John Hanc: As a long-time athlete and observer of the sport of running, do you have any feelings about where the sport itself is going?

Sri Chinmoy: I am extremely happy that they are going out of their way to make sure the athletes do not take drugs. It is a great, great achievement. It is not only a physical or mental achievement; it is not only an achievement in the athletic world. It represents also a great advance for the spiritual life. People who take drugs are destroying their nerves and their health. God created us, so why are we destroying ourselves? We are like a flower in God’s Heart-Garden. When we plant a seed, we watch it grow into a beautiful flower. The flower is our creation, and we get so much joy and delight from its beauty and fragrance. But if somebody grabs the flower and tears it to pieces, we will be very sad. Similarly, God is our Creator and He wants us to keep our body strong, our vital dynamic and our mind happy and peaceful.

Somebody may say, “No, it is my body, and I can do whatever I like with it. It is none of your business or anybody else’s business what I do with my body.” But that is not right. In a family, if right in front of you a brother or sister is taking drugs or becoming alcoholic, is it not your bounden duty to beg them to stop? They may say, “Mind your own business,” but you will continue trying to persuade them to stop because you love them. Similarly, every human being is a member of our world-family. Because we claim others as part and parcel of our family, we will keep on trying to get them to do the right thing. If they do not listen, what can we do? But we will keep on trying.