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Sri Chinmoy

Sri Chinmoy, born Chinmoy Kumar Ghose on August 27, 1931, was an Indian philosopher and teacher who emigrated to the United States in 1964. An author, composer, artist and athlete, he is perhaps best known for holding public events on the theme of inner peace and world harmony (such as concerts, meditations, and races). His teachings emphasize love for God, daily meditation on the heart, service to the world, and religious tolerance rooted in the modern Vedantic view that all faiths are essentially divine.

In 1977 he founded the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, which holds running, swimming, and cycling events worldwide, from fun runs to ultramarathons. Its precursor was the 1976 Liberty Torch Run, a relay in which 33 runners marked America's bicentennial by covering 8800 miles in 7 weeks, mapped out over 50 States. The run began and ended in New York City, and was met on its final leg by then Mayor Abraham Beame, who proclaimed 16 August 1976 “Liberty Torch Day”.

This concept was expanded in 1987 to become the international Peace Run (later renamed World Harmony Run), generally held every two years. Like all Chinmoy's peace initiatives, it involves no protest or political action; only an effort to raise world consciousness about the need for peace, based on the slogan “Peace begins with me”.

Press reports suggest that the run serves not just an athletic purpose, but an ambassadorial one, with stops in dozens of cities and towns, meetings with officials and community groups, and school programs where children write essays on the meaning of peace. For 2005–2006, the run's U.S. spokesman was Olympic champion Carl Lewis.

In 1978, Sri Chinmoy received a distinguished service award from Runner's World magazine “for dedicated service to humanity through the promotion of running”. His team has worked closely with the New York Road Runners Club, and sponsored ultradistance events where legends Yiannis Kouros and Al Howie have set new world records.

Chinmoy has continued to enter races since his youth. American Fitness magazine reports that he has completed more than 200 road races, including 21 marathons and five ultramarathons. In 1983 (at age 52), he ran the 400-metre dash in 72.66 seconds at the World Masters Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico. At age 49, he ran the 47-mile Sri Chinmoy Ultramarathon in 11:27:24 in Queens, New York.

Sri Chinmoy passed away in October 2007 at the age of 76.

runners/chinmoy_sri.txt · Last modified: 2007/10/12 00:58 by worldwidwiki