This morning Igor makes a small joke with Sarvagata. This marvelous young runner, from Vinnitsa Ukraine, is is looking at the daily lap sheet report and points out to his friend, “you only made 99 laps yesterday.”
It is just part and parcel of the quiet and gentle humor that is Igor. Sarvagata of course had no reason to run even one additional lap yesterday. For on that day he completed his journey. In the process setting a record for first time runners of the 3100.
Tomorrow perhaps another runner will also be able to make a joke about Igor’s laps, for most certainly they will be much less then his friend Sarvagata. Today of course, after he completes just 12 miles more, his race will also be over, and he will be the second finisher of the Self Transcendence 3100 mile race.
A few hours later, when he at last has taken his final step and he felt the ribbon of the finish line embrace his chest. I ask, are you overwhelmed? “It is not overwhelming. My consciousness is so spread out that I can’t join it together.”
He has tremendous experience in multi day running, I ask if any other race can compare to this. “This race is so big that I cannot compare it to any other. My mind cannot compare it to anything else.”
When he finished his race, he gave no speech, made no grand gestures of celebration, other than to offer up a sweet and humble smile. Yet it was within that smile that there was a brilliance and a brightness that was not overshadowed by the morning sun itself beaming through the canopy of trees. He had only one request, that Sri Chinmoy’s song, My Own Gratitude Heart, be sung. Those who were there to celebrate his victory obliged. I ask him why he asked for it, and he says, “I heard it inside myself all morning.”
He has received tremendous support from many people since his race began. “The main help comes from within. But of course this all would not be possible without the help of people as well.”
He is going to remain in New York until the end of August celebrations. Will returning to Vinnitsa after all this be a bit of shock? “It will not be a shock to return home. A part of me is always there.” It was also only due to the sacrifice and support of his co workers at the enterprise he works called Promise Joy that also made it all possible.
A man of few words, but whose tireless legs somehow illustrated more clearly just who and what he was. Also it was in his calm, yet relentless pace, that he conveyed his own unique and personal message of self transcendence.
For now he does no need to run another step, at least for now. It is with his smile that he now communicates so much more. He adds just one last thought. “This morning was very unusual. I had inner joy beaming out from within me all the time.”
Click to play interview….Thanks for translation (Gagana)[audio:http://perfectionjourney.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/igor-interview.mp3|titles=igor interview]
In the morning Igor arrives already hearing the whispers of delight from the finish line. Stutisheel who has been there many times before embraces him. Sarvagata has just a few more laps to make 5,000km.
Last night many people showed up for the finish and celebration of Sarvagata’a victory. Just a few who make it all possible are those on the sidelines. Anudvega with massage and Dr. Mitch Proffman for his great chiropractic services. He also predicted early on a Sarvagata victory. Reminding me that he used the expression, ‘Dark Horse,’ for Sarvagata weeks earlier.
Yesterday also brought the surprise reappearance of Grahak, a veteran of the race. It doesn’t take him long to be at home.
“The first word that comes into my mind is outstanding.” This morning it is as though Sarvagata is running his victory lap, though due to the pain in his ankle it is mostly walking. Beside him is his friend and helper Dimitry, who also gave very much support to Igor as well.
He also adds, “Surprising, amazing, all those good words that would describe his unparalleled, unbelievable job that he has done. There is no exaggeration. So, I cannot really describe it. I am really really grateful.”
I tell Dimitry that Sarvagata’s sister told me that Dimitry was such a good helper he could easily give master classes in the art. He laughs and says, “In fact this race is a great gift from the Supreme to me. It was aspiration and inspiration of the fullness of life this race.”
“Even though I clearly saw that Sarvagata finished the race, I still don’t see how it is possible for anyone to do it. When you look at the runners every day. You can start to look at what you do as just another regular job.”
“But when you start to really think about it. Then you realize what is really happening. It is so amazing your mind simply stops. Even being here every day right here I understand that it is impossible to do. At this moment I see the runners only as divine heroes.”
No moment of the race was more profound than any other he says. Of it all he describes, “in fact it was all a really constantly intense and powerful experience.”
I am curious how he can also find the spiritual life in all the intensity and also all the work that he did here. “I don’t see any problem in this, because for me just being here is spiritual practice. You are in a spiritual stream here.”
As for next year. “Whatever happens is entirely up to God’s grace. I cannot demand from the Supreme to repeat his grace. It is entirely up to his will if I come or not.”
Click to play interview[audio:http://perfectionjourney.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/dimitry-and-Sarvagata1.mp3|titles=dimitry and Sarvagata]
Later he says of Igor, “the main quality of Igor’s soul is kindness and love.” He also describes seeing a picture of Igor in which he recognized some other worldly qualities. He appeared not so much human but more like some ethereal character from a fairy tale. “He is a dream.”
“Everything that happened to me here is completely unusual from my regular life. It is all God’s grace.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, in his first attempt Igor Mudryck has completed 3100 miles. In 45 days, 2 hours, 30 minutes and 37 seconds. He now becomes the 6th fastest all time, and the 2nd fastest first timer.”
“Igor, even with a rest day, averaged 68.33 miles. Coupled with Sarvagata is the most extraordinary part of the race. To have 2 young guys come and just turn the tables upside down, in the history of the race.”
“They are the new breed of runners. They are taking the knowledge of the other great runners and assimilating it and also receiving more grace from above.”
“They were already world class but this is beyond beyond. They are transcending the barriers and we are all so grateful.” Sahishnu’s speech
Click to play Igor’s finish[audio:http://perfectionjourney.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/igor-finish.mp3|titles=igor finish]
Recited by Grahak[audio:http://perfectionjourney.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/poem13.mp3|titles=poem]
Celebrating their anniversary[audio:http://perfectionjourney.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/parvati13.mp3|titles=parvati]
If we can dive deep within
On the strength of our prayers
We shall clearly see
That peace comes to us
From all directions.
Sri Chinmoy, Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 245, Agni Press, 1998.