Two Olympic Immortals in Prague


On October 8th, a sunny Sunday morning in Prague, 2000 spectators and athletes attended the Sri Chinmoy Cup, a masters competition for athletes aged 40 years and over.

The event was organized by current Olympic decathlon champion, Robert Zmelik, in honor of Sri Chinmoy’s visit to Prague. The meet was also graced by the presence of Olympic immortal Emil Zatopek.

The thunderous applause that greeted Zatopek when he stepped onto the field brought back stirring memories of the days when his name rang through stadia around the world during his 5000, 10,000, and marathon victories.

In recalling the great achievements of these two Czech heroes, Sri Chinmoy said, “We shall never give up our dreams. Today’s dream tomorrow will blossom into reality.”

A special feature of the day was a 100m dash in which Robert Zmelik and Sri Chinmoy ran together. The official start was given by Zatopek.

Another highlight of the meet was the participation of more than 250 athletes from the former Soviet Union who had travelled to Prague to attend Sri Chinmoy’s Peace Concert that evening.

Some had made the journey by train from as far away as Siberia. The Peace Concert was held at a vast indoor sporting arena in Prague and attended by a capacity crowd of 15,000 people. It was also broadcast live on national radio.


Sri Chinmoy (age 64) center, poses with current Olympic decathlon champion Robert Zmelik (age 26) and Olympic immortal Emil Zatopek (age 74) at the Sri Chinmoy Cup in Prague, Czech Republic, Oct. 8. Photo by: Projjwal

Published in National Masters News, 207th Issue, November 1995


Star Tribune interview with Sri Chinmoy

by Martha Sawyert Allen
 who writes a column called ‘Faith and Body’ for the Star Tribune, the largest newspaper in Minnesota. The telephone conversation takes place at 9:30 a.m. on 8 October and the article is published on Saturday, 14 October 2000. 


Question: What do you try to accomplish with your concerts?

Sri Chinmoy: With my concerts I try to be of devoted service to mankind and to be a good citizen of the world. It is my wish that we all cultivate the inner hunger to become good citizens to inspire the whole world and to work together for the betterment of the world.

Question: Do you find Westerners open to your Eastern concepts, or does it take extra training?

Sri Chinmoy: I feel that Westerners have always been open to our Eastern concepts. They readily, lovingly, soulfully and self-givingly have accepted our Eastern concepts.

Question: Does it take extra training?

Sri Chinmoy: No, it does not. Their hearts are completely ready. Therefore, it does not take extra training for them to accept the spiritual way of India.

Question: Please talk a little more about some of your teachings that we are not familiar with — for instance, how jealousy can ruin our lives.

Sri Chinmoy: Jealousy means division. Anything that divides us will eventually ruin us. When we are jealous, we see only our little self as our own, our very own. The larger self, which is the world-self or universal self, we forget entirely. Jealousy is one of the things that divide us, and these things will eventually destroy us unless we conquer them.

Question: How does one truly reach one's own pure heart?

Sri Chinmoy: One can reach one's own pure heart in two ways: either by soulfully repeating the word "purity, purity, purity" or by cultivating sincere tears in one's heart. In these two ways, one can automatically be blessed or inundated with most genuine purity. Again, to have a pure heart we have to bring devotion, sincere, genuine devotion, to the fore in our life.

Question: Please say a little more about your statement that, for the beginner, meditation seems to be the highest reality, but when one becomes an advanced seeker one knows that meditation only leads to the highest reality.

Sri Chinmoy: Meditation is both the way and the goal. In the beginning, meditation plays the role of a staircase. We need a staircase to climb up to a certain height. Then there comes a time when we see that this meditation not only leads to the highest but actually embodies the highest. We say that God is the Boat, God is the Boatman, God is the Way and God is the Goal. In exactly the same way we can describe meditation. With meditation we go up, up, and up until finally we become the meditation itself. And this meditation embodies the universal Light, the universal Delight, God the Creator and God the creation at the same time.

Question: You work with people of many faiths. Do you accept that all faiths are valid?

Sri Chinmoy: I do accept that all faiths are valid. They are all equally important.

Question: Do you have some standard for what is a valid faith?

Sri Chinmoy: No. All the religions embody divinity in infinite measure. I take them all as one. But in my case, I say there is only one faith, one religion, and that is love of God. I love God according to my capacity. You love God according to your capacity. Someone else loves God according to his capacity. All religions, all faiths, are equally true and equally divine. Again, the universal truth is that there is only one religion, and that religion is our love of God.

Question: What is your ultimate desire?

Sri Chinmoy: My ultimate desire is to see a world inundated with peace and bliss. And I would like to take part, soulfully and self-givingly, in that divine project.

Question: How would the world be if it followed your hope for it?

Sri Chinmoy: If the world becomes one with my hope, then there will be no misunderstandings, no disputes, no conflicts and no fights, no wars. Only harmony will reign supreme. Harmony will cover the length and breadth of the world.

Question: Of all the people you have met, who has the closest understanding of what you teach?

Sri Chinmoy: Over the years, I have met with many world figures. I must say, Mother Teresa proved to me that she was at once my mother and my sister. This moment she was all affection for me, like a sister; the next moment she was all compassion for me, like a mother. She was the one who was closest to my real spiritual life. She understood me, I feel, more than anybody else, because she herself was the most devoted child — the darling, you can say — of the Saviour Jesus Christ.

Question: Don't you ever get discouraged at the state of the world, with all the fighting, violence and unhappiness?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, for like everyone, I have both the divine in me and the human in me. The human in me does get discouraged. But the divine in me is never discouraged, because the divine in me embodies infinite poise and peace. The divine in me accepts the world as it is. It is the bounden duty of the divine in me to be of service to mankind and to pray to the Absolute Supreme to elevate the consciousness of mankind. Therefore, the divine in me is never discouraged. The human in me at times is definitely discouraged. But again, this discouragement does not last long. The divine in me illumines the human in me so that it does not suffer for a long time from discouragement.

Each individual can become discouraged when his desire is not fulfilled, when his aspiration is not fulfilled, when his sincere and devoted service is not accepted by the world. But again, if he sees that the Supreme Pilot within him is guiding him and piloting him to the destined goal, to what we call the Golden Shore of the ever-transcending Beyond, then his discouragement does not last more than five seconds or five minutes, or a maximum of an hour. In my case it does not last more than 35 minutes, no matter how discouraged I am. After five seconds or 35 minutes, the human in me becomes inseparably one with the divine in me, and then there is no such thing as discouragement or sadness. At that time, I am dealing with Infinity's Joy, Light and Bliss. Infinity's Joy, Light and Bliss are blessing me and showering their wealth upon my devoted head and surrendered life.

Published in Conversations with Sri Chinmoy