2007-10-17 / Features

Sri Chinmoy, Indian Philosopher, Dead At 76

Followers and disciples of Indian philosopher Sri Chinmoy gathered outside his Humanitarian Center in Jamaica Hills last weekend mourning and sharing memories of the love and inspiration Chinmoy brought to their lives.

Chinmoy, 76, whose inspirational teachings and message of world peace made him a worldwide spiritual leader passed away at his home early October 11 of undisclosed causes.

The spiritual leader was nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize for his 30-years of ceaseless work for the United Nations through his "Oneness- Heart-Tears and Smiles Humanitarian Service", which provides food and medicine to the needy worldwide.

City Councilmember James Gennaro was among those mourning Chinmoy's passing. Gennaro, who first met the esteemed philosopher 30 years ago, said

Chinmoy's spirit will live on forever in the hearts of those he touched and inspired." Gennaro said Chinmoy "had

more profound influence" on his life than anyone he has ever met. "His accomplishments and his love for all people will live forever," Gennaro said.

The youngest of seven children of a banker and a stay-at-home mother, he arrived in the United States in 1964, found a job as an assistant to the Indian Consulate and began his long journey of teaching and mentoring the less fortunate. His teachings led to the establishment of Sri Chinmoy Centers in more than 350 towns and cities in the United States, Australia, Europe, South Africa and the Far East.

A well-known figure in Queens, where he shared his writings, poetry and music at lectures, outings and events throughout the borough, he founded the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team in 1977, sponsoring swimming, cycling and running events worldwide which he shared with the people of Queens through photos and items printed in local publications.

Queens residents were often awestruck by Chinmoy's strength at "lifting" events where he raised individuals from the ground with one hand- some weighing more than 500 pounds.

Followers from around the world began arriving this week for an eightday vigil of silent meditation, poetry readings and song in Chinmoy's memory at the Sri Chinmoy Humanitarian Center at 86-24 Parsons Blvd.- Liz Goff

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