June 23: We Can Dive Inside

Last year Vasu set a personal best in this race by breaking his previous record by 1 hour and 15 minutes.  In fact in each of his 3 previous races he transcended himself each time.  For we impatient voyeurs on the sideline, a handful of minutes extracted from 47 plus days of struggle seems almost incomprehensible.  A blink, a mere wisp of time and space, a fragment that our minds can barely hold to, but is still one which we can so easily measure and calculate.

To Vasu however, that 75 minutes was pure bliss, something that revealed the eternal.  That absolute act of self transcendence is at the core of why he continues to strive and struggle so hard, each and every time he comes.  That fragment of time for Vasu represents a kind of perfection of transcendence.  One that has inspired him to come again and again.  To seek out a glimpse of heaven in the hardest race on earth.

“On the physical plane I am having some problems with my knee.”  Vasu reaches down and points to an area just below his left knee.  His feeling of late is that even though it has been so bothersome that he has had more than 4 days of difficulties he believes the source of the problem is a mental one.

“I think this is my mind.”

His idea for a cure is a simple one.  For nearly all of us his strategy is easier said than done. “I need to be more in my heart than in my mind.”  Vasu says that it helped when he started listening to some recordings of Sri Chinmoy’s music.  “It became a little bit better. Now sometimes I can run.”

vasu-wide2

As we are talking he is moving well.  Yesterday he completed 66 miles.  He has a 9 day total of 598.

“Sometimes it is very painful and I cannot walk.  I would take rest.  But now it has become better.  I can run a few hours.”

A friend also showed him some exercises.  “It helped a little bit.  Nicolai did massage and that also helped.”

Vasu describes the best help he received took place 2 days ago on Father’s day.  He felt as though he received some extra grace or compassion.  He is not sure exactly what.  He was able to run a little more.  He ran 63 miles that day compared to 58 miles the previous day.  “It was even more than the minimum.  Before that I could not do it for 3 or 4 days.”

I ask a hard question.  Does Vasu get unhappy when he experiences these tough times.  “Not exactly.  Sometimes I receive more inwardly.  When I concentrate on my heart I feel love and the presence of Sri Chinmoy.  More than the usual way, when I run.”

flower-vasu

I ask Vasu if he loves the race.  “I think everybody loves this race.”  He accepts and appreciates all aspects of this great struggle.  “Without the hard part we cannot feel good.”

“During the hard we can dive inside.”

Click to Play Interview:

Vasu

Galya arrives

pre-galya

The dog is the first thing to go out on Stutisheel’s table.

pre-stutisheel

Kaneenika has her own special friends.

pre-kaneenika

Rupantar records his daily movie. Vasu is arriving on his bike behind.

pre-rupantar

The boys

pre-boys

Start Day 10

start

Only briefly is the service road this quiet.

wide-service-road

Ashprihanal continues to be magnificent.

special-ashprihanal

Ashprihanal ran 78 miles yesterday.  4 more miles than Atmavir.

ashprihanal-nirbhasa

There is no pattern to his movements.  His arms sway and fly here and there. Yet Ashprihanal goes and goes.  He has 710 miles.

ashprihanal4

So magnificent to see it happen on this his 13th year.

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Atmavir ran 74 miles yesterday.

atmavir-service-road

He has 672 miles for 9 days.

atmavir2

Joey’s painted rocks decorating the school fence.

flower-galya

A conversation

baladev-galya

Galya ran 130 laps yesterday, which makes 71 miles.  His total is 667 miles for 9 days.

galya

It is going to be a hot and humid day.

sun

“I don’t see any grass, but if there were it would definitely be greener than here.”

flower-squirrel3

“O yes make a joke about sitting on a fence.  But just you try it.”

flower-bird

“I am going to write to google maps.  This can’t be the easiest way to get to Starbucks.”

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Yuri had 68 miles yesterday.  His total is 635 miles.

yuri

A poem by Sri Chinmoy.

poem2

Grahak ran 69 miles yesterday.  He finished day 9 with a total of 599 miles.

grahak-good

He is now running consistently well.

grahak-wide

Problems for now no longer his companions.

grahak-shadow

Nirbhasa getting help from Pradeep.

nirbhasa-pradeep

Nirbhasa ran 64 miles yesterday.  His total is 583 miles for 9 days.

Nirbhasa copy

Tomorrow will the first time he has run beyond 10 days.

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“I feel that the runners are creating a divine slip stream around the course.  We get to come and just float on it.  There is an actual energy river going around the course.  Especially when the race is going on”.

Nayana is one of many local people who come every day to the race.  To help, to cheer, or to just enjoy.

It is not as though the course does not have some special feeling about it during the rest of the year.  “But I definitely feel it when the runners are here.  It is a major part of my spiritual life when the race is on.”

nayana

The experience she describes can be found in other places and when she performs her own spiritual activities but it is definitely unique and special to the 3100.  “It is so easy to get.  The runners have created it.”

Talking about her spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy and his love of sports.  “I don’t think his sports are a metaphor for anything.  I feel they are actual tangible expression of different qualities that Sri Chinmoy was trying to bring into the world.”

Asked if she feels sad when the race is over. “Definitely but I don’t think the runners are sad.”

Click to Play Interview:

Nayana

Pushkar is going home today.

pushkar2

He likes to sing withe the Enthusiasm Awakeners every morning.

flower-parvati

Stutisheel had 70 miles yesterday.  His best since day one.  He has 572 miles.

stutisheel

Running well.

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Kaneenika ran 56 miles yesterday.

kaneenika2

Her face so calm and serene.

kaneenika3

silhouette

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Surasa had a better day yesterday.  She ran 57 miles.

surasa

Enjoying a phone call

surasa-phone

No parked cars this morning.

wide-camp

“Boy do these tires need to be rotated.”

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Ananda-Lahari ran 50 miles yesterday. He has 526 miles.

ananda-lahari

Baladev also ran 50 miles.  He has 514 miles.

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He has written a poem:

Life is an adventure

Be brave

Be victorious

God is waiting for you

To garland you

With his boundless joy and pride

Click to Play:

Baladev poem

baladev-good

The corner

wide-corner

Poem of the day.

Poem-Salil

Click to Play:

Poem Salil

Enthusiasm Awakeners

parvati

Click to Play:

Parvati

Dive deep within and you will discover
That inside your body is your heart,
Inside your heart is your soul,
And inside your soul is God.

flower-nirbhasa

4 Comments to “June 23: We Can Dive Inside”

  1. Akbota Jumabayeva says:

    Hello from Kazakhstan! Utpal, I’m so grateful for your blog. You give the opportinity for people around the world to watch this significant race. I start my each day with reading your post. You are so talented the video and music matched so greately. Thank you for your incrediable job!!!!

  2. Francesco says:

    Hi Utpal
    thank you

  3. Doris says:

    I thought I’d live a simple outer life. But the runners’ outer life is just beyond me. A table, a chair, a box with two drawers…and mostly running.

  4. Petra says:

    Dear Utpal, I do not leave a comment every day, but I do read it and I admire and appreciate so much what you are doing. The squirreles and pigeon made me laugh :)! Thank you so much :)!

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