Become like the bird

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

Sri Chinmoy performs on his favourite instrument, the esraj, to open an exhibition of his paintings in New York, 1976

This was at one of the Jharna-Kala galleries in Wooster in Greenwich Village. It was 1976, less than two years after Guru began painting his Jharna-Kala.

One day Guru said, “Anybody who would like to have a painting, would like me to do a painting for them, line up.”

Of course, I got in the line. What happened is when it was your turn, you stood right in front of Guru. You are five or six feet away from Guru and he is doing the painting, with you standing in front of him. It was just a totally amazing experience, just watching this painting come to life.

This painting was the largest that Sri Chinmoy had painted to that time.

So, you are standing there for a couple of minutes, three or four minutes, and Guru creates this painting. The last thing Guru did on the painting was the eye. He put his forefinger there with the blue paint and put the eye. That was the completion of the painting.


After doing the painting, he wrote, “To dear Sal, with eternal love blessings. Guru. CKG, May 22nd, 1976.”

Then, when he gave it to me, he said, “Become like this bird, with dynamism and humility.”

My soul’s divinity-bird
And my heart’s purity-bird
Are together on the wing.

Sri Chinmoy 1

The bird drawings in the background are also by Sri Chinmoy.

Cross-posted from