Sri Chinmoy Went To Seoul, Korea, To...Sri Chinmoy went to Seoul, Korea, to watch Sudhahota compete during the 1988 Olympics. He met with the Olympic champion in Seoul on 25 September.
SRI CHINMOY: My dearest Sudhahota, Ben Johnson’s record must go. A few years ago, the great marathon runner Bill Rodgers said records are meant to be broken. So, do not allow your mind even for a fleeting second to cherish the idea that this is something unbreakable. No, this is something that can be easily, easily transcended through your own most outstanding capacities plus the Grace of God, your own father’s boundless compassion and concern in Heaven, my spiritual will and the good wishes of your spiritual brothers and sisters, and especially your mother and the other members of your family.
I am all for you. This record has to come back to you. Without fail, you have to set a new world record for your father’s sake, for your mother’s sake, for your Guru’s sake, for Narada’s sake, for Anukampa’s, for everybody’s! All you need is the determination that you can do it — that God, in fact, has already done it in and through you. In the inner world you have already done it. So you are bound to break this record!
Now please tell me, why did you — a world champion — have to glance to the right side after 75 metres? Even a beginner, a novice, would first and foremost be advised not to do that. It is such a deplorable mistake! I was so sad when I saw you looking at him. Originally your goal was in front of you, but then you changed your goal. He became your goal instead of the tape.
You have such determination, such will-power, that you easily could have fought him right up to the end. But instead, you did not maintain your adamantine will, and after 75 metres you surrendered. How did it happen?
SUDHAHOTA: Guru, I have no explanation. When I saw he was so far out, I was shocked for the first time. You are right.
SRI CHINMOY: I am telling you, until the very last moment nothing is decided. In boxing there are 12 rounds. Even if someone is leading in points after the 11th round, still you can knock him out in the 12th round. Then he is gone! So if you knock him out, those points are not counted. Similarly, no matter how far you are behind someone else, all that matters is who touches the tape first. The goal is not won until then. Let us say he is winning the first few rounds. But those rounds do not mean anything. If you are determined that in the last round you are going to destroy him, then why do you have to worry about the first few rounds?
SUDHAHOTA: Guru, you really make it sink in.
SRI CHINMOY: I tell you these things to convince your mind. How many times Joe Lewis fell down, then stood up and defeated his opponent by a knockout. So this is the kind of attitude that you have to have, no matter how many metres ahead of you your opponent is. As soon as you look at him, you are entering into his consciousness, and your own consciousness you are losing. You are surprised and shocked that he is ahead of you. But when you are shocked you are invoking a kind of force inside yourself that enters into him and helps him. But if you only think of your goal, then you are entering into God’s Consciousness, and God is helping you. It is like this. When you think of your opponent — even if you are thinking of how you will defeat him — a little bit of your determination goes into him and adds to his capacity. But if you think only of your goal, then God comes to increase your determination.
I am only a layman, and these things are easy to say. So in no way am I criticising you. Only I am sympathising with you that this unfortunate thing has happened, and trying to say things that will help you not to repeat the same mistake again.
Then there is something that you have to do only for me. To please me you have to do this! Please practise running 20 metres, and try to increase the length of your stride. You may not be able to do away with one full stride, but even if you can cut back by seven inches or a foot it will be very helpful. Your problem is with the first 20 metres. Even the quite inferior runners are keeping up with you during the first 20 metres, and there are even two or three runners ahead of you. I am watching you and taking pictures.
These runners are nowhere. After 40 metres your speed increases and you leave them in the dust. At the end of the 100 metres, they are 10 metres behind you. It is like seeing a little mouse ahead of a deer. The deer took a slow start, let us say, and the mouse is ahead. We know the deer is definitely going to win. But in the beginning if you had the speed of that little mouse, you would do better. The speed you already have is tremendous, absolutely tremendous, but if you could add just a little bit to it, I would be so happy.
I am the worst possible runner, but I am telling you this on the strength of my oneness with your heart. I am worse than the worst, but I am advising the absolute best on the strength of my oneness, so that you can be better than the best. You are the best, but I am telling you to be better than the best in the first 20 metres. So many times I am seeing on the tape that your first 20 metres can be better.
SUDHAHOTA: I just have to work on it, Guru.
SRI CHINMOY: After 40 metres we don’t worry. Then all the other runners fall away. But if you can cover the first 20 metres at their speed, then you will do even better. In no way are you going to get tired at the end if you have a most powerful start. It is absurd to say that you will not be able to maintain your speed.
We have one picture where the runner on your left has already gone while your foot is still in the air. At the end that poor fellow is nowhere, but in the beginning he is ahead of you. So if you had his speed at the beginning, you would be able to do much better.
There is also another thing you can try. Many, many years ago, long before you were born, I read about this and tried it. I was only an 11 or 12-second runner, but I was able to increase my speed. I don’t have your capacity, but I definitely improved according to my capacity. So you also can try. In the last four metres, instead of taking a long stride, you could jump. It is not at all illegal.
Many times it has happened that somebody was behind me, and I increased the distance by absolutely jumping the last two strides. With my fellow runners I always used to do it. I also did it with my German coach. One time I was about a metre and a half behind him when I tried it. He couldn’t believe it. It is legal; I was not disqualified. Even if you fall down, you will not be disqualified. Only once I fell down after crossing the finish line. Others didn’t dare to try it, thinking they would collapse; but I did not collapse.
My long jump was about six metres and yours is nine metres, so with your bounding speed at the end it would be nothing for you to jump four metres — two strides — when you are behind. During practice, if you could have a mark at, say, 96 metres, you could try this. It is not a high jump. You jump very low; only your feet are not touching the ground.
When you run, do you have any mental mark after 50 or 60 metres that this is the time to accelerate your speed? You are doing it anyway, but do you have some kind of mental switch that goes off at a certain point?
SUDHAHOTA: Yes, I have a point where I say, “Now keep going, keep the pressure on!”
SRI CHINMOY: Mentally you are telling yourself to keep up the same speed. But you have to feel that you are like a machine. In the beginning when you switch on the machine, it starts running. But when you come to the second stage, you press another switch, and then it goes much faster — with volcanic speed. If you use the fastest speed at the start, you will only fall down. But after 50 metres, you have to convince your mind that there is another dynamo inside you which goes much faster than your starting speed. You have to feel that you have another tiny motor in you, which you will switch on after 50 metres, and that this motor is 10 or 20 times faster than the first motor. If you can convince your mind of this, if after 50 metres you can feel that you have turned on the second switch, then your mind will make you much faster. These things are not theoretical. In the beginning they may sound theoretical, but then they become practical, and you will go much faster. Dearest Sudhahota, I tell you, Ben Johnson’s timing is not settled in my mind. I will not allow it to be settled until you settle it by defeating him.
SUDHAHOTA: Guru, I am convinced that I can run faster, too. Every year it has been better.
SRI CHINMOY: Our philosophy is to always make progress. But do not be disheartened by what has happened. Only feel that now Ben Johnson has got it and next it will be coming to you. I will be so happy if you can win in the next Olympics. The mind says, “O God, four years is so long to wait!” But you have to think of these four years as four months. If you can convince your mind that it is only four months, you are not fooling yourself; only you are touching another dimension and using another vision. If you think of four years, all your determination goes away. You say, “Oh, I have plenty of time. Now let me enjoy a little rest.” But if you think of the next Olympics as only four months away, then you will maintain your topmost determination. And the determination that you maintain will definitely increase your speed, and this increased speed will be your possession.
I really do not want you to wait another four years; I want this record to be broken in a year. I am seeing in the inner world that you have already done it. Outwardly you still have to do it, but inwardly you have already done it. So try to feel that in one year’s time you will break it. Do not even think of one year. Think of one or two months. There will be lots of meets in which you can do it. So you have to be ready. After the Olympics, while the other runners are taking a little vacation, I want you to reach another plateau, another height. While the rest of the world is sleeping, that is the time for you to be fully awake. It is like trying to accumulate wealth. When you get better speed, it is like inner wealth that you have accumulated.
I really feel that after this Olympics you should not relax. After making a new world record you can relax. But right now do not accept defeat unless it is God’s Will. In your case I know it is not God’s Will. I am always ready to surrender to God’s Will. If I know that I have done everything that I could do, if I have prayed and meditated and done everything that I am supposed to do, then I am ready to offer the results of my actions at God’s Feet. But in your case immediately the answer comes that you have not done everything. If you had done everything that you were supposed to do in your inner life and outer life, then you would not have looked at Ben Johnson after 75 metres. Unfortunately, what has happened has happened, although it is not God’s Will. But now that it has happened, you have to feel that the past is dust. You have to believe in yourself today!
I am all for you. You have no idea how much I am for you. You are going to be 27 in July. I was born on the 27th — in August. You will be 31 in the next Olympics. I was born in ‘31. In my heart these things are all very important; these are very special, sacred, occult numbers. When you were running the 100 metres, I was holding an American flag. After you lost, a Canadian told me to put it down. I said, “Not for long, not for long.” He looked at me and saw that I was very serious.
So please try these things that I am suggesting. You will also have our prayer and meditation, and your father’s help from Heaven. Right now you have $100, let us say. Let us take the capacity that God has already given you as $100. We are trying to give you another dollar, so it becomes $101. If he gives you a dollar and she gives you a dollar, then it becomes $102, whereas Johnson only has his original $100. So these last two dollars that you are getting will help you go ahead of him.
I am so proud of you and grateful to you that you offered your gold medal to please your father’s soul. (Sudhahota put the gold medal which he won for the 100-metre event in the Los Angeles Olympics into his father’s coffin.) Right now your father is in another room. Previously he was in this room, and you were able to see and touch him. Now he is in another room, where you can only feel him. If you could open your third eye, which is the eye of vision, you could also see him.
You have boundless love and affection for your father, and he has boundless love and affection for you. Your feeling of love has entered into him in the soul’s world, and his feeling of love has entered into you in the physical world. So he is offering considerable help to you. Also, God’s Compassion, our good will, everything is for you. So you are getting great inner wealth.
Tomorrow is a big day for you. I will be there around nine o’clock. For tomorrow, no advice — only our prayers, good will and determination.
Your friend is your soul; your friend is your country. When it is a matter of sacrifice, you have to feel that America, your country, comes first. I really want America to be proud of you every second. In the case of Martin Luther King, for example, there is no white, no black; there is only appreciation, admiration and adoration, for he has conquered the hearts of all. Similarly, when Carl Lewis comes into the picture, I want the people throughout the length and breadth of America to claim you as their very own. I want the public and the press to both claim you as their own. Right now when the press speaks ill of you, there are many who get malicious pleasure. But your heart’s sympathy, closeness and oneness will conquer the heart of the entire America. In the beginning Martin Luther King also had enemies. But now when you say his name, people immediately feel a kind of reverence, love and fondness. So whenever anyone says “Carl Lewis,” I would like you to get that kind of appreciation and love.
In the press they criticise you for not being like the others. Why should you be like the others? God created five fingers, but some fingers He made longer and stronger than others. Even my own fingers are not of the same size. But when I try to lift something, they all come together. If the smaller fingers are not satisfied, they can blame God! You are criticised for not mixing with others. But why should you? In Los Angeles you suffered so much! Here you are trying to become the world champion, and they are criticising you for not mixing! In the Olympic Village they are leading an ordinary pleasure-life; it is like a party. And you are trying to maintain your concentration and determination to become the world champion. So is this the time for you to enter into a night club atmosphere?
SUDHAHOTA: Guru, I think it’s getting a lot better. The problem is they are jealous.
SRI CHINMOY: I am seeing that their lungs and heart are burning with jealousy. It is like a fire — not the fire that purifies and illumines us but the fire that consumes us. Look at your feeling of oneness! Ben Johnson is your worst rival, but right after he defeated you, you went over and congratulated him. This time his consciousness was so bad. I am a spiritual man and I have occult vision. Everybody will think I am crazy, but I have to tell you that his eyes are not normal at all.
ANUKAMPA: Even when he got the medal he was not normal. He wouldn’t smile or anything.
SRI CHINMOY: No, his eyes were not normal. He was possessed! What more can I say? Somewhere there is something really abnormal. What he did is not the ultimate capacity of the 20th century; it cannot be!
My dearest Sudhahota, we are not only all for you but only, only for you. We don’t want to hear anybody else’s name or even look at anybody else. That is what love has to be like. If we love someone only, then there is tremendous determination in our love. It goes like a bullet. If I want someone only, then my concentration-power is not dispersed; it goes all to you and nobody can come in between.