June 29: A Dream of the Supreme for Humanity

Quite often great moments in sports are captured by film crews and news reporters and are then shown on evening news programs or are splashed across sports sections of local news papers.  If you score a goal, win a match, or set a record at something there is a pretty good chance somebody will be there to capture it for posterity.  It will then fly out into the endless  electronic void.  Where countless eyes will be peering as it whizzes by into the great information wasteland.

The big noticeable news at the 3100 is of course when you at last cross the finish line, when the ultimate goal has been reached.  There are a few particularly talented runners here who have accomplished it many times before, and with luck and fortitude they will set new personal bests for themselves this time as well.  For the 3 new runners though records are being smashed almost constantly.  They are all soaring into brand new ethereal realms that up until now they have only been able to dream about.

Pradeep,  I knew this morning was going accomplish something really wonderful.  Just by running 11 more laps he would complete 1000 miles.  A number by itself of such shocking magnitude that it just might knock you out of your shoes at the thought of running that far.  Might, but you can’t let it do that because you have to leave room for 2100 miles more.

For me Pradeep is a runner of remarkable contradictions.  He doesn’t look tough, he doesn’t look strong, he never looks as though he is doing anything more difficult than taking a casual jog around the block.  All of those things that it appears not to be he is.  He never would have lasted a week here if he weren’t incredibly strong and resilient and prepared to take on the toughest battle of his life.  What obscures this strength is the fact that he is also sweet, kind, and humble.

He apologized to me at one point that he had made a mistake in how many more laps he had left to do before he got his 1000.  He knew that I wanted to be there to see him do it and didn’t want to inconvenience me.  I assured him that nothing was more important to me than being there to witness his little victory, which I consider a big achievement for someone who was soon about to run a distance twice as far as he had ever run before.

When he does cross the line a few bells are rung and some shouts and whistles are heard.  There were all of 3 people there and I got a chance for one quick picture and then he was gone.

At this moment he is running as hard as he possibly can.  Yesterdays 113 laps was the best total he has had since his first day here.  If he can somehow keep this up for the next month than the big goal will be all his.  It will never get easy, he probably cannot even have one bad day at all in that time.  Yet as I watch this smiling gentle runner glide off around the block, I couldn’t help but imagine that in some secret inner realm a host of celestial beings were celebrating with real affection and excitement the achievement of this man in orange from Den Haag.

I also have a feeling that they will also be able to celebrate even something greater in 30 days time.  Then, there just might be a few more of us regular folks around too, to ring bells, and sing songs of praise.

In the early morning before the start, the weariness always shows.  There is precious little to hide at the best of times, when you are giving all that you have.  They mostly come by bicycle and a few come by car, and all tumble off onto this hard ground.  It all looks so incredibly impossible that you can scarcely imagine that they can even make it to the end of the block little alone go around and around.  In front of each of them is a task that cannot be avoided, neglected, or treated with anything other than ceaseless dedication and respect.

When ever I think something is difficult I only have to look at faces like this, and my own complaints and doubts dissolve into nothingness.  Because I recognize the bright fires of eternal hope that are burning in those eyes.  Complaints and worries cannot find anything to clutch and grasp onto here.  What pushes them onwards is available to us all.

Ananda Lahari will also make 1000 miles today and most likely Purna Samarpan will do so tomorrow.  For these two the future is far from clear.  At least whether or not they will be able to make the 3100 miles.  Both have been here before.  Both can still see the goal, but also understand the odds, and pragmatically what needs to be done and can be done in the next month.

Start

Day 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first lap is always a little tough, but I am getting into it.”  Pradeep offers me an understatement of profound proportions.  As I listen to his courteous and cheerful responses, I wonder just briefly, if he ever has moments when he might grumble or be unkind.  I dismiss the concept immediately.  He very well might likely have some bad qualities lurking behind all that pep and cheer but a grumbler Pradeep is not.

He tells me that his current pace and rhythm is quicker than what he was running in the recent 10 day race.  “I think now after 18 days my body is recovering so much faster, that you don’t have the same aches and pains, that you might have had after day 4, 5, or 6.  Also my confidence is growing that everything will heal, and energy will come.  So it is easier to keep a little higher pace.”

He is trying to keep his running natural and relaxed but adds, “I am also trying to complete 60 miles every day.  I do check every 3 hours to see if I am on pace. Fortunately I don’t have to force it because my natural pace is just high enough.  I am a little behind.  I think I am about 40 laps behind schedule, which is like 20 miles.  I will have to make up 20 miles in the next 34 days.”

I suggest that it sounds really doable.  “I have to say I am not too worried about it.  In a sense I don’t want to stiffen myself.  Because you just know that you can’t plan it.  Because within 2 or 3 laps something might come up, that completely throws you down.  In the end it is all grace.  So I try and be relaxed, and by the end of the day, if there is a little time I will try and do an extra lap.”

“I basically stay until I have had enough which is around 11:30.  I am not one of the last to leave but definitely not one of the first.”

Then I mention the incongruity of then having to get on a bicycle after an incredibly tough day and ride home.  “Yah, that is really funny.(laughter) You go home so mater of factly  Every day I laugh a little bit about it.”  He describes a little about the little greetings the runners offer to each other as they peddle off.  A crew still maintaining the station until the last second.  “It gets a little surrealistic.”

I ask him if getting on the bike helps his muscles to adjust.  (laughter) “I am not so sure. I am quite happy I don’t have to drive too far.”

Rabinath, a good friend from Holland came a couple of days ago.  “It is really great.  I was really looking forward to it.  He is helping Purna Samarpan and me.  And it does really make a difference.  Yesterday he was here all day, and I did 2 laps more than I had the last couple of days.  Every lap it might make a few steps different if you have somebody hand you your drink, or whatever you need.”

He also has come home with him in the evening and prepared his protein shake and washed up his dishes.  “It definitely saves me some time so that I can get more sleep so it is really really great.”

He says that besides the physical help the friendship provides him even more, “it is the most comforting thing.  To have someone who is really with you.”

He says that support and encouragement has come from friends all over the world.  Many nights he receives uplifting faxes and emails from those trying to support him.  Rabinath also brought presents from home.  “I am definitely being pampered.  My parents sent me running socks, and my colleagues sent me a big box of chocolates.  I think they saw some pictures of me loosing a little weight.”

I ask him, now after 18 days, what does he enjoy the most.  “Definitely the spiritual side of it.  With the other runners we are definitely joking a lot about having pain.  We speak a lot about the practicalities.  In the end it is such an opportunity to be here.  I think all of us really really experience that.  It is just such a blessing.  You could say this aspect of self transcendence, and also of oneness.  It is one of the dreams of the Supreme for humanity.  We are living it here together.  You can just feel it.  It is really great.”

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Poem of the day

recited by Sarvagata

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Enthusiasm Awakeners

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Humanity’s dream
Is perfect perfection.
Divinity’s dream
Is supreme satisfaction.
The Dream of the Supreme
Is to make each human being
A conscious and living God.

 

 

Sri Chinmoy, Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 57, Agni Press, 1983.

2 Comments to “June 29: A Dream of the Supreme for Humanity”

  1. Abhinabha says:

    I am so proud of Pradeep! Thank you Utpal, for making this available to all us fans of the 3100 miles!

  2. John Galstaun says:

    I am really proud of Pradeep, I know he has an unlimited supply of inspiration and motivation that comes from within. Keep going Pradeep, we are with you every day.

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