fruits and flowers?
Again, if God sees right from the beginning that you are pleasing Him only with the idea of receiving the fruits, He will see that you are such a clever fellow. Perhaps He may open up the door to the garden for you so that you can go inside and get the fruits. But a day will come when you want God alone and then how will you recognise Him? If He comes to you, you will not know that it was He who allowed you to go into the garden and you may tell Him to get out.
12 February 1987
Tom's transformationIf Tom's transformation can take place, which it has, you people also can be transformed. The very first time I went to Tom's gym, I said hello to him but he would not look at me. I was there for twenty minutes or half an hour. His assistant, Dan, liked me. Dan was showing me so many pieces of equipment. But Tom did not come near me and I did not have the heart to go near him.
Since then, how he has changed! He has become our best admirer. A few months ago, his team was in the national championships. A few days ago I told you the story how one girl was unable to lift a particular weight. So Tom told her to meditate on my picture for ten minutes. That was her 'punishment'! So she meditated and then she came back and lifted the weight. For the last few years, the girls from his gym have won the world championships.
You say that my lifts are unbelievable, but I wish to say that Tom's comments are more unbelievable than my performances. There is such a difference between my first experience with Tom and how nice he is now. Something clicked inside his heart, something touched his heart. When that special moment arrives, it is God's Hour. Our famous song is "Dak eseche—Call has come." When the Call comes, you will be able to run so fast. Tom's life is the radiant example.
15 February 1987
Jim Smith's faith in meJim Smith's oldest son is studying to be an engineer. When he saw the picture of my 7,000-pound lift, he said to his father, "You want me to be an engineer and I am going to be a good engineer. Because of what I have studied, I find it difficult to believe this kind of thing. But since you are my father and you believe, definitely I am going to believe." He is believing through the eyes of his father!
We have sent Jim Smith three copies of the picture of me lifting 7,000 pounds. One he has kept in his gym, one in his office and one at home. The funny thing is, people who do not believe it come back again and again to look at the picture. For those who believe it, seeing it once is enough.
When I lifted 2,000 pounds, Jim Smith had to fight with his colleagues to give me the certificate. Normally three persons are required to watch the lift. But he said that by seeing the picture, he knew that it was true. So he challenged his colleagues. Good people are on earth. That is why we can remain alive.
15 February 1987
Clarence Bass answers questionsThere is a great bodybuilder whose name is Clarence Bass. Every Friday, for three hours, he used to answer questions free of charge. You could call him on the telephone and he would answer. So a few times Databir called him and one of the other boys has also called a few times. Alas, when Clarence Bass began getting so many questions, he said he would charge. His free advice stopped!
21 February 1987
My monkey-consciousnessThis week I have begun playing the piano after I finish weightlifting. You can see on the video that I am still wearing my weightlifting shorts. Yesterday, after I had finished playing the piano, I immediately became my monkey-consciousness and showed my muscle power in my arms. I was at the end of my most powerful and soulful self-giving at the piano and then I adopted a weightlifting pose!
Yesterday was Mahasamrat's wife's birthday, so I want to send them the video. I have given his wife the spiritual name Bhavatarini.
21 February 1987
My weightlifting brings a French seekerIn Paris recently one fellow saw a poster and he came to Haridas' course. All of a sudden, he told the disciples that he had heard that an Indian living in America had lifted up a very heavy weight. He said, "This is what meditation can do." He did not know that I was the Indian he had heard about. So the disciples showed him a picture of me lifting weights. This French man knew nothing about meditation, but he was inspired by my weightlifting feats to attend the course.
That means lifting up weights has made me known. Now music has to make me known. Weightlifting is one door, now we have to try another door. Spirituality can be approached through many, many doors.
16 March 1987
My weightlifting friendsMarty Gallagher's soul has been coming to me. Three or four days ago this started. Since then, his soul has come three times. Half an hour before I received the message outwardly that he will be coming to New York, his soul came to tell me the news.
Jim Smith is taking ten British weightlifters to Puerto Rico to compete in a competition. He is the leader of the British contingent. Ashrita and Agraha have assisted him in making all the travel arrangements, so $100 less each person is paying to the airlines.
18 September 1987
Without God's Grace, we are nothingFor the last few months, I have given up heavy weightlifting. Then, just last month, on three separate days, I tried to lift up 155 pounds. My bodyweight is a little under 155. I am extremely pleased to tell you that I was able to lift up 155 pounds with one arm on all the three days quite easily—that means quite satisfactorily.
Although I have given up heavy weightlifting, the infinite Compassion of my Beloved Lord Supreme unconditionally remains in my heart of aspiration and in my life of dedication. So let us depend entirely and all the time on the unconditional Grace of our Beloved Supreme. Without His Grace, we can do nothing. Without His Grace, we are nothing and nothing and nothing. With His Grace unconditional, we are everything, more than everything, at every moment. We must remember that His Eternity's unconditional and infinite Compassion is the only thing that we can claim to be our own, very own. Everything else and everybody else will fail us, but never our Beloved Lord Supreme and His infinite Compassion.
18 November 1987
An experience with Mahasamrat's soulToday, while the singers were singing my song for Mahasamrat, his soul was right in front of me and in the inner world I placed on his head a most, most beautiful crown. Even the soul has a head! His soul is extremely beautiful and on the stage it was like a child, moving this side and that side. When I placed the beautiful crown on his head, he was unimaginably happy. His hands were cupped together and he was shedding such tears of delight. Then he disappeared. So this was my inner experience.
Now his soul has come and it is right near my elbow. His soul has a cute way of smiling, with a little bit of shyness. For a human being, I would say that he is blushing. The soul is very cute, amused and a little bit embarrassed because I am saying such nice things about it.
18 November 1987
"No way!"In New Zealand and Australia I visited two gyms. In Australia I lifted up my bodyweight on television for the very first time. It happened in Melbourne. My bodyweight was 155 pounds and the actual weight of the dumbbell was 161 pounds. They put it in kilos—the dumbbell was 73.5 kilos and my bodyweight was 70.5 kilos. They weighed me on their own machine. In the studio, I did ten pushups before I lifted. Then I forgot to put on my belt. After I lifted, I was looking for my belt, but it was somewhere else.
The television people were very nice. They were supposed to show it the same day, but something went wrong. Fortunately, they showed it the following day. I was then in Sydney. I had gone there to play the organ at the Sydney Opera House.
When I returned to Melbourne, I visited Gold's gym to look at their equipment. As soon as I entered the building, I saw Mahasamrat's pictures all over the gym. Then I found out that the owner was a great admirer of Mahasamrat. One of the workers at this gym is very strong. He has 19-inch arms and mine are not even 14 inches. He is about 30 years old. He said to me, "I want to take a picture with you." Then he took off his jacket to show me his arms. I said, "I do not want to show my 14-inch arms!"
This young man and the owner of the gym had both watched me lift 161 pounds on television. When they saw the lift, the young man said, "No way!" He was so surprised that I could lift such a heavy weight. The young man told me that he would not be able to lift 155 pounds with one arm.
I took some exercise on the equipment at the gym and the young man was watching me with utmost respect, but he did not try himself.
In New Zealand and Australia, the people believed my 7,000-pound lift. Now we have over 100 magazines who believed it and have printed favourable articles and then perhaps three or four who did not believe it. What can you do?
4 December 1987
A calf raise down underWhen I was in New Zealand, I visited a gym. I was in my Indian dhoti and I had just had my lunch. Not even twenty minutes had passed since I had eaten. The staff members at the gym were very kind to me and they showed me their equipment.
They had a calf raise machine that held 950 pounds maximum. They said that they knew of only two young men who could do 600 pounds, but they were not there. Hundreds of people go to that gym, but only two can do 600 pounds. So I decided to try.
First I did 600 pounds. The staff members were standing there watching, but they said they themselves did not dare to do it. Then I said, "Now put 950 pounds on the machine."
So they added the extra weight. Meanwhile, one of the men went to get his camera. When he came back, I lifted the weight. I was showing off, using only my left leg to support it.
The man with the camera was lying down on the floor taking pictures. Then he had to go to the other side to take more pictures. He was moving so slowly and taking such a long time. Meanwhile, I was still holding up the weight.
Finally, the other man said to him, "It seems that your camera is heavier than Sri Chinmoy's lift!"
5 December 1987
A calf raise comebackAs you know, your Guru happens to hold the calf raise world record of 2,000 pounds. Vidagdha has written a super-excellent book about my calf raise. You can take it as the beginning and glorious end of my calf raise. My calf raise is an undisputed lift. Nobody has any dispute with my calf raise.
There are quite a few witnesses who know that for many, many months I have taken vacation from my calf raise. All in all, I believe it is about ten months. Now I am trying to do at least 2,000 pounds again. This morning I did 1,800 pounds five times. I do hope before we go out for Christmas I can do 2,000 pounds.
5 December 1987
My salute to MahasamratMahasamrat is the supreme authority on bodybuilding, so I have lifted his bodyweight with one arm. When I told him what I was planning to do, he was so kind to me. In one day he lost eight or nine pounds. I thought he might gain a few pounds, so I practised with nine pounds extra.
13 December 1987
Tennis repercussionsAfter lifting Mahasamrat's bodyweight, I did not have any feeling in my arm. Then I had to go and play tennis with Mahiyan! How stupid I am! I became totally exhausted. But at 5:30 this evening, in spite of having no sensation in my arm, I did four more sets of lifting, each one with ten pounds more. That was the time I had to add more weight!
13 December 1987
Achyuta's theoryThe other day Achyuta said something very funny. Some people do not believe I have lifted 7,000 pounds, but they do believe that I have lifted 3,000 pounds. So, according to Achyuta, I should do 10,000 and then they will believe 7,000!
In New Zealand one man told me, "Three thousand I believed, but 7,000 I had a little suspicion." But then he made enquiries with his good friend Bill Pearl and Bill Pearl told him it was true, so he believed it. His name is Warren.
13 December 1987
Databir's identification-capacityMahasamrat told me that if I can do squats, I will increase my capacity by twenty per cent but, unfortunately, I cannot bend. Then Databir did a squat in front of him on behalf of me, showing how little I can bend. Such identification Databir has with me! But I do not think Databir can do a full squat. He also cannot bend to his satisfaction.
18 December 1987, Narita, Japan
Lifting from my chairBelieve it or not, on alternate days I lift 70 pounds very nicely while seated in my chair. The first set I do 20 repetitions and the second set I do 10 repetitions. With 80 pounds, I lift 10 times and then 7 times. I have not yet started to lift 90 or 100 pounds. On even days I do 50 pounds 50 times. But unless I have shown it to you, you can take it with a grain of salt.
I am very proud of the three or four boys who could lift 70 pounds a few days ago. They are very strong. I am also very proud of the girls' performance.
Another thing that I have been doing recently is two sets of 20 and 10 pressing 70 pounds while lying down. I do 80 pounds only 10 times, but 70 pounds I have been doing for the last two and a half months.
31 January 1988
My unpronounced calf musclesI cannot imagine why, but I have never measured my calf muscles. Yesterday I was measuring them. Now I see that the upper part of my calf is smaller than my arms! Alas, only Americans have very good, pronounced calf muscles. Indians, it seems, do not have. Or else my calves are smaller than those of other Indians.
4 February 1988
My morning weightlifting audienceThis morning I was lifting up 86 12 pounds in front of my Mother Kali. Her picture was right in front of me. And who was right behind me? Mahasamrat. His book was on the shelf behind my chair and he was there on the cover so visibly. On the video it is coming out so clearly. I was thinking, he can see that I can lift 86 12 pounds. It is not bad. I did two sets very nicely with 10 repetitions each. Then my little dogs, Kanu and Sona, came in and were playing in front of me. Then I played my alto flute for a few minutes. So many things happened! We can send the video to Mahasamrat. It is three or four minutes' long.
15 February 1988
The mynah's mantraThis morning, as usual, I lifted 180 pounds with my left hand. While I was holding the weight up, the mynah bird who lives in my weightlifting room said, "Sri, Sri."
And then, when I came into the meditation room and stood in front of Mother Kali's picture, at that time it said, "Sri, Sri, Sri." Almost all the time the bird says, "Sri, Sri, Sri" when I stand in front of Mother Kali's picture.
7 March 1988
Weightlifting in HollandIn Holland we went to a studio. There I lifted with my left arm and then with my right arm. The people were so nice, so kind, and the arrangements were absolutely perfect.
While I was lifting up the weight with my right arm, you cannot imagine how close the cameraman was to me! He was not even six inches away. His big lens was right at the tip of my nose!
Just before I was about to lift, the cameraman asked me, "Do you mind?" What could I say? I was concentrating most powerfully, so I did not want to speak to him. He took my silence as permission, so he came right in front of me. Then I had to prove that I was in my highest concentrative consciousness!
11 March 1988
A red-letter dayToday, for the first time, I succeeded in lifting up two 120-pound dumbbells with both arms simultaneously. I felt so much pressure everywhere, right from the shoulder and the spine. Now 100 pounds I have done and 120 pounds I have done. Soon I shall try for 130 pounds. My goal is 150 pounds, my bodyweight, in each arm. Luckily today my weight was under 150—it was 149. If I can come down to 147, then on that day I will be safe.
Poor me, I run once in a blue moon. This morning I ran two miles—to Queens Boulevard. After running two miles, do I have any energy?
13 May 1988
My 3,070-pound liftWhen it was my fifth attempt to lift 3,070 pounds with my left arm, I saw my physical mother standing behind R, combing and caressing her hair while she was taking pictures. My mother was so grateful to her that she was taking pictures. Some Cosmic Gods and Goddesses were also there, as well as some celestial beings, and Mother Kali was prominent. Then I was able to successfully lift the weight.
Previously, when I lifted with my right hand, I went from 700 to 1,000 to 1,300 to 2,000 and so forth. This time, with my left hand, I went from 700 to 1,000 and from 1,000 directly to 3,000. I skipped 2,000.
Since I depend one hundred per cent on God's Grace, if the Grace works, I can lift. If it does not work, what can I do? Then, when my disciples do not believe it, what can I say? I feel we should not give it to any newspapers or magazines right now. We should hold it for a long time.
3 August 1988
Lifting two Olympic hurdlers in SeoulThis time there was a new Olympic record set in the 400-metre hurdles by Andre Phillips. On September 25th in Seoul, he came to be lifted by me at our hotel. He was very kind. How happy he was to be the new Olympic record-holder!
Then the winner of the 110-metre hurdles came: Roger Kingdom. He was so happy and honoured to be lifted. He could not believe that he could come and talk to me. I lifted him twice because in the last Olympics also he won the gold medal. He was telling me that he does not want to be satisfied with these achievements. He also wants to win a gold medal in Spain in four years' time.
I also lifted his mother. She wanted my autograph and she is dying to have pictures. She wants to print them in magazines. His mother became very close to us. And his coach was from Jamaica, Queens, right near Annam Brahma.
Both the hurdlers were so nice—and both of them set new Olympic records. The picture of me lifting one of them has come out in a Korean newspaper.
29 September 1988
My guests in SeoulOne elderly Korean man was the torchbearer during the Olympic opening ceremony. He had competed in the marathon in the 1936 Olympics and he became Jesse Owens' friend. He came to be lifted yesterday and he was so nice. He stayed with us for more than an hour.
Then from Barbados, some Indian archers came with their coach on another day. I also lifted the great sprinter Calvin Smith and his wife. Then there were athletes from Zambia, Nepal, Japan, Chad, Canada and Aruba. Altogether I lifted 44 individuals from 12 or 13 countries. One of the athletes from Zambia gave a very nice speech.
Dhanu has taken some very nice pictures of the great film producer, Bud Greenspan. I have watched so many of his videos about the Olympics. They are really immortal.
In the beginning, we had some difficulties finding somewhere to hold the lifting ceremony. Then the manager of our Hotel Intercontinental was kind enough to agree. Some people whom I lifted indoors had to sit down because the ceiling was not high enough. The manager was one of those.
Roger Kingdom's mother was so brave. She was waving when I lifted her. She was only holding the bar with one hand. How happy she was!
One day our great Gary Fanelli came. He was competing in the marathon. He wanted to prove to me that everywhere he carries me. So he took out from his wallet my picture. He was showing it to me and telling me, "Guru, I carry you everywhere."
Both Gary and Ashrita tried very hard to bring Arnold Schwarzenegger, but by the time they met with him, I had finished lifting for the day.
29 September 1988
My record lifting in Germany and SwitzerlandI was in Switzerland and Germany for three days —- October 3rd to the 5th. On the second day, in Zurich, I lifted 57 people in one day. For me, it was a new record. From 34 people it went up to 57. Then the following day, we went to Munich and there I lifted again. This time it was 43 people. So altogether I lifted 100 people on this trip.
Among them were quite a few very important people. One of them was a great bodybuilder from Los Angeles. His name was Tony Pearson. He was Mr. Universe in 1980, and claimed he got his inspiration from Arnold Schwarzenegger. He told me that he has read much about me and also heard much about me. He was full of appreciation and very kind-hearted. We took seven or eight pictures together.
I also lifted a bodybuilder from Haiti —- Paul-Jean Guillaume. He was Mr. Universe in 1986 in a lighter weight category. He was extremely nice. He told me that right from his childhood, he was dead against drugs. Right after he told me this, Tony came and said, "I am not as clean as he is. He is very strict, disciplined. I am not as clean, as pure, as this fellow." Indirectly he was confessing.
Then a few runners came who are eminent in Switzerland. In Munich one tennis player came. His name is Max Wunschig. He was the German tennis champion for 22 years. He defeated Becker also. Now he no longer plays internationally. He is extremely, extremely nice.
8 October 1988
Mental powerWhen Tony Pearson saw a photo of my 7,000-pound lift, he immediately believed it. In front of so many people, he said, "I believe it. It is all mental power."
Many bodybuilders say that they have heard so much about me, but they call me an old man. In Korea, Arnold Schwarzenegger also called me an old man.
8 October 1988
Biceps comparisonWhen I lifted the German tennis champion, Max Wunschig, he was very happy. Afterwards, he was examining my biceps. Then I started examining his biceps. His biceps were larger than mine.
Then he was saying, "No, no, it is not your biceps that are doing this but your mental power, mental power."
8 October 1988
A marathon championWe also had Germany's number one marathon runner, Christophe Herle. His timing is 2:09. Before I lifted him, I was talking to him. He is very, very nice. I said that my best timing is 3:55. He did not laugh. He was smiling.
Then he asked me how many times I had run a marathon. I told him that I have run 22 marathons.
He has run only four marathons.
8 October 1988
Praying for lightnessIn Germany I lifted a bodybuilder called Peter Hensel. He was previously a weightlifter in East Germany. Now he lives in West Germany. In 1985 he was Mr. Universe. His bodyweight was 250 pounds. When we added 13 pounds for the apparatus, it came to 263 pounds—much more than I had lifted before.
Then a very beautiful incident took place. Disciples were sitting on the ground around the apparatus praying. He was extremely moved to see so many people praying and meditating in a soulful consciousness. So he also started praying to God, he said, to make him lighter. He has done weightlifting all his life, so he knows what a heavy weight 263 pounds is. He was deeply moved that I wanted to lift him. So when he saw so many disciples praying and meditating for me to lift him, he was praying to God to make him lighter. He has such a good heart.
8 October 1988
A most difficult liftMany, many pictures were taken of me lifting Peter Hensel. With my left hand, first I lifted him a little and quickly brought him down. Then immediately I lifted him properly with my left hand. He is the heaviest person I have ever lifted. This became my new record.
Since my left hand was successful, I wanted to try with my right hand. Then my right hand gave me trouble. At first, I lifted it just a little, but I was not satisfied, so I brought it down. The second time I lifted, the result was the same. I lifted a little, but my arm was not fully extended, so again I brought it down. Then I got disgusted. For everything we get three chances. So I said to myself, "I have one more chance. This time I have to lift."
I told Peter, "I am taking two minutes' time." He knows what I mean. I am sure he also used to take time between lifts when he was weightlifting. Sometimes two minutes' rest is absolutely necessary. So I took rest and then I took off my tracksuit jacket and in my T-shirt I approached the apparatus for the third time. This time it immediately went up. Then it was all over. I was so happy.
Was it not stupidity on my part? When I had done so well with my left hand, it was not enough. Why did I want to show off? Such a heavy weight! One hand was not enough?
8 October 1988
The weightlifter's dreamPeter Hensel told us a story that one time he was supposed to be in a weightlifting competition the following day. That night, in a dream, he saw a kind of light and he felt that the weight was very light. Then the following day he had the competition and with no difficulty he lifted up the heavy weight. So that was his inner experience.
Anyway, these are some of the happy and fulfilling experiences from our trip to Switzerland and Germany.
8 October 1988
The German magazineJust three days ago in a German magazine there was an article about the ultra-runner Yiannis Kouros. There it showed me lifting Yiannis after his victory at our 1,000-mile race. Then in the same magazine, on the cover, was a picture of Peter Hensel taking exercise. At that time I had not yet lifted him. When I lifted Yiannis, the weight was 165 and when I lifted Peter, the weight was 263—practically 100 pounds difference!
8 October 1988