I Was Just The Willingness

There are now but 5 champions left upon the great stage of the 3100 mile race.  6 others have already completed the grand mission that was set out for them here to do.  Now they, like us, are but spectators to this magnificent impossibility adventure, swiftly drawing down to a close on this the final day.

Today these runners will perform their final acts.   They will take all the steps and turns that they can and that they must do in order to achieve their absolute best.   Something that they have not neglected over other days but now upon this the very last, each and every moment here is so sweet and and yet so fleeting.  It will lead them, either to a glorious finish line, or they will simply tread on until the unyielding hands of time simply forbid that they step forward any further.

All here will perform what they can and what they must before the curtain falls at midnight and sweeps to a close this the 14th running of the Self-Transcendence 3100 mile race.

Today Dharbhasana will defy both his skeptics and his own self doubt.  He will prove that as powerful as pain and injury are the heart is infinitely stronger.  The sweet inspiration that whispered softly to him to come and challenge impossibility will now roar in delight that he has found victory by simply letting victory itself carry him there.

Surasa last night reached a goal on an unyielding day that reluctantly gave her 2700 miles.  For many days she knew already that the grander vision would not be realized.  At least not here and now.  She will run on today simply because their is time left and she came here but to run.  As long and as hard as she possibly could.

Both Baladev and Ananda-Lahari have seen their journey end here before they could reach the ultimate finish line.  Today grace has not favored them with this honor for reasons we will never know.  But they have been blessed in other ways that are secret and sacred only to them.  Divinity does not neglect those like them who ran so hard for so long.  We may not see how they were blessed.  We are only able to be aware of their indomitable courage to go on and on.  That if we ever forget what it is, “to never give up,” than we only have to look at the sacrifice and courage that they continually offered up here for 52 days.

Purna-Samarpan has found his satisfaction in a different goal.  He starts the final day  with just 25 miles more to go in order to reach 2700 miles.  It is not the goal that he first set out to reach but it is what has been offered to him.   In about 6 hours later he will accept it with grace and with gratitude.   picture by Alakananda

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Every Step Brings Me Closer

Ever since humanity was able to recognize  a divine existence within themselves they have been trying to seek it out, and bring it forth from within.  It is never easy to establish a constant inner oneness with this divinity, as so much of our outer nature tries to deny and negate even the very existence of this part of us that lies within.  The very nature of our bodies and minds is to only to accept physical lethargy and try and ride the mental merry go round that really leads us nowhere.

Sometimes most powerfully, the inner in us breaks through and shows us the way for our entire being to be transformed and made one.  In practically all religions the call to pilgrimage is part and parcel of this transformation process.  The journey will take you to a sacred spot in which a spark of consciousness can be lit and we will feel our connection to our soul’s reality on all planes.

Pushkar one day during the race had a powerful experience in which he no longer saw himself running around and around a block but instead on a sacred pilgrimage in with he was always moving forward.  “Something entered into me.  It was much easier to accept. Every step I do brings me closer.  On that day I did my best.  I could not do more.”  Today that journey will come to a close, at least for this year.

“I am able to complete this unimaginable distance only because of God’s boundless compassion, affection, and concern.”  He is wearing a special shirt that he has only worn once before.  The only other time he wore it was when he finished the race last year.  The previous year when he did not complete the race he did not wear it.  On the back it says, “Joy Guru…27)

He will be slower by more than a day from last year but he is not disappointed by this at all.  He does not believe that the heat bothered him as much as some of the others but suspects that it may have indirectly affected his digestive problems.  As a whole he has learned a lot from being here the 2 previous summers and feels more disciplined and independent.

He spoke recently about how happy he was to be able to continue to run after Asprihanal finished 2 days ago.  He felt that his own finish would likely be a mixture of sadness and joy.  “A smiling eye will definitely come forward.”  He confesses that already this morning the crying eye was present when he was filled with overwhelming gratitude that he was able to be here and complete the journey.

“I would love to go for ever and ever but this is just a part of it.  Another part says, “let us reach the finish line and take a little rest,” and he laughs.  I suggest that if he wants to run for ever and ever he just needs to come back every year and run.  “If the outer circumstances allow it, I will definitely be here.  It is the most beautiful thing  I can do on earth.  What ever you do is the right thing here.  If you come you move, move, move.  Everything you do is in God’s own way done.”

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It Is Our Destiny

“It is like a piece of cake.” Atmavir starts his last day on the course with just 24 miles left to run.  He tells me that he learned the piece of cake expression from the great Austrian runner Smarana.  But there is precious little about this year’s race that is either sweet, tasty, or delicious for Atmavir.  It seems to have been a hard fought battle for him almost from start to finish.

“It is very good weather today and I will enjoy it until the end.  But it is not like it was on other days.  Outwardly the result was not very good.  I will be 4 days behind my last years result.  Inwardly I feel quite good. I feel I made some little steps towards my goal.  From that point I am really happy and satisfied.”

He tells me that he was expecting that the race was going to be difficult for him even before he arrived.  “And it happened.” He says he knew that conditions at the 6 and 10 day race were extremely challenging earlier in the year and somehow felt that the challenges would simply appear in another form here.  In this case a summer of relentless heat and humidity.

“I was wondering why I was suffering so much this year, while some people were really quite smooth.  On those really hot days.  My feeling is that every body has a different role in this race, and we have to accept these roles.”  He explains that it is also in the task of cheerfully accepting the different results, no matter whether it is success or failure, that is perhaps one of the key accomplishments for those who run here.  That you must work extremely hard to do your best and than as well be grateful for whatever the outcome might be.

“Definitely I am quite happy that it will be over.  It was my toughest year here.  It was my hardest race ever.  On the other hand the inner progress that we are doing here.  If you are putting yourself through more pressure maybe something deeper will appear.”

“Also I really like the poems this year, written by Sri Chinmoy.(2007)  Those were special for the race.  I realize those poems were really like diamonds for us.  Those poems are really powerful.  Those poems are kind of the secret of the race for me.  Like, why we are here.  It is our destiny.  It is our goal.”


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A heart of faith

is a life of tremendous happiness.

Poem of the Day

written by Sri Chinmoy

August 1st, 2007

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