There he spent the next twenty years in spiritual practice, including meditation, study in Bengali and English literature and work in the ashram’s cottage industries.
In 1964 Chinmoy was prompted to move to America in response to a "message from within" to be of service to people in the West searching for spiritual fulfilment. Chinmoy successfully applied for a job as junior clerk at the Indian Consulate, despite his lack of formal education. He received support and encouragement from his colleagues and bosses and was invited to give talks on Hinduism. He started to give talks at universities and later at the United Nations. Sri Chinmoy opened up meditation centres and gave music concerts around the world and many of his talks and writings were published. His path is recognised as a contemporary system of yoga, practiced under the guidance of a guru or spiritual teacher.
Sri Chinmoy began painting in 1974 during a visit to Ottawa, Canada. His abstract paintings are a mixture of acrylics and pen drawings. His free form bird paintings and drawings were titled "soul birds". His art has been displayed in the Louvre in Paris, the UNESCO offices in Paris, London's Victoria and Albert Museum, the Mall Gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art in St. Petersburg, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and the United Nations Headquarters.
In 1976 Chinmoy released a meditative album on Folkways Records entitled Music for Meditation.
Sri Chinmoy claimed to have written over 120,000 poems though many of these poems are actually short aphorisms. In 2001 Sri Chinmoy recited his poetry at the United Nations as part of a UN sponsored event of promoting Dialogue Among Civilizations Through Poetry.
Sri Chinmoy was born into a Hindu family but is best known for his deep respect for all religions and spiritual paths and his own deep love for God. He asked his disciples to adopt a vegetarian diet, abstain from recreational drugs including alcohol and lead a pure and celibate lifestyle.
"True religion has a universal quality. It does not find fault with other religions. Forgiveness, compassion, tolerance, brotherhood and the feeling of oneness are the signs of a true religion."
"If I can inspire anybody in this world, then I feel that my life is meaningful. With my weightlifting, I am offering my physical strength to inspire people."
"When union takes place between a man and a woman, each one gives a significant or insignificant meaning to the action. But in the highest, deepest spiritual life, when the realization of oneness with all humanity is coming to the fore, this ordinary human union does not serve any purpose. One can have physical relations with someone hundreds of times, but the real union, the inner union, does not take place. Only when we can establish our soul’s union with a person will we be fulfilled. When we can liberate ourselves from the meshes of ignorance, and when we can realize the entire earth as our own, when we feel that all of mankind is our very own, then only can we have proper union. Physical union is no union in comparison to the all-pervading union of spiritual oneness which we can have."