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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Start of Day 50

 

 

 

 

 

 

Their names aren’t on the board but Dharbhasana’s wife and daughter are a crucial element, in not just his doing so well here this summer, but also in his ability just to be able to come here all the way from their home in New Zealand.  Nandana and Shakti are the extra legs that have given a tremendous boost to Dharbhasana’s stunning performance here this summer.

A good helper is one of the greatest assets a runner can have in order to perform well.  Nandana has proven to be one of the greats.  She has not only supplied her husband with an endless supply of nutritious and tasty raw food , but she has also been an ardent and committed supporter of his race.   Even in the darkest days which seemed to be a lifetime ago but in fact were just last week.  While all the while juggling the needs of a 7 year old daughter.  Who required, it should be mentioned, both attention and ice cream during our talk.

Every single morning I make him a green smoothy.  That gives him all his calcium and protein, and stuff like that.  Then I make him a super food smoothy.  We have been into the raw food thing for the last year.  In the last year we have been learning more what raw foods do and what properties they carry.”  She mentions that in the 6 day race they had a test run with the diet which was mainly raw.  “He had the best 6 day race that he has ever had.  He didn’t get injured and he was full of power.  He made it to the end and it was totally great.  So we thought that we would do this race the same way.  He didn’t want any dairy or gluten.  He didn’t want to have anything processed.  It all had to be fresh and healthy.  It started to go well at the beginning.  Than slowly he wanted to have more heavier foods.  This race has been more 80% raw it hasn’t been 100% raw.”

As we are talking I point out Pranjal who seemed to exist on snickers bars and coca cola.  “Everyone seems to have a different constitution. At one point Dharbhasana was able to eat like that.  I think when you start to become aware, and start putting more good things into your body.  I think it eventually starts rejecting the bad stuff.  It doesn’t work the same like it used to.  Pranjal is fine on it.”

She starts talking about the consequences of trying some dairy earlier in the race and she says digestively it just didn’t work.  Ironically as a musical back drop to this, an ice cream truck arrives with its music blaring in the background.    She also confesses to accidentally feeding him a bad mushroom, which made him sick for a short while.

The family has worked as a team in other races but Nandana suggests that the experience here at the 3100 is completely different.  “The 6 and 10 day race is short and sweet.  This keeps going.  There have been ups and downs.”  She also takes the opportunity to compliment her daughter who has done extremely well here for the past 52 days.

When asked what she has like most she says, “I like every bit of it.  I feel very much oneness here.  I don’t know what I am going to do with myself when it is over.  I like it all.  I like seeing what the runners go through.  It has made me appreciate what they do a lot more.”  Dharbhasana had wanted to do the race for a number of years.  He had spent time following the race on the internet but for her the race was simply an abstraction until she arrived and had to become fully engaged in it.  “I appreciated it because he appreciated it.  Now that I have been here and seen what they go through.  They all have to work together.  It is a oneness thing. I appreciate that now.”

“I came in with absolutely no expectation because I had no idea what it meant.  I am really ‘wowed’ that Dharbhasana is going to finish in his first year.  I had no idea that it was a possibility that he wouldn’t finish.  When I see everyone’s capacity and where they are at.  To see how absolutely hard the journey is.  So for him to finish in the first year, I really appreciate that now, and what he has gone through.”

I ask her about the dark days that seemed to spell the end of Dharbhasana’s chances of finishing the race.  “That was an amazing experience.  I am still surprised by that one.  Because he got the hamstring injury.  He tried to get through it.  He had a good attitude but after 5 days of walking, he got hit by doubt and frustration.  He made up his mind that he wasn’t going to finish.  It was kind of a hard thing.  Then something just happened.  A snap of the fingers.  His parents arrived.  A few people gave him some words of encouragement.  A snap of the fingers and it was gone, absolutely gone.  Grace, that is real grace.”

I ask Nandana if anything as dramatic, as his recent running resurrection had ever happened before in their lives.  She mentions that just being able to come to New York for the family was really challenging.  Their financial situation was so dire that it looked like coming here was just not going to happen.  His business financial advisers were strongly suggesting that leaving New Zealand at that time was not recommended.  “It wasn’t going to be feasible for his business.  He was on the brink of deciding not to do it.  Every one was just doubting him.  Then he went a way and had a moment to himself.”

He had the experience where he recalled the old legend of Babaji.  It is a simple story of faith in what one holds to be true, and how far one will go in order to prove and demonstrate their own faith in their beliefs.  The experience was so strong for Dharbhasana, “that he knew that this is what he was meant to be doing.  It is a similar experience.  He felt he needed to have that faith, to jump, and just do it.  From that moment on when he made that decision, everything just smoothed out.  Now I have complete faith, and belief in grace, because it works, when you believe.”

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It is an especially happy time for Atmavir as he completes the final laps of his journey.  As hard as it has been for him he knows that others too have had to endure a struggle as well.  He can be grateful that he has at least completed the race.  And while he runs he stops for just a moment to thank the Enthusiasam Awakeners.

At noon Pushkar and Purna-Samarpan take their breaks.  There is still a lot of running left to do for them.  Nikhad hands out the daily race prayer and it is his voice that recites it earlier at the top of the page.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, finishing in 4th place, in his 4th consecutive 3100 miler.  In a time of 49 days, 5 hours, 31 minutes, and 34 seconds.  Although it is not his best finish, he is still ranked 5th fastest all time in the world.  But I must say for this kind of runner and his particular unique physique.  He can’t handle the heat very well.  He is very thin.  He doesn’t have the cooling apparatus of his body.

If it is cold he is in danger of winning the race.  Because Asprihanal had a slightly off year.  Asprihanal 10 finishes, 2nd fastest all time, all kinds of records.  But this man was right on his heels, and then the heat wave came.

Heat wave number 1 it set him back.  Heat wave number 2 almost wiped him out completely.  And heat wave number 3 just let me get through it.  All kinds of obstacles and yet he finished.

He thought about quitting.  He would go home at night and be so hot from the heat of the day.  He couldn’t cool off.  He would take cold showers, and still couldn’t cool off.

It is a real testament to his inner and outer fortitude to finish this race, and to do very well, considering the heat.  49 days is no joke.  So our congratulations to Atmavir.  It is a fantastic achievement to do this race.  To do it so well with class, and with dignity.” Sahishnu

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Atmavir then thanks all those who have helped.  He mentions everyone.  “I am very grateful that you supported us in many ways.”  Than he points to the board behind him.  His name now has 3100 beside it but he speaks of those who have arrived already at the close of this year’s epic journey.  “Those older brothers on the board.  They inspired me to work harder for next year.  So I am really inspired to do better next year.”

 

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Earlier in the morning the Enthusiasm Awakeners sang a song that was very special and significant to Sri Chinmoy.  He had composed it 3 years ago on this day and in the evening he had asked the group to sing it again at an evening function.  He asked his students to try and sing this song 3 times a day.  He said that if they did, he would be very, very, very, very -a million times-proud of you.  “This will definitely help you in your life of aspiration.”

Last night I had a very, very

very significant dream.

I saw my Lord,

clasped His Eye

and

Kissed His Feet Supreme.

Song composed by Sri Chinmoy

Performed by Enthusiasm Awakeners

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“Either from within we come without, or from without we dive deep within. We can start our journey either from the soul’s capacity or from the body’s capacity. Ultimately these two capacities have to be united. Needless to say, the soul’s capacity is infinitely greater than the body’s capacity. But the little capacity that the body has, has to be united with the soul’s capacity. The body’s greatest capacity is the acceptance of the soul’s leadership. If the soul is accepted as the supreme leader, if the soul gets the opportunity to guide, mould and shape our destiny, then we get what we do not have right now: the sweet, pure, breathless, intense inner cry and the sure, measureless outer smile.”

Excerpt from Everest Aspiration Part 1 by Sri Chinmoy

One Comments to “It Is Our Destiny”

  1. Baridhi says:

    Thanks again, Utpal! Hearing the recording Atmavir finnish touched my heart!

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