In 1992 I could witness Sri Chinmoy’s largest concert in Japan, which took place in the famous Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo. When there was a concert of Sri Chinmoy I usually went very early to the concert place because I wanted to have time to prepare my video equipment and find a nice angle to view the concert. When I came the vicinity of the hall I recognized that masses of people were aproaching the hall in the early afternoon. So, I thought there might be football much or something big happening before. But then I realized that these were all seekers coming for the big meditation concert in the evening, that was announced with many posters. It was amazing to see how patiently the masses of people waited in a one proper line, reading a paper or a book – all waiting to get a free ticket at the entrance. Finally 10’000 people came and the hall was packed when Sri Chinmoy appeared on the huge stage, decorated with simple structured panels. For the piano performance the organizer had prepared a laser show which perfectly fit the modern tunes of the master’s improvisations. At the end Sri Chinmoy invited all his Japanese students to perform a song on stage which he especially composed for Japan. The Japanese concert was for certainly a highlight of the 777 concerts he gave over his lifespan worldwide.
In the summer of 2006 I made a trip to Japan. It was not my first. The Japanese country, their people and their culture fascinate me for a long time. I had the chance to travel to Japan together with my spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy several times and each journey was very special and very inspiring.
When I had my first encounter with Japan in 1992 Sri Chinmoy was planting a tree in the garden of the famous Daibutsu Buddha sculpture in Kamakura, not far from Toyko. Kamakura was the former capital of Japan and is full of buddhist temples and shrines. The big bronzen Daibutsu sculpture is more than 700 years old and is the most accurate embodiment of the great Buddha. For me personally it is a very familiar feeling to be near this monument. Perhaps I had some connection with Buddha in a previous incarnation.
It was therefore with great pleasure that I returned to Kamakura in July of 2006 for a whole week. Three times I visited the immense Buddha, once to take some still shots, a second time to get some good video footage and a third time to assist and film a unique concert of Sri Chinmoy just in front of the sculpture. To have a great master of the past and a great master of the present in the form of Sri Chinmoy together was an experience I will never forget. Sri Chinmoy played several of his classical instruments as well as very modern ones like a Gong sampler, specially built by two of his German students. For me it’s always amazing to witness Maestro Sri Chinmoy improvising on the synthesizer, the piano or the pipe organ because the power and dynamism of the these performances cannot be compared with any other musician.