6 September 1989

On 6 September 1989 Sudhahota attended one of Sri Chinmoy’s Wednesday night public meditations at P.S. 86.

SRI CHINMOY: I am extremely happy and extremely proud to have with us here the fastest human being on earth.

[Sri Chinmoy meditates with Sudhahota, Narada and Anukampa, and the singers perform the “Carl Lewis” and “Sudhahota” songs.]

SRI CHINMOY: Before Narada speaks, I would like to tell you a cute but also significant story. Last year I went to the Olympics in Seoul only to see one individual. I wanted to be 100 percent of soulful, devoted service to my dearest Sudhahota on the strength of my oneness-heart.

During the 100-metre final I was holding a huge American flag. You know why! As ill luck would have it, somebody else got the glory in that race. Anyway, as I was coming out of the stadium, I was feeling a sadness beyond description. On the way a Canadian saw me carrying the American flag. He said, “Now you can put it down!”

Something within me quite unexpectedly prompted me to reply: “Not for long, not for long.”

The Canadian said to me, “What? What?”

I repeated, “Not for long.” Sometimes God does speak in and through me. It took only a day and a half for my words to prove right. And now it has been officially declared that Carl Lewis was again the fastest human. Now it is officially accepted.

NARADA: Our dearest Guru, Sri Chinmoy, inspires all of us to run very fast. That is why on this occasion we are so happy to be with the fastest of all of Guru’s students, our dearest Sudhahota Carl Lewis. You are indeed the fastest man and, in fact, when we first met you, Guru was so impressed by you because inwardly you were able to move and be receptive so quickly. And we all bow in deep appreciation and oneness with you on your great achievement, because you are outwardly the fastest and also inwardly very fast.

SUDHAHOTA: One thing I can say is that Guru actually repeated that story to me. Also, Guru said something about my looking over to the side toward the end of that race. But you didn’t tell them about that. Guru is so special to all of us. He used the fact that I had looked to the side during the 100 metres as an example and spoke about how spiritually you have to move forward and concentrate only on the goal, not run against the person who is next to you. And that, I think, says how much Guru means to all of us. He’s able to inspire us, but he’s also able to take every facet of our experiences and apply it to our inner life. Guru is so special to me because he has found a way to connect our inner world with our outer world in a way that most people cannot even conceive of.

So, again, Guru, thank you for everything. I also want to thank Narada and everyone else for our relationship because it’s very unique and very honest. I feel that from everyone here. So I just want to say, “Thanks, family!”

ANUKAMPA: I think I’ll end with a story that occurred two days after the 100-metre race, at three o’clock in the morning. I was at Sudhahota’s house. I was sleeping in my room across from his room when I heard his phone ring. It was a small house, so it woke everybody up. I was half awake, half sleeping. I could hear Sudhahota getting very, very excited. He was on the phone talking to his brother, saying, “Are you joking with me? What are you saying? What are you saying? Do you know what you’re saying?”

His mother jumped up and said, “What’s going on?”

He said, “Mother, I’ll tell you in a minute. I have to talk to somebody. Let me talk to somebody.”

He hung up the phone and ran down to his manager. It was just so incredible that this all was taking place at what Guru calls the God-Hour — three o’clock in the morning. That’s when he got word from the Olympic Committee that this other person had been disqualified and that he indeed had won the gold medal for the 100 metres. The day before, Sudhahota had become resigned to having lost. Also, I think seeing Guru that day helped him to feel, “Well, I’m on to my next step. I have to go on.”

What I admired the most about Sudhahota was that he was able to go on even after suffering such an unfair defeat. That wasn’t going to crush him and destroy him. This was one of the most important moments of his life at the Olympics, and he kept on. So I’m always inspired when I think of it.

[Singers perform “Congratulation” song for Sudhahota.]