July 19: All Souls Struggle

“If you rely on the mind and the physical you will start getting weak.  You have to go to the higher conscious level.”  Swamiji ran 14 laps this morning with the runners and is now soon about to carry on with the rest of his day.  His advice is correct in every way.  For all spiritual seekers the goal is to always find the highest path when confronted by both joy and adversity.


But on a practical level no one here is God realized, at least not yet.  Each runner has given their all for the past 33 days and nearly everyone has passed or soon will pass running 2000 miles.  Each hour this morning as the dawn breaks and the immense brilliance of the sun spills across the city, it gets hotter and hotter.

The relentless weight of the humidity presses down on everyone.  It has been like this every day now for a week, and any kind of relief in the weather is still days away.  A splash of water, a bag of ice, all the little remedies work for an instant.  A flash of relief and then the struggle continues. One in which there is simply no ultimate end in sight for at least 18 more days.


“I do the Guru mantra.  The Guru is so powerful because he manifests himself from consciousness. He meets you halfway.  Because his body is really a manifestation of consciousness.  So if you are able to connect to his body.  Than that automatically puts you into a higher consciousness.”

Photo by Bhashwar 1982

All souls
Struggle and struggle and struggle
Inside the body-cage,
But eventually they bring victory
To their Lord Supreme.

Sri Chinmoy, My Christmas-New Year-Vacation Aspiration-Prayers, Part 57, Agni Press,

Sarvagata cools his head when he arrives.


Rupantar arrives with ice which won’t last long today.


Ladies getting ready.




Jagadhata blows a conch at the start every day.


The last few days have been as tough on Ashprihanal as he has ever seen in all the years he has run here.


There is a bandage on his left wrist indicating he recently received an IV to get his fluid levels back up.  He is fine now but weak, and is not in any danger.  He will keep walking today as he did yesterday.

He is searching as everyone here is for peace, joy, and satisfaction.  Transcendence is not bestowed upon those who have not given their all.  It is painful for all of us who have seen him flying here over the many years to be forced into this level of struggle.  He has still 1000 miles more to go.


Ananda-Lahari has some natural way of keeping his peace and sweetness.


He will continue on until the time runs out.


Even the little weeds are suffering in their own way.


Tomorrow is Atmavir’s birthday


He ran 100 laps but is doing much better than he has done before.  He has a new strategy to cope with the heat.


If the day develops as it looks now he should pass Ashprihanal and take the lead before noon.


Swamiji says that it is not easy running on days like this.  “But once you start and get into the rhythm, you might slow down, you might move faster, but it is a rhythm.  A mental rhythm.  Then the mental rhythm changes over to a higher conscious rhythm.  It is that higher conscious that will combat the heat.” He says that when you allow yourself to be in the higher conscious, “it negates all physical suffering, and mental anguish.  Then you are able to proceed and to continue and continue.”


“You go to your source of strength which is patience, fortitude, and endurance.  Our greatest asset is self confidence, self reliance, and self respect.  Then our greatest friends, are energy, enthusiasm, and perseverance.  So when you bring these elements into it.  These are divine inspirational words.  When you bring these into the picture than you are above the mundane existence.  This race is above that.”




Surasa ran 111 laps yesterday and seems superbly adapted to the horrible hot weather.  I am running with her just behind Pranjal.  I tell her that every night Pranjal says on his blog that she and Nidhruvi are not bothered by the heat.  “How does he know it?” (laughs)


“In the morning I am very good.  Until 11 I am doing good miles, and also in the evening.  During the day the mileage is okay but not so good as before.”

She is wearing a broad brimmed hat and I suggest she looks like a cowgirl from out west.  It is a new feature for her.  “I don’t know I will try it today and see if it works.  I got it yesterday in the evening and I thought it would be very good.  It is very light.  But you can see that there are holes in it and the sun can come through so I think that maybe it does not give me enough protection.”


“I have good sunblock from home.  That is all.”

surasa prayer

Yuri’s condition became very serious yesterday.  He was checked out by a nurse last night and given an IV.  Clearly in his heart he wants to run but Rupantar, the race director, has asked him to be much more cautious for his own protection.  He has been asked to only walk easily today until his condition improves.


This is a totally new experience and he takes this request cheerfully.




Kausal is a Doctor and arrived at the race yesterday and will keep close watch on everyone.


Feet still constantly move.


Music most mornings from Kodanda




Vasu has adapted well.  But he ran 106 laps yesterday.


A piece of ice lasts just a few minutes on the sidewalk


Pranjal in his own way describes the conditions here as being like hell.  Yet he never looses his humor or very many laps either.  He did 107 yesterday


Nature endures


Sarah getting some advice from Kausal


Staying serene


Going going gone.


Sopan still searching for that rhythm.


The way ahead seems so much longer now.


For Nidhruvi it seems another story altogether.  We talk about the troubles that some are having here now and she reminds me of her own difficulties that weren’t that long ago but seem somehow ancient now.  For a brief while when she was really suffering she thought everything was lost.  But that was many lifetimes ago now.  She did 111 laps yesterday.


Many things have to be discussed and sorted out.


But mostly it is about steps forward, shuffling, walking, and maybe even running


Baladev showing me his shirt from Mark and also saying how he feels.


Sarvagata says that he is doing some new things this year.  “I am wearing a hat and also using sandalwood powder to put on my skin and also some peppermint oil.”  He seems to be able to adapt to the heat like no other runner here.  He ran a phenomenal 121 laps.


“It seems like I am getting stronger.  I am overcoming some problems in my body and in my mind.  Now I am ready to face the next ones.”(laughs”

“So interesting, I am enjoying it all.”



Other forms of transportation


Poem of the day


Recited by Surasa


Enthusiasm Awakeners



I am struggling and struggling
     To free my life
From my mind-entanglements,
And I am sure my victory is certain.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 2, Agni Press, 1998


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