July 24 Coming Out of a Dream

pur2He walked into the Smile of the Beyond restaurant this afternoon and simply sat down like any other customer.  At first I was shocked just to see him in this much different world from the one that he had inhabited for the past 40 days, 18 hours a day.  It was not unexpected entirely, but still to see Purna-Samarpan there in a casual place where people ate vegi burgers, read newspapers, and generally watched the world go by he appeared at first to be out of place.

It seemed for me at least like a collision of worlds was taking place.  The world of  divine champions was now suddenly mixing with the mundane material world.

He looked happy and relaxed, and if I am in shock to see him, it is clear that he is far from being in tune with my world of blue walls and air conditioning.  He looks as though a large part of his being is still running around Thomas Edison High school pursuing the Everest of self transcendence.  He is sitting with a few friends and you can tell that this kind of unhurried casualness is something he has not had for a very long time.

pur4He says that in many ways just being there every morning for 40 days straight at 6am was a victory.  His back problem, that seems to involve a disc in his lower spine refuses to co-operate.  It creates pain and numbness and has made running impossible and even walking tedious and difficult.  By 9:30 this morning he knew it was time to say enough for this year.  He probably shouldn’t even have showed up at 6 and yet he did.  The alarm went off as usual and the inner call to come and stand once more on the line was just too strong to resist.

Pradhan will come again and lessen but not remove the pain.  It is a condition that promises no easy fix but with time and rest will sort itself out.  He tells me that he thinks his final mileage was 1885 miles.  It is a long way from 3100 but certainly many many more miles than the 305 miles which was the greatest distance he had previously run in a 6 day race.  His mood is light and he jokes that he has lost weight and gotten a tan over the past 40 days.  Then for a moment you can see his eyes drift back to where he was just a short while earlier.  He says, “It is like coming out of a dream.”

Picture by Shraddha April 1979

Picture by Shraddha April 1979

My Supreme Lord,

I shall not accept any defeat,

Not because my ego-life

Cannot accept defeat,

But because Your transcendental Will

Does not want me ever to accept defeat on earth.

It is Your Will that You are executing

In and through me,

Your dauntless instrument.

Excerpt from Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 59 by SriChinmoy.

p bikeMany might not have been surprised if Purna-Samarpan had not shown up this morning.  Yesterday he completed just a little more than 8 miles.  His physical problems were not going away and even his greatly amended goal of 2700 was harshly unattainable.  He is aware that he is not alone, that others have stood up to the 3100 only to be knocked down by the sheer power of its enormity.

rupantar pHe is aware that both newcomers last year, Pavol and Pushkar, were humbled, but not broken by the 3100.  They have returned this year almost certain to succeed, just as he surely will next year.  In the ensuing year he will reveal uncharted and unrevealed strengths within, and find a way to push and prod his body across the entire vast 3100 mile landscape.

He talks with Rupantar before the start but it is clear that it is his decision and his alone what he should do and when he should do it.





At the starting line this morning I go off with him on his first couple of slow loops.  The light is soft at this time of the morning and the grass is still damp from yesterday’s rain.  It glistens in the golden light.  He talks about how surprised he was to find so much beauty here on the course.  He points to a spot in particular where he enjoys a particularly open and dramatic view of the sky.  He tells me at this moment his back is free of pain. For the moment he does not know what will come next. He just knows that soon all will be revealed and his questions and doubt will vanish. (A sharp pain will soon come with its unequivocal definitive answer)

purnaHe confirms that he has been consistently positive and upbeat over his entire time here.  “Of course I thought I could run more before I came, and of course I had several problems that prevented me from doing that.   I was happy most of the time.  I think I did 3000km which is definitely a lot.”  It was also clear early on that the 3100 miles was unattainable this year,  “it was just about trying to do as much miles as possible.”

He says he was told by many that the first race is always very hard.  “Even Madhupran told me that he was defeated by Suprabha in his first race.  He spoke very highly of her.  For that and for other reasons it was very humbling for him he told me.  And he is the world record holder in this race.  It is not an easy race.  It really made me humble.  Also to accept there are some things you just cannot influence.  Some things are out of your control.”

pur and vladyThere is a moment during our walk when Vlady comes up softly behind us.  His face is all compassion and concern for Purna-Samarpan.  He says not a word but in silence reaches out and gives a soft and caring toduch to his shoulder.  There will be similar moments from all his fellow runners during the short time he remains.

When talking about the deep inner aspects of the race he describes times when, as he says, “I really felt free.” He says it is hard to explain to most people who would not be able to identify with this quality, when by all appearances, the runners here do not look on the surface to be free at all.  He says, “I really felt free here when running and walking.  Such a great experience.  It is a feeling of inner freedom and inner peace.  It really helped me.”    Purna-Samarpan interview

pavol3pranjal ball3Pavol is inspired from time to time to write poems.  Yesterday he gave me this one.Pavol poem

Pranjal yesterday set an unverified new benchmark in finding handballs.  He found two.  They were not I might mention actually on the course.  He had to go through the fence, and into the handball court.  And yes he ran 63 miles in addition to that.

duck 2pills2Also a new record was set today when it comes to Grahak’s skits.  He performed two for Parvati and her singers.  One, just in case you are curious involved Asprihanal pretending to be a Chinese duck.  He seems to specialize in bird parts. skit 1

The other involved Grahak being a doctor and prescribing pills to Asprihanal.  skit 2


O bird of Time,

When were you born?

O bird of Life,

Where were you born?

O bird of Light,

How were you born?

O bird of Night,

Why were you born?

O Bird of Perfection,

Will you ever be born?

Excerpt from The Golden Boat, Part 11 by Sri Chinmoy.

pur16parvati poem 1Parvati’s group

flowerYou know what your dream-life is,

But you know not what your reality-life is.

Your dream-life is an assuring life

of promise,

A life of joy.

Your reality-life is a God-life

of love-perfection

And oneness-satisfaction on earth.

Therefore, stay not always in the dream-life.

Come out.

Embrace the reality-life.

Excerpt from When God-Love Descends by Sri Chinmoy.

One Comments to “July 24 Coming Out of a Dream”

  1. nirmala says:

    Sometimes we need a break.
    Sometimes we need silence,
    Sometimes we need just a fresh breeze
    and a comfortable bed.
    Sometimes we need nothing else.
    We just need a little peace.
    No thoughts.
    No worries.
    Just some peace.

    Anyone who has ever gone to this wonderful blog, knows that it’s worth to read this pages. Excellent Utpal.

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