From growing up in a tiny Indian village and then spending over 20 years in a secluded spiritual ashram, Sri Chinmoy then travelled to the capital of the world, New York, where he made his home for 43 years. He often spoke fondly of the spiritual qualities of New York; perhaps his best-known talk is My New York, which was originally published in 1967, three years after his arrival. This video was produced and narrated by Antara-Prabhat Kalajian, from that talk; the transcript of the talk is below.
My New York
by Sri Chinmoy
I admire New York. My eyes are enamoured of her soul’s dynamic beauty. My New York is always astir and bustling. Also, is she marching in gigantic strides. Success emerges before her very eyes.
The dawn breaks each day feeling New York’s heart consumed with new zeal. She hates to be absorbed in a fog of fruitless brooding and empty inactivity. Moreover, she wants to be free, eternally free. Never within her four corners will she tolerate the air of captivity. If it is part of her nature to express herself boldly, I cannot blame her. To me, first of all she deserves this acme of self-confidence. And secondly, God wants New York to be what she is.
My New York has courage. My New York has confidence. The problems of anxiety and uncertainty may cover the length and breadth of the world, but my New York is an exception. Her youthful certainty is my heart’s delight.
When I think of my India, it seems that she has endless time. If she does not avail herself of an opportunity today, it will return to her tomorrow. But when I think of my New York, it seems that she is facing a unique opportunity at every moment. If she loses a golden opportunity today, it will never return. New York knows how to seize. She knows how to struggle. She knows how to push forward. She knows how to exert herself, consciously and dynamically. Old blunders fail to plague her. Empty of fear is her heart, which ever grows into the fulfilment of her promising future. Blessed is she.
My New York is not a challenge. She is not a competition. She is not a running race. She is not a victory. What then is she? She is a great Promise, wherein grows and flowers the Infinite Unknown.
This talk later appeared in Sri Chinmoy’s book America in her depths, published 1973