Sri Chinmoy once said of the Peace Run, “It is the beginning of something unprecedented and it is the beginning of something ever transcending.”
The Peace Run is now in its 29th year, it was first inaugurated in New York in 1987. Beginning on a day that looked and felt much like it did today. Then on a cool bright April morning as an enthusiastic band of runners set off across America carrying a torch and attempting something new and unique..
Its’ goal being, only to inspire and include all those, young and old alike, who wanted more peace. Not just in themselves but also in the world around them.
Salil has been organizing the Peace Run for many years now. At this mornings ceremony, he introduced a number of people who gave highlights of the Peace over the past 29 years. Arpan read a quote from Sri Chinmoy that he said at that first ceremony. The ceremony at time was carried live on the Today show.
“Let us pray to God to grant us the capacity, out of his infinite bounty to sleeplessly serve the Peace aspiring world.”
“Let us pray to God to give us the most beautiful face of a oneness world family.”
“Let us pray to God to give us the most powerful heart of a Oneness World Home.”
“Let us pray to God to make us clearly see and soulfully feel that this world Peace Run is his own hearts inner choice and his own eye’s outer voice.”
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Today the run will only go about 15 miles. As far as the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.
But in just a few days the real journey out and across America and Canada begins. It will only arrive back in New York in August.
“Everybody wants more peace. We don’t have enough peace in ourselves there is not enough peace in the world. So who is going to do it?”
“Who is going to figure that out? Who is going to put one step in front of the other? Who is going to take a step for Peace and try and make that happen?”
“When you look around the world you don’t see a lot of that happening. There is a temptation to say that a rag tag bunch of folks can’t make much a of a difference. But I don’t think that Sri Chinmoy thinks that way. I don’t think that God thinks that way. Somebody has got to do it.”
“I think that we should all be very grateful that we are the ones that have been chosen to put one foot in front of the other. To try and make this a more peaceful world. In doing so we are going to transform ourselves and transform the world, one little bit. One little bit, one little bit, and one little bit and we will get there.”
“There is the Peace Run and there is us. There is us and there is the Peace Run. I don’t think it is like that. We are the Peace Run. The Peace Run is not a thing that is separate from us. The Peace Run is who we are. Is what we are. There is a Peace Run going on within us every day.”
“It is a real honor and privilege to be here among you today. God bless the Peace Run. God Bless you all, thank you Sri Chinmoy.”
Speech by Former New York City Councilman Jimmy Gennaro:
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An elaborate arrangement is briefly practiced with all those who were there singing different parts, depending upon where you sat.
There was some additional help from a couple of soloists
It seemed to come together very easily.
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One last picture of the team before it left. Champion runner Sumunnata holds the torch.
Another beautiful start
Dipali led the way.
A conversation with Sergey Pchelin who works for the Ministry of Sport from the Ukraine.
“Today I have seen something interesting here. This event that Sri Chinmoy gave the world cannot even realize it now but it is a step that creates peace. I feel that it is very nice, very strong and very powerful.”
“I have never seen anything like this before. But here I saw that it is really possible to take some steps towards peace through sport.”
“I am a sport official. I have supported the Peace Run in Ukraine for many years. But now I will try and do even more because now I have seen the source of it. Now I will try and help the Peace Run in Ukraine reach an even better level.”
“The Ukraine is a very big country. The biggest in Europe. I will try and help the communities on each level and support the Peace Run as it should be. A huge support for the Peace Run.”
Talk by Sergey Pchelin: (Translated by Yevgeniy Furs)
I got a chance to ask Salil what it was like when the Peace Run first started in 1987
“I have a very vivid memory because it was the first time we did this run. I went back to Australia, in Adelaide. The Adelaide run actually began maybe 12 hours before the inaugural Peace Run was launched in New York. We actually saw it live, televised on the Today show. It was so fantastic. I was 22 and it was unbelievable how much fun it was. How uplifting it was. How fulfilling it was. Vivid memories.”
“It is definitely evolving. I think when you hear Sri Chinmoy talk about the run, it is like he is seeing the whole thing. It is just a matter of time for us to catch up. To bring it to humanity in a way that he has already seen.”
“So over the years we have gotten better and better at delivering this spiritual experience to people. And it is not that we are bringing it to people but we are making an offering so that people can have it themselves. They already have it inside themselves. It just needs an opportunity to find life.”
“It is so fulfilling and so nurturing.”
“Having a chance to be out on the road running and carrying the torch is the only reason I do all the other administrative stuff. It is running with the torch and giving it to someone and watching them have that experience. That for me is the whole thing that sustains the whole experience.”
“That ‘aha’ moment happens all the time. As I have grown as a person and administrator on this, I have just become more and more aware of it. I can watch it happen while it is happening. That is really nice. To see it and not be consumed with the actual doing of the process but more allowing it to happen, and watching it happen, and enjoying it happening.”
The run will cover 12,000 miles in the U.S. this summer. The total run around the world will be something like 35,000 miles. Asked when the Peace Run will stop Salil smiles and says, “it never really stops.”
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God the Creator has inspired us to serve God the Creation. The World Harmony Run is a prayerful and soulful journey to enter into the world of universal peace. We are praying to God to guide us, lead us and make us feel that we belong to one home, one heart and one life.
This world of ours has everything save and except peace. There are many ways to bring about world peace, but our way is the way of prayers and meditations. Our prayers and our meditations are helping us to arrive at the destined goal, and this goal is a universal oneness-heart-home.
May God bless us with His infinite Bounty so that we can fulfil His own Vision in and through our lives. What He expects from us is a oneness-heart-home. We feel that inwardly, and outwardly as well, our World Harmony Run is serving the world community so that it can become a oneness-heart-home. Not only the participants and well-wishers, but also those who are not yet born will be able to receive the beauty and fragrance of our prayerful, soulful, humble efforts.
At the beginning of our journey’s start, millions and millions of years ago, we were one; and we feel that, at the end of our journey’s close, again we shall become one, one, one.
Sri Chinmoy, My golden children, Agni Press, 2013