The uplifting journey
from inner peace to outer strength


“The physical body receives the capacity from within. Actual capacity is inside us, within us. This capacity comes to the fore when we practise and live a life of discipline.” – Sri Chinmoy

Sri Chinmoy held strength demonstrations for friends and experts in 1988, 1989 and then again in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006. Many of his friends from the bodybuilding and athletic worlds – Bill Pearl, Carl Lewis, Frank Zane, Mike Katz, Dan Lurie, and Hugo Girard – came to New York City for these events. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s mentor Alfred Gerstl, former President of Parliament in Austria, flew in from Europe to attend one of these festivities.

In this photo Sri Chinmoy lifts luminaries of the bodybuilding world. Front row, from left: Mike Katz, Dan Lurie, Alfred Gerstl, Bill Pearl, Frank Zane and IFBB Vice-President Wayne DeMilia.

The ability to lift one’s own bodyweight is a benchmark that many lifters strive for. Sri Chinmoy did it on a number of occasions over the years, starting with one hand and progressing to lifting and supporting the equivalent of his bodyweight (145 lbs, 66 kg) in each hand in 1998.

“While lifting up my bodyweight, I do not think of anything. I just completely shut my mind. In my mind there will be no thought whatsoever. I focus my concentration only on the weight. There is no thought in utmost concentration. Then, with the power of concentration, I try to lift up the weight.” – Sri Chinmoy

On many occasions, Sri Chinmoy requested Wayne DeMilia, in his capacity as Vice-President of the International Federation of Bodybuilders, and Chairman of the Professional Division, to be present to weight him and certify the lifts:

“I have had the honor many times, of not only observing but also officiating as Sri Chinmoy made his historic lifts. At first, I thought it was just another middle-aged man trying to fight off the effect of old age through weight training. I would see this in the gym all the time…but by the second or third time I observed these lifting demonstrations, I realized that this was much more than a middle-aged man lifting weights. He was lifting spirits. He was lifting emotions. He was lifting souls. When he lifted his bodyweight 100 times…it signified 100 times 100…the number of hearts he was lifting. He was helping people who needed help, he was showing people the way. He was saying…’if I can move such tremendous poundage through my lifting, I can also move your heart a move your soul in the right direction to lead a good life.’ He was definitely lifting more than weights.”Wayne DeMilia

“I do feel there are countless people on earth who do not believe in the inner power, in the inner life. They feel that the outer strength and the outer life are everything. I do not agree with them. There is an inner life; there is spirit, and my ability to lift these heavy weights proves that it can work in matter as well.” – Sri Chinmoy

Jim Smith of the British Amateur Weightlifters Association commented: “Sri Chinmoy is a pioneer far, far ahead of his time. In centuries to come people will look at his lifts and begin to fathom how great his achievements are.”

“I feel that the physical and the spiritual must go together, they cannot be separated. When we pray and meditate, we get an extra supply of energy, which you can call strength.”                    – Sri Chinmoy

Smart Car Lift, 1011 kg,  2004