The reason I have entered into bodybuilding and weightlifting is to inspire everybody to pray and meditate so they can bring to the fore their own inner strength. If everybody brings to the fore his own inner strength, the world will eventually be inundated with peace. – Sri Chinmoy
Sri Chinmoy began weightlifting at the age of 53. His first lift was of a 40 pound dumbbell. His friends and followers assumed that he was taking up this new disciple to aid his tennis and running. Little did people realize the progress Sri Chinmoy would make.
Under the watchful eye of legends like Bill Pearl and Frank Zane, Sri Chinmoy adopted a series of new styles, not to compete with existing records, but simply to demonstrate the reality of inner power. His lifts hearkened to old-time strongman lifts in which the athlete would have to lift a weight high enough to pull a piece of paper out from underneath it. Sri Chinmoy’s lifts were modeled after these. He displaces weights not in a particular style, but simply to move the poundage. He therefore didn’t use standard lifts like the clean and jerk, but machines that allowed him to move tremendous amounts of weights, sometimes entirely unassisted.
With Bill’s advice, Sri Chinmoy began lifting objects that ordinary people recognized as heavy, rather than plate weights for which many of us have little or no frame of reference. Sri Chinmoy lifted animals, planes, automobiles and heavy people to illustrate the reality of inner peace being a source of outer power.
I do feel there are countless people on earth who do not believe in the inner power, the inner life. They feel that the outer strength and the outer life are everything. I do not agree with them. There is an inner life; there is spirit, and my ability to lift these heavy weights proves that it can work in matter as well. – Sri Chinmoy