Question: Weightlifting seems a most appropriate athletic sport to express our concentration. Is this why you started it?
Sri Chinmoy: I did not choose to start lifting weights. If one prays and meditates sincerely, somebody within him talks to him and tells him what to do and what not to do. You use the term “God“; I say my “Inner Pilot”. Last year, when I was praying and meditating, that somebody within me – you can call it an inner voice or a source of inspiration – asked me to start weightlifting. That is why I am doing it.
Now, about concentration, let us say somebody can lift 60 pounds with only his muscle-power. If the same person prays and meditates for a few minutes before he lifts, then he will have the strength not only of his body but also of his mind and his vital. Now he is getting help only from his physical. He is not getting inner determination from the vital or the tremendous will-power that is inside the mind. He is not even aware of these things. But if he prays and meditates, immediately he feels that his mind has tremendous will-power, tremendous concentration-power. If he thinks of his vital, he sees that it is full of determination. And his body is full of energy. All these good qualities he can feel when he prays and meditates. He feels that his vital, mind, heart and soul are all the friends of his body, and he takes help from them. If somebody has friends, then those friends come to help him when he needs them, and naturally his weightlifting becomes easier.
I am trying to inspire people who are not praying and meditating. I am telling them that everybody has a vital, everybody has a mind everybody has a heart, everybody has a soul. But they are not utilising these members of their inner family the way I do. Otherwise, if I had to depend entirely on the physical, I could do next to nothing. My biceps are not even 14 inches, whereas the biceps of other weightlifters are 21 or 22 inches. My calves are not even 13 1/2 inches, and theirs are 20 inches. Their muscles are gigantic compared to mine. I can lift as much as I do because I am taking help from the strength within me. My friends the vital, mind, heart and soul are helping me from within. They are my inner friends. So I am telling those people who are not now aware of the inner life that inner strength is something real. They will be able to increase their capacity tremendously if they also take help from their inner friends.
Excerpt from Aspiration-Body, Illumination-Soul Part 1 by Sri Chinmoy.