August 9… To Beautify The World

Her story is almost perfection itself.  Or at least one that most accurately reflects how we mortals struggle and strive against adversity.   Then when we least expect it we accomplish that once insurmountable task that had risen up in front of us.

Click below to hear the sound of Kaneenika’s finish:

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In turn we are rewarded or we find the true meaning of just how precious the goals that come to challenge us truly are.  Hopefully we  learn and grow stronger.   Understand just a little better what we must do in order to reach up and draw ourselves closer to our own perfection.

Last year Kaneenika in her first attempt at 3100 miles made it to 3014 miles.

A result that some might call a defeat.  But in the peculiar divine world of the Self Transcendence Race it was another kind of victory. One that does not step up onto a visible podium, but instead shines brightly in the summit of the heart.

When we meet this morning I joke with Kaneenika that tomorrow she will not be here

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“It is true.”

“It is always very inspiring and encouraging to get messages from people.  Quite often I get messages from people I don’t even know.  It reminds me that people really follow this race and appreciate what we are doing here.”

“It is so special.  When I read these messages they are like a joy pill and a pain killer in one.  Also an energy boost.  It is so nice to know that people have so much oneness.  I am so grateful.”

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“This race may look like an individual sport but we have all these supporters and all these helpers.  They just carry us along.  The race wouldn’t be possible without the helpers and everybody around the world who follows the race.  All those who send good wishes and pray for us.  That is the beauty of this race.”

“When I was a new disciple.  I was watching the race for the first time.  I was here in New York for the summer.  At the time Rupantar asked me if I would think about this race.  But I couldn’t think anything.  It was so beyond.”

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“Then he told me that Sri Chinmoy once said that when we are doing races like this.  Something good happens somewhere else.  So I believe that something like that is happening.  I don’t believe that Sri Chinmoy created this race just for us to go around and around.  That it is really for humanity to make progress.”

Later at the finish line she shares another story.  One that took place when she was really having a tough time.

“I was running on the far side of the course and I met a girl who was running in the opposite direction.  Then she smiled at me and said you are amazing.  I didn’t know her and I didn’t even know if she even knew about the race.  So I just smiled back at her out of my misery.  And it felt good.”

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Click below to hear Sahishnu’s speech and Kaneenika’s speech:

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She says that she then came upon a mother walking with her little girl.  “I smiled at them and they smiled back at me. I thought wow.  I am feeling much better than I felt before.”

Just after this she came back into the camp and noticed a banner with Sri Chinmoy’s smiling face on it.  Also on it was the aphorism

Just one smile
Immensely increases
The beauty of the universe.

Sri Chinmoy, A God-devotion-teardrop, 2006

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“And I thought, is this the answer to my question.  This is why we run these races.  To beautify the world.  Wow, that is really powerful.  I was reflecting on this afterwards.  I thought Sri Chinmoy is so smart.”

“He gives us this incredible race.  To help to make this world more beautiful.”

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*Editors Note:  This will be my last post for the race this year.   My last attempt to document this incredible event, called the Self-Transcendence 3100 mile race.  It is with deep and humble gratitude that I have offered these daily posts to all of you who have both dipped and dove into my little creations.  The race is well beyond what my words, pictures, and sound can do.   Hopefully you have been inspired and will also be able to accomplish in the near future your own self transcendence task.*

*Click below to read rest of Report*

The board

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The last morning

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For so many it has been home

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On the surface there is so little here.  A few tables and chairs

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Yet in a way that I cannot express it is more like a holy place and not just a little corner of the sidewalk

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Volody going about his morning tasks

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The van arrives

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Rupantar records his last video

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Kaneenika tells Rijuta the story of how by coincidence she finished last night with 27 miles more to run

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She will finish around 2pm

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Start Day 52

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A beautiful morning in Queens

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Kaneenika ran 55 miles yesterday

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Just 27 more miles to run

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The Enthusiasm Awakeners honor her

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She has experienced so much these past 52 days

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Her team of Akbota, Irina, and Tanya have tirelessly been by her side.

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She is an incredible champion athlete

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The end of this road is so near

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“The last day always makes me a little sad.”

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Beside the fence

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Surasa completed 51 miles

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She finished the day with 2972 miles

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She wants to make it to at least 3000 miles before the end of the day

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She thanks the Enthusiasm  Awakeners for all their support

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She has had her own great team of support

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A remarkable athlete

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Surasa the great

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“You will all be back next year?……..Right?”

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Baladev did 51 miles.  He now has 2763 miles

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Beside the fence

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Sopan did 42 miles.

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He now has 2658 miles

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Yuri doing his daily lap

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Ananda-Lahari did 42 miles

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He now has 2565 miles

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He will keep moving forward until midnight

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“I bow and I bow and I bow to all of you.”

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From a distance

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Stutisheel did 46 miles

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The cooking crew has arrived

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He has 2560 miles and performs one last play with Vishakretu

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A bit of true green

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The Enthusiasm Awakeners celebrate their own great offering of transcendence

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Uddipan and Nipura have been serving at the race for almost the entire 52 days

“What stands out for me is the shear length of the race.  We have been here for 5 weeks and even that seems like a really long time.  It just astounds me how the runners can keep on going for 18 hours every day.  Then get up the next morning and do it again.”

“I know this is not an original thought.  But it has really hit me hard this year.  Just seeing them do it.  Particularly through the really bad heat wave which lasted nearly 2 weeks.  I am just in full admiration for the runners.”

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Nipura:  “I like to come and make everything nice for the runners.  To present the food so that they will want to eat it.  And just really be with the runners.  It gives me so much joy.  What I have picked up this year is the amount of joy that comes from this race.  But it is actually here.  Whenever the runners go by and we clap they have these huge big smiles on their faces.  They are really truly full of joy.”

“Sometimes I don’t see the big smiles on their faces.  Sometimes I see the gritted teeth and determination.  But underneath all that there is joy.  It is more a thing you feel than a thing that you talk about, but I get a sense of satisfaction from the runners as they go around and around.”

Click to Play:

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Nirjharini and Karnayati

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The 4 who have finished the race so far

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Uddipan and Nipura read the Daily Poem

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Click to Play:

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Enthusiasm Awakeners

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Click to Play:

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I always say that beauty is soul-deep. Beauty in the outer world is the total transformation of one’s human nature. Beauty in the inner world is the perfect realisation of one’s divine Reality.

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15 Comments to “August 9… To Beautify The World”

  1. Hridayinee says:

    Gratitude Utpal for your self offering quest of continually providing the world with inspiring and informative daily entries.

  2. Bigalita says:

    I will really miss my dash to the computer every morning right after meditation. It was a great way to start my day. From the depth of my heart a BIG THANK YOU to all the runners and each and every one of you. … lets keep the smiles in our hearts til next year…..

  3. Tirtha says:

    Thank you so very, very much Utpal for sharing so many details of the race with us and giving us the opportunity to be so much part of the race. I’m propably one of many who follow the race on a daily basis and who is receiving such a powerful spiritual impact from it. Joy, Oneness, Tears, Gratitude,…a most beautiful world inside a world, where prayers and smiles are most essential!!! Endless Gratitude to all the brave runners and helpers!!!

  4. Ambarish says:

    Utpal,
    Gratitude, gratitude for your insipation and dedication and sharing your well crafted gift of daily reporting. For certain, many tune in, top up and head off into their daily world with a better perspective. Those ripples will lap many a shore for times to come. Also, big thanks the organisers and their helpers.

  5. Doris says:

    I have told Kaneenika personally even before she ran this race, and I may repeat it here in public. When she runs, her face changes so beautifully, that she reminds me of a queen.

    Utpal, it may be true, that the real inner race and even the outer race cannot be captured in a blog, but I and many others are deeply cherishing your commitment (or should I say love for this race) and the capacity to bring it through your beautiful blog to the whole world for us to follow it daily.

    May we not wait until next year, but carry the beauty and inspiration we got inside our hearts.

    The Real Race always begins with each new day in our own respective lives. In our small ways we will try and continue doing what Kaneenika and all the other runners have done.

    It was at times heartbreaking to see their ways of dealing with pain and if I am really honest, I might have even stood in their way with my inner doubts, that such hurdles can be overcome.

    So here it is up to me to bow to their inner faith and selfless efforts to make our world a better place.

  6. Kuladhara says:

    Thank you Utpal very much for your hard work! I’ve read your report every day and got from it so much. You are really blessed to have such a special role.

  7. Tarani says:

    Thank you abundantly, runners, helpers, cheerers, and thank you, Utpal! I have been following the reports and this has given me a sense of being in that light, in that sweet energy of perseverance full of pain and delight at the same time! You have been lifting up my consciousness and making me feel one with Guru’s aspiration flow. Thank you, my true family!

  8. kamaneeya says:

    Thank you so much Utpal for your service and enthusiasm! Congratulation to you also, you did one more long race 🙂 Please continue bringing inspiring news to the world. You are doing such a great job! Perfection Journey became very important in our lives.

    Congratulations and gratitude to all runners and helpers! Special congratulation and gratitude to Kaneenika! I am so happy for her. Her smiles, happiness and gratitude touched me deeply. Supreme is so proud of her 🙂

  9. Sushuti says:

    Hi Utpal,
    you did again so so so well. But one thing you really forgot! When I was there, some nice interview was done with you as the interviewed person! Do you remember? You were supposed to share this interview with us as well as the other interviews! We are really curiuous how you became such a deep digging reporter. Be so kind and deliver this interview as your last interview this year. GRATITUDE, Utpal. I am sure that Guru is very proud of you.

  10. Hi Utpal, I would like to add my thanks to you for your daily insights into this amazing and unique event. I will miss it as a daily blog. Congratulations to all runners, helpers, lap recorders, referees, cooks and the whole army of volunteers who make it all ‘happen’. Maybe I will be part of it again next year 🙂

  11. Vandya says:

    Only two days passed and I miss The Race already… I didn’t want to repeat everything that other people have said so many times. But I have to because this Race shines such a special light into our lives, day in day out, year after year. Congratulation and gratitude to all the runners and servers that made this event happen again! Gratitude to our Guru Sri Chinmoy for giving us still so much on every level of our lives!

    And thank you Sushuti for mentioning that interview that Utpal forgot. So, if we need to make a petition for that interview to be posted, I vote for it!

    And thank you all again!

  12. Parvati says:

    Congratulations to everyone for fulfilling a Vision that many people would say was impossible. This Vision has created such an amazing, beautiful and inspiring world that pulls in many —from all capacities and all walks of lives (not just the incredible athletes and aspirants that run the race). Sri Chinmoy is undoubtedly proud of everyone who took even one step or read even one word or believed even for a moment that his Vision could become a reality. GRATITUDE to him and gratitude to you all!
    PS: Utpal’s interview IS posted as an audio recording on the “Lots of Prayers to Say and Miles to Run” article on 2 August. Go to under Utpal’s picture —about 1/2 through the article— and click “listen to play”.

  13. Grahak says:

    Thanks for making us feel all that much closer to he race and the runners. Every post is inspiring, fresh
    and a joy to read .

  14. Sharani says:

    Thanks for your dedication and sense of purpose to bear witness to this race every summer. You go the distance just as much as the runners themselves!

  15. nirmala says:

    Do not count the time you have lost,
    But count the time
    That is at your immediate disposal.
    The time that is before you
    Is more than enough
    To enter into Infinity’s Heart
    And Eternity’s Perfection-Delight.

    Sri Chinmoy, Transcendence-Perfection, Agni Press, 1977

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