Sri Chinmoy began his weightlifting adventure on 26 June 1985, with a lift of just 40 pounds. Over the next year and a half, his progress astounded the weightlifting world, culminating in a lift of 7063¾ pounds on 30 January 1987. Here, we honour his weightlifting anniversary with a visual celebration of his landmark achievements.


June 26th 1985

40-lb lift


In Sri Chinmoy’s Words

From the outer point of view, I have taken up weightlifting because my knee injury has kept me from running and compelled me to do something else. So the unconscious human in me thought of weightlifting. But the conscious being in me took up weightlifting at the express command of my Inner Pilot. The conscious being in me has listened to and has obeyed implicitly the dictates of my Inner Pilot.

Published in Soul-Illumination-Shrine, Body-Preparation-Temple, part 1



July 7th 1985

50-lb lift



July 14th 1985

60-lb lift



July 30th 1985

70-lb lift


Sri Chinmoy lifts 70 lbs. four times using only his right arm, in Jamaica, New York. To celebrate, he offers a 70-item prasad.



August 13th 1985

80-lb lift



September 6th 1985

85-lb lift



October 7th 1985

98½-lb lift



October 9th 1985

106¾-lb lift


Sri Chinmoy lifts 106¼ lbs. overhead from shoulder height (suspended in a rack) using only his right arm in Jamaica, New York. On 11 October, Sri Chinmoy lifts 106¼ lbs. overhead from shoulder height (placed in his hand) using only his right arm at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York.



November 1st 1985

117-lb lift



November 3rd 1985

131½-lb lift


Sri Chinmoy lifts 131½ lbs. 22 times, using only his right arm, in Jamaica, New York.



November 12th 1985

140-lb lift



November 18th 1985

155-lb lift


Sri Chinmoy lifts 155 lbs. – equal to his own body weight – 24 times (two sets of one-arm presses of 10 and 14 repetitions), using only his right arm, in Jamaica, New York.



January 16th 1986

170-lb lift



March 6th 1986

200-lb lift


Sri Chinmoy achieves a lift of 200 lbs., using only his right arm, setting a new record for his weight (157 lbs.) and age (54 years), in Jamaica, New York. Later, Sri Chinmoy is awarded a Certificate of Recognition and Merit by the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States for his noteworthy achievement in lifting 200 pounds with one arm. A similar certificate is presented by the British Amateur Weightlifters Association.



April 28th 1986

210-lb lift



May 8th 1986

220-lb lift



May 17th 1986

230¼-lb lift



June 21st 1986

240½-lb lift


Still frame from a video


Sri Chinmoy first lifts 240½ lbs. using only his right arm, in Jamaica, New York. Sri Chinmoy’s body weight is 159¾ lbs.


July 31st 1986

250½-lb lift


August 7th 1986

260½-lb lift



August 11th 1986

303¼-lb lift


Sri Chinmoy achieves a lift of 303¼ lbs., using his right arm only, in Jamaica, New York. After his first attempt on 23 May 1986, Sri Chinmoy finally achieves the lift on his 214th attempt. Sri Chinmoy weighs 160 lbs.



by Sri Chinmoy

I first tried lifting 300 pounds on May 23rd and I eventually succeeded on August 11th, after 80 days. It was my 214th attempt. Then I tried 313 pounds. I began on August 12th and I did it on August l9th — eight days later. Then I jumped to 320 pounds, which was double my body weight. I started the morning of August 21st, Agraha’s birthday, and I did it the afternoon of that same day. At his request I did it. Now I need a few more disciples’ birthdays to inspire me. It took a long time to go to 330 pounds — two weeks! But to reach 340 pounds it took only 12 attempts and for 350 ˝ pounds, just eight attempts. So my speed is increasing. I think I am still getting the benefit from attempting 300 pounds for two and a half months. — 11 September 1986

Published in My Weightlifting Tears and Smiles, part 1



August 21st 1986

320½-lb lift


Sri Chinmoy achieves a 320½-lb. right-arm lift (double his body weight) in Jamaica, New York.



September 5, 1986

330½-lb lift


Sri Chinmoy lifts 330½ lbs. using only his right arm; and during a standing calf-raise workout, lifts a total of 106 tons, in Jamaica, New York.



September 9, 1986

340½-lb lift



September 11, 1986

350½-lb lift


Sri Chinmoy outside his home in New York, easily holding a 70-lb weight. On the ground is the 350½-lb dumbbell he lifted earlier in the day using only his right arm and, as a comparison, a calf of the same weight stands nearby.



September 15, 1986

360¼-lb lift



September 17, 1986

370¼-lb lift



September 19, 1986

380½-lb lift



September 21, 1986

400½-lb lift



September 26, 1986

450-lb lift



September 29, 1986

503-lb lift



October 27, 1986

604-lb lift

She Wanted Me To Do More

by Sri Chinmoy

When I lifted 604 pounds with one arm, my physical mother appeared before me in the inner world, full of compassion, to watch. After the fourth attempt, she wanted me to do more. I said, “I am tired. I am satisfied with this.” — 27 October 1986

Published in My Weightlifting Tears and Smiles, part 2



November 1, 1986

705¾-lb lift


Help In Reaching My Goal

by Sri Chinmoy


This morning I reached my ultimate goal — 705 pounds. I have done it with my Beloved Supreme’s infinite Grace. Just before I started lifting, my prayer was:

My Lord Supreme,
My Beloved Supreme,
Your infinite Compassion decides
The choice hour for me.
Your infinite Compassion also transforms
My human greed
Into Your divine Need.

When human greed becomes His divine Need, then one can be of real inspiration and true service to mankind. So this was my prayer, and a few minutes after it was offered, I was able to lift 705 pounds.

When I lift, there is always some divine Grace in the form of gods, goddesses or relatives and friends who come to inspire me. They are of real help. Today it was my dearer-than-the-dearest Mother Kali who came. Inside me she is always visible, but today I saw her very vividly on the wall, where the window is. She had a larger-than-the-largest garland around her neck. I saw it when I was lifting. On my third attempt she was looking at me so powerfully and compassionately. On my fourth attempt I clearly saw her placing her feet on the metal plates and the bar. Then I saw in my intuitive world that I was going to lift it. On that attempt, I was looking only at her face. My concentration was so powerful at that time, I didn’t see the garland, and I was wondering where it went. Then, in my highest point of concentration, I saw that the garland was on my neck. Then I made the attempt and I was successful. She had garlanded me before I had actually made the lift. Then I lifted it again on my fifth attempt. After that she was playing with the garland she had placed on me.

Now I can cut jokes. About a month ago some of the disciples didn’t have faith that I would be able to lift 700 pounds. I said I would put them into garbage bags. So many disciples I put in garbage bags! Today I can open up the garbage bags and release them.

Published in My Weightlifting Tears and Smiles, part 2



November 7, 1986

806¼-lb lift


All Credit To Mother Kali

by Sri Chinmoy

This morning when I was attempting to lift 800 pounds with one arm, Mother Kali was right in front of me, full of compassion and power. When I was about to make my fourth attempt, Mother Kali said to me, “My son, it is already done.” Then I did lift 800 pounds.

So for both 700 and 800 pounds, all credit goes to my dearest Mother Kali.

Published in My Weightlifting Tears and Smiles, part 2



November 10, 1986

1007¾-lb lift


A Visit from Nivedita

by Sri Chinmoy

Early this morning while I was taking exercise, Mother Kali and the soul of my physical mother were there. The soul of Nivedita was also there for at least 45 minutes.

Nivedita’s soul is most beautiful, most beautiful. So lovingly she was watching me while I was taking various exercises. She was moving around and telling me, “My Lord, you can do it, you can do it, you can do it!” And she was absolutely right, absolutely right! This morning I lifted up 1,007¾ pounds. As soon as I completed the lift she offered me a most beautiful flower, and while offering the flower she said, “Congratulations, my Lord, and my eternal gratitude.”

These visions are more real to me than my own name, Chinmoy. Chinmoy is just a fleeting name, an earthly name. But my God-realisation-experiences, visions and illuminations, which come from my Beloved Supreme’s infinite Compassion, are infallible and immortal.

Published in My Weightlifting Tears and Smiles, part 2



November 17, 1986

1317¾-lb lift


Mother Kali Is Always There

by Sri Chinmoy

When I was lifting 1,317¾ pounds with one arm, again Mother Kali came! Mother Kali is always there.

Published in My WeightliftingTears and Smiles, part 2



November 24, 1986

1515¼-lb lift



November 27, 1986

2039-lb lift



January 20, 1987

3081¾-lb lift


Sri Chinmoy lifts 3,081¾ lbs. using only his right arm, in Jamaica, New York. The lift is approximately 19 times his own bodyweight.



January 30, 1987

7063¾-lb lift


Sri Chinmoy lifts 7,063¾ lbs. with his right arm, in Jamaica, New York. Sri Chinmoy weighs 162¼ lbs. — the lift is more than 43½ times his own bodyweight.



Seven Thousand Pounds, I have reached my goal!
My poor body smiles through my rich soul.
God in Heaven, God on earth asks me one thing.
Oneness-fulness-song, am I ready to sing?


Published in Weightlifting Songs


The dates cited are the official dates of Sri Chinmoy's lifts. However, very occasionally he would lift the same weight again a day or so later for a public demonstration, or for a clearer photograph to be taken. A case in point is his 106¾-pound lift, which he had done on 9 October. On 11 October, a photograph was taken in front of an audience at Aspiration-Ground.