As you know, this spiritual Master wanted to experience the marathon world, so I began practising a lot. But each time I ran a marathon, my time increased. Even then I kept going on.
On one particular morning when I went out to practise, I was very tired. From the very beginning I said, “Today I have to fight against my mind. I will run at least two miles to fight against my mind.”
O God, I started running, and then I ran one, two, three, four, five, six miles, and I became extremely tired. When I reached a very desolate place in the Woodhaven area, near a park, the park sign said, “No fishing, no bike riding, no roller skating, no dogs, no children, no everything.” At the edge of the park were four or five cars very badly smashed, and right on the grass I saw a dead human body covered by a blanket. The head had been severed from the rest of the body and was lying a little distance away. I got the shock of my life to see that this man had been murdered, but what could I do? These things do happen in America. It is a daily story. I was horrified, but there was nothing I could do. There wasn’t any telephone nearby. And besides, I would be the last person to inform the police. If I called the police, they would just harass me. So I said, “The best thing I can do is to pray for the soul of this dead person.”
So I stood nearby, observing the dead body and the head and I meditated for seventeen minutes. I had a wristwatch, so I knew it was seventeen minutes. He was just an ordinary, simple soul, but I meditated and meditated and meditated. And I did much for the soul. Then I ran one more mile before turning around to go back home.
In all, I ran fourteen miles that morning. It was raining heavily. In those days, we used to have a gym, where I would go every morning to see my spiritual children and give out prasad. But on that day I came back from my run very late, so I did not go.
What things happen in America! Therefore, I ask my spiritual children to be very, very careful. No place is safe, no place. Of late, many unfortunate and destructive things are happening in the Jamaica area. So I wish my spiritual children to be extremely careful and to pray to the Supreme before they run and while they run, and afterwards to offer gratitude. And to do the same thing also when they go cycling.
RB 11. 12 May 1979↩