This is the first part of a collection of recordings entitled Pole-Star Promise-Light;  an album which comprises 50 Bengali songs that Sri Chinmoy set to music in 1975.

In 1975, Sri Chinmoy discovered long-lost notebooks which contained Bengali poems he had written many years before; this included some of his very first poetic writings from the 1940s. On 22 November 1975, he spontaneously set 200 of these Bengali poems to music during a special meditation concert.

This concert took place in the spacious auditorium of Thomas Edison High School, located near Sri Chinmoy’s home in Jamaica, New York. A telephone connection to his Centre in San Francisco also made it possible for his students there to hear the songs.
00     Sri Chinmoy remained in a deeply meditative state throughout this four-hour event. He sang without accompanying himself on an instrument, and took ten-minute breaks after each group of 50 songs. At the time, this was the largest number of songs he had composed in a single session. Several songs in this series became personal favorites of the composer, and remained in his concert repertoire for more than 30 years.

Sri Chinmoy translated these poems into English and published both the Bengali and English poems in the four volume book series, Pole-Star Promise-Light, in 7975.

Before his new songs were published, Sri Chinmoy occasionally made changes to them. He even changed some songs years later; therefore, the recording on this CD does not always match the music in the Pole-Star Promise-Light songbook series, which was considered the authoritative version when it was printed in 1977.

Historical context

Sri Chinmoy’s activities during the Autumn of 1975, leading up to the day this recording was made, included:

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3 October – Completed his first 100,000 Jharna-Kala paintings in just under a year.
8 October – Lectured at the School of Visual Arts in New York City (Spirituality and Art)
12 October – Offered a public meditation in San Francisco.

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13 October – Honoured by the Mayor of San Francisco with a Sri Chinmoy Day Proclamation.
14 October – Offered public meditations in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.
15 October – Lectured at the University of Victoria in Canada and met with the Bishop of Victoria.
16 October – Offered a public meditation and lecture in Eugene, Oregon.
18 October – Traveled with his students by bus from New York to the University of Maryland and offered a public meditation and lecture.

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19 October – Traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico to meet with the Governor of Puerto Rico Rafael Hernandez-Colon, with his wife, Lila, Invited Sri Chinmoy to visit them at their home during his brief stay in Puerto Rico. As the Governor’s birthday, was just a few days away, Sri Chinmoy and his disciples brought cakes and gifts and made the visit into a festive occasion. The film Awakening, a half-hour documentary about Sri Chinmoy, was shown at the Governor’s request. (2nd photo from meeting in NYC, 1975-November)

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24 October – (morning) Offered the opening meditation for the final conference of the Fifth World Spiritual summit conference at the United Nations in New York. There were also addresses by representatives of the Hindu, Buddhist, Judaic and Islamic faiths. The Spiritual Summit Meeting, built around the theme “One is the Human Spirit,” was sponsored by the Temple of Understanding. Where Sri Chinmoy first meet with Mother Theresa, the Catholic nun who gained worldwide recognition as founder of the Christian Missionaries of Charity in India.

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24 October – (evening) Offered the opening meditation for the Planetary Celebration in Long Island, New York.
55a26 October – Lectured at Syracuse and Cornell Universities in New York State.
30 October – (afternoon) Lectured at UNICEF in New York City
30 October – (evening) Attended a friend’s art exhibit in White Plains, New York.
1 November – Wrote 843 English poems in 24 hours, and published them the following day in the book Transcendence-Perfection.
4 November – Traveled with his students by bus from New York to Boston and offered a public
meditation and lecture at the Church of the Covenant.
7 November – Offered a public meditation at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York.

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16 November – Painted 16,031 Jharna-Kala paintings in 24 hours in almost non-stop painting.

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22 November – (morning) Marched along New York’s Madison Avenue in the parade organized by his students to celebrate his 100,000 Jharna-Kala paintings, on a cold and windy day.
22 November – (evening) Spontaneously set to music the 200 Bengali poems of the Pole-Star Promise-Light poetry series.

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Artist: Sri Chinmoy
Name: Pole-Star Promise-Light (1 of 4)
Recorded: 1975
Release year: 2009 (CD)
Duration: 0:39:33
Acknowledgements: Sri Chinmoy
Page Created: Ashish / Tejvan
Format: Advanced Audio Coding
Photos by: Bhashwar, Shraddha, Abakash, SF archive, Puerto Rican archives