Day 22… Bettering Yourself (July 7)

I have spent the better part of a day trying to find an adequate and meaningful way to describe Vajra.  When in a discussion with others about him there is almost always a universal nod of the head.   A thoughtful acknowledgement and understanding, that he is recognized to be as selfless, soulful, and dedicated as it just may be possible to package within a single human body.

Just to account for his absolute devotion to cleaning up litter around the 3100 mile course would set him apart.  But then he goes on to do an endless assortment of other jobs to help others, in the little and sometimes huge ways that make a difference.

He has counseled and adjusted hundreds of worried runners over the years, who felt their races were slipping away and then miraculously got them going again.  He has a saying that goes something like,  the course may hurt you but it also will heal you and make you strong.

“I remember this one particular time that Sri Chinmoy had a race and he had called all his students who were there at the time.  This was over on Wards Island and I had happened to have just run over there and got there in the nick of time to be there for that meditation.”

Vajra, who was living in Manhattan at the time found that from then on he would come on a regular basis.  “I had found my space, to be in medical.”  He remembers an occasion when he was working in the medical tent and Sri Chinmoy had come in and observed him at work.  There was no conversation but he felt there was an inner understanding that this was a path he should take.  “From that day on my duties were pretty much nailed.  I knew what I had to do.”

When it comes to taking time off or cutting back on his duties, “No, I don’t think any of those days have ever happened.” Vajra says that when he is serving as he does, it is for him constant enjoyment.  “I feel that I am not only fulfilling myself while also fulfilling something divine at the same time.”

“This has not only implications for me but also throughout the wider universe.  If I can go that far?”

The Board at the Start of Day 22

Camp early


Ashprihanal arrives

Medur pouring drinks

Harita arrives

Ushika locks his bike

Annupam and Jadranka


Ushika is ready

Databir has brought costumes

Start Day 22

Mostly overcast in the morning

Sahishnu’s week #3 Wrap Up

Ashprihanal has 1394 miles

He ran 68 miles yesterday

He made 1400 miles this morning

Ashprihanal gets a new MP3 player so that he can listen to podcasts

He leads Nirbhasa by 28 miles


The daily poem has arrived

Nirbhasa has 1366 miles

He ran 66 miles yesterday

He leads Vasu by 35 miles



Vasu has 1331 miles

He ran 60 miles yesterday

He leads Smarana by 12 miles

Niccolai helps


Patricia the gardener at work on the next phase

Smarana has 1319 miles

He ran 54 miles.  He leads Ananda-Lahari by 8 miles

The magic number is 1252



Ananda-Lahari has 1311 miles

He ran 58 miles yesterday


Oil for his legs

He has a cushion of 59 miles


Having fun

Harita has 1268 miles

She ran 62 miles yesterday

With Anita

She has a cushion of 16 miles

Friends come by



Todor has 1254 miles

He ran 54 miles yesterday

With Todor

He has a cushion of 2 miles

Day 22



Ushika has 1127 miles

He ran 49 miles yesterday

Doing his best

A bit of green

“So I pay a guy, big money to pave over my backyard to get rid of the weeds.  So what do I get in return……weeds”

Samunnati visited yesterday

Poem of the Day held by Anupam

Wish to have
A new name:

Sri Chinmoy

July 7th, 2006

Enthusiasm Awakeners

Don’t blame the world; better it.


By bettering yourself at every moment.

Sri Chinmoy, God’s Hour, Agni Press, 1973

10 Comments to “Day 22… Bettering Yourself (July 7)”

  1. Hridayinee Williams says:

    Vajra… love his Work!!!

  2. Abhinabha says:

    Hi Utpal, what a beautiful tribute to Vajra. He is indeed a real selfless-service-saint. Thank you for all your inspiring videocasts and blogs, they keep us so closely connected to the race.

  3. Nidhruvi says:

    Yes, our Vajra’s selfless dedicated soulful service, specially to the race, is extraordinary and beyond!! A million gratitude to both of you, Utpal and Vajra!

  4. Ambarish says:

    Thanks Utpal for interviewing Vajra. Selfless service, dedication, humility, joyful disposition and the list can go on….. Anytime I see Vajra, he’s usually moving – either on his way to doing a kind act or on his way back. When he is seated, he’s usually minding something. Always doing and doing… Super inspiring human being!

  5. Sarita says:

    In the 1970’s, when we were new disciples, Vajra was big brother to us, the few girl runners. I remember he ran with us along the streets of Jamaica, Queens. He was our guide and protector on these runs. And he has never stopped loving and serving his little brothers and sisters.

  6. Nirmala says:

    Since years I admire and love Vajra’s work and dedication. Good to see him still active and happy.

  7. Kamaneeya says:

    Vajra, such a great and inspiring soul! He is always trying to remember everybody’s name, and is very successful in that. And then he greets you with a huge smile. It means so much, especially if you are new and coming for the first time. It meant so much to me. Thank you Vajra.

  8. Rasmivan says:

    Vajra is a living saint – I think he must be one of the most devotional and selfless disciples of Guru.
    I ran with him on the US World Harmony Run in 2010 and he was such a joy to be around and a great roommate too – we had so many laughs together
    Your reports on the 3100 are reaching ever greater and newer heights and it gives me so much joy to read and the videos are awesome.

  9. Doris says:

    May I reecho Kamaneeya´s comment. Even if he, Vajra, doesn´t remember my name correctly, I feel still be honored. He is also a great storyteller! Stories he tells about having served others, especially people in great need, which are still inspiring me to do more good things.

    -Patricia (Doris!)

  10. Akbota says:

    So inspiring to see Vajra and people who are often behind the scenes, but their presence and service are incrediable!
    Thank you, Utpal!

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