Question: During the twenty-first century, will anybody break the two-hour marathon barrier?1
Sri Chinmoy: How I wish the twenty-first century to prove my prophecy that someone will run a marathon in under two hours! For that I need a disciple who has implicit faith in me. I find it very difficult to believe that our human capacity is limited. Right now the world record for the marathon is 2:06. Just six minutes to reduce over twenty-six miles! Unfortunately, human beings always think, “My capacity, my capacity.” If the same world-class runners could say, “My capacity is coming from God. God is running in and through me,” and really mean it, then you would see surprising results. There are at least twenty world-class marathon runners. If they could have that kind of faith, you would hear in one month that the world record has been smashed.
Unfortunately, athletes are not all seekers of the highest height. Otherwise, there is not a single record in the athletic world that cannot be smashed mercilessly — even the 100-metre sprint. To me the present record for 100 metres is no record. They can easily bring it down to seven seconds. But who will believe me? Today I am a talker, but one day from Heaven, I will see that my prophecies have come true.
Everything is based on receptivity. In the weightlifting world, if I have to use my physical capacity without depending on God’s unconditional Compassion and Grace, do you think I will be able to lift more than fifty pounds with one hand? I doubt it very much. Whether you believe me or say I am exaggerating my self-importance, I want to tell you that a maximum of sixty pounds I would be able to lift with each arm simultaneously. I am able to lift more only because I entirely depend on God’s Grace.
Of course, world champions are not seekers of my height. But even if they can raise their standard a little, they will achieve so much. Unfortunately, when some world champions perform something extraordinary, outwardly they may fold their hands or they may fall to the ground and look at the sky, but do they really mean it?
When our receptivity increases, God increases our capacity. Before that, all the limitations of the body come and stay indefinitely because of our ingratitude-mind, ingratitude-heart and ingratitude-life. We have to feel that our capacity is coming from God. Why is it that one day you can get up early in the morning and another day you cannot? One day you are inspired; another day lethargy is absolutely killing you. For everything, we have to depend on God’s Compassion. That does not mean we will just lie down, sleep and snore, and God will work. God does not want the surrender of an idle fellow. We shall pray to God for the fulfilment of His Will: “If such is Your Will, then use Your Capacity in and through me. I am doing this because I feel You are inspiring me to do it.”
God has given each of us certain capacities. I may not be a runner, but somebody else may be a runner. I may be a singer, but somebody else may not be a singer. If anyone wants to increase his capacity in his own field, then he must have God-reliance, not self-reliance. Only then will his capacity become unlimited. Now our capacity is limited because we feel we are doing everything — we are taking this exercise and that exercise. We give ninety-nine per cent of the credit to what our mind is telling us and our life is prompting us to do. But if we can give one hundred per cent of the credit to God for whatever we are doing that is good and positive in our life, then our capacities will become unlimited.
I feel sorry that my disciples are not bringing forward more of their unlimited capacities. Ashrita is the exception. ‘Ashrita’ means ‘one who has taken shelter at the feet of the Master’. Ashrita is proving again and again the significance of his name. How many times he has broken world records, and then how many times his records have been broken by others! In their case, they are not as devoted as he is to his Master, or to the Supreme in his Master. These people who are now breaking his records are bringing forward their capacity from their previous incarnations. In Ashrita’s case, his capacity is not coming from his previous incarnations. In this incarnation he is getting all these capacities because of his extraordinary devoted service to me. He was not an athlete in a past incarnation. He was not a sportsman in this life. Even when he joined us in this incarnation, he was thinner than the thinnest, one of the weakest disciples that we had. Now look how much his capacity has developed!
When Ashrita says that it is all due to my grace and my compassion, he sincerely means it. How many others sincerely mean it? They only talk and talk. They say, “It is all your grace,” but in their heart of hearts, not even for one second do they feel that my love or my light is working in and through them. There are very few people like Ashrita in this respect.
To come back to your question about the marathon, I do have a few disciples who can accept the challenge. When I stood facing the Berlin Wall, I said, “Within ten years this wall will be demolished.” Then it took just a few years. Again, I made another prophecy that in five years or so, someone would run a marathon in under two hours.
It is all a question of receptivity. To be sincere, if I had to rely on my own capacity, I would be frightened to death to stand under the heavy weights that I lift. I would have all kinds of fears that something would break or something else would happen. In my case, it is only dependence, dependence — dependence on God’s Grace. But again, I have to practise. I have to take this exercise and that exercise.
I have disciples who can break the world record in the marathon. I do hope one day those disciples will come forward. If they are determined, if they are willing and eager, then definitely they will get my blessings. If my children do not fulfil my prophecy, then who am I? The Vedic seers had visions thousands of years ago. Now we are fulfilling their visions. They had the vision, but they could not manifest it. It has taken thousands of years to be manifested.
Now I have made a prophecy, and God alone knows when my prophecy will come true. In the Vedic times, they did not give so much importance to the physical. I am saying the physical and the spiritual must go together. The physical is the temple and the spiritual is the shrine. They are both indispensable. How can there be a shrine if there is no temple? Will the wind not blow it away?
If my disciples take me seriously, they will say, “If my Guru has said it, then it can be done; it has to be done!” Some disciples have that attitude in other areas of activity. They say, “If Guru says something, then it can be done!” These disciples try to do something impossible because I have told them it can be done, and they are successful. But when it comes to the marathon, my vision has not yet been manifested. So much depends on your inner happiness. You know how fast you achieve things on the days you are happy in comparison to other days. And the days when you have self-doubt, fear, jealousy and insecurity, you are ready to wait indefinitely to accomplish something or to come up to your own satisfactory standard.
SCA 830. Sri Chinmoy answered this question in New York on 25 February 1999.↩