How my spiritual search led me to Sri Chinmoy

This is one of the stories in our Story-Gems project, a collection of our experiences with our Guru, Sri Chinmoy. Project homepage »


I was searching for spirituality for about two or three years on my own. I can't remember exactly my age. I must have been around 21 or 22.

I saw an advertisement in the newspaper for a meditation. It had a picture of Guru’s Transcendental photograph, the one his students meditated on. To me, the picture was very strange but something about it attracted me, and I decided to go with my brother. Guru gave two talks at Carleton University and Ottawa University. I think it was October or November. It was very cold. This was in 1971 or 1972.

Sri Chinmoy in Ottawa, 1972

The room was filled with people. Guru was meditating. It's very hard to describe this. Guru was meditating and he started to talk, but very, very slowly. And he smiled. To me, the smile… I never saw a smile like that. I was taken aback and it really struck my heart to see him smile. I couldn't quite understand what it was, but I could feel something from Guru.

Guru was talking about yoga and the spiritual life. He was speaking in a normal tone, but very softly. I realised that he was in a very high state. It was quite amazing.

After the talk, I was able to approach Guru and ask him something. He was about to leave. He had on a winter coat and hat. It was very funny to see Guru with the winter hat and everything.

I was very Catholic. Religion was important for me, and the Christ also. I asked Guru: “Can you bring me to Christ? Can you bring me to Christ to see him?”

Guru paused for at least a minute or two—very, very silent. He said, "If you're very, very, very sincere." And he just left.

I was stunned by his answer. I was totally silent and something in me said: “This is a very authentic person.” What he said really affected me.

The next evening, we went to see Guru at the chapel in the University of Ottawa. He sang a beautiful song. When he sang, I went into another world. I didn’t even know where I was. It was then I decided: “This is my Guru.”

My brother and I joined the Centre. In those days, you could just go to the Centre and meditate.

Then one day we went to New York to meet Guru. We were very lucky to be able to see Guru, to be initiated by him. I realised after that I was very, very privileged because Guru was getting more and more disciples.

When I met Guru, we were alone in Divine Robe Supreme store, which was different from the store today. It was a big shop and we were alone. Guru talked about many things; he had been in Vancouver, which is another part of Canada, and he was speaking about that and about Ananda Niketan, a restaurant that disciples used to have in Ottawa.

Guru then rubbed his thumb on my third eye. I didn't know what he was doing. I was basically in a state… in another world.

Initiation is divinely meaningful and supremely fruitful.
During initiation the crying heart of the disciple says to the Master,
“I need you badly.”
The loving heart of the Master says to the disciple,
“I shall not only love you unreservedly, but also give to you unconditionally.”

Sri Chinmoy 1