Four of the Dublin Centre flew over to New York to join with many other students in marking the day - April 13th - when Sri Chinmoy first came to the West 41 years ago. As always, an intense few days lay in store for us, as we tried to cram in as many activities as we could.
The visit also coincided with the official opening ceremony of the World Harmony Run, a global torch relay run founded by Sri Chinmoy to foster harmony and friendship between peoples and nations. The Run was just about to embark on a tour of all 48 mainland states of the U.S.A; it has already been simultaneously running in Europe and indeed had visited Ireland for six days in March, so we had plenty of inspiration to share with everyone.
One highlight of the trip for many was the meditation function the night before the opening ceremony when Sri Chinmoy realized that the World Harmony Run didn't as yet have a theme song! He then composed up this very catchy and inspirational tune almost as if plucking it from thin air. Some assembled singers sang the song back to him, but the performance needed more spirit, Sri Chinmoy felt; he reminded us that the spirit and energy we put into the song would spread to over 80 countries along with the Run. More singers came down. Instruments arrived. By the time things were in full flow, there were trumpets and saxophones, flutes and violins, sarods and sitars from India, erhus from China, djembes from Africa, whistling and clapping, spontaneous improvisations out of nowhere. We were all hoarse from singing at the top of our voices. The next day, as the song was being performed at the opening ceremonies, I imagined that anyone present would think that we had had hours of painstaking practice; they certainly would never think that the song itself didn't even exist the day before! Click here to listen to the World Harmony Run song....
The day of April 13th itself had many remarking on Sri Chinmoy's amazing ability to defy fatigue. He had the previous evening said there was to be three separate functions, one early in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. However, on the day there were so many different things going on, and the 'morning' function went on into the afternoon and then late into the evening! Whilst his students went in and out, taking frequent breaks, Sri Chinmoy remained throughout for a total of 16 hours in all - which included composing 41 short songs in gratitude for 41 years in the West, a concert of six or seven separate instruments, and meetings with dignitaries and well-wishers who had come to see him.
Near the end of the trip we were in for a surprise when Sri Chinmoy lifted some of his students as part of the 'Lifting up the World with a Oneness-Heart' initiative. Sri Chinmoy transcended his old record by lifting 116 students overhead in a single day using a specially-constructed overhead platform. Ambarish and Nirbhasa from Ireland were among the students lifted from all over the world.