Nils Lodin: But I think that you benefit, not only as a Guru, but as a person. I always say to my friends that you do not know anything about life until you have run a full marathon. It gives a dimension to life that I have never encountered before. The pain in those last six or eight miles is a pain that you cannot meet in other situations.Sri Chinmoy: Right! We get a very unusual experience. We expect at every moment that the members of our inner family — the body, vital, mind and heart — will come to our rescue. I as an individual will think that since I have a body, a vital, a mind and a heart, naturally, now that I am in need of their help, these members of my family will come to my rescue. But after a few miles, they all revolt. They all say, "Give up! Get off the course!" We beg the body to carry us to the finish line, but the body is not listening. The vital also is not listening and the mind is constantly rejecting the idea. Determination we lose. So you are absolutely right. When one runs a marathon or any long distance, one knows what life is — a struggle from the beginning to the end. A marathon gives us a prime example of the struggle of human life.
Sri Chinmoy, Sri Chinmoy answers, part 29, Agni Press, 2001