NEW PALTZ, N.Y. — Sri Chinmoy stood in the centre of the field, clad in gold shorts and a gold sleeveless shirt, as his athlete-disciples, wearing the colours of their own particular Centres, circled around him on the quarter-mile track.

Trumpets and drums set the tempo, blaring out a Bengali marching song, as the 1974 Olympic-style “Sports Day” officially opened on ;August 21st in New Paltz, N.Y.

Sports Day is the annual track and field competition in which disciples from around the world compete against one another. Sri Chinmoy, who had been a decathlon champion 15 years ago in the Indian ashram where he grew up, always joins in the competition.

“Our aim is not to become the world’s best athlete,” Sri Chinmoy says. “Our aim is to keep the body fit, to develop dynamism and to give the vital innocent joy.”

The value of competitive sports, he continues, is that it helps one bring forward his own best capacity. “If we can learn to participate in competitive sports devotedly,” he adds, “then we will get real joy and make real spiritual progress. But if we compete egoistically, then we are bound to suffer both inwardly and outwardly.”

The Sports Day events are open only to the best athletes in the Sri Chinmoy Centres. But a few days later, a “Games Day” was held in Greenwich, Conn. for all disciples wanting to participate. Sports included soccer, baseball, tennis, archery and croquet.


Sri Chinmoy during “Sports Day”

Anahata Nada, August 1974, VOL. 1, NO. 9