Sri Chinmoy Centre

Challenging Impossibility

The inspirational short film Challenging Impossibility, a documentary on Sri Chinmoy‘s weightlifting, received an overwhelmingly positive response at the Tribeca Film Festival 2011.

Sri Chinmoy Weightlifting
Sri Chinmoy

The inspirational short film Challenging Impossibility, a documentary on Sri Chinmoy‘s weightlifting, received an overwhelmingly positive response at the Tribeca Film Festival 2011.

UPDATE: Film and exhibition coming to the the UK in 2013 »

While the film forms a rich visual timeline of Sri Chinmoy’s weightlifting achievements, it also features a cast of weightlifting and other sporting personalities, such as 21st Century’s Best Built Man Bill Pearl, 9-time Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis, 3-time Mr. Olympia bodybuilding legend Frank Zane, World’s Strongest Man 2002 Hugo Girard and former IFBB Chairman Wayne DeMilia. Each gives a professional and insightful technical viewpoint on Sri Chinmoy’s weightlifting, while speaking candidly on personal experiences with Sri Chinmoy as a spiritual teacher; the inner and outer inspiration he has brought to their lives in the context of their own remarkable achievements.

Challenging Impossibility Trailer:

How did Sri Chinmoy lift such heavy weights?

“As an individual I am nothing and I can do nothing. For everything that I have achieved, I give one hundred percent credit to God’s Grace…when I pray and meditate I feel that somebody else is helping me, whereas an ordinary man feels that he can only rely on himself. When he is under the weight, he thinks that he is lifting it all by himself. He has practised for so many years and developed his strength and he feels that everything depends his physical strength. But in my case, I feel I am only an instrument. There is some other power that is coming to help me. That power I call God’s Grace.”
– Sri Chinmoy, Aspiration-Body, Illumination-Soul

Why did Sri Chinmoy lift such heavy weights?

“I am trying to be of some inner service to people who want to go one step forward. They don’t have to lift 2,000 pounds, but perhaps they will take the inspiration that I am offering and make the effort to do something in their own lives which they previously thought was too difficult or impossible. In any field they can get inspiration to do something better than what they have been doing.”
– Sri Chinmoy, Aspiration-Body, Illumination-Soul

It was autumn 1998 when I first witnessed Sri Chinmoy’s weightlifting with my own eyes. He was lifting various aircraft complete with passengers, wearing a captain’s cap and golden epaulettes. ‘Light aircraft’ they could probably be called, and yet the weight was more than my mind could comprehend, even though the body of metal was plainly in front of me, and I could see the thrust of his legs as the platform cleared the ground. The feats could no more be doubted than they could be undone.

Even by 2001, having seen countless lifts, I still could not truly assimilate what my eyes were reporting. I myself was lifted overhead by Sri Chinmoy on a special platform, as part of his Lifting up the World programme, yet even though I could feel the platform rise beneath me, the inner and outer significance of what was happening I knew would take a long time to settle into my consciousness.

It is only now, ten years later, watching Challenging Impossibility, that the magnitude of this truth is starting to become clear. Somehow witnessing those lifts in person was like trying to look directly at the sun. Perhaps only through the lens of cinematography could that assimilation begin to take place in me.

More than anything, this film – itself a remarkable feat of filmmaking – reminds me never to give up on any of my own hopes, dreams or aspirations, whatever they may be. Impossibility only really exists in the mind.

“I do not give up,
I never give up,
For there is nothing
In this entire world
That is irrevocably unchangeable.”
– Sri Chinmoy, Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 3

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7 replies on “Challenging Impossibility”

It’s such an inspiring film; I’ve seen it 3 times.
Hearing so many champion bodybuilders and weightlifting experts talk about Sri Chinmoy’s feats, really helped me appreciate their tremendous significance and uniqueness.
As you say: Impossibility only really exists in the mind.

The trailer for Challenging Impossibility is amazing. I am excited to learn more about the journey as I visit your blog and watch the movie in the near future. Thanks so much for the post!

We’ve been fortunate to have had a number of insightful comments and reviews on our short film, but yours is no doubt a notch above all others.

Thank you for taking the time to post this.

Sanjay Rawal
Challenging Impossibility

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