It is his last full day on the course. At his present rate, most likely sometime on Thursday afternoon Asprihanal will stride across the line and be declared the winner of this years 3100 mile race. He starts the day with just 95 miles more to go. A number, that for most of us, who are even fairly good runners would seem pretty intimidated, if not terrified by. Yet for Asprihanal it will be a mere victory lap.
He will not break any records. Measured up against all the other times he has run the race it just might even be his slowest race. He did however miss a full day of running due to illness. The true measure of his greatness however cannot ever be calculated by we who merely stand and gaze out from the sidelines. It is also almost impossible to even count up all the miles he has run all together in competition. The only thing which is certain, is that after he runs across the line here tomorrow he will have completed this race for the 10th time. Meaning that he has run 31,000 miles around this little block in Queens.
This slight gentle Finnish man is not one for facts and figures. He would not likely ever spout off his statistics or accomplishments even if he remembered them all. He is not a self promoter or one who needs fame or attention. Though certainly he has performed beyond the measure of most mortals in this world of ours, and could rightfully be declared a real and rightful hero. He simply has run so far and so often because he must. Not to please the media, not to please the record keepers, but to please the heart within him that has called him forth to come and run here again and again.
As he goes about his first few laps today he checks the sheet so see how his friends have done the previous day. He takes his time and reads each column and rejoices when the numbers are big and sounds a little sad when the numbers are small. They are his family. They will cluster by the line when he crosses and rejoice in his victory. In turn as each of them come home he will be there for them as well.
We don’t know for sure if he will return again and run here once more. 10 summers here in Queens is a lot of time and a lot of miles. In fact, if you added it all up together he may have spent more than a year of his life here running around and around this block. In about a week he will go back home to Finland where he will not have to ever worry about the heat and humidity. But I suspect there is a deep and soulful portion of himself that will always look upon this little hard endless path as his home as well.
In microscopic repetitive detail he has seen every molecular aspect and dimension of this block. But like the grand journey of life itself there is always the next corner to turn, and the next new discovery to be revealed. The ultimate goal of self-transcendence is never reached by those who sleep and wishfully think of doing. Perfection is only for those who do and those who allow themselves to become.
Yesterday Ananda-Lahari seemed to suffer from some heat stroke. It happened early in the afternoon and it looks as though he might not have been drinking enough fluids. Rupantar cautions him this morning to take it easy and to be careful.
Baladev searches through the numbers.
Pushkar gets some encouragement this morning from another great Swiss runner Shashanka.
Galaya should be the next to finish the race late tomorrow night.
Start Day 46
Yesterday was the anniversary of Parvati’s Enthusiasm Awakeners group. I had a chance to say a few things about how significant the role of the group plays in the great scheme of the race. Today I wanted to share some of the feelings of the those who they really sing for, the runners.
“Enthusiasm and determination, that they come every morning, to sing and this is unbelievable. Because they have their own daily program. They go to work and still they are coming every day and sing, and this is really inspiring. Yes there is eagerness. Yes there is cheerfulness.
“They are the ones that keep us going, and give us enthusiasm which is very important.” He relates a skit he performed yesterday in which they were able to take away all his tiredness.
“I treasure them every year more and more. For me they are giving to us their heart and love, and affection. I am really grateful that they are coming every single day. Offering so beautiful songs.”
“It is good help that they are here. I think that without the Enthusiasm Awakeners group this race doesn’t exist. Because they are one important part of this race. Because we are doing this race not just for us, but for the world. This is why we are here.”
“It is definitely one of the highlights. It is super nice to be lifted. I think everybody in the morning when you get here feel pretty exhausted and tired and fatigued. It takes a few laps to get warmed up. Everybody is just going through the paces. Waking their bodies up, waking their minds up. And the Enthusiasm Awakeners turn up full of life and vitality. Clapping and singing, it is fantastic. Just goes straight to the heart and heaps of smiles. Obviously if we do a little play or skit for them it brings it to life more as well, for us. They are awesome, actually amazing, and they are so generous and kind, with their offerings of food, and all the gifts they gave on their anniversary.”
He tells me how much he is looking forward to finishing so that he can sit beside them in the morning and hear their entire program. “For me it is the best time when they come from 6:30 to to 7:15. Because when you run you miss parts. I am really waiting for Friday.”
“First I admire that they are coming here every morning. It is not even 7 and they are already here. It is just amazing. They are always giving some wakeup.”
“It is what their name means. It is really a blessing every morning they come. I like Sri Chinmoy’s English songs very much. They are definitely like mantras. It is always a good start in the morning. They are always cheerful and creative, every day something new. We actually got gifts because it was their birthday. It was very nice. I like them a lot.”
“Each day they are coming and singing. It is a nice thing. (she performed in a skit yesterday) I just wanted to say thank you to them. They have to get up so early each day to come here, for such a long time. Also for them it is not easy.”
“They are always very inspiring for me. They show me that they are really a part of the race. This outer oneness gives me so much tremendous joy. I feel like they are really here. I treasure them deeply. They come every day and sing for us, and be a part of the race. For me this is so great a help. Somehow they touch something in my inner being, and it just overwhelms me.”
Ultimately God’s Justice
Surrenders to God’s Compassion
Poem of the Day written by Sri Chinmoy
July 28th 2007
I am so fortunate.
God’s heart and my heart
Song composed by Sri Chinmoy
Performed by Enthusiasm Awakeners
Be not afraid
To say yes
When the entire world
Wants you to be
Part and parcel of it.
Excerpt from Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 22 by Sri Chinmoy
3 responses to “Be A Part Of The Race”
on March 27, 1958, Eleanor Roosevelt said this:
“Where after all do universal human rights begin? In small places, closes to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person: The neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have
meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”
—-he will have completed this race for the 10th time. Meaning that he has run 31,000 miles around this little block in Queens..- I value it enormously, run closes to home.
….Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”
CITIZENS OF MY WORLD
Promise was a citizen
Of my previous world.
Hope is a citizen
Of my present world.
God-Compassion and self-confidence
Will be the citizens of my future world.
Excerpt from Transcendence-Perfection by Sri Chinmoy
The word citizen was missing! I just listened to the interview with Asprihanal once more.
I discovered the little parks of light on the orange shirt. Two times you see the golden leafy petals of the Flower of Life motive and there are also ones in a non visible way. There is a temple or even a pyramid on Mount Kailash, you can visit only once a year because of ice and snow and is nothing else in it than the Flower of Life.