Student: Which group of athletes has the better consciousness — bodybuilders or runners?

Sri Chinmoy: For me, runners in general have a better consciousness. Many, many runners do not take drugs. There are some runners who do take drugs, true, but there are so many ordinary runners who do not take anything. They know they are not going to be another Frank Shorter or Bill Rodgers, so they do not take drugs. Once they start doing well, they may start, who knows. But in the case of bodybuilders, even ordinary bodybuilders when they start want to become another Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bill Pearl. So right from the beginning they start taking drugs.

Runners deal with freshness, freshness of the mind. While they are running, nature is helping them. Every day, early in the morning or in the evening, runners go out to practise in the street or at a track. When you run, it is just you and Mother Nature. From the sky, light is flowing. Here, there, you get so much inspiration. Everything helps you to achieve your goal.

But with bodybuilding, it is a different matter. First, the bodybuilders may be depending on a drug that they are taking secretly. Then, when they go to a gym to train, they have to deal with the vibration there. When you are running, it is you and your shoes. They are your property, so it is your own vibration they are carrying. You do not have to worry. But, unfortunately, people do not realise that when they go to a gym they take on the karma of others who are using the machines. If the person using a particular machine before you is an impossible, unbearable character, where will the vibration go? Do you think that while he is touching the material object, his vibration does not enter into the metal plates, the bar and so on? It does, it does. Then that same vibration enters into you. When you came to the gym, you were filled with good thoughts, uplifting thoughts. Then, on your way back home, you wonder why all kinds of undivine thoughts are attacking you. Why, why? Where did they come from? It all came from the gym.

That is why I feel that training outside is far better than indoor training. If the weather is very bad, what can you do? But for me, indoor training is the second choice.