Welcome to Inspiration Sun, a monthly magazine with contributions from students of Sri Chinmoy all over the world. Within its pages you can find the latest news and events from the Sri Chinmoy Centre, as well as interviews with Sri Chinmoy's students and personal recollections of some of the major events in Sri Chinmoy's life.

You can browse through the articles by clicking on the left/right buttons. You can view 10 articles at a time in this way; to view more, click on the pager at the bottom. Happy reading!


  • by Paula Bartimeus

    In early July, the international singing group Shindhu led by Udasina
    (Bristol), along with Sangvad (Bristol), Stef (Bristol), Fran
    (Bristol), Shinja (London), Paula (London), Hita (Cambridge), Anne
    (Helsinki), Annemarie (The Hague), Lunthita (Hialeah, Florida) and
    Sarbaga (Carrboro, North Carolina), set off on a five-day concert tour
    through picturesque Scandinavia.

    Inspired by Shinja, out of her enthusiasm to manifest Guru's light in
    her homeland (Norway) and other Nordic countries, the trip began in
    the Stockholm, Sweden at a location close to the city centre. Although
    the venue was small, it had a vibrant feel about it, and with a full
    audience to play to, a cosy, intimate atmosphere was quickly created.

    Besides the harmonium, flute, recorder, glockenspiel and cymbals,
    Udasina introduced the harp to the group sound, playing it both solo
    and accompanied. This brought a new magical dimension to some of the
    songs, with voices, harp and other instruments weaving angelically in
    and out of each other. At this first concert we were joined by Adarsha
    from Glasgow, whose powerful yet haunting voice resonated between
    every few Shindhu songs, providing a captivating and varied
    performance for listeners.

    With the first concert over, most of the girls spent the night in the
    nearby city of Uppsala at the much acclaimed "blue house" owned by
    Komal and Mahalakshmi. It is there that the Uppsala centre is housed
    and provides a magnificent base for Nordic joy weekends. Others,
    including myself, remained in Stockholm overnight where we were made
    to feel very much at home at Khudita's comfortable apartment.

    The following morning it was an early start as we made our way by
    plane to Helsinki in Finland on the second leg of our journey. We were
    met by local disciples, and just like pop stars, were chauffeured from
    the airport to the city with a stop-off at the Helsinki meditation
    centre. After a singing practice we all ate at a delicious vegan
    restaurant and then had time to either take a rest or sightsee before
    getting ready for the evening concert. Although the stage was a little
    tight for the 11 of us, the venue at Balder Hall was larger than the
    previous setting, and we seemed to be well received by a responsive

    After the concert we adjourned to a backroom for a private gathering
    to celebrate Jigyasu's birthday. Then we walked back to the meditation
    centre via the harbour where a meal was laid on for us by the Helsinki

    The next part of our journey took us back to Sweden, in Gothenburg on
    the west coast, where Kamaniya (who grew up there) is in the process
    of starting a new centre. The top floor of the spacious apartment she
    rents has been converted into an impressive meditation room, with one
    girl – Irina – recently applying to become a disciple.

    Personally, I had a particularly special experience while singing in
    Gothenburg, and was moved by the profound receptiveness of the
    audience, which was later confirmed when many people hung around for
    ages to chat and sign up for meditation classes. One man wouldn't
    leave until all the group members had signed the Shindhu CD he had
    purchased. I look forward to hearing how the Gothenburg meditation
    group develops over the next few months and if any of the seekers end
    up joining the Path.

    Our final destination was Nesodden, an island in Norway about an
    hour's drive (or a 23- minute ferry ride) from Oslo. With its
    extra-large stage and attractive auditorium, we sung our hearts,
    adding an arrangement of "The Eternal Peace Flame" (a song written
    about the metal lotus, with an ever blazing flame dedicated to the
    city of Oslo by Guru in 2001) to the repertoire.

    Later we went back to Shinja's friend's island house for the evening
    where the boys from the The Fragrance of the Heart (the Oslo café
    enterprise) brought us a feast of soup, salad and quiche. Norway, land
    of the midnight sun, was still light at 11pm, and as we sat in the
    garden soaking up the stunning landscape and the stillness of the Oslo
    Fjord, nothing could have been more perfect. The evening was rounded
    off with a vocal cake-presenting ceremony with us singing
    "Congratulations" to Udasina who had worked so hard to prepare us for
    the tour, and the "Thank You" song to Shinja, Komal (who organised the
    sound at three of the venues) and the local disciples.

    The following day we went to Oslo and had the opportunity to meditate
    at the Eternal Peace Flame, installed permanently at Aker Brygge, a
    complex on the Oslo Harbour frequented by hundreds of thousands of
    people each year. We were then treated to lunch at the enterprise café
    which Guru had spent time at on several occasions. I could feel Guru's
    presence very powerfully in this city and I look forward to returning
    in October when Kaivalya's incredible statue of Guru is planned to be
    sited by the Peace Flame.

    One thing that was evident throughout this amazing trip was the
    kindness, generosity and selflessness of all the local disciples, who
    provided us with ground transport, accommodation and meals, despite
    the small numbers of them in each locality. Also the feedback and
    openness from the audiences were tremendous, with the pile of Shindhu
    CDs that we took almost selling out.

    Now back home in London I can fully appreciate how much I've gained
    from touring with Shindhu and being able to share Guru's melodious
    compositions with the public. Not to mention how inspiring it's been
    staying with disciples from other centres and getting a flavour,
    however brief, of the fascinating cities that they live in. Now that
    the focus is less on being in New York, I'm sure many of us will get
    new inspiration from visiting different centres around the world, and
    I'm already intrigued to know where the next Shindhu concert tour will
    take us…

    by Paula Bartimeus

    Shindhu online http://www.radiosrichinmoy.org/radio/69/

    From: Inspiration Sun edition 5

  • Compiled by Nayak

    Guru was the best statistician ever. Why? He saw beyond the numbers to what the numbers represent. 3100 miles means self-transcendence, not just 3100 miles; running your fastest time means you did your best. Here are some of the staggering numbers that go to make up the 3100 race,now completing its 12th year. I have estimated some quantities when information was not available.

    Total number of starters since the 3100 race began in 1997 - 102

    Percent of starters who finished - 83%

    Total distance travelled, all years - 297,184 miles (478,169 km)

    Comparison to moon travel - From earth to moon + 2.5 times around the

    Number of steps taken—all runners and years - 523 million

    Total number of laps-all runners and years - 541,545

    Number of times around the earth, all runners & years - 12

    Running around Jupiter, largest planet - More than once around

    Suprabha"s mileage for 12 years - 39,900

    Total number of person-days involved in race, all years and runners -
    4932 days (13.5 years)

    Average finish time - 50 days +10 hours

    Water consumed, all years and runners - 20,000 litres

    Estimated number of meals eaten, all runners and years - 15,000
    (enough to feed a family of 4 for 10 years),

    Number of countries represented - 17

    Countries with most entries USA: 17 (because of Suprabha's 12)

    Country with most runners - Czechoslovakia: 6 (3 Czech, 3 Slovak);
    Germany: 4; USA: 4

    Total number of thoughts at 10 per minute, all runners and years - 53

    Estimated number of hours of selfless service support since 1997 -
    52,000 (equivalent to 6 years of 24/7)

    Guru"s Compassion and Affection - Infinite

    From: Inspiration Sun, edition 5.
    by: Nayak


  • `Runners of the Beyond: 3100 Miles - The longest race around the block`

    by Sahatvam

    On June 15, fourteen runners from nine countries dared to
    embark on the 12th Annual Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race in New
    York, a long journey until August 6.

    The distance:

    3100 miles: This is what a serious runner would run in two years of
    training. And they do it in little more than 50 days (or even less),
    from 6 in the morning till midnight, 18 hours, day after day. There is
    nothing for them to do besides running, just running. Just running?
    Sounds easy, tempting somehow because you don't have to think about
    all your usual daily activities and responsibilities. Everything is
    focused on running, on taking one step after the other, lap by lap.

    The Course:

    The course is a 0.5488 mile-loop around Thomas Edison High School and
    Joe Austin Playground in Queens. They run 5649 times around that loop.
    The surface is proper concrete, the toughest ground you can imagine to
    run on. It takes the runners about one week to get used to it, a
    challenge for the muscles and the ligaments, a physical experience
    beyond the body's imagination.

    The suffering:

    Our path is not to seek suffering. No, we are seeking delight. Yet the
    runners faces often express the hardship they go through, caused by
    upset stomachs, blisters, shin splits and so on. But if you smile at
    them, they smile back; at least they try. The motto is to smile the
    pain away. The better you smile, the less you suffer. This is real

    The weather:

    Three words: Hot and humid, and sometimes rain, pouring rain! If the
    rain comes as a shower, it might be a relief from the heat, but then
    the humidity goes even higher and every breath is a challenge. A few
    times I ran for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon
    and I was shattered in the evening. You have to drink gallons of all
    kinds of liquids, like a camel or a horse.

    The Helpers:

    No doubt about the fact that the self-transcendence of the runners is
    reflected in the self-transcendence of countless hours of selfless
    service by a big international team, which makes it at all possible
    for the runners to embark on this long journey. There are setup and
    takedown crews, always two counters, medical support and, of course,
    the cooks. Every runners needs to be fed with about 8000 Calories
    every day. And all have their special needs and likes. But the
    greatest challenge for the cooks is so many times a day to bring
    something new, because that is what the runners want: Newness fights
    the boring circles around that block. This kind of selfless service is
    really beyond. If you want to explain to somebody what it is all about
    in this race, then just say one word: beyond. It is beyond the mind's
    capacity to understand how somebody will do that and even more
    difficult to understand why somebody would do that. And then, why do
    it again and again? For two months you will quit your job, earn no
    money, just for the luxury of running on a concrete surface around a
    block in Jamaica, Queens, NY, day after day. What do they gain? There
    must be something behind running for eighteen hours every day. As
    every runner surely has his own reason, there is one common answer
    they all will tell you: You can survive this race only if you develop
    certain spiritual qualities like surrender and cheerfulness. Facing
    all the mind's and body's obstacles their weapon is patience,
    surrender, cheerfulness. That's what they gain. And as their effort is
    extremely intense, also their reward is immense. But what do we
    ordinary runners gain from those Runners of the Beyond? I am sure a
    lot of Inspiration.

    by Sahatvam

    From: Inspiration Sun Edition 5

  • By: Gangane

    "This is how it is here at the divine enterprises, no time to spare",
    says owner and main chef Pujarini as she invites me to interview her
    about the cafe while she adds the finishing touches to today's
    special: North-African couscous.

    "The cafe opened on August 16th 2000. Some time before, I had asked
    Guru about what I should do" continues Pujarini, who previously had a
    career as a kindergarten teacher. "I asked Guru and gave a list of
    three things that I thought would be good and the cafe was one of
    those things. We had often agreed in the centre that it would be a
    nice thing to have a restaurant or cafe. But the idea I was most
    inclined to was to open a publishing house where I would translate
    Guru's books independent- production as he had been doing that line of
    work for many years."

    The interview is interrupted by Suren as he puts today's soup through
    the blender with subsequent noise. When asked about the soup, he says
    it is "mixed vegetable" soup, but quickly adds that it is not
    leftovers from the week. During the 98-99 Christmas trip, Guru told
    Suren in reply to Pujarini's letter that the family could open a cafe.
    "It can be smaller than the smallest in the beginning. Smaller than
    the Smile, even," Guru said. And from there on, the course was set. In
    the beginning the business was very slow as there was no advertising,
    but right from the start a group of loyal customers started to
    frequent the place and the reputation has built from there. "In a
    small society like ours, word of mouth is the most important thing.
    Now we are doing well and we just bought the second floor of the
    building to set up our kitchen," says Pujarini.

    Only three months after opening up, Guru visited the cafe during his
    visit to Reykjavik in October 2000, for his 600th concert. "Guru had
    the special of the day and soup and asked about the cafe. We had only
    just started and we were finding our way."

    Serving dishes from different parts of the world may be appealing to
    people in Iceland. Guru asked what time they started work in the
    morning and at that time it was 9 o'clock as there were only two full-
    time staff. Since then, the staff has grown considerably and
    Suballabha started to work full-time in 2001 and Suren in 2003. Now
    there are four full-time workers and some addi- tional helpers and the
    work starts at 7 every morning, if not earlier. At the time of Guru's
    visit he had not given the name Ecstasy's Heart-Garden, but
    Chandrakanta's beautiful decoration with leaves painted on the walls
    may have been an inspiration.

    Without fail, every seat is taken during lunch at Ecstasy's
    Heart-Garden and the customers come from all layers of society, from
    bankers to artists. "I would say that musicians and painters are the
    biggest group amongst our customers but it is a very diverse group,"
    Pujarini adds. Among the regular customers are the Minister of Indus-
    try, a significant portion of the Icelandic Philharmonic Orchestra and
    one of Iceland's most prominent singers, who was been quoted publicly
    saying that "Ecstasy's Heart-Garden is the best bite in town." The
    strategy to depend on word of mouth has proven to be very successful
    as a recent mention of the cafe in New York Times's travel section
    shows. When asked about internationally famous people visiting the
    café, Pujarini mentions British actress Julie Christie as her
    favourite, but other names include Forest Whitaker and Julia Stiles.
    Also, the late Bobby Fischer, former chess world champion, was a
    regular customer and once discussed Sri Aurobindo with Suballabha.

    From: Inspiration Sun edition 4.

  • by Kanai

    On the weekend of May 3-4, 2008 the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team staged
    the 20th Self-Transcendence 12+24 Hour Race in Basel, with a new
    record of participants: 146 runners from 24 nations, including 31

    The race was officially dedicated to Guru. Arpan, who had come from
    New York specially for this race, gave a nice speech to everyone at
    the start, after which he ran the 24 hours. The winner of the 24 Hour
    Race among the boys was Jens Lukas from Germany (245 k), best
    disciple: Ananda-Lahari from Slovakia with 176 k. On the girls side
    Muriel Thomi from Switzerland won with 181 k, and the first disciple
    was Ghantika from Austria with 156 k.

    About 100 disciples from all over Europe came to help. Some of drove
    as much as 800 or even 1000 k, from places like Berlin, Hungary,
    Slovakia or even the Czech Republic! Live music was played at
    different spots: Japaka's Orchestra, Eastern-Light from Berlin,
    Gunthita's group (who performed for 24 hours nonstop) as well as Adesh
    & Ajita.

    The course was decorated with flags of all the participating nations
    and 20 blue and orange flags with the SCMT logo. Plus we had put nine
    A1-size pictures of Guru with poems around the course. From these
    pictures we also made a small booklet that we gave to every runner and
    every helper. The decorations, the beautiful place, the dedication
    of so many disciples combined with the sincere efforts of the runners
    -- all of this topped with Guru's blessings -- created a very special
    atmosphere that one can only find at Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team races.

    One girl who participated for the first time wrote: "... well you
    have convinced me: next time I see your name on a race, that alone
    will be reason enough to start there." And famous Swiss ultra- runner
    Martin Wagen (winner of "Trans-America") wrote before the race: "Once
    more I am looking forward to the most beautiful 24 hours of the year!"
    Have a look at the great photo-gallery (by Markus from Zurich) or the
    7-minute video by Kedar at

    http://www.srichinmoyraces.org/ch .

    Many thanks again to everybody who came to serve this event!

    From: Inspiration Sun edition 4

  • by Palash

    On May 31, over one hundred disciples from the New York area (and four
    brave Canadians) ventured 100 miles north of Queens to Woodstock, New
    York for a joy day. Woodstock, although a very tiny town, holds a
    special and unique place in Guru's life in the West. When Guru first
    arrived in America, one of his friends, had a house in
    Woodstock, and Guru would take the bus from New York City to Woodstock
    each weekend. Guru had many significant experiences Joy Day by Palash
    in Woodstock that he wrote about in 'My Consulate Years', and he
    referred to Woodstock as his "most favourite town" in one story in
    his 'I Love Shopping' series, part 5.

    I have been living in the Woodstock area for many years, and thought
    it would be great for the New York disciples to have a day in the
    country and start exploring the world of joy days, which play such an
    important part in Centre life.

    I was a little nervous about organizing the event, as we New Yorkers
    are not exactly well versed in the art of joy days for joy days in
    general. The disciples were very enthusiastic about it, and so many
    worked together harmoniously make the day an enjoyable experience for

    We started the Joy Day at Guru's Peace Mile in Kenneth Wilson State
    Park. I was concerned as the weather forecast called for thunderstorms
    all day, but Guru in His usual and miraculous way made it so we were
    able to enjoy much of the day in a rain-free fashion! We were thrilled
    when we realized the Peace Mile was inaugurated on June 3, 1988, so we
    happily marked the 20th Anniversary of the Peace Mile with a soulful
    reading of Guru's talk that he gave there nearly 20 years ago to the
    day! In this talk that appears in My Consulate Years Guru said,

    "O heart of Woodstock, I was extremely fond of you, I am still fond of
    you, and I shall always and always remain fond of you. It is here that
    I had the dream, the golden dream, to do something in our way of
    manifestation here on earth."

    We had a beautiful fun run/walk around the mile, and then some people
    went for a swim in the lake while others played Community Center on
    June 3, 1988 that was just exquisite. We were so happy to know that we
    were in the same building that Guru was in twenty years earlier! We
    read out many stories Guru told about his experiences in Woodstock in
    his early days in America.

    After prasad we had a rousing game of musical chairs and "hot potato."
    Musical chairs became very interesting when it was down to the finalists for the girls-Diksha versus Saroja! In a massive upset, Saroja won the game! The games were followed by a picnic lunch and, of
    course, there was time for some shopping (one of Guru's favourite
    activities!) in town. Many girls (who shall remain nameless)
    discovered the very well known shoe store in the center of town and
    dutifully did their part in supporting Woodstock's economy with their
    purchases for the day! The day finished with a public concert with
    very soulful and beautiful performances by Tanima leading a group of
    girl singers followed by Premik and Parichayaka with special guest,
    Vijay, from India. And of course, there was pizza for prasad!

    It was such thrill and divine privilege to host my dearest sisters and
    brothers in Woodstock. To see the happiness and joy on their faces was
    truly a gift. I felt that perhaps the person who had the most joy was
    Guru himself, as he watched his children playing in his beloved
    Woodstock. I am sure this is only the beginning of our joy day

    by: Palash

    From: Inspiration Sun volume 4

  • This month we feature an interview with Suprabha. On Father's Day
    (June 15), she and twelve other exceedingly dedicated athletes placed
    their toes on the starting line of the 12th annual 3100-mile race in
    New York. Although Suprabha is also a Centre leader, Divine Enterprise owner, singer, and tireless selfless-server, we have chosen to focus this interview on her running because we want to honour this phenomenal race— and ALL its runners.

    How did you get started as an ultra-runner?

    I started running when I joined the Centre 29 years ago. I started by
    running a little bit and gauging my progress by counting the telephone
    poles. My first race was a 4-mile race and then I did marathons and
    the 47-mile race. I didn't feel I had a special capacity, but when I
    heard that there would be a 200-mile race in celebration of Guru's
    200-lb lift, I got inspired to try it out. I had such a beautiful
    experience at that race. After that, I did a 50-miler and a 24-hour
    race. Then a 5-day race and a later a 7-day race. After that I moved
    to 1000 miles.

    What does self-transcendence mean to you?

    I love this aspect of Guru's philosophy, mainly because Guru always
    demon- started it in such a beautiful way himself, in all aspects of
    his existence—not just athletics. In the 3100-mile race, my goal every
    year is to transcend. My first three years were my fastest; since then
    I have been transcending my capacities in different ways. Just
    getting over the fact that I couldn't finish within the time limit was
    one way. Going beyond my mind's limits makes me happy.

    The motto of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team is "Run and Become." How
    has the 3100- mile transformed you?

    I don't know; who besides Guru can answer that question? I have
    received a tremendous amount from doing the 3100- mile races. Just to
    be a part of them and to witness Guru's tremendous outpouring of love
    and support has been an amazing experience. Also, I'm really happy to
    see how the Mara- thon Team has responded to Guru's wish for the race
    to continue. So many people are helping in all the different aspects
    of the race, and each of them is feeling Guru's love through this

    Guru has been so appreciative of the 3100-mile runners—their courage,
    perseverance, cheerfulness, and so much more. How do you feel this
    race is influencing future generations of humanity?

    At my shop in Washington DC, there are quite a few customers who know
    I do this long raceand they get a lot of inspiration from it. It seems
    to them like an impossible task, but then they see that I can do it
    even though I'm just a pipsqueak. This race helps people to open up
    their minds and see what is possible with our heart-power. At the end
    of the first 3100-mile race, Guru mentioned that when he drove along
    the race course he was reminded of the soul's journey.

    Do you have a favorite aphorism, poem, or song that you recite during
    the race?

    One favourite is this one: "I do not measure God's blessingful Gifts.
    I only treasure them." That's one of the prayers Guru gave during the
    2006 race. Another one is a song that Guru wrote for Enthusiasm-Awakeners (Parvati's group): "All Your Grace, All Your Grace . .
    . My soul and I are able to join in Your birthless and deathless

    Guru once responded to a question you asked about the race by saying
    (in part), "Always take it as a garden, not as a street, not as a big
    block." Do you find that you're able to visualize that when you're
    running on this urban course?

    That answer was unbelievably beautiful and I try to feel that all the
    time; it really helps to take me out of the mind and into the heart.
    To focus on time and laps is torture, so I try to focus on the joy of
    running and feel that I'm in a garden. The course doesn't bother me.
    Some reporters can't believe it—they see it as so monotonous—but I
    enjoy it. On one side of the course, I feel like I'm running along a
    country road. Many of the runners are very There is so much harmony
    and oneness. It's not the kind of race in which runners go fast and
    constantly look behind them to see who's catching up. We definitely
    make up a team and there is a lot of love and support among the
    runners. The runners who have done the race before are looking out for
    the new ones, and we are all an extended family—the disciple runners,
    non-disciple runners, the supporters, and the Marathon Team. There is
    such an intensity to these races, and at the same time there is so
    much peace. That creates a bond.

    The 3100-mile website says, "The serious athlete must have tremendous
    courage, physical stamina, concentration and the capacity to endure
    fatigue, boredom and minor injuries." Which of these do you find the
    most challenging?

    Well, we all experience minor injuries. All kinds of physical ailments
    come and go. I just try to give them no importance when they come.
    God's Grace carries us along. Without it, I would never reach the

    Some of us who come out to the race course wonder what we can do to
    encourage the runners while not disturbing their focus and serenity.
    What is most helpful to you all when people visit the race?

    I have to say that the most helpful thing is just for people to come
    visit us. All the runners get a tremendous lift just from seeing
    people come out to the race. Of course, it is great to have Parvati's
    group and others sing. Everyone expresses themselves in their own way,
    and that's wonderful. When the locals come by on their daily runs, I
    get a thrill. Last year, many outside people came to the race because
    they saw us on the website. There were two girls who drove from
    Pennsylvania just to observe, and some people came from Brooklyn to
    bring us ice cream.

    In 100 years, how many runners will participate in the 3100-mile race?

    Wow! On this present course, Guru felt that 15 runners was the right
    number. This year we may have 15 runners, if I'm not mistaken. In 100
    years, there will be several thousand! I think a lot of people will be
    inspired to try.

    Any thoughts before this year's race?

    We're all very keen to do the race this year as a tribute to Guru. I'm
    sure we will feel him there on the course.

    Vasudha interviewed Suprabha May 27, 2008.

    From: Inspiration Sun edition 4

    3100 Mile Website

  • by Abhinabha

    Sinsheim, Germany was the place to be from May 10th to 12th. In the
    vicinity of the Pujaloy temple, disciples from all corners of the
    globe gathered together to receive joy and inspiration. It was a
    weekend not likely to be forgotten.

    There was something about these Joy Days that was special. Something
    that buzzed in the air, murmured in the conversations, rang through
    in the performances and glowed in the meditations. Something magical
    and mystical. With seven hundred crying hearts and smiling souls, what
    would you expect? But this time there was an extra dimension: the
    feeling that a new chapter had been opened, a new journey begun.

    What undoubtedly added to this feeling was the presence of so many of
    our brothers and sisters from overseas: Americans, Canadians ,
    Brazilians, Icelanders , Bulgarians, Macedonians, you name it.
    They all had come to join the joy. For a moment we were the locals and
    they were the visitors, a change of roles both sides enjoyed. To see
    all our worldwide friends together in Germany made everyone feel the
    truth of the wise old saying: home is where the heart is. And again
    our heart, as Guru sang, is our Master's home. Only home. And so it

    The Joy Days opened most soulfully and appropriately on this Christian
    holiday with scenes from Guru's play "The Son," performed by Udbashita
    and friends. After dinner, the evening programme kicked off with
    Projjwal and Aruna's special mystery event, which had been kept a
    secret until the last moment. The event involved, literally, every
    single person in the room: the entire crowd of 800 was divided into
    groups with each group performing either a song or a play which were
    handed out on the spot. Everybody was sent off with one hour's
    practice for their play or song. When the hour was up all were called
    inside and each group gave a performance of 5-10 minutes. The formula
    worked its magic: every group came up with something beautiful,
    soulful and entertaining. The fact that everybody participated gave a
    tremendous feeling of oneness and joy. It was like an old Saturday
    Night Hotch- Potch, those joy-filled functions at Aspiration-Ground
    with amusing, exhilarating and illumining plays. Guru would have loved
    it, as many felt afterwards. The sunday morning and early afternoon
    were reserved for the traditional Pujaloy meditations. For many of
    the visitors it was the first time they visited Guru's sacred temple
    at Pujaloy. The meditation lasted only ten minutes, to give
    everyone a chance to come in, but those ten minutes were perhaps as
    good as ten hours of regular meditation. Such power and peace abide in

    For the afternoon programme, Rupantar and some of his assistants had
    concocted a medley of relays and fun-runs on the sports field, with
    boys and girls teams competing. The finale involved apples, tubs
    filled with water and half choking disciples – I'll say no more. In
    many, the seven-year-old most powerfully came to the fore (that

    The Sunday evening programme had many delights in store. There were
    soul-stirring musical performances and videos, as usual. But there
    were also disciples telling stories of their personal experiences with
    Guru. The highlight of the evening, and perhaps even of the entire Joy
    Days, was a spiritual talk show hosted by Nayak starring Ashrita,
    Rupantar and Kailash talking about their life and times with Guru. The
    evening ended with a powerful performance by the Gandharva Loka
    Orchestra, playing their "240 pounds" song, which they had performed
    at the Manhattan concert only three weeks earlier.

    Monday morning came with another string of soulful performances.
    Bhoiravi's violin enchanted everyone with a solo performance of one of
    Bach's concertos. There was a 5-k race under sunny skies and later
    soccer for those who enjoyed it. Pujaloy opened its doors specially
    for the overseas guests for a few hours of priceless meditation. At
    noon the final meditation gently waved everyone goodbye. These had
    been three days of Heavenly joy to cherish and treasure dearly. A
    visitor from America summed up her experience in one sentence which
    said it all: "This was the best weekend of my entire life."

    by: Abhinabha

    From: Inspiration Sun Edition: 4


  • We know them as those two giggling Irish boys, the ones that work hard
    and are constantly joking around. Yet Colm and Shane have kept a
    secret their entire lives – until now. In this special report, we
    speak to these happy-go-lucky characters who have decided to share
    with us their true nature. They are, in fact, Leprechauns. According
    to the recently released book How to Recognize a Leprechaun, a
    leprechaun (Irish: leipreachán) is a type of male fairy said to
    inhabit the island of Ireland. These quasi-historical peoples usually
    enjoy making mischief and are said to be very rich, having many
    treasure crocks buried during wartime. If one captures a Leprechaun he
    must be truthful and honest and tell you where he has hidden his

    Homagni: Shane, why have you decided to tell the world that you are a
    Leprechaun? Has it been tough hiding your secret all these years?

    Shane: Well, I suppose it just dawned on me all of a sudden when some
    well-meaning person in passing referred to me as a human being. I was
    appalled!! I mean you guys have been repressing us for centuries, with
    your incessant demands for pots of gold and lucky charms, whatever
    they are. I just thought I should finally come out and say it - I'm
    green and I'm proud.

    Homagni: Colm, Which stereotypes do you want to dismiss about

    Colm: Well, I'd actually like to dismiss the whole leprechaun
    stereotype in general. I just think it's shocking that any one with an
    Irish accent who happens to smile now and then and is a tad vertically
    challenged gets labeled as a leprechaun. In fact we're in the process
    of getting Asidhari prosecuted by the International Leprechaun
    Criminal Court (ILCC) for that horrible give us your lucky charms
    accent he comes up with every time he sees us.

    Homagni: The International Leprechaun Criminal Court? Shane: Er, yes,
    we're working on getting it recognised.

    Homagni: How many of you exist in the world? Shane: Well, according to
    our demographics projections, there'll be enough of us to ensure total
    world domination by 2020. But don't worry, you can all sleep safely in
    your beds until then. But after that, we can't guarantee anything.

    Homagni: Who else do you suspect is one?

    Shane: Shishir.

    Colm: Absolutely. In fact, Shishir has the record for being hauled in
    front of the Leprechaun Council of Elders and warned about his conduct
    on many occasions.

    Homagni: If it's true you have a pot of gold, why are you, Shane,
    still wearing taped up broken glasses?

    Shane: It's the image, man, the image! Also people are a lot less
    likely to accost you for your pot of gold if they think you can't even
    afford a decent pair of glasses. Bipin Larkin is one of only two
    people known to have ever seen an elf or fairy, which makes him the
    foremost Centre expert on pseudo mythical creatures. We caught up with
    him during his recent visit to New Zealand to comment on this recent

    Bipin: Well I saw this little man in the summer of 1978 while up in
    Vermont. Now he was real, while these two guys are really just overly
    excitable precocious Irish boys. I mean they don't even wear green and
    they don't say "to be sure, to be sure…" well actually let me take
    that back, they do say that sometimes. To be honest I did start to
    wonder about them at one point. You see, according to legend, if
    anyone keeps an eye fixed upon one, he cannot escape, but the moment
    the gaze is withdrawn, he vanishes. It happened this one afternoon
    when I asked him to help me move some garbage. There he was one second
    and next – shazzam – he was gone."

    Shane and Colm respectfully request that they are never cornered and
    asked to disclose the location of their pots of gold, which "don't
    exist anyway" they say. Rumors have it they misplaced them and are
    looking for them themselves.

  • by Prabala

    Our family café is named Lito, which means summer. It is located in a
    park in Chernivtsy, which is a city in western Ukraine. People come to
    the park just to walk, to breathe the fresh air and to give their
    children rides on the carousel. Then they come to us for pizza and ice
    cream. Our café is popular with young people specially because they
    like the selection of food and drinks we serve. Some of them spend
    most of their time here.

    We have had the café for more than twenty years. We started it when
    things in the Soviet Union were very difficult, and long before we
    became disciples. We have a very large family, with ten children. This
    was quite unusual in Soviet Union, and when the economy collapsed we
    had terrible financial problems. Luckily, our father managed to
    convince the city government of the necessity of letting our family
    work there. In those days children were not allowed to work, and some
    customers got a shock when they saw children between the ages of six
    and twelve serving ice cream and drinks. But many of them knew about
    the difficulties our big family was facing and that we were helping
    our parents.

    The café is quite large. It seats more than 400 people. There are two
    sections, one for food, including french fries, salad, rice and pizza,
    and the second for cakes, hot and cold drinks and ice cream. We do not
    own the property; we rent it from the city.

    Shikhand i n i manages the food section. It was her idea to serve
    food. Originally, we served only ice cream, cakes and drinks. But
    after her first visit to the U.S., in 1996, she got the idea to serve
    food, too. She knows how to make the best pizza in the city, and
    people love it. Shikhandini also cooked at Abarita's enterprise in
    Zurich, where her food was very popular. She keeps working to make the
    café vegetarian by adding delicious new dishes. This winter she
    started serving dal and samosas, and people really liked them.

    Our brother Rostik is in charge of supplies and helps with the
    management. He works there tirelessly, even though he is a doctor. But
    I have to say that the true managers are our father Abhimanyu and
    mother Vidhatri.

    In front of the café our brothers Neelambar and Mahendra have their
    own table tennis business. They have about fifteen tables where people
    come to play table tennis with their friends. They often organize

    Guru asked about our café on several occasions. In Antalya on the
    Christmas Trip Guru asked in detail about the food and drink that we
    serve and who works there. He knew that the café was our only source
    of funds to pay for trips to New York and the Christmas Trip.

    When we all were young all ten of us worked at the café. Now, only
    half of the family works there. Some have gotten married or moved
    away. Now we have about twenty people working there. The café is very
    busy from May to October. We work there in the winter too, but we stay
    inside, where we have a fireplace and Guru's Jharna-Kala paintings.

    Whenever there are Centre-related events in Chernivtsy, like the World
    Harmony Run or a Jharna-Kala exhibition, we always feed the disciples.
    We are very grateful to Guru for his infinite love, constant guidance
    and concern!

    From: Inspiration Sun, edition 3