August 2: You Just Have To Try

What is very good about this race, you don’t have to understand what is going on.   You just have to try, and try, and try, and cry.”…..Sarvagata

Early this morning when Sarvagata arrived at the start he appeared to be fresh and full of life.  He did not look at all like a man who had just run 3 thousand miles. The great burden that he seemed to bear upon his back for so long and so far had finally been lifted.  A weight, that on some days seemed as though it was on the verge of crushing him had vanished.  The task remaining left to him now was a small one, 17 more miles.  Just a single heart beat when compared to the lifetime he had already sacrificed on this sometimes endless alter of suffering.

A year ago he had made this event almost look easy as he galloped over great chunks of earth each day.   He churned out a long string of jaw dropping big mileage days and when you thought he couldn’t repeat it he came back and did even more.  This year though he arrives at the finish line almost 2 days slower than he did before, and instead of being the race champion he has been declared simply the 2nd place finisher.  To most sportsmen and competitive athletes this might appear to be a great blow if not a humbling defeat, especially when cast in the glare of the unrivaled success of the previous year.

If your world is simply defined by winning and loosing than nothing at all about the 3100 can be appreciated.  There is a rainbow spectrum of colors to be enjoyed and admired here, but there is no obvious black, and and its opposite and eternal rival white.  What drew Sarvagata, and all the rest to the starting line was not the temptation of a possible victory but rather the undeniable experience of real transformation and transcendence.  On this wide bare concrete stage they lived each day confronting all the negative shadowed parts of their beings. Nothing could be hidden, either from themselves or the rest of the world that drifted in and out of their lives each day.

But as much as they each battled with their personal demons they also forged deeper and more meaningful  bonds with all that was divine and illumining about themselves as well. Their own highest qualities that do not shirk or evade challenge when they are Supremely called to face it.  Who see in all their divine humble efforts, in their trying and in their crying, not success or failure.  Instead it is all simply forward progress on the long long path to their own transformation and illumination.

“This is the most fascinating thing at this point for me about this very race.  I am sure I have got rid of some really nasty things.  When you get rid of the nasty things than the divine things have some place to come to.”….Sarvagata

2007 Photo by Jowan

Try and try, stop not!
God-realisation is indeed
A perpetual possibility.
Cry within, cry without!
God-realisation is indeed
An immediate inevitability.

Sri Chinmoy, The Wings Of Light, Part 15, Agni Press, 1974.
Alakananda arrives early to prepare for Pradeep’s birthday
Abhinabha works on a concoction for his Dutch friend
Sarvagata wears a Canada hat and asks for a picture to be taken.  He is a son of Oneness Dream Boat Shore but has a deep love and affection for Canada
Start Day 47
Pradeep is honored by his brothers.  They sing to him and the small group stays together for nearly 100 meters before it drifts apart.
The party hats end up here and there but not the celebration both for Pradeep and Sarvagata who will finish soon.
“It always takes me a while in the morning to realize where I am and what’s happening.  Then I realized at some point it was my birthday.  It is a pretty tight schedule, you have to prepare everything but this morning I took 5 minutes.  Which is kind of long, at home, to be soulful and celebrate this day.”
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“Today you try and  remember the promise we made to the Supreme when we came to the earth.  To carry his Victory’s banner.  Today I am definitely going to think of that, and not worry about anything else.   Just be really happy that I can do this for the Supreme and also share this day with all the great people here.  I will be having a good day.”
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“It is so special.  Some of them you speak with a lot with,  and some of them you may not speak so much with.  But definitely you feel a very very deep connection.  That is why it is so emotional to see the others finish.  You know what it means to them.  It is almost though it is part of yourself completing the race.  It is really beautiful.”
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“It is like a promise.  I hope one day we will have this oneness with everybody.  The race is like a little miniature universe, where all these things are possible right now.”
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“This may sound a little heavy but I think life was really meant to be this kind of brotherhood of people.  Like trying to become who they really are, and sharing that and manifesting it.  In our normal life, now a days, we are very much on our own, in our own little worlds.  And here is like reality.  Here we are struggling together for a common goal.  We are inspiring each other and helping each other to go beyond our capacities, and that is like the sweetest thing.  It is like more than friendship.  It is like a brotherhood.”
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Pradeep offers a mango to Larry Washington one of the school’s caretakers
Big or little each step counts
Pushkar already a champion
Shoes drying after yesterday’s heavy rain
Grahak enjoys the companionship of a new friend.
Balloon time
Arpan under the sun
Ananda Lahari under a hat.
All those who have helped Sarvagata
Sarvadhara: “It is unbelievable.  This is the second finish I have seen.  I didn’t worry.  I think that all the runners are just evidence of God’s presence.  So everything is grace.  I didn’t worry.
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Dimitry: “It is a very good experience for making your soul more mature.  Mine and Sarvagata.”
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Sarakamya: “Great.  For me it is sometimes a very new experience.  I am really grateful to God that I had it.  It is really something.  It has made me really strong. “
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Vasu and his journey
Pranjal will finish tomorrow as well.
The party is not over
I have a chance to run a few more last laps with Sarvagata.  He has just received the Poem of the Day and deeply and personally identifies with it.  “It is about me.”
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“I had some injuries.  I made some efforts to overcome them, and I had all kinds of support, from all of my helpers and outside people.  It really helped when I came to the understanding that all my injuries were the manifestation of my inner problems.  Achievements or failures.  I think through those injuries I had to overcome them,  transcend is the right word.”
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“The last several days I had the assurance that the Supreme is pleased with me….finally with my race.”
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“Yesterday I had a situation with the rain.  I had a kind of conversation in the morning.  I said to God, I like this race very much.  I like it most when it rains.  For some reason I really like it.  It is a pity that I won’t have that any more.  Then it started the whole thing.  This is not the end of the story about the rain.  Then it was raining and raining and raining.  I started to run out of dry clothes and dry shoes.  So I said, OK God, I am satisfied.  Maybe that is enough.  Then it stopped.”
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Of his support crew.  “They really worked quite a lot for this race.  It was good and I hope it was good for them too.  It wasn’t easy.”
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“I think this race, right from the very beginning was training for the next one.  The last one was kind of grace.  A gift, with not much pressure and suffering.  But this time there was lots of pain and injuries.  So definitely I got a lot out of this race.  I know my family more now.  I mean my brother runners and I think they accepted me.  I feel I am part of the family not a stranger any more.
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“I can’t dictate to the Supreme where to put me every summer.  I could wish something but I don’t want to, because he might want something else.”
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We are now running by Pranjal who has streak of never missing a day of training.  “I would like to be a good boy.  I would like to be like Pranjal.  I would like to run every day.”
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Photo by Alakananda

“Ladies and Gentlemen.  Finishing in second place, in a time of 46 days, 3 hours, and 42 minutes, and 17 seconds, is last years winner.  This year he averaged 67.169 miles a dayor 108.099 km.  It is the 15th fastest performance of all time.  When you consider the difficulty of this years weather conditions, and the fact that he had a debilitating hip injury in the middle of the race after having completed 7 consecutive days of 75 or more miles.  It was an extraordinary performance.  He runs faster than anybody when he is feeling well, and he is a force to be reckoned with in the future.  We hope he comes every year.  We want to see more performances than Ashprihanl, who has the men’s record of 11.”
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“I think you can take the record right up there with Madhupran.  You have the speed and you have the determination.  You have the focus and you have a wonderful support team.  Sarvagata…..congratulations.”
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Click to play race finish and speeches.

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“This year i had tremendous support form hundreds of people.  I have one last request.   The All Your Grace Song.  Thank you very much. Again I am just at the foot of the mountain, which is this race.  I have just started.  I have started to realize what it is all about.  We will see.”
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Click to play last song

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Chataki recites the Poem of the Day

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  Enthusiasm Awakeners….Click to Play….

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Who is the winner? Not he who wins, but he who has established his cheerful oneness with the result, which is an experience in the form of failure or success, a journey forward or a journey backward.

Who is the winner? Not he who wins the race, but he who loves to run sleeplessly and breathlessly with God the supreme Runner.

Who is the winner? Not he whose glory we sing, but he who embodies God’s Compassion-Light in abundant measure.

Who is the winner? Not he who has acquired tremendous name and fame and amassed a big fortune, but he who requires only one thing: God-satisfaction in God’s own way.

ri Chinmoy, Everest Aspiration Part 3, Agni Press, 1977.

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