From the very beginning of the race each morning when Vasu saw me running off to interview a runner he would always ask who it was that day. Inevitably he would make a comment like, “O, good boy.” This morning I thought I should ask another runner instead how they would describe him, as this morning I was interviewing him for the last time.
Smarana told me that Vasu was a perfect child of the Supreme, a perfect instrument, and that he had a vast Oneness-Dreamboat-Shore heart. It was a description upon which I could not improve upon.
We have talked many times over the past 7 summers that he has run the race. In a sometimes confusing and complex world Vasu is sweetness and simplicity incarnate, and I am humbled to be able to call him my brother friend.
My first question to him was done jokingly. Did he have any plans for the day. “I have no plan. All plans have gone.”
The only thing he needs to do he says is to pray and meditate. I need to be happy and I need to keep running to finish the race. (62 miles)
“Everybody who finishes the race is the winner. I think the race is a game of the Supreme, and we just play our roles. It makes no difference if you win or you are second or last. It is just a game that you need to play your own role.”
I ask him what he would do if there was simply no finish line or ultimate distance. Could he simply keep running indefinitely. “I hope I could do it. Sri Chinmoy loved this race, and when we do it I hope we can please the Supreme in his own way. We try to all be in a good consciousness. We try to run as one, as a family.”
“We are grateful to the Supreme and to all those who participate.” Vasu says many people who have followed the race have been inspired to write letters. “We get these letters and sometimes we cry and sometimes we smile. They are able to make us runner faster and longer.”
“This means that this is not my victory. It is a victory for everybody. Because many many people are working in this game. If by running here we are able to inspire others to go to to try new things and go to their limits. To do something in their own life. To be a better citizen of the world.”
The Board at the Start of Day 45…*Note totals may not be accurate..Magic Number is 2,622 *
This morning Vasu passed one of his last great milestones before he reaches his finish line early next week. A handful of people were there ringing small shiny bells and there were enthusiastic shouts and hoorays for him after he completed 2700 miles. He didn’t slow down or pause for a picture. He will only stop when he reaches the finish line.
It will be his 7th straight finish and most likely he will once again be this years champion. When I ask him this morning if he is having a good day he replies with absolute sincerity, “Every day is a good day.”
Vasu says that for him, even though it is so enticingly close, he cannot yet see the finish line but he feels it calling to him. “I try to be happy every day.”
Kobi runs very fast right from the beginning each day. “He runs fast and he inspires me to also run faster. It is good very good.”
Tomorrow the Enthusiasm Awakeners will be celebrating their anniversary. “They are very important to us. In the morning we are a little bit sleepy, we have no energy for running. But when the Enthusiasm Awakeners come and we feel how they feed us inwardly and we become happy. We increase our speed.”
“I am very grateful to Sri Chinmoy for creating this group, and to all the girls who participate. It is very very nice. I am very grateful.”
Vasu says that his focus for this race has been the importance of spirituality and music. “They have given me the energy to run this race. I think they are also very good for our regular lives. Without spirituality we cannot do this race. We cannot run. We cannot be happy.”
“When we are sleepy or our consciousness low we can pray and meditate and listen to music and then become full of energy. Our spirituality is real. It elevates us to another level in our consciousness. It is also very useful in our regular lives.”
The Board at the Start of Day 40 *Note totals may not be accurate…Magic number is 2,324*