Question: In terms of actually sponsoring ultra-marathon events — the 700, 1000 and 1300-mile races — did you specifically feel that there was a void to be filled when you started these events? I know that a number of years ago your team helped the New York Road Runners Club in their ultra-distance events. Then at a certain point, they stopped doing it, and you began organising them. Did you do it because you felt the world would lose something if these events were not going on?

Sri Chinmoy: To start with, I wish to say that we are not cherishing any rivalry towards the New York Road Runners. Fred Lebow and I are very, very good friends. We are like complementary running souls. He is helping us considerably, and we are also trying to be of service to his New York City Marathon and whatever races he is sponsoring. In my case, I do not look around to see what others are doing. I entirely depend on the inner message. We all have God within us. When I pray and meditate, I receive messages from within.

My Inner Pilot wanted me to be a weightlifter and I have done it. Weightlifting was not my forté — far from it. I did not even like it, compared with other sports. I was good in sprinting and I liked sprinting, but I now have begun weightlifting because of an inner command.