Why does Sri Chinmoy have to run?42

This morning I ran a four-mile race in Central Park. At the start I saw a middle-aged man talking to his wife and a friend. I was only ten metres away from them, by the side of the road. The man pointed to me and said, “I don’t know why he has to run. Of all people he has to run.”

His wife asked him, “Why are you saying that?”

The man said, “He is Sri Chinmoy, and his disciples run all over the world.” Then he mentioned Thomas’s name — no surname, just Thomas. “His disciple Thomas is going all over the country, running thousands and thousands of miles. Now why does Sri Chinmoy have to run?” he said.

His wife asked, “What is wrong with it?”

I was filled with pride and gratitude for what Thomas was doing. Then the man said, “He and his disciples are doing a very good job.”

At that time I wanted to change my shoes, so Bipin ran and got another pair of running shoes from Dhanu’s car. The man was looking at me with such appreciation, and I smiled at him. I was so embarrassed that everyone was helping me with my shoes while I was sitting there like a king. I tried to take one shoe and put it on myself, but unconsciously Nirvik pulled it away from me. I didn’t want these people to see Nirvik put on my shoes. If it had been after the race, they could have thought that I was dying, but the race had not even started yet.

RB 587. 7 August 1982