The sprinter1

Around 4:30 in the morning I was completing my run. It was not twenty-seven miles like some of my disciples; it was only two miles.

As I was completing my two miles near the famous bus stop on 150th Street, a middle-aged white American said to me, “Man, you are a sprinter — not good for long distance!”

I thanked him and smiled at him, and he also smiled at me. See, his intuition was working so nicely!

  1. RB 1. 12 August 1978

The Grace protects1

I had only thirty or forty metres left to complete my mile that same morning, and I was struggling like anything. Then a car with three Puerto Rican youngsters made a right turn at the end of the street and started driving very slowly toward me. Two of the boys stretched out their hands through the window and screamed, “Hey, Sri, Sri!” Then such obscene words they started to use. It was the worst possible foul language — just absurd!

But the Grace was also there. The same middle-aged man who had spoken to me at the bus stop started running toward their car, using the same terms they had used. He repeated their mantra. When he repeated what they had said, they drove away very fast.

Then the man came over to me and I thanked him. He said, “Are you Sri Chinmoy? I am so happy that I am able to speak to you. I have heard so much about you. But I am not ready for the spiritual life, and I will never be ready.” He smiled and smiled and thanked me.

This was an attack of the negative forces, but the Grace came to protect me. I would not have said anything to those youngsters. Who cares for them? But this gentleman ran ten or twenty metres and frightened them away by using the same absolutely foul tongue that they had used. This was my morning blessing.

Today’s incident is so amusing. The older man had heard about me but had never seen me while those Puerto Rican boys definitely knew much about me.

Two weeks ago, on 150th Street, three black soldiers — cyclists — came toward me all riding together. But on that day I was very brave. I barked at them and they dispersed.

  1. RB 2. 12 August 1978

Big mouths1

Quite often a fat lady who walks with a cane greets me during my run. She has two dogs and she likes me very much. Whenever she sees me, she always has the same question: “Hey, don’t you feel cold?” Each time I give her a smile and say, “No, no.” By that time, I have run past her. Even if she sees me twice in the same day, she greets me with this same question, and I tell her the same thing.

This morning, at around 7:15 on our street, I saw this fat lady and her dogs having a real fight with another lady and her dog. The other lady was thin and seemed to be a little aristocratic. Let us say the fat lady is my friend, since she sees me every day and she likes me and talks to me. When the dogs started coming near each other, my friend said to the thin lady, “Don’t you dare come near me.” The thin lady replied, “Shut up, you big mouth!” Then, the fat one, my friend, threw her cane at the other one and said, “To hell with you!”

I finished my run and stood there watching them. As the thin one was leaving she said to her own dog, “You also have a big mouth!”

Now I had to sympathise with the fat lady because she was my friend. I went about 15 metres over to her cane and picked it up and gave it to her. She was very nice to me and said, “I knew all along you were a nice guy.” She was giving me a compliment. By that time the other lady had gone away.

  1. RB 3. 5 December 1978

The power of a smile1

The first time I ever did seven miles, I was running alone in Flushing Meadow Park. After three or four miles an old man who was also running saw me and gave me a smile. There was such power in his smile that I went practically half a mile without feeling any pain, just joy.

Then, when I was coming back after having completed six miles, I was breathing heavily: “Ahh, ahh.” An old, fat lady who was waiting for the bus saw me and started imitating me in a joking way: “Ahh, ahh.” In silence I was saying, “Oh, if you had run six miles!”

The man was so nice and the lady was so bad!

  1. RB 4. 5 December 1978

Running late1

There is a very nice black lady who helps school children cross 150th Street. Every morning she sees me running and appreciates my style. The other day I was coming back from my run later than usual because I had run four miles instead of my usual two miles at that hour. She thought that I had run only two miles, but had taken more time because I was tired and exhausted. When I came near her she said, “What is wrong with you? Why are you coming so late?”

She had been talking to a man and she told me, “I was just telling my friend that today you have new shoes and you look so nice. Why are you late?” I went twice as far, but this lady thought that I should have come back sooner. She has her own time!

  1. RB 5. 5 December 1978

Child’s advice1

One day while running, I was talking to myself in Bengali, in my Chittagong dialect: “I can’t go any farther.”

What could I do? I was dying! I kept saying, “I won’t be able to go any farther.”

Then, a child about eight years old came up to me and said, “Don’t talk. It will make you more exhausted. Don’t talk.”

  1. RB 6. 5 December 1978

The Christmas run1

Early this morning I had run a mile and a half and had started coming back. I was at the 1200-metre marker when suddenly the Christ started running with me. While we were running, he showed me my presence inside his heart.

I said, “You can show me my presence inside your heart, and I can show you your presence inside mine.” Then I started repeating his name in Bengali: “Jishu.” He began repeating the Bengali word “ashu,” which means speed, fastest speed.

I said, “You are mocking my running speed. But you should take a human body and then die here running.”

“I am not mocking you,” he said. “I am saying ‘ashu’ because you do everything on earth with the fastest speed.”

“But here it does not apply,” I said. “I have already run a mile and a half and I am dying, but you are in the subtle body. You are enjoying it.”

Then we had a spiritual conversation.

  1. RB 7. 25 December 1978

The ambulance driver1

About six months ago when I was running on Union Turnpike around four in the morning, an ambulance driver asked me if I could tell him how to get to a particular place. He was drinking something — beer, I think — and going against a red light. Perhaps he was late. I thought to myself, “What is the matter with that fellow?”

I could not tell him how to get to his destination. There was also a truck driver nearby, but instead of asking the truck driver, he started saying bad words. Finally he said, “Hell with you!” I replied, “Heaven with you.”

  1. RB 8. 25 July 1979

The direction-giver1

Once a taxi driver asked me how to get to Manhattan from Parsons Boulevard. I was so proud because, for the first time, I was able to tell someone directions. I said, “Make a left turn and then go straight.”

  1. RB 9. 25 July 1979

Run within, run without1

Today I ran with two of my San Francisco children. I was so mean; I was running ahead of them. From time to time, the mischievous runner in me looked back to see where they were. I was happy to see that after covering one mile, the husband was somewhat behind me and his wife had stopped to take off her jacket.

We were running two miles. When there were 400 metres left, I was showing off like anything — running very fast. Then, after I crossed the finish line, I was breathing heavily, all out of breath.

I could not hear the husband’s footsteps. That meant he was somewhere else. I saw that he was thirty or forty metres behind me, so I was very happy. That kind of thing is very bad, but it is due to the undivine human in me. The divine human in me would never have done that.

Actually, we had a wonderful time. As in the inner world we run together, so in the outer world we also run. In the outer world I have to keep my ears and eyes closed, because I know that most of my disciples are faster runners; I know what will be my fate. But in the inner world, I will be able to challenge all of them. So in the inner world I want my disciples to be as fast as I am. I ran with the husband and the wife as a token of my blessingful gift to the wife’s birthday.

  1. RB 10. 30 January 1979

The severed head1

As you know, this spiritual Master wanted to experience the marathon world, so I began practising a lot. But each time I ran a marathon, my time increased. Even then I kept going on.

On one particular morning when I went out to practise, I was very tired. From the very beginning I said, “Today I have to fight against my mind. I will run at least two miles to fight against my mind.”

O God, I started running, and then I ran one, two, three, four, five, six miles, and I became extremely tired. When I reached a very desolate place in the Woodhaven area, near a park, the park sign said, “No fishing, no bike riding, no roller skating, no dogs, no children, no everything.” At the edge of the park were four or five cars very badly smashed, and right on the grass I saw a dead human body covered by a blanket. The head had been severed from the rest of the body and was lying a little distance away. I got the shock of my life to see that this man had been murdered, but what could I do? These things do happen in America. It is a daily story. I was horrified, but there was nothing I could do. There wasn’t any telephone nearby. And besides, I would be the last person to inform the police. If I called the police, they would just harass me. So I said, “The best thing I can do is to pray for the soul of this dead person.”

So I stood nearby, observing the dead body and the head and I meditated for seventeen minutes. I had a wristwatch, so I knew it was seventeen minutes. He was just an ordinary, simple soul, but I meditated and meditated and meditated. And I did much for the soul. Then I ran one more mile before turning around to go back home.

In all, I ran fourteen miles that morning. It was raining heavily. In those days, we used to have a gym, where I would go every morning to see my spiritual children and give out prasad. But on that day I came back from my run very late, so I did not go.

What things happen in America! Therefore, I ask my spiritual children to be very, very careful. No place is safe, no place. Of late, many unfortunate and destructive things are happening in the Jamaica area. So I wish my spiritual children to be extremely careful and to pray to the Supreme before they run and while they run, and afterwards to offer gratitude. And to do the same thing also when they go cycling.

  1. RB 11. 12 May 1979

The windy marathon1

The Western world always says that there is only one saviour and that is Jesus Christ. But I say that he is not the only saviour; there are many more saviours. Today I can prove that there are indeed many saviours; all my spiritual children are my saviours. Had you not been there, after two miles I would have saluted the race. As a bad carpenter finds faults with his tools, today — like a bad runner — I found fault with the wind. During the first six miles, before the disciples came to help me, you have no idea how hard it was. How I suffered! After two miles I had no strength left in my chest, arms or legs. Usually I have strength everywhere, but it was as if I were being pressed against a wall. After four or five miles, who could maintain his will power? It was like climbing up the Himalayas. There was so much obstruction that all joy, inspiration and aspiration went away. What remained was powerful disappointment, if you use a civilised word. The uncivilised word would be a curse. After two miles I was only looking around for the car, because the wind was so powerfully pushing me back.

I am so grateful when everybody began running with me, trying to block the wind. But actually, when it was a matter of relief, it helped very little. Today there was no relief.

The wind came from the front, the side and the top like a solid wall and weakened the runner. You people should have used your occult power to stop the wind. The Toledo marathon is nice. If there is a strong wind, they reverse the course so the runners don’t have to run against the wind. Here they don’t do that.

I was enjoying the way that one disciple would say one thing and another would inevitably and invariably contradict him. It wasn’t that they were fighting. If one told the disciples running with me, “Go slowly!” then one second later another would say, “Go fast.” For me, to go fast or to go slow was all the same; I was dying.

Those of you who sang the running songs along the route were so kind to me. You have also helped me so much. All those who have run with me and who have sung along the way, all those who have encouraged me in any capacity, please feel my gratitude-heart. I have finished the marathon because of you; otherwise, I could never, never have finished. It was self-imposed torture from beginning to end. Today, the best timing was 2:39; last year I think it was 2:27. So look at how bad the wind was! The second-best timing was 2:44.

Usually I select people — my running crew and a few others — to run with me. I tell the head of my running crew beforehand who the people are and he informs them at which mark they should join me. But today I told him that all the boys could join.

The organiser of the race was very nice. He gave me a special certificate and the mayor has also given me a proclamation. The organiser knew about us through the Montreal Centre. He has also heard about the Meditation Group that we have in Plattsburgh. Plattsburgh is so peaceful, soulful and beautiful. I have been admiring it since yesterday and appreciating the sincerity of the place.

  1. RB 12. 12 May 1979. Plattsburgh, N.Y

Father’s Day torture1

During the thirteen-mile run on Father’s Day, I tried running at the pace of a few different disciples. There was one particular disciple, very fat, whom I was so proud of. I wanted to honour her and run with her, just because she was going to complete thirteen miles.

But then I discovered something new. It is infinitely more painful to run slowly. I tried to keep to her pace, but I couldn’t. It was unbearable!

  1. RB 13. 17 June 1979

The Indian’s pranam1

About a month ago I was nearing the playground at the Jamaica High School track when an Indian saw me running.

As soon as he saw me, he put down his briefcase and stood with folded hands.

  1. RB 14. 25 July 1979