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Magazine Web Edition > December 1987 > A Spiritual Powerhouse Powerlifts 7,063 Pounds

A Spiritual Powerhouse Powerlifts 7,063 Pounds

An All-Time World Record if Valid, But Some Professional Weightlifters Dispute the Claim



I give not 99% but 100% credit for my lifting to my Lord's compassion," says Sri Chinmoy. "It is His grace alone that is enabling me to be of inspiration like this."

Chinmoy, 55, is at least an inspiration. On January 30th, 1987, he lifted and supported 7,063 pounds from his especially-designed power rack in Jamaica, New York. His followers were quick to publicize the event as a remarkable feat smashing Paul Andersen's Guinness Book of Records, all-time, record-breaking 6,270-pound lift. Some experts in the field of weightlifting agreed. Others did not. Most of the media coverage of the event was favorable. Some was not. Yet, everywhere there was respect for Sri Chinmoy, the spiritual man.

Even champion powerlifter Terry Todd who wrote an article for the Iron Man magazine repudiating claims made about Chinmoy's accomplishment padded his punch with kind words: "I have at rimes been touched by the kindnesses and enthusiasm of Sri Chinmoy and several of his disciples, amazed by the organization he directs, amused by his lifting and dismayed by the claims made for his strength."

Todd asserts that Chinmoy actually moved perhaps far less than a third of the 7063 pounds. By sliding the 15-foot weight rack, which bent in the middle under the strain, forward and up the smooth, horseshoe-shaped holding bar, he never actually lifted the outer extremities of the rack, and he used the holding bar for partial support, claims Todd.

With another special weightlifting apparatus, a modified "standing calf raise machine," Chinmoy has lifted (separately) a small house, two airplanes, a sailboat and a Ford truck.

Never content to rest upon his laurels, Chinmoy asserts that achievement is in the doing-not the done-and God is the only doer. All of his students are encouraged to constantly push themselves beyond their limits to discover their Divine potential. To date Chinmoy has published 700 books of poetry and essays, delivered 500 lectures on world peace, written 5,000 musical compositions and exhibited 132,000 paintings and drawings worldwide.

Chinmoy is not a sannyasin. He is an unmarried celibate. Although he was a student of Sri Aurobindo as a youth, he does not consider Aurobindo his Guru. His teachings are ecumenical Hindu/Buddhist. Sri Chinmoy has been conducting a "meditation-for-peace" program at the United Nations since 1970.


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