Born Chinmoy Kumar Ghose in the small village of Shakpura in East Bengal (now Bangladesh) in 1931, Sri Chinmoy was the youngest of seven children. In 1944, after both his parents had died, 12-year-old Chinmoy entered the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a spiritual community near Pondicherry in South India. Here he spent the next 20 years in spiritual practice including long hours of meditation, practising athletics, and writing poetry, essays, and spiritual songs.
In his early teens, Chinmoy had many profound inner experiences, and in subsequent years achieved very advanced states of meditation. In 1964, he moved to New York City to share his inner wealth with sincere seekers in the West.
Sri Chinmoy saw aspiration the heart's ceaseless yearning for ever higher and deeper realities as the spiritual force behind all great advances in religion, culture, sports and science. By living in the heart and aspiring for continual self-transcendence, men and women can bring forward the best in themselves and find their path to true satisfaction. In his words:
"Our goal is to go from bright to brighter to brightest, from high to higher to highest. And even in the highest, there is no end to our progress, for God Himself is inside each of us and God at every moment is transcending His own Reality."
Sri Chinmoy's life was an expression of boundless creativity. His vast output spanned the domains of music, poetry, painting, literature, and sports. His contributions in each of these fields have been striking and far-reaching.
Sri Chinmoy served as spiritual guide to students in some 60 countries around the world. He encouraged a balanced lifestyle that incorporates the inner disciplines of prayer and meditation with the dynamism of contemporary life. He regularly traveled throughout the world to offer free concerts, lectures and public meditations, to meet with his students, and to discuss spirituality with world and community leaders. Sri Chinmoy never charged a fee for his spiritual guidance, concerts, lectures and public meditations.
Sri Chinmoy died after having a heart attack in his home in Jamaica, New York, on October 11, 2007.