Sri Chinmoy: Here there is no competitive spirit. Here there is no greed involved. Here there is only joy. It is through joy that we are going to transcend ourselves.
At the age of thirteen or fourteen I ran. It is quite natural for a teenager to run. But at the age of sixty-five if I run, it means I am trying to maintain some joy, some enthusiasm. I am also trying to keep my body fit. When we are young, running is all competition; we want to defeat everybody and become the winner. Here the philosophy is totally different. If we can have cheerfulness and happiness, then that is our best achievement. At this age to do anything happily, cheerfully and self-givingly is most difficult.
Here I am competing with myself in order to maintain my inner joy and outer joy. When I run, I try my best to bring forward the enthusiasm that I had when I was a teenager. I try my best, but most of the time it does not come. The lethargy of the body does not allow me to bring forward the same quickness, alertness and promptness. I am imagining something, but the reality is somewhere else. When I was young, I did not have to imagine anything. I only used my capacity, which became reality. At that time, reality was pushing me forward. Now imagination is desperately trying to push me forward.
Our philosophy is the philosophy of self-transcendence. No matter how old we are, we are trying to increase our capacities and transcend our achievements.
SCA 1111. Sri Chinmoy answered this question during an interview after his 100-metre event at the California Senior Games held in Sacramento on 1 June 1996.↩