June 18th… You Will Be Changed For The Better

It is a warm Saturday afternoon in New York.  A group of 12 runners has gathered to have some Pizza, get further instructions, and to enjoy the last few precious moments of relaxation before they embark on the hardest task imaginable, run 3100 miles.


It is a pleasant and almost tranquil hour as all the discussions and nibbling takes place.  No one is rushing and no one hurries, all that will come soon enough.  Also what will come soon enough is the torment of a hot and humid New York summer.  Which is actually just one of the devilish ingredients that make the epic journey in front of them all that much harder, if not impossible.

Yet they all will try as hard as humanly possible and even when they have done as many laps as they think they can they will somehow do more.  Find strength and courage and determination that is not at all about muscle or of mind.

Instead it comes from an inner place within themselves.  A source that continues to surprise all who search there.  Because what can continuously be revealed is that what we all have, what we all can do, and what we all can become is so much more.

Ashprihanal running for the 14th time.

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Shoes off

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A smile


The girls






Sahishnu Introductions:


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“Guru started the shorter ultras in 1985.  In 1991 at the awards ceremony of the 1300, Guru said I will be happy if my students in the near or distant future put on a 2700 mile race.  We kept putting on multi day races but we kept looking to find a place that would be suitable.  It took us until 1996 when Guru said let us have it over there.  (Thomas Edison).

“It was then that we had the one and only 2700 mile race with 6 competitors.  At the award ceremony, Guru in his inimitable way of self transcendence he said.  Next year we will have a 3100 mile race.  That was 1997 and 5 people toed the line and we had 2 finishers.  The rest is history.”


“This is the 20th edition.  We have had 38 people complete the distance 139 times.  So People have capacity.  Humans have the capacity to go forward.  You have 52 days to do it and 18 hours of the day.  So it is a real test of ability, of inner determination, of inner poise.”

“People believe in self transcendence.  You the athletes have done it year after year.  We are so happy you are trying it, because it is an example for the world.  It inspires people to do just a little bit more.”

“You are inspiring people to do things better.  We are so grateful that you are here.  Thank you.”







“The first time I remember Guru asking us to put it on was 1994.  Frankly we did no know how to respond.  It was overwhelming for us at the time.”

“It is a testament to Guru’s vision.  It took us 2 years to put the first race on.  To take on the challenge and sacrifice what ever was holding us back, and the runners came.”

“We are really really grateful for the runners to do this.  It is so moving.  It is phenomenal.  To me it is the vision that Guru had, not just for this race, but for humanity.”

“It takes an effort.  You making an effort to make transformation happen.  It is very visible.  You can see the score board adding up but there is so much more beyond that, on an inner level.”


“Guru said that to make progress quickly you have to learn how to use the Supreme’s heart door key.  Guru said, every day, every hour, every second we have to know how to use it.  What is that key?  He said it is your joy.  It is the over riding thing that Guru said about this race.  Have joy, see your goal and feel the joy of trying to reach it.  Keep it that simple.”

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“For us who watch it that is what we see.  It is amazing what you guys do.  I am grateful to be part of it.”

“This is a microcosm of Guru’s vision of the world at large and it has to move forward.  The effort has to be there on everybody’s part.  If you do it with joy immediately and spontaneously there is acceptance.”



Baladev and Volodymyr



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“One of the things that this race has, and we coined the phrase urban multi day running, is the students.  When they come out of school sometimes you cannot even see the runners there are so many students.”

“I have to say that what makes this race special is the spiritual focus.  There are may other ultra races around the world, and many spiritual runners.  We feel that the spiritual runners appreciate our race because of our intention.”


“This race is all about transcending yourself.  There are quite a few spiritual traditions regarding running.  What Guru added was the idea of self transcendence.  What that means is what you achieve today is your starting point for tomorrow.  You always try and go beyond yourself and try to become a better person.”

“The 3100 mile race really is the embodiment of  self transcendence.  This is the only race that can guarantee to the runners that no matter when you cross the finish line or how many miles you do.  You will be changed, and you will be changed for the better.”



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Remarks by Sri Chinmoy after the First 3100 mile race

Dear runners,
I bow to your soul, I bow to your heart, I bow to your life, sleeplessly and unreservedly.
The number 31 has a very special significance in my life. I was born in 1931. According to my physical body and my vital, I am old. According to my mind, I am ancient. According to my heart, I am as young as ever. According to my soul, I am yet to be fully manifested. According to my Lord Beloved Supreme, I am living in His own Heart-Garden, and I shall forever do so.
Finally, according to me, I am all gratitude to the climbing tears of Mother Earth and to the descending smiles of Father Heaven. I am one, inseparably one, eternally one with the climbing tears of Mother Earth and the descending smiles of Father Heaven.

Our philosophy is self-transcendence. Yes, there is no limit to our inner progress and outer success. But again, there comes a time when we reach a certain height, such an extraordinary height, that we feel we can live there for a good many years safely and self-givingly. Then we wait indefinitely for God’s choice Hour to inspire us, to aspire in and through us to go forward, to embark on a new journey.

Photo by Jowan 2007
This 3,100 miles is an unprecedented journey in our world-peace-manifestation-dream. World-peace can come into existence only when we are inundated with patience and perseverance. Infinite patience we need in our inner life and perseverance we need in our outer life.
These 3,100 miles remind us of one divine and supreme reality: we can and we must do everything at our command to transform the world of lethargy and unwillingness to be dynamic. Unwillingness we do not leave behind us. Therefore unhappiness remains always a far cry. Willingness to give, willingness to achieve, willingness to grow and glow should be the message of our souls. With our souls’ blessings we can and will fulfill our earthly life…
Whenever I passed by you running, you reminded me of our souls’ eternal, birthless and deathless journey and you reminded me of Eternity’s choice runners. Human pride is devoured and has to be devoured for the development of humility, which we all desperately need to make inner and outer spiritual progress. It is our spiritual progress which will make us God-champions in each and every field of life.
Again, there is some-thing called divine pride. This divine pride breathlessly whispers into our ears: “You are the choicest instrument of God. It is beneath your
dignity to wallow in the pleasures of ignorance-night, to surrender to the wrong, undivine forces. God wants you to be an exact pro-totype of His Universal Manifestation and Transcendental Dream.”

One thought on “June 18th… You Will Be Changed For The Better”

  1. Hi Utpal, I have been waiting for a whole year to be able to follow this extraordinary race again, though from a far away place here in Germany.

    And who makes it possible? You! And all there in New York who are involved in whatever capacity: doctors, therapists, helpers, cooks, writers, spectators, photographers, videographers, doggies, birds, friends,not to forget and most importantly, the Master´s inner Presence.

    The most difficult task lies ahead for the runners themselves! Wishing themall good luck!!! Saying this, I am aware that the runners are already on the road again…:)

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