He is a most unlikely looking runner on this damp Sunday afternoon. A light rain has just begun to fall and it is creating dark spots on his crisp blue shirt. He does not run fast or far in his shiny dark shoes, but he is clearly eager to be part of this wondrous event. He could have stood quietly on the sidewalk and waved, and shook hands, but Mr. Shamsul Haq, the ex Consul General of Bangladesh felt the spirit pull him and he just had to run.
“I have known about this event for the past 2 years,” he says. He had been part of the ceremony at the end of the race last year and once before he had been part of the ceremonies for one of the shorter races. Of these events he says, “we win ourselves. By running this race you discover your power. A very inspiring event.”
“This is a very extraordinary event, and I have come here to reconnect with such a great leader. (Sri Chinmoy) A great son of the soil of Bangladesh. I have come as a diplomat. I believe that Sri Chinmoy is a great source of soft power. His teachings, his meditation, his self-transcendence race, his music, his sayings, his speeches, everything are so inspiring. They can really inspire the young minds of Bangladesh.
He is soon about to return once again to his country. He hopes to introduce, “Sri Chinmoy’s inspiring music to the Bangladeshi people and also his meditation, to the school system in Bangladesh. I will advise the policy makers, to think, and implement that idea. I am a follower of Sri Chinmoy as well.”
Interview with Mr. Shamsul Haq (ex Consul General of Bangladesh)
Sunday afternoon would at last see the tide turned on an endless long hot summer. This is not to say that it is over, far from it. We have yet to see the beginning of August and the steamy delights it has to offer but at least for now the afternoon is cool. It is a light and blessingful rain that restores a freshness and lightness to the neighborhood that have been absent for days if not weeks.
A curious coincidence is the appearance of 2 packs of 3 runners out running the course together.
Pranjal passes the 2800 mile mark and as he has done each time the centuries tick by he takes no notice whatsoever.
Temporarily I notice Pushkar and Purna-Samarpan behind bars. Then again it could be the photographer who is behind the bars. They are practicing some unusual stretching exercises on cool fresh afternoon when nobody seems to be much in a hurry.
“This is the craziest of them all.” There are an immeasurable number of jokes about Mothers in law, but late on Sunday when I see Dharbhasana walking the course with his Mother in Law Waverly there is nothing funny about it at all.
I have mischievously provoked her above mentioned response, as to whether her son in law has ever done anything crazier than this. She however is joking, and within moments it become apparent from this woman who flew overnight from the far West Coast of Canada, that she is not just a firm supporter of her son in law’s activities, she is also very inspired by the race and all it entails as well. “He is an inspiration to me. Just for me in my own personal life I believe more is possible. Just by watching him.”
“It is hard to get your mind around something like this, that it is even possible. But I know Dharbhasana and I know he challenges himself, and pushes past limitations, left, right, and center. so coming here just to be a part of it, gives me a really good feeling.”
Of course her daughter and grand daughter are here as well and it is an unusual but still a warm family gathering. She says, “I knew it was going to happen quite a while ago. You know that it is there but you don’t think to much of it. Then all of a sudden they are here, and they have started. Then it is like wow. Then it becomes a reality.”
She says that it struck home with her in very practical way when she was driving with some friends in British Columbia, where she is from and saw a road sign for a town that was 93 kilometers away. It really impressed upon her that this was the kind of distance that Dharbhasana was running every single day, “and I am driving it. That was pretty impressive.”
For her this event, so far from her Canadian home was something very real for her before she even made it here. One day recently she even felt as though she needed to go out and run herself. “I am finding more and more inspiration all the time, and all my friends back home are very supportive of what Dharbhasana is doing. It is inspiring a lot of people.”
Start Day 44
The bright freshness of Sunday carried over into Monday. The night was dry and clear, and what heat the earth held, rose up and was dissipated into the night sky. It is such a morning, when it is miraculously almost necessary to wear a jacket, though later in the day the temperature will rise on back upwards.
It is impossible to know what any of them are thinking here. If Atmavir is counting down his days left on the course he doesn’t need many fingers to do it now. The only thing close behind him now is his shadow.
Poem of the Day
Written by Sri Chinmoy
July 26th 2007
Recited by Ananda-Lahari
“I am running according to my capacity.” I had thought that I had observed that Ananda-Lahri was running stronger over the past 2 days. He burst my bubble when he states that he actually did 11 laps less yesterday than he usually does each day.
“I feel very good, and I walked all day yesterday, but with intensity actually. What I could I did. Everything is perfect. There is no problem at all.”
He has yet to feel any anticipation for the immanent approach of the end of the race. “There are still many days ahead.” He seems to be running strongly today after several days of walking. “For me I do not think of the end of the race.”
This morning is cool and he tells me that the long string of hot nights made it hard for him to get a good rest. He feels that when it comes to running it is all entirely up to God’s will. “I fully depend on God’s grace. So I don’t blame the weather for my slow race. It just happened.”
“There are always parts when I don’t feel so happy, but this is part of life. I am trying to be happy all the time. It is a very good game.” He says that when he has a morning when he is in pain or in a complaining mood he will realize later, “O I could have had such a nice morning. I could have at least enjoyed the sky, or that I am moving at least. It helps me to concentrate on the right things. But I am happy yes. “
“We are God’s children. We are God’s chosen children. Life is good and beautiful. We just have to learn to see it. To realize it. To be grateful for everything.”
Beautiful music and beautiful flowers. Kodanda serenades the runners and everyone else for that matter. Sanyogita, one of many tends to all the little gardens.
never dies, never dies.
In the sky of bliss it flies,
Song Composed by Sri Chinmoy
Performed by Enthusiasm Awakeners.
Not only the visible war
But also the invisible war,
We need only one thing:
Excerpt from Peace-Blossom-Fragrance, Part 2 by Sri Chinmoy