It was big, it was colorful, and it was a fitting tribute to Sri Chinmoy, who so loved playing tennis. The gigantic tennis ball mosaic, made from 10,084 balls, was of course much much more than record breaking. It was a true piece of art, it was a collaboration, it was a soulful offering, and if nothing else it was good old fashioned fun. All those who witnessed its brief display, or took part in the many hours of its construction will have their own list of enthusiastic adjectives.
The creation of the tennis ball mosaic started off weeks earlier as an inspiration managed by Ashrita, who happens to have something like a devoted affection for setting new Guinness book records. Doing a spectacular new record on Sri Chinmoy’s birthday is a tradition that he has been orchestrating now for more than 10 years.
Many, almost impossibly huge things have been hammered, glued, set afire, poured, and blended together each August 27th. Each one is a fantastic project requiring lots of effort but at the same time each new Guinness record is uniquely conceived out of an artful blend of vision, whimsy, love, and devotion.
This August 27th would have been Sri Chinmoy’s 84th birthday and for ideas and inspiration Ashrita consulted with Papaha. That both loved tennis and each had had the opportunity to actually play tennis with Sri Chinmoy may have played a not small part in coming up with the idea. That the completed piece would than be displayed on the very ground that Sri Chinmoy had played so many games was also no coincidence.
The spiritual message of tennis:
And finally surrender
To the Supreme in the winner.
The loser who cheerfully
To the Supreme in the winner
Becomes himself a real winner
In the inner world.