Part IXThe next day, on 15 November, Sudhahota visited Sri Chinmoy at Progress-Promise. Sri Chinmoy sang the "Sudhahota" song, accompanying himself first on the harmonium and then on the cello.
Sri Chinmoy: The vibration of your name is always inside you — in your heart of aspiration. Your heart is beautiful. God's Inspiration, Determination and Confidence you will always carry inside your heart. (Short meditation follows.)
As regards my capacity, I am your worst student. But as regards my obedience, I shall not be your worst student. Yesterday, at the very first start that I tried, you saw what a severe muscle pull I got! Today I am unable to walk properly. So it is my physical disability that did not permit me to abide by your advice — not my unwillingness. Far from it! I tried my best, but my muscle cramp didn't permit me to do the things in your way. Many, many years ago when I had a German coach, I gave him lots of trouble. But he is still very kind to me.
Sudhahota: Like I said yesterday, rest also is important in training. So just rest a while and start again.
Sri Chinmoy: I will always listen to your advice. (Joking) But don't give that kind of advice to my students! If you, the greatest world champion, tell them to rest, then all the time they will quote you. They won't go out to run; they won't practise anything. They will only enjoy more rest — as if the rest they presently take is not enough! In my case, I don't believe in rest. Only when I am compelled, do I rest.
For the last few weeks, I have been going out early in the morning — at 4:30. I practise a little hill work and running for about an hour. Then, in the evening I have been going out again around 9:30. I have a crew of 8 or 10 members who help me. This has been my programme. But now my muscle cramp and back pain — these two undivine elements in the body — are not allowing me to do anything. It is a very painful experience! So your advice about taking rest is applicable to me — but not to my students!
Now, let me be serious. On Tuesdays, when you do not run, you do weightlifting. How long does it last?
Sudhahota: About an hour or two, because there are other people there. There are about 15 other members in the same group. So we have to shuffle around.
Sri Chinmoy: You are the world champion. Why do you have to go to a gym to practise? You cannot have a gym of your own? Then you won't have to waste your precious time. Or do you like to be in their company?
Sudhahota: I enjoy it.
Sri Chinmoy: Very good. Otherwise, in terms of time, perhaps you are wasting time. But if you enjoy being in the company of your friends, that is again your heart's magnanimity. You share their joy, and your own joy you contribute to them. It is very good.
In track and field, who is your best friend? Whether you are rivals or not, in terms of heart's feeling, who is your best friend?
Sudhahota: Evelyn Ashford.
Sri Chinmoy: Very good. She belongs to which club?
Sudhahota: She's in her own club. Her coach founded a track club basically for Evelyn. Her coach is very strict, but she always cares very much for Evelyn. She shows that first, regardless of who is around. She has one or two other students, but Evelyn is her main student.
Sri Chinmoy: Last night we were so happy to have your parents here. They gave us such joy.
Sudhahota: They were very happy to have come. At first they didn't know what to expect. But I think they were very pleased to have come.
Sri Chinmoy: When I saw your mother, immediately I felt in her an Indian mother's heart. Forgive me, we Indians always brag! We have nothing else to do. India is so poor in every respect, so at least we have to say that we have one good quality! Who is going to know whether my heart is good or bad? As long as I say that my heart is good, you have to believe it. So we always speak of an Indian heart or an Indian mother's heart. By this we mean a heart of sympathy, kindness and closeness — a heart of oneness that feels real concern and sympathy for others. In America this kind of heart is very rare; sometimes it is not even to be found. I am already one with America, so I can criticise it. After establishing my inseparable oneness, I can criticise.
Yesterday, when your mother stood here, her heart was overwhelmed — full of spiritual feelings. Her heart was more nourished, perhaps, than her mind. Her mind had some curiosity about what was going on, but her heart didn't find it at all strange. To her heart, the surroundings and the gathering were not at all strange. Her heart found a free access to our hearts, I we also found a free access to her heart.
Your father is also extremely good, extremely brilliant. He has met with many people and he has really established, within and without, a kind of divine confidence. He knows what he is talking about. He knows what he has to give and what he is.
Narada: Guru, last night Mr. Lewis was very impressed at how organised everything was. Everything went like clockwork. He said he was very impressed with you because it takes a lot to keep things so disciplined. He said, "A person off the street cannot be a part of this. This takes more intelligence."
Sri Chinmoy: Our intelligence is here inside our hearts. Did you get a chance to speak to his mother?
Anukampa: She loved every minute of it. When we went to a restaurant, we spoke about her being an Olympian and asked if she'd like to be in a Masters competition one of these days. She said, "Oh no, my competition days are over." But when we were sitting here watching the Masters Games in Puerto Rico, she said, "Oh, that really looks nice. It looks a lots of fun. Maybe one day…" She was very inspired.
Sri Chinmoy: It really is fun. Two thousand athletes came to the Puerto Rican Masters Games from all over the world. At these Games what we see is not jealousy but a real heart's feeling. From the beginning to the end he competitors are in another world. They have become like five or six-year old children. In terms of age, they are 50, 60, 70, even 80 years old. But while they are participating, they are all children. There is no fear, no doubt, no tension. They have got back their childhood. They give us great joy.
Sudhahota: How should I pray when I'm preparing for competition, during the practice time and also right before a race?
Sri Chinmoy: If you can pray to the Supreme with an eagerness to please Him and fulfil Him, then He will run the race in and through you and also for you. Always feel that you are running not for yourself but for Him — only to please Him.
The Creator has created the creation. The creation also has created something — something powerful but, unfortunately, not divine. I am speaking of human pride and human ignorance. To create something divine we must bring to the fore our soul's qualities and please God in God's own Way. If we can please God in His own Way, then we can have true Nectar-Delight. But if we try to please ourselves in our own way, we will never be satisfied.
If you try to please only yourself, today you will be very happy that you are the world champion in the 100 metres. But tomorrow you will pray to God to reduce your timing — to run the 100 metres in eight seconds, let us say. Then the day after tomorrow you will ask God to grant you the ability to run it in seven seconds. In this way your demands will never end. At the same time, you will always be thinking of Calvin Smith or somebody else who may defeat you. There will be always a kind of insecurity or a sense of insufficiency. You will never feel complete satisfaction.
But when you pray to God to fulfil Himself in and through you, you will be the happiest person no matter what you achieve because God will give you His own Happiness. In spiritual terms this happiness is called Delight. God is all Happiness, but right now we are not all happiness. Only when we please God in His own Way can we become really happy.
God is infinite, eternal, immortal. Only His infinity, Eternity and Immortality can please us. If we remain in the desire-world, we will always be running after happiness but we will never achieve it. This week we will try to grab one inch, and next week we will try to grab two inches, three inches, four inches and so on. In this way we will try to make ourselves happy. But unless we can possess God's infinite Wealth, we shall never be truly happy. And God will give us His own Infinity, Eternity and Immortality only if we please Him in His own Way.
When you pray to God before practising and also before a race, feel that you are an instrument. Feel that God Himself, your Beloved Supreme, is running in and through you. Then it is His responsibility to make you the happiest person in His own Way — whether by making you first or last. It will not matter to you whether you finish a few metres ahead of someone or a few metres behind someone; you will be happy because you are fulfilling God's Will.
Mankind received absolutely the highest prayer from the Christ when he said, "Let Thy Will be done." Indian spiritual Masters of the highest order have always said the same thing: "Lord Supreme, do execute Your Will in and through me." Even before the Christ came into the world, Krishna gave his dearest disciple, Arjuna, the same message: "Totally devote yourself to Me. Only execute My Will."
Now you are happy because you are the fastest runner. You have received just a drop of outer joy, but this drop makes you feel that you are the happiest person. Similarly, the people who love you and admire you also feel happy because they have become one with your heart and soul. But when you become the fastest runner, the supreme hero, in the inner world, the joy that you receive is infinite. At that time you become the happiest person by becoming one with your own infinite Light and Delight. When this happens, the outer happiness that you previously felt fades into insignificance.
This is what happens when we pray to God, our Beloved Supreme, to run in and through us. A spiritual musician has the same prayer. He prays for the Supreme to play in and through him. Otherwise, if the musician plays all by himself, then nobody is going to be pleased — not even him. He knows that his Reality is God the Supreme and that his very existence is nothing but the Supreme. If the musician cannot please the Supreme with his music, then how will he be able to please himself? So he prays devotedly for the Supreme to play in and through him.
Your friend, Narada, performs on the drums and other instruments, but the actual Player is someone else. Narada is beating the drums with his outer hands, but someone else is playing inside his heart. I have painted thousands of paintings. When I paint, I just follow a streak of light that the Supreme shows me. In this way He paints in and through me. In your case also, your supreme prayer will be for the Supreme to run in and through you. Then you will be the happiest person no matter what results come from your sports, because you will get the highest joy by becoming a supremely choice instrument of His.
Nothing we achieve in our outer life lasts. It may last 5 years, 10 years or 20 years; but eventually it disappears. Then we have to rely upon our memories, saying, "Oh, I did this 20 years ago." But those achievements — no matter how significant they seem — are not immortal. Here you may be able to progress from jumping 9 or 10 metres to jumping 12 or 15 metres. But if you know how to jump in the inner world, then in a fleeting second you can jump from New York to Houston.
If your sister is in Houston, you will not need a telephone to convey a message to her or to share your feelings with her. It will be a matter of a second to communicate inwardly with her. The Supreme, who is inside you, is also inside your sister in Houston. By becoming more and more conscious of your Beloved Supreme's Presence inside your own heart, you will also become more conscious of His Presence in others' hearts.
So when you want to say something to your sister, to your mother, to Narada, or to anybody, just approach the Supreme in them. He is omnipresent; He is here, there, everywhere. If you approach the Supreme in someone, immediately He will give that person your inner message. On the strength of His Omnipresence, He will carry your message.
While you are jumping, Carl Lewis may think of somebody like Bob Beamon and try to beat his record. But Sudhahota will think of the Ultimate, the Supreme. This is the difference. Sudhahota will not think of jumping 10 metres or 12 metres. While running and jumping, he will think of becoming part and parcel of the transcendental Consciousness and the universal Consciousness, which is what you truly are in the inner world. If this is what you are thinking, you cannot go against the Will of the Supreme.
When I was a youth in India, my running standard was nothing, nothing, in comparison to your standard. But for 16 years I stood first when I competed with other seekers in my spiritual community in India. In 1955 or 1956, after being first for so many years, I wanted to become one with the second and third place runners and the other runners as well. That was my wish. So one day I used a little bit of magic power, or we can call it occult power, to give myself a high fever so that I would not come in first. I had such a high fever that I was unable to do warming up exercises even 15 minutes before the race. Then, when I was taking preliminary starts, I could not see; I was almost blind.
Whenever I ran, as soon as I got to the starting line, in Bengali I used to say, "Let Thy Will be done." At that time I had no will of my own. The previous night I had exercised my own will, giving myself a high fever so that I would end up second, or third, or even last. But just before the race began, as usual I said, "Let Thy Will be done." So what happened? As soon as the race started, my fever and my weakness immediately disappeared. God knows where they went, and I came in first. Because I had already realised God, I was able to inwardly communicate with my Beloved Supreme. After the race, I said to Him, "I didn't want to be first. Why did You make me first?" He said, "Just before the start of the race, you said, "Let Thy Will be done." At that time, you did not think of your wish to become second or last so that you could get a different kind of experience. You said that My Will should be done." It was God's Will that I become first. So because I said this with absolute sincerity, God's Will prevailed and I did stand first.
Once you realise God, your own highest Reality, even if you have a wrong desire, you cannot fulfil it because you have offered your body, vital, mind, heart and soul to your own Highest. My vital and mind wanted to have the experience of losing. But I could not get this experience because it was not God's Will. At the last moment, when it was absolutely necessary, I did the right thing by surrendering my will to God's. Then, afterwards, I became the happiest person because I had been able to please God in His own Way.
In your life also, from now on try to feel the difference between outer happiness and inner happiness. Outer happiness is like a tiny drop. True, there are millions and billions of people in the world who do not have even that tiny drop, but it is still infinitesimally small when compared to the vast ocean. When you get inner happiness, you see how soulfully that little drop merges into the ocean of joy. If you try to trace a drop in the ocean, you will not be able to find it; it has become indivisibly one with the ocean. Similarly, when you enter into the delight of the inner world, you will see that your happiness has become as vast as the ocean. At that time nobody will be able to say, "Once upon a time he had only a drop."
So this is what happens when we pray and meditate: our finite consciousness enters into our own infinite Consciousness. At that time our limited earth-bound consciousness becomes the universal, Heaven-free Consciousness.
Sudhahota: What is the ultimate limit of an athlete's performance?
Sri Chinmoy: There is no ultimate limit to an athlete's performance. You used to come back home from college and tell the members of your family that you were tired of losing. Needless to say, even at that time you had already reached Himalayan heights. Yet you can see how much progress you have made since then. Now, for the last few years you have been the champion of champions.
Your most extraordinary achievements at Helsinki and Los Angeles have placed you in the galaxy of immortal athletes. Yet who can say if this is your ultimate contribution to track and field? We who are most sincere admirers of yours are fervently praying to God for you to have better, more illumining and more fulfilling achievements. Your heart has implicit faith in God's infinite Compassion. You are also aspiring to become the greater-than-the-greatest athlete in the world. God's Compassion and your own aspiration combined will sing the song of self-transcendence in and through you to the joy of your loving admirers throughout the world.
When we admire and idolise great athletes of the past, we definitely derive inspiration and aspiration from them. In your case, Jesse Owens was the ideal runner. Who else can be a better hero than the unparalleled athlete, Jesse Owens? He was supremely great not only because of his body's speed but also because of his heart's magnanimity. His heart's good wishes and his soul's blessings have definitely added to your outer inspiration, aspiration and manifestation.