July 20: This Race is so Sacred

“I come every day because I can only be inspired by this race.” Dipali probably does a lot of things really well.  The only thing I ever see her do most days though is run.  For hours her light strides prowl here and there around the Queens neighborhood in which she lives.

There may be some strict trajectory to her flights each day but most often she seems to flit here and there. She will suddenly pop up unexpectedly on some road you are walking when you least expect it.  The light cadence of her shoes dancing across the sidewalk.  A perpetual smile beaming beneath a large  pair of sunglasses.


When the 3100 mile race is going on of course her orbits more frequently mesh into the cycle of the runners.  She loves the race very much but it has never called her to it.  Her race is Flushing Meadow and the yearly 6 day race.

“Right now I am truly inspired by Ashprihanal’s performance.  I saw him last year start the 10 day race.  And I thought, that boy is on some special record, which he did.  He was doing 83 miles a day.”

“This year I saw his first lap.  I have never seen Ashprihanal go out so fast on lap one.  I thought, he is after the record here.  Intuitively I felt it.”

“To break down what he is doing, he is running an average of 76.58 miles a day.  From day one I have seen every record go of his predecessor Madhupran.  Ashprihanal to me is a low key champion.”


“I come at all different times of the day.  I see different aspects of him.  I only admire him.  He is relentless and he flows.  The way he moves his body.  The way he swings those arms.  I can only relate to that he is pulling in light.  A force from above.”

“He has Grahak helping him here this year.  This year he is really being taken care of.  Grahak is an incredible runner and now an incredible helper for him.”

Dipali also recalls a story of how once when Sri Chinmoy was visiting the race, he wanted nobody to stand close to him.  “You’ll never know what I am giving these runners.” She said at that time that as he handed prasad to each runner a very close and sacred connection was made with each of them.

“I realized that this race is so sacred.  It is so profound.  These runners will always make it look easy, even though they are running incredible mileage each day.”


I ask how important the course is for Dipali the rest of the year.  “I do tap into the effort that they leave behind here.  As we see every day crying, smiling, laughing.  They leave some part of their journey here.  I reflect on it, I remember it.  I have trained here for 20 years.  The essence of what they are leaving, what Sri Chinmoy left here.  It’s here.  I find something so spiritual here, I come every day.”

Click to Play Interview:


The heat and humidity today will be a test for all the runners.


The numbers will rise all morning


Team Stutisheel


Vasu arrives.


Start Day 37


Ashprihanal ran 74 miles yesterday.


He is 43 miles ahead of the record.


He now has 2757 and left everyone else far behind.


Staying on track


Galya had 71 miles and now has 2598 miles.  Tomorrow Tuesday is his birthday.


Vasu had 70 miles yesterday.


Vasu has 2504 miles


Yuri had 66 miles yesterday.


Yuri now has 2448 miles.


Drinking water every lap.


Lightness and beauty.


Today is Atmavir’s birthday.  He had 58 miles yesterday and now has 2318 miles


Everybody and everything needs a drink.


Surasa did 62 miles yesterday.


She now has 2239 miles.


Kaneenika had 57 miles yesterday.


She now has 2167 miles.


Anna keeping a close watch over her.


Larisa sings.


Click to Play:


Janos fixes everything


Klara cooks and stacks containers and……..


A perfect day to go sailing.


Nirbhasa had 61 miles yesterday.  He now has 2161 miles


Stutisheel had 62 miles yesterday


He now has 2154 miles.


Two tired.


Enjoying the light


Baladev had 46 miles yesterday.  He now has 1930 miles.


A short clear moment

flower-final copy

Ananda-Lahari ran 43 miles yesterday.


Niriha is fascinated by an aphorism of Sri Chinmoy that is on a poster hanging in the camp.

Just one smile
Immensely increases
The beauty of the universe.

Sri Chinmoy, A God-devotion-teardrop

“It reminds me of when Sri Chinmoy gave a very serious talk to the runners about smiling.  One or a couple of runners were not smiling at all.  You have no idea how much smiling would help you in this race.  A smile surcharges you whole being and changes your consciousness.  That made a very deep impression on me.  There were many present when he said that.  I felt that it was also meant for each and every one of us.  It could really apply to every person on earth.”

“Sri Chinmoy would frequently say things.  He would talk about determination, talking about patience.  Everything that this race embodies, Sri Chinmoy would give a little talk on.”


“This race exemplifies striving for the very best qualities that our mediation can bring us.  I think that is why the race is so magical for us.  It strikes the imagination that it is even possible, that Sri Chinmoy could envision that his students were capable of doing something so seemingly impossible.  Is a source of tremendous inspiration for all of us.”

“This is the 19th year but it seems like the first year.  Because it is just as amazing in the 19th year as the first year the race was held.  This race I will never take for granted.  I think most of us feel that way.”

Click to Play Interview:


Prayer of the day read by Priyavata


Click to Play:

Prayer Pivyata

Enthusiasm Awakeners


Click to Play:


Is the old race on earth.
Is the older race on earth.
Is the oldest race on earth.


6 thoughts on “July 20: This Race is so Sacred”

  1. Gratitude to Dipali for the insights. And thanks to Niriha for the talk about the Smile aphorism. I just wrote a poem on smiling and then I read this journal entry so it’s a sacred thing to see how connected we all are. 🙂

  2. Hi Utpal, wonderful writing as always. Sometimes I just cry, because the inspiration is transported so mighty through your way of expressing and by collecting those wonderful words of our sisters and brothers.

  3. Hi Utpal,

    Just wanted to express here (At Last!) in writing how much I appreciate YOU and YOUR INSPIRITION-LIGHT-FLOODED BLOG!

    This is a tremendous selfless service! It benefits so many people around all around the world! Personally, I am really uplifted by this blog. It really radiates light, and reading it brightens any day. Be one’s day already happy and jolly or be it varying degrees of personally challenging, reading this blog will definitely give it a real positive boost!

    Keep up the great job of inspiring all your world-brothers and sisters around you!

  4. Great work Utpal, thanks so much for the posts.
    That shot of Galya and Stutisheel is exceptional.
    All the best.

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