Sri Chinmoy's short poems and artwork - all in one beautiful little card. These cards have enjoyed great public reaction in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Italy and Ireland.
In 2005 in Australia, some inspired students of Sri Chinmoy had the idea of making some of Sri Chinmoy's meditative aphorisms available to the public in a very unique way, by designing individual cards, each containing an aphorism. These cards could then be placed in shops, waiting rooms, cafes and yoga studios for the public to take, with the hope of brightening up someone's day.
Sri Chinmoy has written over 120,000 poems, prayers and aphorisms. His aphorisms have been described as "an invitation to the silence beyond the words" with "a haiku-like compactness, a tremendous density and compression of language". Sri Chinmoy has published two large collections of these aphorisms, entitled "Ten thousand Flower-Flames" and Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, and, after seven years work, is currently half-way through completing his biggest collection yet - Seventy-Seven Thousand Service Trees.
The aphorism cards also contain a miniature of one of Sri Chinmoy's Jharna-Kala paintings on them. Jharna-Kala means "fountain-art" in Bengali, Sri Chinmoy's native tongue, and the name reflects the fact that the pictures flow direct from the inmost reaches of his being:
"The whole picture does not come to me at once. As I start painting, I see a streak of light right ahead of me and devotedly I try to follow that streak of light. But on some rare occasions the light is so powerful that I envision the painting long before I have actually touched the paper, I don’t bring it forth; it comes to the fore from within, In the light the colour is there. Each time I see the streak of light, I see the colour.”
The Australian cards (examples shown above) used many of Sri Chinmoy's paintings dating back to the 1970's.
The cards that can currently be found gracing shops and cafes in the British Isles, shown left, use a series of more recent paintings by Sri Chinmoy. In these paintings, Sri Chinmoy first writes down a word at the bottom of the page, and lets the inner flow guide his painting hand as he meditates on that particular topic or quality.
The cards have been very well received wherever we have put them, and those of us who distribute them have heard many a story of how they helped to cheer someone up, or provided a timely nugget of wisdom just when it was most needed.
Here are some more heartwarming aphorisms by Sri Chinmoy:
Be kind, be all sympathy,
When we have a heart
Of abundant peace,
We can become the master
and tamer of our cravings.