This is a rare recording of Sri Chinmoy reading selected poems from the Ten Thousand Flower-Flames series, interspersed with musical performances on various instruments. The Flower-Flames series were written between 1978 to 1983.
Sri Chinmoy began this epic series of poems in November 1978. In the first poem of the series entitled ‘A New Marathon’, he compared the journey he was about to embark on with the New York Marathon he had run the day before:
Who am I ?
A completely long lost tornado-speed.
Yesterday my supremely uncooperative body
Ran the New York Marathon.
The lightning-arrows of anxieties
And worries did not attack me.
I must say, they have
Been very kind to me.
They do not knock at my heart’s door.
No, not even by mistake!
My unfailing friends, came and
Shook hands with me gently
Even before I had covered eleven miles.
Usually they come to befriend me
At the eighteenth mile.
But this time, after fifteen miles,
They desired to lavish
Infinitely more affection on me.
So they embraced me most avidly
And most powerfully.
From fifteen miles on,
I dragged my ill-fated body,
At times with my compassion-smiles,
At times with my frustration-cries.
To my great joy and sublime relief,
The worst possible nightmare
At the end of twenty-six miles.
Leads me into another marathon-world.
To satisfy this new marathon-world,
Or to be satisfied by this new one, will be
Infinitely – I really mean it –
For here it is not just twenty-six miles
and 385 yards to run,
But to sow the seeds
Of ten thousand flaming flower-poems
Which at long last I shall place
Devotedly, unreservedly and unconditionally
At the Compassion-Feet
Of my Beloved Supreme.
The poems were published in volumes of 100 poems each – 100 volumes in total. The cover of each volume was dedicated to a different political figure or sporting luminary that Sri Chinmoy had met with and appreciated. Volume 50 – the half-way mark was commemorated with a special red-covered edition and the last volume – Volume 100 – was comemmorated with a special blue edition.
On Sunday, July 3rd, 1983, Sri Chinmoy completed the final poem – poem number 10,000 – of this series. To celebrate, his students from of New York meditation centre made the world’s largest and heaviest drum on July 10th, measuring 15 feet 3 inches in diameter and weighing about 800 pounds. Then they beat on the drum 10,000 times with a mammoth-sized drumstick – in the photo on the right, Sri Chinmoy is shown hitting the first strokes.
The ‘Flower-Flames’ were the first of Sri Chinmoy’s three epic series of poem-aphorisms. Immediately after the completion of the Ten Thousand Flower-Flames series, Sri Chinmoy embarked on another series called Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants which he completed in 1998. A few days after the completion of that series, Sri Chinmoy began writing the first poems for Seventy Seven Thousand Service-Trees. By the time of his passing in 2007, he had completed 50,000 aphorisms in that series.
Related links on other sites:
- 207 Selected Ten Thousand Flower Flames by Sri Chinmoy at Shortpoems.org. These were a selection of favourite poems that Sri Chinmoy picked out of the whole collection of 10,000 flower flames.
- Ten-Thousand Flower-Flames, part 1 at Sri Chinmoy Poetry
- The last poem in the series, O My Sound-Life set to music on July 5, 1983 – score available on srichinmoysongs.com
Artist: Sri Chinmoy
Name: Reading from 10,000 Flower-Flames
Release year: 1978
Duration: 28:59 (part 1),
Acknowledgements: Sri Chinmoy
Page Created: Ashish Zubaty / Tejvan Pettinger
Format: Advanced Audio Coding