Sri Chinmoy recently visited Thailand during his annual harmony and humanitarian travels, and decided to lift some elephants while he was there.
A champion decathlete in his youth, Sri Chinmoy later took up weightlifting, and is still weightlifting at age 75. His aim is not to compete with others, but simply to inspire others to transcend their boundaries. In his own words:
“I am a man of prayer and meditation. I feel inspiration is of paramount importance. If I can inspire someone, and if that person also can inspire me, then we can do many good things for the betterment of this world.”
The elephant is the symbol of Thailand, and certainly a symbol of strength, so it seemed the most appropriate way for Sri Chinmoy to honour the country and to offer his goodwill. He started with 3 baby elephants, the heaviest being 1,074 pounds (including apparatus). Next came mature elephants from over 4,000 pounds to the heaviest elephant he has ever lifted: a 8,046 pound female carrying a mahout (8,622 pounds including apparatus). The park’s owner said:
“This lift by Sri Chinmoy is the reason my wife and I started the elephant camp 12 years ago, because he is showing that we can succeed at anything that is good for life on this planet.”
According to British weightlifting expert Jim Smith, this last lift is one of the heaviest calf raises ever recorded. You can read the full story at SriChinmoyCentre.org
Ashrita Furman—who holds the Guinness World Record for holding the most Guinness World Records—was also there, and couldn’t resist the opportunity to attempt the most squat thrusts in a minute, but of course on the back of an elephant. You can read all about it at Ashrita.com.
Elephant, my elephant,
You are strength,
Your solid strength
And conscious willingness
Can and shall lead the world
To Infinity’s endless length.
—Sri Chinmoy, Animal Kingdom
In recent years Sri Chinmoy has honoured thousands of people in his Lifting Up The World With A Oneness-Heart programme. In September last year he had a 3-day weightlifting celebration, during which he lifted airplanes, huge boulders, a car, a giant pumpkin and 2002 World’s Strongest Man Hugo Girard of Canada: a total weight of 111,524 pounds. “The most amazing feats of strength” 5-time Mr.Universe and fitness expert Bill Pearl had ever seen. You can view clips at SriChinmoy.tv. You can read more about Sri Chinmoy’s sporting life at SriChinmoyCentre.org
Image source: Projjwal Pohland