“This race is always about finding the balance between the inner and outer world. The outer world here is always very very hard. The running is hard. Inside you have to find the energy that will get you to continue. When you start to touch the limits of your physical body, your mind starts to slow down, and it is like entering into meditation. It is like entering into another world. It is then that you start to realize many things about yourself. You find many things inside you which are otherwise much harder to find.”
40 year old Pranjal Milovnik has completed the 3100 mile race now 8 times and seems comfortably on his way to doing so an 9th time. When he describes the grueling experience he had in his first race here it is actually hard to imagine just why he bothered to come back. Yet in nearly every year since then he has continued to improve. He now runs this race 12 days faster than when he first completed it and yet when you ask if it is important to continue to improve his results, he inevitably responds that he doesn’t care.
It is far from indifference, this dispassionate approach that he has to his outer achievement. He, like really all the others definitely want to complete the journey here as swiftly as possible. The more important thing always however for Pranjal, is simply to always do his best. To leave nothing behind at the end of each day, and commit all that he has and is into this extraordinary adventure.
For Pranjal, who comes first every day and is usually the last to leave each night, there appears to be no fragment or molecule of life force that he doesn’t offer up here each day. We can easily measure his progress each day as the numbers continuously expand beside his name. Today the score board says he has completed 898 miles after 14 days.
But all the inner victories that he has fought and won, and all the precious jewels of discovery that he has uncovered within the secret chambers of his being are always for him alone to enjoy.
Question: What is the spiritual significance of balance?
Sri Chinmoy: In the spiritual life balance is of paramount importance. When the result of an action elevates our consciousness, we feel that we are running towards our destined Goal. When our inner mounting cry takes us to the loftiest heights, our whole being becomes a sea of delight. But when we don’t have outer success, it doesn’t mean that we are not running toward the Highest. Sometimes defeat is a blessing in disguise. Defeat can be a reality which is secretly preparing us to run the fastest. When undivine thoughts fill our mind, we have to know that they are like passing clouds which will soon disappear. Then our soul will again come to the fore. If we have perfect balance and do not become sad or depressed, at that time we make the fastest progress. We need equanimity of mind in order to make the heart receptive. We need perfect balance in order to achieve real satisfaction.
Sri Chinmoy, Flame Waves, Part 12, Agni Press, 1978