Chinmoy Kumar Ghose, also known as Sri Chinmoy was an Indian spiritual teacher, poet, artist and athlete who immigrated to the U.S. in 1964, the founder of the religious organization "Sri Chinmoy Centre Church, Inc." better known as "Sri Chinmoy Centre". According to his followers, Sri Chinmoy wrote 1,500 books, 115,000 poems and 20,000 songs, created 200,000 paintings and gave almost 800 free peace concerts in notable venues around the world. As a spiritual Master, he advocated meditation, chanting mantras and prayers, performing dedicated service to God as a way to personal enlightenment, or God-realisation as described by Eastern religions, including Sri Aurobindo's spiritual teaching.
Early years in India (1931-1964)
Chinmoy was the youngest of seven children, born in Shakpura village in the Chittagong District of East Bengal (now Bangladesh). He lost his father to illness in 1943, and his mother a few months later. In 1944, the 12-year-old Chinmoy joined his brothers and sisters at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, French India, where elder brothers Hriday and Chitta had already established a presence.
There he spent the next twenty years in spiritual practice, including meditation, study in Bengali and English literature, and work in the ashram’s cottage industries. Chinmoy claimed that for about eight years, he was the personal secretary to the General Secretary of the ashram, Nolini Kanta Gupta. Chinmoy translated his writings from Bengali into English. Nolini Kanta Gupta was a scholar, whose writing was admired by Rabindranath Tagore.
Chinmoy claimed that within only a few months of arriving at the ashram, roughly at the age of 14 years-old, he had achieved the spiritual state of God-realisation or full enlightenment.
Inspired by Sri Aurobindo (1872–1950), Chinmoy was encouraged to pursue his athletic abilities - he was a decathlon champion at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, as well as captain of the soccer and volleyball teams, as well as being very enthusiastic about cricket.During his years at the ashram, he spent many hours daily in deep meditation.
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