July 28: What You Are Meant To Do

Photo by Jowan

One more runner will complete the 3100 today.  Unlike the previous 2 finishers who were first timers, Ashprihanal has crossed the line before.  Today in fact he will complete his 11th self transcendence race.  Not one for overstatement or bravado of any sort he says this morning simply, “I am very happy, very glad.  One more race for Guru.  So That’s good.”

When asked if this race was the hardest of them all?  “Last year I felt also was hard, with heat all the time.  So I don’t know.  So I would say the last 2 years were hard.  Before that I don’t remember.” (laughter)

If we all really thought a lot about very hard projects in advance, before we did them, most likely not much would ever get done.  Even just to prepare yourself for a single one of these races is terrifying little alone accomplishing what Ashpihanal is about to do.  How can you even begin to fathom what it must be like to have run 34,100 miles around the block here.  Only one other person can understand of course, and that is Suprabha, who accomplished the same thing 13 times.  Still if he somehow knew that he was going to do this 11 times, he probably never would have got on the plane in Helsinki even the first time.

It is clear with not just him but with all the runners who come here that something deep within compels them all to come and do this.  Whether it be just once, or in his case, now close to a dozen times.

We are all called forward at one time or another to be challenged to do difficult tasks.  Sometimes we fail even before we start simply because of fear, or doubt, or our own obstinate and uncompromising inertia.  If we can learn anything from Ashprihanal, and the others, is that we all must attempt to answer these inner calls no matter what they may be, and no matter when they come.

We may physically exist in a material world but the moment you see Ashprihanal take flight around the course, you see so clearly that the inner world exists too.  One that is infinitely more real and more fulfilling than what are eyes show us. It is by identifying with  our hearts oneness and its ability to perceive our inner reality that we gain any glimpse of it at all.

It is only through all Ashprihanal’s countless steps here, and those of the other 10, that draws them subtly closer and closer to this world.  There is only one path that leads straight there and it is named self transcendence.

Ashprihanal had a warm but brief conversation  yesterday with Sarvagata, the winner of this years race.  “He is a nice person.”  They never exchanged many words during the race mostly he suggests because, “his speed was a little bit faster than mine.  All nice things.  It was very good.  For a long time there was nice racing going on.”

He saw that a competition of sorts had blossomed between Sarvagata and Igor and then he was gradually added into the mix.  “He was getting a little bit closer to me so I had to start doing a little bit more miles.  Definitely there were very interesting things.  Some years it has been, that I was quite clearly ahead.  I have been a little bit bored some years.  So this race wasn’t so hard.  I wasn’t fighting boredom in this race.  But on the other hand I felt like I was more serious, than normally.  I didn’t like that part.  That also made it kind of hard. ”

The appearance of Grahak yesterday was like a dose of good medicine for him.  “He brought so much joy back to the running.  He is very very good.  He is a great runner and he has the 3rd best time.  He is a great actor and singer.  He brings joy and that is good.”

He says that when he is running his high mileage days there isn’t as much time to fool around.  “You have to be focused, but that doesn’t mean you cannot be happy all the time.  Grahak is a good example of that.  It is a balance always.”

He has been joking for the past few days about how to acquire permanent inner progress.  I told him that I would look on eBay for it and also try Amazon.  Eventually I pretend that I found it for sale but in just a small amount.  It was also unfortunately not permanent and was not the genuine article. I tell him that I have only found a cheap knock off, manufactured somewhere in Asia.

On this his last day when asked whether he seriously feels as though he has progressed here.  “I hope so.  I am pretty sure because it is so intense, and we have to go through many things.  Life is also so disciplined here, and simple.  We don’t have to make any choices.  We just go around and around and everything comes to the fore with intensity.  Then my spiritual teacher can work on us.  So that is why we make the progress.”

Click to play Interview

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The morning starts like all the rest for Ashprihanal.  Just 53 miles run yesterday but today he should be finished around 6pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start

Day 47

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a round of cheers this morning as the race begins.  It is the traditional touching tribute that is given to all who are about to finish.  Today the 7 who are still left offer congratulations to Ashprihanl.  Only they have any idea what he has done because only they are doing it as well.

He is probably the most amazing runner in the world.”  Grahak has been here for the last 2 days and he quickly blends in amongst the runners.  He was there to see both Sarvagata and Igor finish. He will also be around now to appreciate and admire all the others as they cross the finish line.  Grahak is a 3 time veteran of the race and knows Ashprihanal well.

“And his consciousness.  He is always happy and chirpy.  I think he is always trying to transcend himself, whether it is faster or happier.  I don’t think he realizes just how much energy he brings to the course when he is here.  Just his presence.  He is a pretty special runner.”

He has come now 11 times.  “That is amazing.  The admiration for that alone is incredible.  To come back again and again.  He is always joking that it is a tough job but somebody has got to do it.  I think it is simply what he is meant to be doing.”

“He is really helping the progress of the world when he does it.  It is really inspiring.  It is great running with him.  You get such joy.  He is such a child like person.”

Grahak tells me that he spent 8 hours here yesterday.  “I got a lot of joy.  It is really nice being around the course and hanging out with the other runners.  It brings back memories obviously.  I timed it well.  I have watched 2 people finish so far, and Ashprihanal finishes today.  I don’t think anybody cant watch that without feeling some gratitude, and oneness, and things like that.”

“This is the first time I have hung out at the race and not been running.  It is nice.  In a way I miss it.  You always still can pick up on the force on the course.  The force of energy, love, and joy.  It is great coming back.”

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Poem of the Day

Recited by Ashprihanal

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Enthusiasm Awakeners

Cick to play Ashprhanal tribute

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Click to play song

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“In the year 2000 he ran his first 3100 mile race.  He won it as well as the race in 2001.  He proceeded to win 7 races out of 11.  Unprecedented for the men in the annals of the 3100 mile race.  He is the 2nd fastest in the world at 3100 miles.”  (43 days 4 hours)

“This year he was on pace to break his record  by perhaps half a day.  But, things happen during the race.  He did set a new race record that may  never be challenged.  24 days of over 70 miles on each of those days.  Some of those days tipping the scales at 76 or 77.”

“He is the champion because he is always cheerful.  He is always smiling.  Even when things are rotten he finds a way to be humorous.”

“In 3rd place reaching 3100 miles in 46 days, 12 hours, 6 minutes, and 8 seconds.  Which would have won the first 3 3100 mile races.  Ashprihanal averaged 66.664 miles per day.  Still a remarkable performance, from one of the world’s greatest, and you have our admiration and our gratitude, for coming so many times.  Showing the outer world and the inner world how it is done.  Congratulations.” Sahishnu 

Click to Play Ashprihanal Finish

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“My nicest memories in my life, is with Guru here, and finishing the races.”Ashprihanal

 

 

ALL I HAVE TO DO

All I have to do is to accept it
Without understanding.

All I have to do is to believe it
Without knowing.

All I have to do is to surrender to it
Without discovering.

 

Sri Chinmoy, Transcendence-Perfection, Agni Press, 1975.

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