Sri Chinmoy beats 65

Age is in the mind and not in the heart. With determination we can con-quer the age barrier and go back to our childlike heart,” Sri Chinmoy declared as he approached 65. The master of understanding through undertaking set out to celebrate by completing 65 challenging events, his “rainbow dreams.” On June 16 he performed eight of them in a row. 

He began with 7,000“crunch” sit-ups—the most demanding kind—completed in 79 minutes without stopping, then proceeded to “abdomen lift” a 302-pound weight 130 times. Among other feats he walked 250 meters wearing a weighted 100-pound vest, lifted 1,500 pounds on a standing calf-raise machine, followed with leg extensions of 120 pounds. Professional muscleman and vegetarian Bill Pearl, five-time winner of the “Mr. Universe” body-building contest, was impressed: “I have been working out for many, many years, and I do leg extensions with 120 pounds with both legs. He is unbelievably strong to do repetitions of 120 pounds with one leg.” Equally-dazzled strongman Lee Haney said, “His feats of strength are a tremendous motivation to people.”

Sri Chinmoy lived much of his early life at Aurobindo Ashram in South India, where he was a star athlete. Soon he abandoned competitiveness for personal self-transcendence. He is known for prodigious achievements in music, writing and art, most recently completing a mind-numbing 5 million drawings of peace birds (if he drew ten a minute, this would take 1,041 eight-hour days). In Bengali-influenced linked words, Sri Chinmoy sum—marized the impulse behind his indomitable drive: “The old-age bondage-limitations will return to the childhood-freedom-dreams.”