Part XIII

On 7 August 1984, the day before Sudhahota ran the 200-metre race in the Los Angeles Olympics, he came to see Sri Chinmoy for a private interview. Also present were Narada and Anukampa. Following are some informal remarks Sri Chinmoy made about this meeting and an encounter the spiritual teacher had with Sudhahota at the Olympic Stadium the following day.

As soon as Sudhahota came into my room, he folded his hands. For 10 minutes I meditated with him face-to-face. Such loving devotion and oneness he had. When I sang the Sudhahota song, he was transfixed. Afterwards, we started talking. He told me his mother is making such progress. Previously she couldn't watch while he was performing. Now she watches so intensely. His father has tremendous confidence in him.

He was so happy to see his name in my new book. He was telling me that the guards will not allow the children to approach him for his autograph. Then they themselves come to ask him for it. Ketan has given me a poster of Sudhahota running and jumping. While Anukampa held it for him, he sat down in front of the poster and autographed it. He wrote, "Dearest Guru, with all my love and boundless oneness. Sudhahota." I asked him to put down the date. Of all people, he didn't know the date!

He has the capacity to jump 29 feet. One day he will break the record. Sitting face-to-face with him I was observing his muscles. They are all invisible! In some people you can see their muscles, but his are all inside. They are not visible, but they just do miracles.

As he was leaving, I said to him, "You will be first, and second will be your best friend, Baptiste. And third, whom do you want? Jefferson is your friend." He said to me, "Everybody has worked hard. Whoever deserves it." I said, "Third will be Jefferson, since he is your friend. So first yourself, second Baptiste, third Jefferson — in that order. (Joking) God will listen to my prayer." I predicted Sudhahota would be first, Baptiste second and Jefferson third. See how my prediction came true!

The next day, while Sudhahota was standing on the winner's platform after winning the 200 metres, two or three times he acknowledged my presence. Then, right after they played the National Anthem, he stepped off the podium and came over to where I was sitting in the stadium. Then he gave me the bouquet of flowers he had received along with his gold medal. All the officials were standing there. He had to stretch his hand over the shoulders of some people who were sitting in front of me. Not for a fleeting second but for half a minute he held my hands as he was offering me the flowers. This is called the soul's recognition — one soul recognising another soul. My childhood dream was to be in the Olympic Games. But even when I became a good runner, I was nowhere near the world standard. Still, I longed to participate in the Olympics. That is called desire-life, wishful thinking, hoping to climb up to the highest height while standing at the foot of the Himalayas.

Jesse Owens was my idol, my supreme hero. I wanted to see him when he came to India, but owing to circumstances I could not see him. Then, here in America, I had a long interview with him. Sudhahota's idol also is Jesse Owens. They say Sudhahota is the reincarnation of Jesse Owens. Now he has proved it in the 100 metres, the 200 metres and the long jump. He has done it!