After Yuri finished the 3100 mile race for the first time in 2013 he said, “During the race I discovered something new in this world. The course of the 3100 mile race is the temple. Energy circulates in it.”
“This force then penetrates the entire universe. It purifies, it transforms, and improves it. In a word this is progress.”
*Translation of interview by Lyalya*
He is now running for the 4th time and as he keeps improving his times he appears to be also gaining even more insight into the inner workings of something that is so vast and thorny that it can almost be incomprehensible to the regular athlete.
If Yuri is that unique blend of mystic and runner he is also fun, bright, and shockingly clear about what he perceives that is happening at this race which is in its 20th year. He is adamant in his belief that something divine from here is also spilling out into the world as well.
“A special grace comes down from God, ” Yuri says to me this morning before we had run a block. He says all the runners experience this who are doing the race.
When I ask him if he does not experience this grace at other times throughout the year.
“This is a special grace. Just as there are candies that are good and then there are candies that are amazing. Whenever the Supreme gives this grace it is always very very amazing.”
When the race is over he says for the first half year he takes his time to examine and think about what has taken place. “For the other half of the year I am preparing myself for the next race.”
“This race becomes a life for a runner. You cannot separate your life from the race. It all becomes one”
“I also had a life before I started running this race but I feel that for my whole life I have been preparing for this race. Not just one life but for many lifetimes.”
“I am now a very different person. If you look very closely at the runners before the race and then after the race you will see that they are all totally different people. You become more pure, more receptive, more subtle.”
“Guru is everything. This race is part of Guru. This is a dream of Guru. Because of this I have many special experiences.”
The deeper we dive,
The stronger becomes
Our oneness with God
And with all humankind.
Before the runners come
Some street side repairs
Checking the counter book
Shamita takes a stretch on the curb
Baladev checking the totals
Start Day 13
Pradeep sun gazing
On the other side
Vasu has done 128 laps (70 miles) every day for the past 3 days
He sits atop the leader board
He has 878 miles
Atmavir did 67 miles. He has 852 miles
There is no place like gnome
“Yeah, but why walk when you can play ball and run.”
Yuri did 66 miles and has 835 miles
Lyalya who translated the interview now translates the daily prayer for Yuri
The service road
Ashprihanal did 66 miles and has 812 miles
Surasa continues to lead the girls. She did 64 miles
She has 779 miles and stops for a pic with Vasuprada
Kaneenika did 63 miles
She has 760 miles and appears to be ahead of Gopi the dog.
Shamita did 60 miles
She has 745 miles
Sopan also did 60 miles
He has 726 miles and stops briefly for some foot maintenance.
A closer look
10 o’clock and all is well
Ananda-Lahari did 47 miles. He has 703 miles
Stutisheel did 63 miles
He finished the day with 700 miles
Baladev did 53 miles
He finished the day with 688 miles
Volodymyr did 38 miles and has 645 miles
“I just made it around the track and just walking on the track that divine inspiration came.”
Yesterday Swamiji showed up to enjoy the race. In past years he has been there on many mornings before dawn running even before the 6 a.m. start. Today he just came to enjoy the race.
“You could feel the transformation moving from the mundane into the spiritual. It happens because it is in the ground. It is all about building the spiritual life.”
“That is what is lacking in our society these days. Religion is there and the dogmas of religion but we have to transcend the dogmas.”
“If we don’t then religion becomes the problem. Because when we put forward the dogmas out there we want out our belief system to be superior to all the others.”
“With the runners on the track and all the other people associated with it. It is spirituality. When the runners are by themselves it is a physical test, it is a mental test. When they quiet the mind then naturally it evolves into spirituality.”
“So people might say, why do you want to run 3100 miles? What is the benefit?”
“But it is the best thing to be doing. The people who say those things simply do not understand the austerity that is necessary. Which allows for them to have a relationship with God.”
“God here meaning consciousness. Not some specific manifestation of consciousness. When we go into that state of being of consciousness. Then you see that there is bliss in the self. Rather than looking for it through socializing or coming from the environment.”
“When you go into that state of being that bliss it is then that you know why we came as human beings. Because only human beings can have that relationship. To move from the mundane into spiritual consciousness.”
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By the school
Morning snacks arrive
Lyalya recites the Daily Prayer in English and Russian
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Click to Play:
The aim of all seeing
The aim of all serving
The aim of all loving
The aim of all identifying
We mark the journey’s close.