“Today I had a very good meditation and I am very happy. It was a regular half an hour but on the run. It was amazing I never had it before.” Sarvagata is still very much glowing from the experience. The morning is perfectly still and the dim glistening brightness of dawn is now opening up to reveal a full wide sun bright morning. I feel very much that I have somehow come along at just the moment when the door to his heart is wide open and I have stepped by chance into some sacred still place within him.
Sarvagata is well into his 4th day of running. In about another hours time he will make one small step up the mileage ladder and complete his first 200 miles. Perhaps by tomorrow he will make 300 miles and on countless other long days ahead the numbers and digits will gradually stretch further across the board beside his name. None of those statistics however will mean as much to him as those precious moments of meditation.
Experiences that do not follow any timetable that we can measure and certainly seem both perfect and ironic at the same time. Perfect, because runners like Sarvagata have come specifically to the self transcendence race to open a pathway to reveal the divine within himself. And yet it is ironic undertaking as well. For this is not some remote silent cave in which the search for peace and transcendence is sought out. Instead it is a sometime raucous public place, in which these 12 runners have embarked upon one of the most difficult tasks in all creation.
This is the 3rd summer Sarvagata has spent here in the eternal quest for Self transcendence. On his first year here, almost from his first day on the course, he quickly moved into an almost continuous trance like mode of running. Almost detached from the world around him and devoted himself fully to the road and task in front of him.
Quite often his face seemed twisted in a painful grimace and when asked about this he said it was not pain at all that sharpened the features of his face, it was instead that he was crying out for the Supreme, and for that alone. He ended up that year winning the race.
Then last year the outer experience shifted dramatically. He was not the lonely monk lost in his solo journey into the beyond. He found himself having to confront the world around him, he said. It was for him a blend of the inner truth that he sought and the outer reality that he could not escape from.
It was an experience for him in which he could no longer simply exist in the tranquility and solitude of his inner self. Instead he had to accept and be part of the outer world in a way he had not been required to do in his first year of running here.
Yet it was in this face to face experience with the world that he also gathered strength and a better understanding of how the outer and inner can and must exist simultaneously. That he could still continue to search for God within, but he also had to accept that God had to be found and appreciated in the world around him as well.
He gently laughs as he talks about the meditation experience he has just had. He jokes, “It was so nice. You should try it.”
Question: Since God is within us and we know that one day we will realise God, why is it necessary to practise Yoga?
Sri Chinmoy: One day we shall realise everything which is natural. God is natural and so naturally we shall realise Him. That is true, but it means that we shall have to wait for Eternity. God has given us a conscious mind and conscious aspiration. If we don’t want to use our conscious aspiration, then we can wait. God is not compelling us or forcing us. We can sleep if we want to. But if we consciously pray and meditate, then we will go faster. Everybody will reach the Goal, but he who sleeps will not reach the Goal as fast as he who is running. One day everybody will realise God because in God’s Cosmic Vision, He will never allow anyone to remain unrealised. But it will take a very long time. Again, if we want to wait, no harm; we can wait.
Sri Chinmoy, Flame Waves, Part 12, Agni Press, 1978
Sarah is continuing to run well. This morning she gets some advice from nurse Bahula.
A typical wait for the magic moment that always comes.
Baladev starts the day with a very good 197 miles. Pranjal, note the snicker bar, is starting to feel better.
Sopan delivers himself and his laundry to the race.
Ashprihanal is starting to look more like the runner who has run here 11 times.
The rains yesterday mean that many shoes remain wet.
Atmavir, Pranjal, and Baladev enjoying the dawn.
For each runner the experience is so so different. Each expresses themselves in their own unique fashion, and yet it is the road before them and the task they have set off together that binds them all so closely together.
Yet sometimes in moments the quiet world around them springs to life and then once again settles back into silence and stillness.
You can be distracted by it all, or simply charmed and amused, by the many faces and facets of God’s creation.
Enjoy the little treasures along the way.
Some treasures delivered directly by nature and some put there with the help of Parvati and friends.
Every runner has their own precious moments.
Moments of clarity.
Moments when things before you are bright and clear.
When there is no question where you need to go and what to do.
When he started on Sunday it looked to me that Sarvagata was still some distance from getting into his usual strong and rhythmical running form. He says that even today he is still adjusting and getting himself slowly into the run. “I can’t say that I am used to it yet. Yesterday I had a pretty tough day.” He says that these things in the great scheme are not important. He feels strongly that inwardly he is being directed in just how and what to do out on the course. That he is the vessel and the Supreme is piloting him along the way.
“My health and my consciousness, I think everybody’s is being regulated by the Supreme. Even if somebody has an injury at the very beginning, it is for the best for that person. So I am trying not to worry about it. For the moment I am happy with what I have. Which is a pretty rare thing for me. Usually I want to have more than I have. You know more speed and something else.”
“It is all the time new but there also some common things. The first time there was the excitement of going on an adventure.” Last year he realized that there was just so much about running here that he had yet to grasp. (laughs) “Now I believe it is more calm. Not expectation but hope for something.”
“I dreamt a lot about the race. In my dreams I was flying and everything was smooth. So basically I am coming back to here all year long. Some of my brothers say that this is the real world, the 3100 miles. I agree but I also believe that the world around us is also real. So we have 2 realities here, and we can find nice things both here and there.”
Sarvakamya says from the start that she is happy to be back helping her husband once again run in the race. But adds, “sometimes it is so challenging that I never could have imagined it. Life here is so concentrated. You can make really big progress when you come through all the challenges. It is really special.”
She describes how that when the race finished last year she said, “never, never, never will I come here again.” (laughs)
“But then when you go home then you see all the progress that you did here. You want to come back. Even if it is really difficult sometimes.”
As well though she describes the feeling of oneness here and how many of the runners despite the suffering and pain they are enduring have not abandoned their sense of humor and joy. “It is so inspiring here. There are moments when you really feel the sense of life here.”
She has quite a cough this morning and says that her health is a bit fragile at the moment and so will adjust just how much time she will spend at the race helping Sarvagata. “Even if I am at home, my mind, my heart, everything that is me is still here. I am all the time thinking about Sarvagata. Even when I am dreaming and sleeping, in the dream I am thinking about this all the time. (laughs) It is fun.”
Ananda Lahari and Vasu singing together.
Yuri continuing to run very strong.
There are some who just watch.
Some who are wheat free, and sugar free, but please leave the nutrition and flavor.
Others have no problems what so ever. Or better to say Pranjal had no problems until this year
A little Arnica to take away the pains.
Nidhruvi having her own special moments.
Surasa goes into the sun.
Poem of the day.
atmavir and poem Recited by Atmavir
“This is my 12th year at the school.” Yesterday Nilda brought flowers and now enjoys seeing Parvati planting them. “They are beautiful they make life more exciting.” She has seen the race now for many years. “To tell you the truth I love it.”
Sometimes you have to look very close to see the beauty.
Sopan solid running and stillness within.
God is within me.
Therefore, I am precious.
God is for me.
Therefore, I am courageous.
Sri Chinmoy, Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 39, Agni Press, 1982