This is the first book-length study of the thought of Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007), who became well known during his lifetime as the exponent of a dynamic spirituality of integral transformation, which he set forth in an extensive body of writings in both prose and poetry, mostly in English but also in his native Bengali. He held that all fields of human endeavor can be venues of spiritual transformation when founded in aspiration and contemplative practice. He is noted not only as a spiritual teacher but also as an advocate of peace, a composer and musician, an artist and a sportsman who created innovative programs promoting self-transcendence and understanding between people of all cultures and walks of life. This study of Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy refers to these diverse activities, especially in the biographical first chapter, but is mainly based on his written works. The book’s aim is to give to the reader a straightforward and unembroidered account of Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy. It makes every attempt to allow Sri Chinmoy to speak for himself in his own words, and thus provides ample quotation and draws on his poetic works as much as on his other writings.
Kusumita P. Pedersen is professor emerita of religious studies at St. Francis College.
Chapter One: From Shakpura to the World
Chapter Two: God
Chapter Three: Creation and Evolution
Chapter Four: The Soul’s Journey
Chapter Five: Knowledge and Realization
Chapter Six: Love
Chapter Seven: Acceptance and Transformation
Kusumita Pedersen has done all of us a service by providing such a clear and coherent account of the thought of Sri Chinmoy, meticulously documented, that it is destined to remain the reference point for his philosophy for decades.
This work by Kusumita Pedersen is the first academic introduction to the remarkable life and teachings of Chinmoy Kumar Ghose. With great erudition she distills the philosophical vision underlying Sri Chinmoy’s treasury of writings, showing how it is part of the Bengal Renaissance in the tradition of Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo, and Tagore, as well the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita. What emerges is an inspired presentation of Sri Chinmoy’s evolutionary cosmology and psychology, where the soul’s journey is likened to an inner mounting flame that ascends to union with the divine Peace, Light and Bliss of the Supreme, and then descends for creative manifestation and total world-transformation. Strongly recommended!
The quality of this intellectual work is profound and enlightening.…It reveals the breadth and depth of Sri Chinmoy’s philosophical thinking.…Gives the impartial seeker an insight into the great mind and heart and spirit of Sri Chinmoy.…Expands our grasp of some of the ultimate questions of our time. A must for anyone who wants to understand Sri Chinmoy.