Sri Chinmoy Lauf

The following day was our main race, the Sri Chinmoy Run. The disciples had found a very beautiful course around a lake with two or three small loops and one big loop. Zatopek was supposed to start the race. He was so enthusiastic, as if he were running himself. He called out, "Where is the gun?" He was screaming, "No gun? No gun?" We said, "We don't use a gun." Then his wife said, "You don't need a gun." When his wife said that, Zatopek said, "All right, I will clap."

The race was to start on a small bridge. There were a little over two hundred people on the bridge. They were standing under a big banner saying "Sri Chinmoy Lauf." "Lauf" means race. Zatopek was standing on one side. He started the race by saying something in German, ending with a final clap. When he clapped, everybody clapped, and the race started.

All the London disciples — even elderly women — were running. Our very good runners were also there. Among the disciples, Sundar came in first and then Janaka. But they were defeated by local Swiss boys. I was not feeling well and was running last, behind everybody. When I ran along the small loops, Zatopek was so excited. He was clapping like anything. His wife stood up also and was clapping and clapping, although I was running behind everybody.

Some of the girls who are useless runners kept taking short cuts at the places where the monitors were directing them around the loops. I told them later that they were all rogues. If they were supposed to run around someone who was standing in one place, instead they cut across. They saved fifty or seventy metres on four occasions. I was so disgusted. On one loop, at least two hundred metres they didn't run. They took a short cut. What were they doing? Just because they were third class runners, they felt nobody would pay any attention.

When it was over, Zatopek gave the prizes. I was so embarrassed. The first, second and third prize trophies were of the same size, with the same figure. Only it was mentioned on the trophy, "first" or "second" or "third." I said, "How can it be?"

Phillip announced the winner's name and handed the trophy to Zatopek, who handed it to the person. To each person who came up for a trophy, Zatopek had something encouraging to say. He was very, very nice. There were also health food prizes — honey and other things — for the winners. Zatopek was so happy to see that we had health food for the winners. After he gave each person his trophy, he pointed to the health food so happily and said, "Take this. You select."

I thanked both Zatopek and his wife, and Zatopek spoke, appreciating us. Then he came up to me and grabbed my hand and said, "Our Guru, this is the best." That was his comment. The race and the atmosphere — everything — pleased him, so he said, "Our Guru, this is the best."

The Mayor of Zurich, who comes from Canada, sent his assistant to honour me. He came with a proclamation and he spoke so highly of me for about seven or eight minutes. All of a sudden, his wife, who was very tall — much taller than her husband — came and gave me a huge bouquet. She was smiling at me. The husband said, "She wants to offer you this bouquet." So I took it and I thanked her.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Salutations, numbers 1-4, Agni Press, 1981
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