Sri Chinmoy

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Sri Chinmoy
Sri Chinmoy (27 August 1931 – 11 October 2007), was an Indian spiritual teacher, poet, artist and athlete who inspired many in the endurance sports world. He is the namesake of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team that holds many athletic events worldwide including the International Self-Transcendence Marathon-Schwimmen. He founded the Sri Chinmoy Centre and wrote 1,500 books, 115,000 poems and 20,000 songs, created 200,000 paintings and gave almost 800 free peace concerts around the world.

He advocated meditation, chanting mantras and prayers, performing dedicated service to God as a way to personal enlightenment.

Inspired by Sri Aurobindo (1872–1950), Chinmoy was encouraged to pursue his athletic abilities - he was a decathlon champion at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, as well as captain of the soccer and volleyball teams. During his years at the ashram he spent many hours daily in deep meditation.

Chinmoy opened up meditation centers and gave music concerts around the world, and many of his talks and writings were published. He advocated self-transcendence by expanding one's consciousness to conquer the mind's perceived limitations. In the spirit of self‑transcendence, his students have completed extraordinary feats of endurance. Members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team have swum the English Channel over forty times. Other feats include ultra-distance running, including the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, mountain climbing and long distance cycling.

He was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honour Administrator in 2011. He will be recognized and honored at the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on the RMS Queen Mary on 22 September 2012 in Long Beach, California.



Chinmoy has received many awards honoring his humanitarian work. In 1998 he was awarded the ‘Pilgrim of Peace’ prize from the ‘International Center of Assisi for Peace among Peoples’. In October 1994 he received, jointly with Martin Luther King’s wife Coretta Scott King, the ‘Mahatma Gandhi Universal Harmony Award’ from the American branch of Indian cultural institute Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan On 27 August 1997, the international magazine ‘Hinduism Today’ presented Sri Chinmoy with the ‘Hindu Renaissance Award’, honoring him for teaching a yoga which combines aspects of ancient Hinduism in a modern setting.

Athletic programs

In 1977, the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team was founded, which holds running, swimming, and cycling events worldwide, from fun runs to ultramarathons and the International Self-Transcendence Marathon-Schwimmen. Its precursor was the 1976 Liberty Torch Run, a relay in which 33 runners marked America’s bicentennial by covering 8,800 miles in 7 weeks, mapped out over 50 states. This concept was expanded in 1987 to become the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run (later renamed World Harmony Run), generally held every two years. The first Peace Run was launched in April 1987 at the World Trade Center in New York City.

In 1985, Chinmoy with the Mayor of Oxford, inaugurated the first "Sri Chinmoy Peace Mile", which is a measured mile in Cutteslowe Park, Oxford giving joggers something against which to measure their progress. There are now numerous "Peace Miles" around the world.

Many of Chinmoy’s followers run daily for health and physical fitness. Chinmoy himself continued to enter races until his sixties when a knee injury hampered his ability to run; afterwards he turned his attention to tennis and weightlifting.

Other programs founded by Chinmoy include the Self-Transcendence 6 & 10 day and the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, described by the New York Times as the "Mount Everest of ultramarathons".


n the 1970s and 1980s, he was an active long-distance runner, completing many marathons, ultra-marathons and shorter races. For many years he played tennis almost every day, and frequently competed in track-and-field events in Masters Games, including the World Masters Games in Puerto Rico in 1983, and the World Veterans Games in Miyazaki, Japan in 1993. He took up weight-lifting in the mid-1980s and over the years set several records in the calf-raise and one-arm lift.

Sri Chinmoy founded the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team in 1977, and his vision, inspiration, encouragement and intuition have been the guiding force behind its growth into what is today the world's largest organiser of endurance events. His innate understanding of the limitless potential that lies within each one of us led him to conceive of endurance events that to others seemed beyond the bounds of human possibility - the prime example, of course, being the 3100 Mile Self-Transcendence Race, which has been running for eleven years and still remains the longest certified road race in the world. From just three starters in its inaugural year 1997, the race has expanded to a field of up to fifteen international runners and has attracted much international media attention and admiration. In his own right, Sri Chinmoy was a formidable athlete, and the dedication which he put into his training inspired his fellow Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team members to expand their own capacities in participating in and organizing events. A champion athlete in the spiritual community where he spent his younger days, Sri Chinmoy inspired the newly-formed Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team through the intensity of his own example, completing a total of 22 marathons and 5 ultramarathons before injury curtailed his career. Undaunted, he turned to the field of weightlifting, and soon began setting eye-opening records in this discipline which challenged everyone's perceptions as to what was truly possible. His final months on earth saw no halt to his inspirational dedication - as recently as August, Sri Chinmoy succeeded in lifting overhead 800lbs using only his right arm.

Sri Chinmoy believed that a balanced lifestyle fosters harmony and inner peace. His integral approach to life encourages physical fitness and sports as a vehicle for personal transformation.

Sri Chinmoy practiced sports not only for the joy of it, and to keep the body fit, but also because he saw sports as a natural vehicle for expressing his philosophy of selftranscendence. Inspired by his example, many people have attempted to stretch their own personal limits - setting new world records in various fields, running multi-day races, swimming the English channel and climbing some of the world's highest mountains.

Members of SCMT inspired by Sri Chinmoy

to fulfill their dreams to swim the English Channel – The Everest of Open Water Swimming. As for now, it’s 38 successful crossings which have been accomplished by 27 swimmers since 1985.

  1. 1 1985 Niemz Vasanti F 17hrs 01mins Germany
  2. 2 1985 Keefe Adhiratha M 14hrs 51mins USA
  3. 3 1987 Meywald Pravaha M 11hrs 29mins Germany
  4. 4 1987 Nocker PraphullaF 13hrs 39mins Germany
  5. 5 1987 Schill Annette F 13hrs 02mins Germany
  6. 6 1987 Girardet Guy M 10hrs 38mins England
  7. 7 1987 Brisson Michael M 20hrs 07mins USA
  8. 8 1988 Davidson Sunil M 13hrs 49mins USA
  9. 9 1988 Hein Dhruva M 15hrs 03mins USA
  10. 10 1988 Howard ShraddhaM 15hrs 09mins USA
  11. 11 1988 Mohrle Ursula F 14hrs 28mins Switzerland
  12. 12 1988 Brisson Michael M 13hrs 32mins USA
  13. 13 1988 Schill Siegfried M 13hrs 03mins Germany
  14. 14 1988 Bayle Jacques M 12hrs 22mins France
  15. 15 1988 Bach Anugata M 13hrs 05mins USA
  16. 16 1989 Pogacher Vincent M 15hrs 50mins Canada
  17. 17 1989 Conrad Gyde F 18hrs 01min Germany
  18. 18 1990 Sara Robert M 16hrs 15mins England
  19. 19 1990 Bolliger Vedika F 14hrs 45mins Swiss
  20. 20 1996 Bolliger Vedika F 16hrs 00mins Swiss
  21. 21 1997 Clarke Karteek M 11hrs 57mins Scotland
  22. 22 2000 Van der Walt Tejaswi M 13hrs 22mins Australia
  23. 23 2000 Clarke Karteek M 14hrs 52mins Scotland
  24. 24 2001 Osborn Ahelee F 11hrs 22mins USA
  25. 25 2001 Clarke Karteek M 12hrs 49mins Scotland
  26. 26 2001 Bolliger Vedika F 16hrs 29mins Swiss
  27. 27 2002 Clarke Karteek M 10hrs 53mins Scotland
  28. 28 2002 Bolliger Vedika F 22hrs 30mins Swiss
  29. 29 2003 Bolliger Vedika F 22hrs 27mins Swiss
  30. 30 2003 Szekely Mate M 13hrs 05mins Hungary
  31. 31 2003 Clarke Karteek M 16hrs 05mins Scotland
  32. 32 2004 Clarke Karteek M 16hrs13mins Scotland
  33. 33 2004 Lendacky Josef M 14hrs 28mins Slovakia
  34. 34 2005 Clarke Karteek M Scotland
  35. 35 2005 Kunze Beate F 14hrs 06mins Germany
  36. 36 2006 Clarke Karteek M 16hrs 18mins Scotland
  37. 37 2006 Nenko Igor M 10hrs 29mins Ukraine
  38. 38 2007 Claxon Vijaya F 22hrs 25mins USA
  39. 39 2008 Clarke Karteek M 14hrs 54mins Scotland
  40. 40 2009 Clarke Karteek M 16hrs 49mins Scotland
  41. 41 2010 Djordjevic Angikar M 19hrs 24mins Serbia
  42. 42 2010 Niemz Vasanti F 16hrs 50mins Germany
  43. 43 2011 Bernardová Abhejali F 14hrs 37mins Czech Republic

Some of them became the pioneers and the leaders of Marathon Swimming in their countries and have been awarded by National and International organizations. 1. Vasanti Niemz 1985 and 2010, the 1st German woman who swam the English Channel twice 2. Annette Schill 1987, the fastest German woman crossing. 3. Pravaha Mewvald 1987, the fastest German crossing 4. Ursula Mohrle , 1988 the 1st Swiss who swam the English Channel 5. Vedika Bolliger 5 crossings, was awarded the Gertrude Ederle Award for most meritorious Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation swim by a woman in 2004 6. Karteek Clarke 10 crossings 7. Igor Nenko 2006, the 1st swimmer from the Ukraine and Former Soviet Union, who swam the English Channel, has been awarded the ‘Pride of the Country’ National Award 2006, nomination ‘Record of the Year’. 8. Vijaya Claxton, 2007, oldest U.S. American woman (at 59), was awarded the Gertrude Ederle Award for the most meritorious CS&PF swim by a woman in 2007 and the Cape Storm Award for the longest solo swim of 2007.

To honor The English Channel Swimmers for their achievements Sri Chinmoy Awarded many of them including Alison Streeter ‘The Queen of the Channel’ and [[Kevin Murphy]] ‘The King of the Channel” with His ‘Lifting Up The World With Oneness-Heart’ Award program. Applying his music talent, he composed the song dedicated to the Swimming the English Channel. This Song was performed each time when a channel swimmer was being lifted.


Chinmoy wrote numerous works, including the popular book titles listed below. He also wrote short stories, essays, plays, poems questions and answers.


Spiritual Plays

Books of Sri Chinmoy in Library of Congress



International Self-Transcendence Marathon Swim

External links

Personal tools
Annual Recognition
Insurance and Sanctions
OWS Conferences
Race Calendar
Travel & Vacations
Education Programs
About OWP
Courtesy of