Interviewer: What about the competitive element in sports? Isn't that another form of showing supremacy?

Sri Chinmoy: If we are not yet ready to accept the highest philosophy, we say to ourselves, “If I do not keep my body fit, then I will not be able to defeat anybody.” With that thought in mind, at least we will try to keep our body fit. But from the highest point of view, the goal is not to defeat anybody but only to compete with ourselves. When we compete with others, we are never happy. Today I may defeat someone in running, but tomorrow I will look around and see that there is somebody who is far better than I. No matter what we do, there is always somebody else who can do it better. This moment I may be the best, but the next moment someone else will come and smash my pride, and I will feel miserable.

When I compete only with myself, I always get tremendous joy. Yesterday I had one standard, but today my standard has gone higher. Yesterday I had a certain number of weaknesses or defects in my nature, but today I will try my best to have a few less. In this way I am always making progress and I am always happy. Here there is no third person who is judging the two competitors. I myself am the judge. I know how many lies I told yesterday, so today I shall decrease the number. Again, yesterday if I prayed for five minutes, then today I will try to pray for ten minutes. Good things I will try to increase and bad things I will try to decrease. In this way I am competing only with myself. In sports also, our goal is to do our very best and try all the time to compete only with ourselves. But whatever the result, we have to accept it cheerfully. We will do our best and then, whatever result God wants us to have, we will accept.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Sri Chinmoy answers, part 2, Agni Press, 1995
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