Part I — Remarks on ultramarathon running


Run and become,
Become and run.
Run to succeed in the outer world.
Become to proceed in the inner world.

Remarks before the first 700 — 1,000 — 1,300-mile race1

Brave runners, my heart is all gratitude to you. The English dictionary houses the word ‘impossibility’, but your life-history book does not include the word ‘impossibility’. You live not only in the world of possibility, but also in the world of inevitability. This race is new, unique and unprecedented. Only your heroic hearts can accept the challenge and become victorious in every possible way, inwardly and outwardly.

When we think of 700, 1,000 or 1,300 miles, we are reminded of Eternity. We are all running along Eternity’s Road, which is at once birthless and deathless. You are the pioneer-hero-runners who will be running along Eternity’s Road. Today humanity is loving your hearts and treasuring your lives with utmost joy and utmost pride.

Once more, to each runner, on behalf of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, I wish to offer my most humble and most soulful gratitude and gratitude. Each runner is marking the beginning of a new dawn that transcends at every moment its beauty, its light and its divinity. This divinity is embodying world-joy and world-peace. You are the true and perfect embodiments of world-peace. For that, to each of you my heart bows with boundless love and gratitude.

  1. PRT 2. 5 June 1987, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, New York

Remarks before the first 7-day race1

My dear seven-day race runners,

You are brave, very brave, exceptionally brave, divinely brave, supremely brave. Only the brave can and shall win the ultimate goal, which is birthless and deathless satisfaction. This birthless and deathless satisfaction you already have in the very depths of your souls. Now you are bringing it to the fore through your adamantine will-power and your sleepless self-giving to the outer world of running and to the inner world of becoming. Being a truth-lover and a seeker of the ultimate Truth, I wish to tell you that you are doing something most significant not only for yourself and your own life, but also for all those who love the outer running and the inner becoming.

You are the pioneer-runners. You are the brave soldiers. You are tomorrow’s pathfinders. You are supremely courageous by virtue of your divine self-giving to the running world. I am very, very proud of you and very, very grateful to you all. My heart of joy and my life of infinite gratitude I am offering to each of you as you start on your way.

This is a seven-day race. The number seven has a very special significance for those who study spirituality. According to the Indian way of thinking, there are seven higher worlds and seven lower worlds. Since we are human beings, we have already passed beyond the boundaries of the seven lower worlds. Now we are climbing up high, higher, highest in the seven higher worlds. Each of the seven higher worlds has a very special kind of delight — oneness-delight and fulfilment-delight — to give us. Each time we step into a higher world, we enter into a world of ecstasy. Each time we climb higher, this ecstasy increases. All the time we are dealing with a boundless and limitless ocean of ecstasy; but although it is an ocean, still it increases, for God the Supreme Runner at every moment is increasing His own Capacities, His own Light and His own Delight.

Although this is a seven-day race, please do not think of all seven days while you are running. Think of only one day at a time. Then, do not even think of one day; think of only seven hours. Then, for a few minutes, think of only one hour. If you can mentally divide the race and break it down into separate parts, you will get much more energy and much more joy while running. Every time your mind decreases the amount of time you have to run, you will get tremendous inner strength and vigour. So do not keep in mind seven days. Go at your own pace, but mentally divide the race to make the distance as short as possible. In this way you will always have inner strength and be able to run throughout.

  1. PRT 3. 14 October 1988, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, New York


The determination
In your heroic effort
Will permeate your mind and heart
Even after your success or failure
  Is long forgotten.

Remarks after the 1991 700 — 1,000 — 1,300-mile race1

I am a student of peace, and I feel this is one of the ways to offer peace to the world at large. I am a man of prayer and meditation, and from my prayer and meditation, I got this inspiration to be of service to mankind. I feel that while running we are able to offer our very best to establish a world of peace.

Athletes derive tremendous benefits from these races. They go beyond their capacities. In order to make oneself happy, one has to go always beyond and beyond and beyond one’s capacities. So here, while running, each runner is getting a very special opportunity to go beyond his or her capacities. Self-transcendence is the only thing a human being needs in order to be truly happy. So these races help the runners tremendously, although outwardly they go through such hardship. Eventually, when the race is over, they feel they have accomplished something most significant.

The future of this kind of race is very bright. Our philosophy is the philosophy of self-transcendence. I do hope either in the near future or in the distant future we shall increase the distance. Eventually, it is my fervent hope that we shall one day have a 2,700-mile race. Since we believe in self-transcendence, I am sure that we are not going to stop at one thousand three hundred miles. We shall try to cover a longer distance. The seeker-runners who believe in their capacity — which is totally the Grace of God — with this Grace of God will be able to accomplish something unique in their lives.

  1. PRT 5. 4 October 1991, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, New York

Remarks after the first 3,100-mile race1

Dear runners,

I bow to your soul, I bow to your heart, I bow to your life, sleeplessly and unreservedly.

The number 31 has a very special significance in my life. I was born in 1931. According to my physical body and my vital, I am old. According to my mind, I am ancient. According to my heart, I am as young as ever. According to my soul, I am yet to be fully manifested. According to my Lord Beloved Supreme, I am living in His own Heart-Garden, and I shall forever do so. Finally, according to me, I am all gratitude to the climbing tears of Mother Earth and to the descending smiles of Father Heaven. I am one, inseparably one, eternally one with the climbing tears of Mother Earth and the descending smiles of Father Heaven.

Our philosophy is self-transcendence. Yes, there is no limit to our inner progress and outer success. But again, there comes a time when we reach a certain height, such an extraordinary height, that we feel we can live there for a good many years safely and self-givingly. Then we wait indefinitely for God's choice Hour to inspire us, to aspire in and through us to go forward, to embark on a new journey.

This 3,100 miles is an unprecedented journey in our world-peace-manifestation-dream. World-peace can come into existence only when we are inundated with patience and perseverance. Infinite patience we need in our inner life and perseverance we need in our outer life.

These 3,100 miles remind us of one divine and supreme reality: we can and we must do everything at our command to transform the world of lethargy and unwillingness to be dynamic. Unwillingness we do not leave behind us. Therefore happiness remains always a far cry. Willingness to give, willingness to achieve, willingness to grow and glow should be the message of our souls. With our souls' blessings we can and will fulfil our earthly life.

To Ed, Suprabha, George and Alexandar, my soul’s summit blessingful love, blessingful joy and blessingful pride I am offering unreservedly and unconditionally. Whenever I passed by you running, you reminded me of our souls' eternal, birthless and deathless journey and you reminded me of Eternity's choice runners.

Human pride is devoured and has to be devoured for the development of humility, which we all desperately need to make inner and outer spiritual progress. It is our spiritual progress which will make us God-champions in each and every field of life. Again, there is something called divine pride. This divine pride breathlessly whispers into our ears: "You are the choicest instrument of God. It is beneath your dignity to wallow in the pleasures of ignorance-night, to surrender to the wrong, undivine forces. God wants you to be an exact prototype of His Universal Manifestation and Transcendental Dream.” So this divine pride I have seen and felt in each of the four runners. I have seen and felt God's own Pride, founded upon His infinite Delight in each of you.

  1. PRT 6. 2 August 1997, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica Hills, New York

Remarks after the 200-mile race1

My dear children, my divine children, your Guru shall cherish and cherish and cherish your loving self-giving and sleepless oneness with your Guru’s vision-eye and with his satisfaction-heart. You have done something great, divinely great. You have done something good, supremely good.

In the New Year’s message I told you that this is the year of teeming surprises. What else can be a surprise if not an achievement like this? And I have said that this month will convincingly give all the seekers in their inner lives a true sense of progress and in their outer lives a true sense of success. During these four days you have made immense, immense progress in your inner lives and you have offered immense, immense success to your outer lives.

Since all of you are blessed with aspiring hearts, please feel my heart of gratitude, gratitude and gratitude. My heart established — as it always does — its constant, sympathetic oneness with your 200-mile run. Now my heart is establishing its oneness with your stupendous success-glories. An achievement like this makes me see and feel that my spiritual children can do and will do everything for the Supreme inside their Master on the strength of their sleepless dedication and oneness-heart.

Three divine things I shall cherish in the very depths of my heart: your love for your Beloved Supreme inside my heart, your most exemplary dedication to your Beloved Supreme inside my heart and your brave, braver and bravest self-giving to your Beloved Supreme inside my heart. My pride in you knows no bounds today and my gratitude to you knows no bounds today, for you have proved to your brothers and sisters that this is an unprecedented month of inner progress and outer success. I made the announcement, and you have executed my vision-prophecy. Each of you is a runner of tomorrow's ever-illumining, ever-transcending, ever-fulfilling dawn. Therefore, my heart is all gratitude to you.

These two hundred miles represent your supreme glory. I am sure that each of you has placed this supreme glory soulfully and unconditionally at the Feet of your Beloved Supreme. His unconditional Compassion-Light has acted in and through each and every one of you. What you call capacity is nothing other than His unconditional Compassion. If there is one secret in God’s entire creation for seekers like you, if there is one supreme secret for you to cherish in the inmost recesses of your heart at every moment in your life, then it is this: we can do nothing, nothing, nothing; we are absolutely nothing, and we will remain nothing. All of our capacities are flames of the Compassion-Sun of our Beloved Supreme. Because of His unconditional Compassion acting in and through us, we do something to inspire humanity to raise its inner and outer standards. We are grateful to our Beloved Supreme. He is proud of us. Our gratitude and His Pride shall always remain together in His Eternity's Satisfaction-Heart’s Satisfaction-Nest.

  1. PRT 7. 20 March 1986, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, New York

Remarks to Yiannis Kouros upon his breaking the world record for 24 hours1

You have made our track, our race, historical and immortal. For that I am extremely proud of you. You are not only a Greek. You have become a universal figure.

Previously people thought the four-minute mile was impossible. Then they saw it was quite possible. Now you have proved that long-distance running is also something that a human being can easily do. There are many who will follow you, but you have become the forerunner, the harbinger of a new world. You have brought here on earth a new world, and so many runners will follow you. I am extremely, extremely proud of you....

This is just the beginning. You will do on earth many miracles — miracle after miracle. Now people are not admiring ultramarathons. They care only for short distance — a mile or even up to a marathon. But because of the glory you have brought into the world for ultramarathons, you will see that the whole world will appreciate and admire ultramarathons the way they appreciate marathons. They will think of ultramarathoning and long-distance running and your name together. Whenever they say “ultramarathon," they will say “Yiannis" at the same time. You are the supreme hero of ultramarathoning.

  1. PRT 8. 1984, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, New York

Part III — Talks on running

The outer running and the inner running

The outer running is a powerful struggle
  For a great independence.
The inner running is a soulful cry
  For a good interdependence.
Independence brings to the fore
What we have unmistakably deep within:
  A freedom-smile.
Interdependence makes us conscious
Of what we eternally are:
  A oneness-satisfaction.

The outer running is a burning desire
To achieve everything that we see here on earth.
The inner running is a climbing aspiration
To receive from Above a vast Compassion-Sky
And to give from below a tiny gratitude-flame.

The outer running is an extraordinary success
  On the mountain-summit.
The inner running is an exemplary progress
  Along Eternity’s sunlit Road.
Success is the ready and immediate acceptance
Of the challenges from difficulties untold.

Progress is the soulful and grateful acceptance
Of the blessingful joy from prosperities unfathomed.

The outer runner and the inner runner:
Two aspects of the seeker-runner.

The outer runner does.
  Therefore, he succeeds.

The inner runner becomes.
  Therefore, he proceeds.

When he succeeds,
  The seeker-runner gets a new name:

When he proceeds,
  The seeker-runner gets a new name:

The seeker-runner's glorification is a beautiful flower
  That charms and inspires his entire life.
The seeker-runner's illumination is a fruitful tree
  That shelters and nourishes
   His entire earthly existence.

The outer running is a colossal satisfaction,
Although at times it may be quite oblivious
  To the existence-reality of a quiet perfection.

The inner running is a perpetual satisfaction
  In and through a blossoming perfection.

The seeker-runner has a shadowless dream
  Of his full realisation-day
   In his outer running.

The seeker-runner has a sleepless vision
  Of his God's full manifestation-hour
   In his inner running.

The outer runner challenges
The Himalayan pride of impossibility.
The inner runner smilingly arranges a feast
Not only with impossibility
  But also with Immortality.

The outer runner runs through the golden gate
  And arrives at the sound-kingdom.
The inner runner enters into the unique palace,
  Runs up to its highest floor
And places himself at the very Feet
  Of the Silence-King.

Finally, the seeker-runner's outer running
  Says to his inner running,
“Look, I am giving you what I now have:
  My majesty’s crown.”
The seeker-runner’s inner running
  Says to his outer running,

“Look, I am giving you what I now am:
  My beauty’s throne.”

A great champion

A great champion is he who wins all the races.

A great champion is he who participates in all the races.

A great champion is he who does not care for the results of the races — whether he is first or last or in between. He races just to get joy and give joy to the observers.

A great champion is he who transcends his own previous records.

A great champion is he who maintains his standard.

A great champion is he who remains happy even when he cannot maintain his standard.

A great champion is he who has established his inseparable oneness with the winner and the loser alike.

A great champion is he who, owing to the advancement of years, retires from racing or terminates his career happily and cheerfully.

A great champion is he who longs to see the fulfilment of his dreams — if not through himself, then in and through others.

A great champion is he who meditates on his Inner Pilot for the fulfilment of His Will before the race, during the race and after the race.

A great champion is he who sees and feels that he is a mere instrument of his Inner Pilot and that his Inner Pilot is racing in and through him, according to his own capacity of receptivity.

A champion of champions is he whose inner life has become the Vision of his Absolute Supreme and whose outer life has become the perfection-channel of his Beloved Supreme.

Who is the winner?

Who is the winner? Not he who wins, but he who has established his cheerful oneness with the result, which is an experience in the form of failure or success, a journey forward or a journey backward.

Who is the winner? Not he who wins the race, but he who loves to run sleeplessly and breathlessly with God the Supreme Runner.

Who is the winner? Not he whose glory we sing, but he who embodies God’s Compassion-Light in abundant measure.

Who is the winner? Not he who has acquired tremendous name and fame and amassed a big fortune, but he who requires only one thing: God-Satisfaction in God's own Way.

Part IV — The body and the soul


O world-ignorance,
Although you have shackled my feet, I am free.
Although you have chained my hands, I am free.
Although you have enslaved my body, I am free.

I am free because I am not the body.
I am free because I am the soul-bird
  That flies in Infinity-Sky;

I am the soul-child
  That dreams on the lap
Of the immortal King Supreme.

O my body

O my body, you are a gift of the Supreme. Potentiality inexhaustible you have deep within you. To misunderstand you means to misunderstand the chosen instrument of God.

O my body, you want not, you must not, you cannot conquer the length and breadth of the world with your physical strength. Offer your growing heart to the hearts far and near. Offer your glowing soul to the souls around, below, above. Then alone will you become the conqueror and possessor of God’s entire universe.

O my body, invoke your soul always for you to lead. Invoke! Never shall the monotony of the uneventful life plague you. With lightning speed, yours shall be the ceaseless march — upward to the highest, inward to the inmost, forward to the farthest.

O my body, God the eternal Dreamer is dreaming in you, with you and through you. God the eternal Reality is living in you, with you and for you.

What is the purpose of the physical body?

The soul, which is a conscious, divine portion of God, has to live inside the physical body in order to make progress. The body is a temple, and inside the temple is the shrine, the soul. The body is our outer protection and, at the same time, our instrument for manifestation. Without the body the soul is helpless. Until manifestation takes place in the physical world, we cannot offer the real Truth to the world at large. The purpose of the body is to manifest the Reality of the soul. The soul needs the body to manifest the Truth. The body needs the soul to realise the highest Truth.

When the soul inspires us to do something, it also gives us the necessary capacity. Unfortunately, the unaspiring body, vital and mind often do not obey the dictates of the soul. The desires of the body often directly contradict the divine necessities of the soul, because this material body is unconsciousness itself. But when the physical body starts to become one with the soul's inspiration and aspiration, then God’s Light can find a fit receptacle in the seeker.