Carried Through It All

For 7 days I lived in a different world.  For 7 days I was in a place without oppressive heat, without pain, nor with discomfort of any kind.  It was a place where my clothes were always clean and showers could be taken at any time of the day.  The alarm clock never rang and I never heard any words spoken about suffering and hardship.

For 7 days I became part and parcel of the greater world as we all know it and moved about in drowsy silken comfort.  It was an almost dreamlike state and yet there were many times when I could still feel the powerful reach and pull of the 3100.

In the mornings I would run on this path that was created from an abandoned rail way line.  It lead for miles out of a small Canadian town where I was staying.  For most of the way it ran beneath cool trees, and the air, though sometimes hot was never heavy.  The path was made from gravel and was so inviting you could almost imagine running barefoot upon it.   I am sure there are many places in this world of ours equally as beautiful.  Paths that can compel one to follow and see which grand vista opens up in front of you around each new unexplored shady corner.

There were also many times when the call of the race was just so powerful that I could almost still feel the hard concrete under my feet even though I ran along on a soft path.  Now of course I am back home.  Back to the place which has a reality and divinity far more inviting and far more beautiful and fulfilling than where I was for those brief 7 days.

For me the escape was a unique opportunity to appreciate even more the self transcendence race and respect the efforts and sacrifice of the 11.  How many would not prefer to run under these cool green trees along a gentle path.  To enjoy tranquility over hardship, to accept relaxation over fatigue, to be able to rest easy instead of having an endless hard road of constant unyielding movement in front of you.

The race is so richly unique in what is.  An almost impossible struggle to reach a goal that can only be fully experienced within and almost never comprehended externally.  A divine opportunity to make a pilgrimage to a destination beyond our sight and certainly beyond our mind, yet somehow reachable only by our heart’s oneness.  You may never know if or when you will even arrive, and certainly no magic gate swings open even if and when you complete the distance.  It is a profound life journey in which so few are equipped and brave enough to take and yet they still do.

It is in this incomprehensible act of running 18 hours a day for 3100 miles that the runners here defy human logic and defy all the sane precepts of life.  The only way they can do this is simply because they have consciously chosen not to listen to the mind’s common sense at all.

A more powerful inner voice commands and they are somehow able to listen and to obey. It is within them just as it is within us as well.

My Lord do you ever think of me?

What else do I do?

What else can I do?

“It is beautiful,” Dharbhasana has just recited the poem of the day.  “I guess it shows that creator and creation are the same thing.  That we are not separate from the ultimate reality.  We are always being cared for and concerned for.  It is apparent in this race at times when you think you are struggling.  You still continue and carry on and know, that you are being carried through it all.  The Supreme’s concern and compassion, care, love, and blessings, are there all the time, constant and continual.”

Prayer of the Day

Now, with just 17 days of running left,the numbers up on the board tell much clearer stories.  Things can change, but as it is now those who are on the left hand board should make the cut off.  For those on the right their destiny is much less certain.  Each day Rupantar, like the runners themselves scan the daily running totals.  The top 3 runners are now extremely close.  A twinkle in a baby’s eye separates them.  And yet the incredible steamy cascade of the heat wave rumbles on.  In the forecast there is no day, between now and the distant horizon, which predicts a high of less than 90.  The weather has been relentless.  It has no friends here.

Start Day 35

One of the great mysteries that niggled at me while I was away was, what was happening to Asprihanal.  Almost from the day I left he seemed to be not quite recovered from his illness.  His mileage dipped and he was nowhere near his last year average of 70 miles a day.

For 8 days he has been behind Pranjal who has been moving with almost metronome efficiency.  2 days ago his brother Antaraloy came to support him and it seems to already have helped him.

“I was sick for a while,” says Asprihanal when asked about his performance over the past week.  “Now I have been a couple of days good.” In fact yesterday he ran 70 miles.  (This on once again a very hot and humid day)”It felt very good.  It was the first day in a long time that I didn’t have diarrhea.  Now, no bad feelings in my stomach.  Yesterday I was totally normal.  Which is good.”

“It has been really hot.  My problems started after it was 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  That is when I got sick.”  Which is about 10 days ago.  “Now we have had quite a few good days.”  In the last week he managed to be over 60 miles nearly every day.

The day starts with Pranjal just a mile ahead.  Not too long into the morning Asprihanal manages to pass him but clearly there is no rivalry here.  He says of Pranjal, “His way of running is the most inspiring of all, because he takes it very seriously.  He runs always like he is giving his all.  It is the best style.  He only takes one break a day.  He runs to 12 o’clock every night.  So he has the right spirit.  Absolutely he is the most inspiring of all the ways of doing it.  He doesn’t care what the temperature or the weather is.  He always goes all out.”

His own goal is to try and get back to running 70 miles every day.  He left the course at 11:45 last night and 11:30 the night before that.  “But I might stay to 12 now.  I take 3x 20 minute breaks a day….and I am lazy.” (A statement impossible to believe)

Complete Asprihanal interview

“For sure he is the best here.”  Pranjal is generous in his praise of Asprihanal.  No competition, as most of us define it, exists here.  It is brother encouraging brother.  The two of them, like all who run here cannot allow negativity to reach them.  The moment you feel dark thoughts about another they will only come and haunt your own performance.

“This year he had a little bit of a hard time.  He is a very nice guy, I like him.  He is funny always.  He is cheerful all of the time.”

“Every day for me is like a new race.  I am not really thinking about any other day.  I only think about how to do the best possible miles.    I don’t know but this works for me.   To think about the things I cannot change or what will come tomorrow.  Things I cannot change I am not thinking about that.”

“Sometimes you have a bad day, so forget it.”  He says that this is not something he learned over time.  From the very first time he ran he says he only tried to focus on the day and to give all that he had and not worry about the next one or what happened the day before.

“I am not really good in heat.  My body is not really perfect for this kind of thing.  I am just too big probably.”

What I had not seen anytime in the first 4 weeks was any rain whatsoever.  He mentions that during the past week thunderstorms came a couple of times.  He had purchased some expensive waterproof socks for just such an event and describes them as, “absolutely useless.”  This is a view he adds that 3 other of the runners here hold, who also bought them.  “They are too expensive and they don’t work.”

As we run he points to the grass beside the front of the school which is completely brown and dry.  Only on the shady side is the grass even green at all.  The heat has been so intense that the moisture just quickly evaporates almost as soon as it hits the ground.  He points to a couple of bushes that were cut down by the door of the school because they had died in the intense hot dry conditions.

It is not even 7 am and already he is soaked.  He looks almost as wet as someone who has just climbed out of the sea.  It is hard to imagine how much he has to drink throughout the course of the day.  Later, while I am with another runner, he points to Pranjal and says, that like the leader in the Tour de France, he is wearing the yellow jersey. Pranjal doesn’t care about this at all.

Complete Pranjal interview

My Lord is mine,

My Lord is mine,

My Lord is mine!

In His Eye,

In His Heart and

at His Feet I Shine.

Song of the day composed by Sri Chinmoy

Performed by Enthusiasm Awakeners

My Lord is Mine

When we see the Truth through the eye of Light, we see the Truth in its eternal height and in its universal length and breadth. When we see the Light through the eye of Truth, we are transported to our original height, the realm of Silence, and we are carried into the world of sound to sing the song of God’s perpetual journey in and through us.

Excerpt from Fortune Philosophy by Sri Chinmoy

No Comments.

Leave a Reply