Archive | November, 2017

Competitiveness and detachment

A few thoughts on the competitive spirit and the philosophy of detachment.


In Sri Chinmoy’s book on Emil Zatopek, he mentions an anecdote.

“Zatopek is sincerity incarnate. He has always given the topmost priority to truth in every aspect of his life. At times, his sincerity has been so soulfully moving. On the eve of the 1948 Olympics, his sincerity reached the highest height. “It was my first competition in Olympic Games and I was surprised to come to Olympic stadium and to read most important things about the Games: ‘Not to win but to take part’. What — not to win? Ah, but I wish to win!”

Emil Zatopek: earth’s tearing cry and Heaven’s beaming smile, Agni Press, 1980

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Belphegor’s prime

Belphegor’s prime is 1,000,000,000,000,066,600,000,000,000,001: a palindromic prime number with 666 in the middle and 13 0s on either side. It is named after Belphegor, one of the seven princes of hell.

Source: QI

In the western world, the number 13 is often considered an ‘unlucky’ number. But, Sri Chinmoy felt thirteen was a divine number (or words to that effect) – a number with special significance in his own life.

Many significant events in his lifetime became associated with the number 13. For example, his arrival in the West (New York) April 13th.


There are always so many ways of looking at the same thing.

In this case, we might think 13 and 666 are numbers representing ‘ignorance’

Alternatively, we can see the Creator’s hand in every aspect of life – hiding a few secret jokes, even in numbers.

If you take 13 as a divine number, you can see Belphegor’s prime as an example of how World ignorance (represented by 666) is perfectly surrounded by the divine.

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Trick or Treat – no thanks!

When I was a child I used to enjoy the annual ‘trick or treat’. Our friendly neighbours would give us sweats, chocolate and, best of all, money. As a child, I thought this was great!

trick-or-treat

Now, 30 years later, and I’m on the other side of the door – and I have to admit I’m very bad. On trick or treat night, I turn out the lights and pretend to be out! I feel like a modern day scrooge, because I don’t want to answer the door and give away my Kit-Kats or money.

One of the laws of the universe is – “as you give so shall your receive”. Continue Reading →

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