There is no easy way to describe what function it is exactly that Parvati and her Enthusiasm Awakeners perform every day at the 3100 mile race. That this group of women collectively pull themselves out of beds at an ungodly hour to stand in front of an empty school and sing every day is a given. That they are always color coordinated and every day seem to have a lengthy repertoire of uplifting songs is understood. That they are always smiling and cheerful and…..yes, enthusiastic, is predictable. Let us not omit that weather conditions never ever play a spoiling role in their performances. This years heat and last year’s rain never cooked or dampened their appearances. That every day they bring special treats for the runners and cheer them on with more verve and soulfulness than any cheer leading squad any where in the country is just plain remarkable.
To call them a force of nature would be getting close to what they are but this description doesn’t even bring into play the sweet soulful simplicity of what they collectively are and what they do for the race itself. To ever not see and hear them on this block every morning at 6:30 as they have done for years would be to feel a great gaping hole in the very fabric of the race itself. It is not as though the runners could no longer be able to run, but without the Enthusiasm Awakeners the heart of the race would be in some way diminished of a great source of joy and of life.
By 7:30 they are all pretty much gone. Dispersed in every direction back into the world of jobs and responsibility. Places in which soulfulness and singing simple songs of devotion don’t really count for much. To the runners, for the hour they are here, they are a great surge of energy that can propel and sustain them, perhaps in some instances, through out the long day itself.
Many other people will come to the race throughout the day. Performing all manner of useful and practical functions. The Enthusiasm Awakeners have no practical function at all. Without this extraordinary group of women singers however the race would feel somehow empty, devoid of something incredibly significant yet one in which the full extent of their service is not so easily comprehended.
It is because they come and sing and inspire, and be inspired, and feed the great churning divine engine of the race that many of the miracles happen at all. It is in and through their voices, which are filled with joy and hope and inner promise that maybe the world beyond this block is blessed, just a little bit as well, with this miracle.
As a group they had been performing many of Sri Chinmoy’s English songs for years. They also had been singing at the race every morning on a regular basis. Every day while they were there, Sri Chinmoy used to drive up in his little red car early in the morning and teach them a new song.
On this day in 2007 however they received their name. Today, in a splash of color and gifts they are celebrating their anniversary. Parvati tells me how they had been asked on this day, 3 years ago, to come up at a function, later in the day, and learn a new song. It was the Enthusiasm Awakeners song. They sang it over and over and gradually the girls got the drift. This would be the name of the group from then on. She says, “and then T shirts appeared. And then it all came together that maybe this was our group’s name. So after many years of being a group this became our official name.”
The moon has yet to take its rest this morning. Perhaps it could not believe the wondrous events of the previous night and wants to glimpse, for just a moment more, if miracles can be sustained throughout today as well. Yesterday the improbable came true, when the struggling Dharbhasana rediscovered his legs and ran 70 miles. He stayed out under the smiling moon and ran 4 miles more than anyone else, for the first time in the race.
Start Day 45
Just 2 days ago it looked as if disappointment was going to be the theme of the closing chapters in Dharbhasana’s race this year. The divine author of his life story however seems to have had quite a different ending for this young man from New Zealand. With 513 long miles more to go and just 8 days to do it, it would be foolish to make premature celebration plans, as least not just yet. Clearly however he is running without hesitation, without fear, and perhaps without injury, but that is another story.
What seems to be gone for now is the walker struggling to find the road. What has been revealed, sometime on Sunday, is a warrior who is surcharged with enthusiasm for the great undertaking that he had taken on 44 days earlier. One who has turned away from the limiting nattering of his mind, decided not to accept the grumbling insistence of his body, and instead go straight to his heart and listen only to it.
“As you know it has been an absolute roller coaster ride with the hamstring injury. It has been 7 days limping, walking, trying to run, keep getting knocked back. Every time I tried to pick it up again, I would be knocked back again. For me the crunch time of completing 3100 miles in 52 days was just getting tighter and tighter. I had almost given up on the idea of getting to 3100 in 52 days. It seemed too unrealistic. So I had gone back to walking because I had been rehurt the day before. Then Arpan and Dipali came up side by side with me and started giving me a little pep talk with emergency. Basically this is the last key that unlocks the door. Go again, go again, don’t give up.”
The numbers pointed out that if he were to do 65 miles a day until the end he would just be able to slip through the fast closing door of the 52 day cut off. “They were saying, to simply offer what ever capacity that you have. What ever you are, just give it, and let the result be what it is. There was no more time to have fear or worry of what could be or what will be. Just go again.”
“It was exactly what I needed to hear. Dipali said run now, start now, take a step. I still felt the injury, and I said God, what are you doing to me. But I did. I just leaned forward and started running. That was about 2 o’clock on that Sunday. I had a really slow morning and I still managed to get 62 miles. It was a little shy of what I needed.”
Yesterday he decided not to hesitate whatsoever and just go for it again. “Give to my utmost capacity. I am not going to worry about the miles. I am not going to worry about anything. I am just going to do my absolute best, and see where it all washes up. Yesterday it happened to be 70 miles.”
“I am deeply grateful. It feels pretty miraculous in my own life.” For now he chooses to focus on the positive momentum that seems to be pulling him forward. Thoughts of injury and the dark days that seemed to be embracing him up until so recently he is simply rejecting. He was receptive and ready to find a new gear, to step through a door of opportunity that opened up at the precise moment he was most in need. That Dipali and Arpan happened by at that moment was just, “absolute timing. It was perfect.”
He had been frustrated he says so many times and trekked down so many useless paths that he was ready to surrender to anything that possessed even a glimmer of hope. He had tried everything up until then. Advice from others, massage, adjustments, creams, salves, taping ideas. He calls this advice as simply all kinds of physical “stuff.”
He acknowledges that he was approaching his dilemma as something he was confronting with all possible available outer tools. Ultimately it was revealed to him that it was in fact an inner battle that he had to somehow find the resources to push through. “It was definitely a fear that was gripping me. Every time it would come up it was fear that was enveloping me. I would be back into the pain and the limping. To me it was a physical reality that I felt. But we make it harder when we add all our human emotion, and doubt.”
“It got to the point where I had to surrender all that human limitation, and dare to have faith and dare to go. If we believe in our own self-transcendence task there can be no unreachable goal. If we dare to have faith and we dare to try, we can definitely transcend and go beyond anything. It is just a matter of applying it and never giving up.”
Complete Dharbhasana Interview
The Beloved Mother of all.
God’s Eye is
The Beloved Father of all
Poem of the Day
Composed by Sri Chinmoy
July 27th, 2007
recited by Baladev
“Stutisheel, I am so tired. “
“Asprihanal the Enthusiasm Awakeners can help all the tired people in the world, just look at them.”
tire falls off. “Wow, all my tiredness is gone.”
According to Hindu mythology, Ganesh and his brother Karteek decided to have a race around the world. Karteek set off quickly. The elephant God realized that his mother, ‘Parvati’ embodied the world and so ran around her.
There were several skits today in honor of the Enthusiasm Awakeners. Surasa had a recitation.
And a young married couple made an appearance. A Swiss army wife was making up her mind.
Earlier in the morning Pushkar wanted to thank ‘Mountain Silence,’ for a shirt they had sent. Now he has as well received a new one, as all the runners have, from Enthusiasm Awakeners. “It is a beautiful gift.”
The setting sun is peaceful,
Song of the day composed by Sri Chinmoy
July 27th, 2007
Performed by Enthusiasm Awakeners
If you have the capacity
To please God for one day,
Then, without fail,
You have the capacity
To please Him always.
Excerpt from Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 98 by Sri Chinmoy