Ever since humanity was able to recognize a divine existence within themselves they have been trying to seek it out, and bring it forth from within. It is never easy to establish a constant inner oneness with this divinity, as so much of our outer nature tries to deny and negate even the very existence of this part of us that lies within. The very nature of our bodies and minds is to only to accept physical lethargy and try and ride the mental merry go round that really leads us nowhere.
Sometimes most powerfully, the inner in us breaks through and shows us the way for our entire being to be transformed and made one. In practically all religions the call to pilgrimage is part and parcel of this transformation process. The journey will take you to a sacred spot in which a spark of consciousness can be lit and we will feel our connection to our soul’s reality on all planes.
Pushkar one day during the race had a powerful experience in which he no longer saw himself running around and around a block but instead on a sacred pilgrimage in with he was always moving forward. “Something entered into me. It was much easier to accept. Every step I do brings me closer. On that day I did my best. I could not do more.” Today that journey will come to a close, at least for this year.
“I am able to complete this unimaginable distance only because of God’s boundless compassion, affection, and concern.” He is wearing a special shirt that he has only worn once before. The only other time he wore it was when he finished the race last year. The previous year when he did not complete the race he did not wear it. On the back it says, “Joy Guru…27)
He will be slower by more than a day from last year but he is not disappointed by this at all. He does not believe that the heat bothered him as much as some of the others but suspects that it may have indirectly affected his digestive problems. As a whole he has learned a lot from being here the 2 previous summers and feels more disciplined and independent.
He spoke recently about how happy he was to be able to continue to run after Asprihanal finished 2 days ago. He felt that his own finish would likely be a mixture of sadness and joy. “A smiling eye will definitely come forward.” He confesses that already this morning the crying eye was present when he was filled with overwhelming gratitude that he was able to be here and complete the journey.
“I would love to go for ever and ever but this is just a part of it. Another part says, “let us reach the finish line and take a little rest,” and he laughs. I suggest that if he wants to run for ever and ever he just needs to come back every year and run. “If the outer circumstances allow it, I will definitely be here. It is the most beautiful thing I can do on earth. What ever you do is the right thing here. If you come you move, move, move. Everything you do is in God’s own way done.”
This morning Baladev sits next to Pushkar who is going to finish the race late this afternoon. He starts the day with 2714 miles and he plans to run right up until midnight on Tuesday. For days now, because of a sore Achilles he has only been able to walk. He remains cheerful but it still has to be hard. Hard to see your cherished goal remain 300 miles beyond your reach. Instead, focus only on what you have attained inside. The poise and courage that was able to sustain you for 52 days.
Pushkar is meticulous in the way he prepares his feet every morning. There is only 40 miles more to go but he takes his time and does it carefully.
Ananda-Lahari also will not complete 3100 miles. He starts the day as well with 2757 and plans to run until midnight tomorrow. The 52 day cut off is not a something unexpected. Everyone knew it from the start so it is no surprise to anyone. Yet somehow 52 days can go so quickly and the miles do not come fast enough.
Start Day 51
The heart is the sufferer.
The soul is the sympathizer.
God is the ultimate curer.
Poem of the Day
written by Sri Chinmoy
Aug. 2nd, 2007
Nisanga recites the poem this morning and is one who has spent countless hours here in the morning helping.
He is a perfect example of the many selfless and dedicated people who have helped keep the runners going for 52 days.
Purna-Samarpan and Dharbhasana are running together this morning and I ask them to recall a pivotal conversation that had taken place between the 2 of them about a month earlier. They of course had no recollection. “What were we talking about?”
The gist of their conversation was that they were both going to have to run harder in order to have any chance of finishing. Purna-Samarpan remembers and adds, “well somebody picked up the pace I would have to say,” referring to Dharbhasana who is almost certain of finishing before the cut off. Laughter by all.
“I guess you know what you have to do, to get to where you have to get.” Dharbhasana
“Whatever that goal is you stick with it. Or attempt to. I remember several attempt to get going and get knocked back again. I think we are both extremely happy with the turn out.”
“I did some calculating actually the day before yesterday when I was walking.”Purna-Samarpan
“I discovered that I could increase my mileage from last year to this year by 12% or something, so I was quite happy. Even though I wont be able to reach 3100, I decided I would be very happy with my performance.” He mentions that he takes less than 4 hours to run a marathon. Yet he admires like anything those who run it and stay out there on the course for 6 and 7 hours. “It is even more exhausting in my perspective.”
Dharbhasana adds that they appreciate those who have stayed on in the race and taken as many as 60 days to complete the distance. “For them they are real warriors. Because for them they are doing the same thing that Asprihanal does finishing early. But they are here every single day after, going on and on and on.”
“I am really happy that I am stopping at 2700, it is a nice number. It is a lot of progress in comparison to last year. And you know, it is a good feeling for the future. It is still quite far I would say. I am very happy that the time is not extended. Otherwise I would be out here for another week or something.”
“It is also very exhausting not only for us but for the cooks, for the counters, and the organizers. It is just getting really exhausting for every body. It is a nice feeling to be on the 2nd last day. Whatever the mileage is it is quite an achievement, and I am quite happy that Dharbhasana is making it to the finish line. It was so nice because he put in so much determination and effort. It was just great to see that it was possible.”
Purna-Samarpan and Dharbhasana Interview
Surasa starts the day with just 58 more miles of running to reach 2700. She plans of simply going on until there is no time left to run.
Today Atmavir sits for the first morning in 50 days. He listens to the Enthusiasm Awakeners, who he has appreciated so much. This morning they turn and offer their appreciation of him.
Pushkar finished his journey today in a time of 50 days, 9 hours, 34 minutes, and 24 seconds.
Photo by Jowan
O how can I?
My life is still tinged
with the desire-hunger-dye.
composed by Sri Chinmoy August 2, 2007
To love God Unconditionally
is to be
on the right track.
composed by Sri Chinmoy August 2,2006
O every step along the progress-road
Quickly lightens my heavy bondage-load.
Excerpt from Sail My Heartbeat Sail, Part 2 by Sri Chinmoy