Question: Is there some spiritual quality that I can invoke during the 3,100-mile race this year or something new I can do to really please the Supreme? Outwardly I know the goal is to finish the race, to transcend my best time and so forth, but is there something I can do inwardly to please the Supreme?1

Sri Chinmoy: There is no 'inwardly' and 'outwardly'. If we feel that there is any difference between the inner life and outer life, then we shall always be failures. There should be no difference between the inner life and outer life — not even an iota. If we have a good thought, that very good thought we have to manifest in the outer life. Inside and outside we have to take as the obverse and reverse of the same coin. A coin has two sides, but no matter which side you are looking at, the coin has the same value. Each side is equally important. Whatever you have inside, whether it is a good thought or a bad thought, automatically gets expressed.

Now the question is, what qualities do you need to bring forward from your inner life while you are running? The first one is enthusiasm. Who embodies enthusiasm? A little child. Who can be more enthusiastic than a child? He enters into a garden and runs here and there, here and there, appreciating everything that he sees. Then, in addition to enthusiasm, you need eagerness. Again, who has more eagerness than a little child? If he plays with a toy, he is so eager, his whole world is the toy.

Every day when you run, you have to feel that it is a golden opportunity to appreciate the One who is inspiring you. Always you have to feel that the Supreme is inspiring you to run this longer than the longest distance. Somebody is begging you, urging you, to do the right thing. Again, when you agree and say, "Yes, I will do it," then that Somebody Himself runs in and through you. First God comes and begs us, "Be a nice person, be a nice person." Then when we have decided that we should become a nice person, when we have said, "Yes, my Lord, I have decided to become a nice person," God Himself becomes that nice person. Similarly, when you run, if you offer the prayer, "God, please make me a good runner. I want to make progress this time in my running," then this is a good prayer. At that time God Himself will become a good runner inside you.

Now, while running 3,100 miles, you have to deal with fatigue — when you are tired, exhausted, dead. As long as you are in the mind, you will always have fatigue, tiredness, weariness and everything. But the moment you enter into the heart, there is no fatigue. What you will find is constant energy.

When you are doing something for the Supreme and you are in the heart, you can work hours and hours, day and night. When we love something or someone, this is what always happens. Yesterday is an illustration. In spite of being tired, your best friend made such beautiful decorations for your birthday. Her tiredness disappeared because of her love. But if she had been in the mind, she would have only worked for a short time and then given up. Then she would not have created such beautiful things.

If you are in the heart, there is a constant supply of energy and sweetness. We all have to develop sweetness. Sweetness is not masculine or feminine. People say that only girls can have sweetness and not men, but sweetness is not something masculine or feminine. Sweetness is a reality which is constantly supplying us with newness and freshness.

Early in the morning when you get up, if you have a sweet feeling inside you, then everything is beautiful. If inside you there is sweetness, the whole world is beautiful. But if inside you there is bitterness, then no matter what you see — even if you look at my Transcendental picture — you will not get any joy. Even if you look at a beautiful flower, there will be no joy. But inner sweetness sees the world as most beautiful.

While you are running this long distance, you are seeing hundreds of cars passing by and so many people are making noise. But you should feel that you are not running around that big block; you are only running inside your own heart-garden where there are beautiful flowers, plants and trees. If you can not only see but feel that each time you are going around you are only running inside your beautiful heart-garden, then you can bring sweetness into each and every step that you take.

The surface that you run on is solid concrete. I cannot even walk on it. When you are running around, after an hour or two hours or a few days, this solid thing that you feel you are striking against starts striking your mind. You start thinking, "This is so bad. Every day I have to do sixty miles," this and that. But who counts the mileage? It is the mind. The mind is saying, "Oh my God, today I have to do sixty miles, and I have not yet done twenty miles!" Then you are finished! The mind, your worst enemy, is coming to torture you.

But the heart is not counting the mileage. The heart is only running, running, running. Then at the end of that session, the heart says, "Now let me see how many miles I have done." By that time, perhaps you have done forty miles already. The heart does not calculate. The mind calculates from one to two, two to three, three to four and so on. The mind tries to go to the destination by cutting, cutting, cutting. But the heart tries to see and feel the starting point and the end at the same time. For the heart the destination is not somewhere else. Only for the mind is the destination somewhere else.

The heart will simply say, "Please take me to my destination." Yesterday in the prayer I gave before lifting up 1,300 pounds, I said to the Supreme, "Take me to my destination. It is a very long journey." While I was giving the prayer, it was my heart that was talking. How soulfully I was saying it! So inside the heart the starting point and the finish line are together.

If you can feel that you are a five-year-old or six-year-old child, tiredness will not come into your mind. A child does not know what tiredness is. He knows only enthusiasm and eagerness. Never think of sixty miles or 3,100 miles. Never take the distance in that way — never! Only run for the joy of it. When you run for the joy, even while you are running, sometimes you are thinking of me or of something very divine and sweet. Then by the time you would have normally come to nineteen miles, you will have covered twenty-three miles. You will ask, "How did I run so fast?" It is because your heart was enjoying some divinity when you were thinking of me or thinking of your soul. When the heart starts operating in and through the legs or the body, then the distance will always become much more. Otherwise, you will run five miles and then give up. When the heart runs, you will have already run twenty miles, and then you will say, "How could I have come so far?" The answer is because at that time you were in another world. The divinity of that other world was constantly helping you and supporting you.

When you run, never think that you are forty-three or forty-four years old. Only think that you are six or seven years old. If you are only six or seven years old, then why do you have to worry? When I lift heavy weights, at that time do I say, "Oh my God, I am sixty-nine, nearing seventy years old. How am I going to lift?" Then I would be finished! I will only go there and say, "Oh my God, it may drop on my head! I will die or have to live in the hospital the rest of my life." This is the kind of ideas that the mind will supply me with.

But the heart does not see the weight in that way. The heart sees the weight as a big toy. When a child gets a toy or when my dog Chela gets a toy, it may be so big that he cannot move it even, but he is so happy that such a big toy has now come into his possession. In my case, I take the weight as a toy. In your case also, when you think of the long distance, try to imagine that it is something to play with. Do not think of distance as something you will cover. Do not think that you will be tired, you will be exhausted or you will die. You have to take running as a game you like to play. Any game that you like, feel that you are playing that game. Do not feel that you are running such a long distance, and that every day you are getting tired. No! With tiredness comes sadness, and then you become upset — everything!

A child plays every day with new toys. Today's new toy can be quite inferior to yesterday's toys. But just because it is new, the child gets tremendous joy. My dog Chela has so many good toys. But if you bring him a new one, even if you bring one that is exactly like the toys he already has, he will be so excited! The same way, each day when you go out to run, you should see newness, newness, newness. Always think of the heart-garden. When you walk or run in a garden, you do not become tired because of the beautiful flowers and fragrance. Everything is charming, everything is inspiring. When you think of the street, there are only roaring lions here and there, with deafening noise. But while you are running in your own heart-garden, such a sweet feeling you are getting. It is your own garden; you are the boss.

When your mind is operating very powerfully, you are not the boss. Your boss is self-doubt, self-criticism, fear, worry and anxiety. You are constantly thinking, "Will I be able to complete the race?" Those wrong forces become your boss. But when you run inside your heart, at that time your boss is your love of God; your boss is your surrender to God's Will. If you can keep that feeling in your outer life while you are running, then there will be no problem. Always take it as a garden, not as a street, not as a big block.

Do not run with the mind. Even if today you fool the mind, tomorrow the mind will come back with redoubled trickeries to make your life miserable. You should say to the mind, "You stay with your trickeries. I want to play with my heart-toy, not with you. You consider your toys as beautiful, but I don't agree. In those days I was a fool; I enjoyed you. But now I am wise. I want to enjoy my heart-toy. The heart-toy always brings me happiness and newness, newness and happiness."

When you run, if you can make yourself feel that inside your heart Somebody is running or your heart is running or you are running with your heart, then tiredness disappears, the power of distance disappears. Only the power of oneness, oneness, oneness with God's Will appears.

All my blessings, all my love, all my gratitude, all my pride and pride and pride go to you for running this long, unimaginably long distance.

  1. RS 27. Suprabha Beckjord is one of the most prolific super long- distance runners in the world. In the decade of the nineties, she ran 20,108 multi-day racing miles in fourteen events. She is the only three-time woman finisher in the Sri Chinmoy 3,100-Mile Race and one of only two people ever to finish the race three times. She is the American record-holder for 700, 1,000 and 1,300 miles. She was the first woman in the 1996 Sri Chinmoy 2,700-Mile Race, establishing new records beyond 1,300 miles up to 2,700 miles. She won the Sri Chinmoy Seven-Day Race five times earlier in her career and has held the world best for 1,000 miles as well. Her six-day best of 459 miles ranks sixth all time for women.

Sri Chinmoy, Run and smile, smile and run.First published by Agni Press in 2000.

This is the 1343rd book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.


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by Sri Chinmoy
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