Carl Lewis: the champion inner runner, part 2
Sri Chinmoy's Meetings And Conversations With Carl Lewis
Sudhahota conversation with Sri Chinmoy1SRI CHINMOY: Dearest Sudhahota, please tell us something about yourself. How do you feel after this great, greater, greatest Olympic experience? You have maintained your same heart of gold, your diamond-heart. Now what about your mind? The world is torturing your mind with a volley of questions. Sometimes the questions seem to be utterly meaningless and useless. I am sure you have transcended these silly questions.
SUDHAHOTA: Carol and I have really enjoyed travelling and meeting new people — doing many different things and having new experiences. I guess the spirit of the Olympics still moves in us so we have the aspiration to keep going. We’re happy right now. This year was the biggest year for me, and I got the most joy this year from travelling. I competed better than I ever have before. I was unaffected by whatever was said about me. I just competed and had a good time. I want to keep competing a few more years, possibly even through the 1988 Olympics.
SRI CHINMOY: Why possibly? Why not one more Olympic career? Now you are absolutely unparalleled. What is wrong with being absolutely unparalleled twice?
SUDHAHOTA: First I thought I was tired.
SRI CHINMOY: You are tired of name and fame or you are tired of running? If you are tired of name and fame, you can share our philosophy. But if your muscles are tired, you can easily be cured. Now the Russian sports coaches have something that is supposed to energise the muscles. I am using it every day. It has to be massaged into your muscles. I tell my students about receptivity, but I am the most unreceptive person on earth. I put it on for half an hour, but my muscles don’t get energised. They remain the same! But maybe it will help you.
SUDHAHOTA: I’ll probably compete another two years, take off a year and then come back in 1988 — or maybe I’ll compete fight through. But I plan on staying around until 1988. My coach says this is the first year he can really relax, because the Olympics are over. But he’s drilling me to get ready for a new season. He still thinks I can improve. We’re looking forward to getting better and better. Last year in the long jump, in a few meets I got too anxious. So if I can settle down and listen to my coach at track meets, and get a bit stronger, I think I can get the record.
SRI CHINMOY: We are eagerly waiting for that red-letter day when you set a new record. How long is Bob Beamon’s record going to last? Why are you not breaking his record?
We enjoyed your three songs immensely. They were so soulful, so beautiful and powerful. All the things that are needed to make a song perfect you had in those three songs.
NARADA: Guru, you asked us to sing “Going for the Gold” last night, but it didn’t work out for us to do it.
SRI CHINMOY: I heard in the morning that you were going to sing that song, so I said, “Let me write a song in response to it. You will sing ‘Going for the Gold’ and we will sing my song, ‘I Have Won Four Gold Medals,’ in honour of your Olympic victories.
CL 75. Sudhahota had the following conversation with Sri Chinmoy and his students on the morning of 10 December 1984 at Progress-Promise.↩
Question: You've received a lot of bad press and some of it has been very sarcastic. How do you feel about that?SUDHAHOTA: I think I’m in a position and I’m a person that most people don’t understand. Some of the things I do look fake and calculating. But they are dead serious and goal-oriented, with a mind going straight ahead. They feel the reason I don’t want to talk to anybody at a track meet is because that’s the way I am, instead of because I just want to concentrate on the competition.
Question: Do You Think They Realise That...QUESTION: Do you think they realise that you’re not that way?
SUDHAHOTA: It’s strange. People have interviewed me for a number of years, but all of a sudden many of them acted as though they didn’t know me. I just had to tell some of them that basically I haven’t changed. Most of them knew it, but they just kind of changed in their own minds. Also, the Olympic Games brought about a different feeling because all of a sudden I was the most well-known athlete. It changed their perspective. Now, most of the people who had written bad things or talked sarcastically about me are apologising. I don’t know if it’s because they want to get interviews again or if they’re downright serious. But most of them are calling back and saying, “Oh, you got a bad deal, so we apologise.” That’s what I’m experiencing right now.
Sri Chinmoy: Before The Olympics, For Months...SRI CHINMOY: Before the Olympics, for months and months you were available. At that time you were so approachable! Why did they not show kindness to you during the Olympics and accept the fact that you had to concentrate on your events? It was so unfair! Those two weeks were so crucial in your life. You were about to bring about a new era in the Olympics. Something unprecedented you were going to offer. If you had gone on talking and talking, then your concentration-power would have been totally destroyed. When it is time for a student to sit for his examination, is that the right time for me to go and bother him? His whole concentration is focused on his studies. Those are crucial days. That was quite unfair on their part. After two weeks they could have seen that you were the same person.
SUDHAHOTA: Most of the press people there were not really knowledgeable about my sport. Most of them came to the Olympic Games and tried to treat it like the World Series or the Superbowl. There were press members who said, “Why couldn’t you talk? In between the World Series games others would talk.” But you really can’t compare athletes like this. Every sport is different. In fact, there are some athletes who don’t talk to the press at all.
So I think I went through a period when everybody wanted an interview, and I was not accommodating. At first they thought I was being mean. Many of them really thought in their mind that I was being mean in not giving them interviews. So many of them tried to build this idea that I was out to make a lot of money and become the biggest thing that ever lived. They said, “We’ll say these kinds of things about him and then he’ll come back and give us interviews.” But the most important thing for me was to do well in the Olympic Games. I went there to win four gold medals and I did win them. Everybody dwells on the amount of money that somebody makes or the amount of appearances somebody makes or the amount of endorsements someone gets. But regardless of what else happened, I went to the Olympic Games to win four gold medals and I won them. It’s really all that matters, so I’m very, very happy.
Question: I Was Wondering What Moment Or...QUESTION: I was wondering what moment or event during the Olympics gave you the most joy.
SUDHAHOTA: The first, which was the 100, and the relay, which was the last. These were like special moments. But I enjoyed the 200-metre ceremony the most — when I was able to give Guru the flowers. The relay ceremony was nice because I could share it with the other guys and everybody was so joyful and happy.
Question: Do You Have Any Methods To...QUESTION: Do you have any methods to maintain your concentration-power during running?
SUDHAHOTA: Mine is just trying to do my best. I have this mind that is set there just to do my best. My coach has convinced me that I can be the best if I do my best. So by knowing that and by training that way, I just run to the best of my ability. When I go into a competition, people are there trying to figure out ways to beat me instead of trying to figure out ways to run their best.
I think Narada saw that when he went to the Bruce Jenner Classic in San Jose. Ron Brown and I were big rivals then. After talking with Ron afterwards, Narada could see that my objective was to do my best and Ron’s objective was to beat me. So that’s what helped keep me one step ahead of everybody. It was at that meet that I got the Sports and Service Award from you. Narada gave me the trophy. I felt it was not an outer award but an inner award. That was a special night.
I was telling Narada that your concert last night was so special because it kind of flowed along and stayed positive. The night and the feeling I felt moved through people. Many times when I travel with spiritual organisations, it seems that people themselves try to move through people instead of letting the spirit move through people. But I felt more peaceful than I do at many other functions because I didn’t feel like anyone was trying to beat it down my throat. My soul was accepting the spirit that was coming, instead of someone trying to tell me what to do. I was really happy to be there.
Sri Chinmoy: Narada Will Read Out Something...SRI CHINMOY: Narada will read out something written by Chidananda. It’s entitled, “An Olympic Memory: The Guru and Carl Lewis,” by David Burke. (Narada reads article.)
SUDHAHOTA: Very moving! It’s good to hear that, because it kind of lets me live through the moments as well. It’s strange, but throughout the Olympics, nobody asked why I bowed or who I was bowing to. It’s good to hear somebody write exactly what I was doing and where my heart was. It just feels good to hear the whole thing because of how much everybody here has meant to me. It’s really special, and I’m glad that people can share it with me.
(Sudhahota presents chocolates in the shape of sea shells to Sri Chinmoy.)
SRI CHINMOY: I am taking a conch. The spiritual significance of the conch is divine victory. In India we blow the conch to announce the Victory of the Supreme. So let us announce our mutual victory. I am announcing the Victory of the Supreme inside your heart, and you will announce the Victory of the Supreme inside my heart. The same Supreme is in your heart and my heart. So we shall announce the Victory of our Beloved Supreme.
When are you going to take up the cello again? Your childhood memory does not haunt you?
SUDHAHOTA: I went home for Thanksgiving and saw it sitting in the corner of my old room. I told my parents to get it ready and send it to me.
SRI CHINMOY: One day I would like to play cello with you on the stage — both of us together.
SUDHAHOTA: Keep your microphone louder than mine!
SRI CHINMOY: Narada will keep reminding you to practise. Sudhahota, I wish to offer you a piece of good news. Just before you came in today, I completed the first 10,000 poems out of the 27,000 that I am writing, which are called Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants. I am growing 27,000 aspiration-plants inside the hearts of truth-seekers and God-lovers. Previously I wrote a series of 10,000 poems called Ten Thousand Flower-Flames. It took me four years and a few months. This time it has taken me a year and four months to complete 10,000 poems. So I have made progress.
Now that you are the supreme athlete, you have to compete only with yourself. For you there is no Calvin Smith and no Ron Brown. Now you only have to transcend your own capacities. Your only rival is your own self.
SUDHAHOTA: I hope other athletes are listening to what I’ve been saying about this, because I think it’s going to help them become better athletes. But I hope they don’t listen too well! Now I have to move on, go farther and farther.
SRI CHINMOY: Their aim was to defeat you. Your aim was to reach the destination sooner than the soonest. Our philosophy is that the destination is never static. Once you reach your destination, at that time a new destination appears. We are constantly on the move. Other human beings are not your goal; your goal is the Beyond. By defeating them, you will not reach your goal. Only by constantly going beyond yourself will you achieve your goal. So you have reached your first goal, and now you have a higher, deeper, more illumining and more fulfilling goal in your life.
That Evening, Sudhahota Went To Progress-Promise To...That evening, Sudhahota went to Progress-Promise to participate in the celebration of Sri Chinmoy’s completion of the first 100 volumes of Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants.
SRI CHINMOY (to Sudhahota, while the champion athlete was presenting him with a cake on behalf of all of Sri Chinmoy’s students): It is all love that I am offering to you, and it is all love that you are offering to me on the strength of your oneness-heart. Your presence tonight has given us enormous joy and delight. It is not my achievement of 10,000 poems but your presence that is giving us joy. We are all swimming in a sea of joy.
You are giving me the credit, but I know how hard some of my students have worked for these books. I offer all the credit to my Beloved Supreme in the heart of all those who have served the Supreme in me.
On 10 February 1985 Sudhahota And His...On 10 February 1985 Sudhahota and his sister, Carol, visited Sri Chinmoy at Progress-Promise. The spiritual teacher chatted with them, and then his students asked them a few questions.
Question: Are You Aware Of The Other...QUESTION: Are you aware of the other competitors in a race as short as 55 metres, or do you just run as fast as you can?
SUDHAHOTA: I’m aware of them being there, but I’m just trying to go as fast as I can. Those races are so short that you can’t make any mistakes. You have to be aware of the competition so that, if you’re behind, you can make quick adjustments. In the 100 I wouldn’t try to make adjustments; I’d just run my own race. But if I’m behind in the 55 metres, I may do this or that because I don’t have much time to waste.
Question: Carol, Do You And Your Brother...QUESTION: Carol, do you and your brother help each other at meets?
CAROL LEWIS: Sometimes we help each other. But since our coach travels with us everywhere, we usually leave everything to him. But if he’s not with us, we’ll help each other when we compete by looking out for little things. When we go some place we’ll jog together and do things like that, but when you get out there into the competition, it just has to be you yourself.
Question: Carol, Could You Tell Us About...QUESTION: Carol, could you tell us about your Olympic experiences — what you enjoyed most?
CAROL LEWIS: I had a really good time meeting the athletes from the other countries. I had a sprained ankle going into the Games, and I just wanted to have a good experience. I knew that I was young enough to compete again some other time. I didn’t compete very well there, but I wasn’t really upset because I tried the best I could and that’s all I could do.
Sri Chinmoy: Last Time You Helped Your...SRI CHINMOY: Last time you helped your brother in the long jump. You were holding the take-off board. This time where were you?
CAROL LEWIS: This time they used a hammer and nails to keep it down. Last time they didn’t think they’d need that, and Carl didn’t think it would slide as much as it did. So I decided to hold it just in case. Better safe than sorry!
SUDHAHOTA: It was kind of fun! Carol and I came to the meet, and Carol said, “I want to hold the board again.”
CAROL LEWIS: I wanted to get in the newspaper. I wanted to get some press, so I said I’d hold the board.
SRI CHINMOY: This time, why were you in such a hurry in your long jump? Last time you were concentrating and invoking the spirit and all that. But this time you were in a hurry at the start.
SUDHAHOTA: After the Olympics and all the travelling I did last year, I didn’t really get into the indoor season. That’s why I wanted to cut it off early and get ready for outdoors.
SRI CHINMOY: You can’t concentrate on anything at Madison Square Garden. When you started running, the pole vaulter also started running — disturbing you. It was like a five-ring circus! The competitors can’t concentrate and the spectators can’t enjoy.Your starting has improved a lot. In previous years your starts were just a little slow, but with your tremendous speed you went ahead of the others anyway. Now you don’t have that problem at all.
SUDHAHOTA: I’ve been working extra on my starts. For the last year and a half, I hadn’t taken very many gun starts in practice. This year I have been practising more gun starts, and I think that has helped.
SRI CHINMOY: Now that you have won four gold medals, which was your goal, do you feel that it has given you more inner and outer confidence? Or has it added more pressure on you to maintain the highest height? When you run with your colleagues, do you get more confidence at the starting block because you have won, or more worries and anxieties?
SUDHAHOTA: For me it has opened a whole new positive thing. Winning those four medals was something that I had wanted to achieve all my life. When you set a goal for yourself and achieve it, you feel, “That’s done, so what’s the next one?” Every new goal that I achieve makes me feel more confident that I can achieve the next goal I set. So I just keep going and setting higher and more challenging goals.
QUESTION: Have you ever had an incredible jump in practice that you know would have broken the record if it had been for real?
SUDHAHOTA: When we train, we don’t put the approach and the jump together, so that couldn’t happen. There was one meet last year where I think I beat the world record, but I fouled. Before that, there was one other meet where I put a jump past the world record, but I fouled then too. So in meets I’ve done it, but because of little mistakes the jumps were disqualified. It’s a very, very small mistake — one inch in 50 metres — that I have to correct. It’s a challenge to work it out.
QUESTION: What athletes do you admire in track and field today?
CAROL LEWIS: (Joking) I was going to say me, but…
SUDHAHOTA: That goes without saying! I admire all of them because it’s such hard work whether you’re a great athlete or not. I admire the very idea of trying to be the best you can be. This I admire rather than the person. Evelyn Ashford, for example, I admire very much because she works so hard. This year she won an Olympic gold medal and was able to defeat her arch-rival despite suffering an injury last year. I admire the struggle, the desire, the training and the working to come to that moment when you run the best race you can.
SRI CHINMOY: When you run, is there a little gap between your fingers or do you hold them tight?
SUDHAHOTA: I leave them just a little open to keep them relaxed. So my fingers move around a little bit when I run.
SRI CHINMOY: It was so nice and kind of you to wear our T-shirt at Madison Square Garden. So, with all my heart’s loving joy and gratitude I am giving you these T-shirts. (Presenting a cake) And this is for yesterday’s victory. (Presenting cake to Carol) This is our heart’s gift.
On 12 April 1985, Sudhahota Performed In...On 12 April 1985, Sudhahota performed in a Peace Concert that Sri Chinmoy and his students gave in New York.
Two days later, at the tennis court located at Aspiration-Ground, Sri Chinmoy’s meditation park, the spiritual teacher played Canadian doubles with Sudhahota and Narada. Sri Chinmoy made this comment after the tennis match.
SRI CHINMOY: Strangely enough, Bob Beamon used to practise his long jump at the playground just a few hundred yards from here. So, Sudhahota, now you are here. We are begging your soul to set a new world record. It is not a matter of human rivalry but a matter of transcending the world’s capacity. If you set a new record, it becomes a real treasure of Mother Earth. Your world records, your gold medals, are absolute treasures of Mother-Earth.
When the gods in Heaven look down, they have such admiration for earth because earth is able to transcend itself. They say, “Oh, earth can transcend itself. It is so great.” A kind of competition is going on between Heaven and earth. Earth is in no way inferior to Heaven; it is just different. Earth offers something; Heaven offers something else. In this way earth and Heaven fulfil each other. So your achievements are earth’s most valuable treasures.
Sudhahota Attended The Function Celebrating The 22nd...Sudhahota attended the function celebrating the 22nd anniversary of Sri Chinmoy’s arrival in the West on 13 April 1986. During the event, the spiritual teacher made these remarks to him.
SRI CHINMOY: Dearest Sudhahota, you are not only the hero supreme of the 1984 Olympic Games but also the supreme hero of our Beloved Supreme. Your unimaginable speed in the outer world is appreciated and admired by all the lovers of the outer running. But your unimaginable speed in the inner world is for all the seekers and God-lovers to see, feel, appreciate and admire. On the strength of my oneness with God our Beloved Supreme, with all the divine sincerity at my command, I wish to tell you and to tell the whole world that your inner speed — which is your love of God and your conscious and sleepless oneness with God’s Will — is also unimaginable. You are not only the supreme athlete of the 20th century but also a supreme pioneer, a beckoning hand for the new world that is going to dawn. Your inspiration-life and your dedication-life will be appreciated, admired and adored century after century. Eternity’s child you are; Immortality’s gift you have offered to this beautiful earth-planet.
(Video of Sudhahota is shown.) We have watched Sudhahota the supreme sprinter and the supreme jumper. Now we shall hear Sudhahota, the supreme prophet. He predicted that he was running for the gold and here his prediction proved to be absolutely true. So now let us hear his prediction. (“Going for the Gold” tape is played.)
Sudhahota Served As Master Of Ceremonies For...Sudhahota served as Master of Ceremonies for Sri Chinmoy’s first weightlifting anniversary on 26 June 1986. After reading to the audience some of the comments from other athletes and dignitaries congratulating Sri Chinmoy on his weightlifting accomplishments, Sudhahota remarked: “I have really enjoyed reading these because a piece of every one of these lines is in my heart as well, and I think that all of us draw the same inspiration that everyone spoke of.”
In February 1987, A Press Conference Was...In February 1987, a press conference was held to announce the first Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run. Sudhahotha was one of the organisers.
Sudhahota made the following statement about the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run:
I am pleased to support the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run that is planned to take place in the United States and around the world.
By passing a flaming Peace Torch from hand to hand and heart to heart, bridging the cultural and social barriers, the ideological and demographical boundaries that separate nation from nation, you will help to re-inspire the vision of a peaceful and progressive world.
The Peace Run will do much to inspire the hearts and stimulate the minds of all who support, participate in, witness or hear about the event. Carrying a torch in the Olympic spirit, each runner will symbolise and undeniable truth that the hopes and dreams of man are more enduring than his fears, and the trials and tribulations on the road to peace and freedom are no greater than the courage of those who enthusiastically accept the challenge.
I will be honoured to play a significant role in the Peace Run as spokesperson and torch carrier. When the relay begins at the Statue of Liberty on 27 April and along the relay route, I will be there to help encourage wide public participation and to inspire the thousands who will share in this great adventure.
Sri Chinmoy Had The Following Conversation With...Sri Chinmoy had the following conversation with Sudhahota on 3 March 1988.
SRI CHINMOY: What is happening in the long jump?
SUDHAHOTA: This year, Guru, I’m not going to do the long jump in smaller meets so I don’t have so much pressure all the time.
SRI CHINMOY: As long as you break the world record, it does not matter where you do it.
Dearest Sudhahota, you have to know that inner strength and inner inspiration are not enough. Aspiration also is of supreme importance. Many, many talented musicians, artists and others have inspiration. But if they don’t have aspiration as well, then their inspiration cannot go very far because there is no link between their inner life and their outer life. When aspiration is not there to support the inspiration, inspiration is weak and helpless, and eventually it gets completely lost.
It is like a tug-of-war. In a tug-of-war, if you can have aspiration along with inspiration, then it is like having two people on your side. Definitely you are going to defeat those who are only dealing with inspiration. Look at Narada, who has become the supreme musician. He has inspiration, but along with it he also has aspiration. This aspiration is like a volcano; it comes out and pushes forward the inspiration.
Aspiration is the inner food that we must eat daily. Whether we feel hungry or not, we have to nourish ourselves in order to live on earth. If you can consciously pray to God and meditate on God, this will help you immensely. You can do it at home, at church, or any place. And while praying, think of either a bullet train reaching its destination or a river flowing very fast towards the ocean. Imagine that you are the train and that you have this bullet speed. A few times you can even repeat ‘bullet speed’. It is not that you are using the bullet to kill someone. No, it is the fastest, fastest speed that you are invoking.
You may call this just imagination, but you have to know that imagination is the reality that is at the top of the tree. Right now we cannot see it; only when it touches the foot of the tree can we see it. I am at the foot of the Himalayas, let us say. So how am I going to see what’s on the topmost peak? It is impossible. Just because with our naked human eyes we cannot see something, we don’t take it seriously. But it is there. As the foot is reality, even so the peak is also reality. So please try to imagine that you do have this bullet speed. Now all you have to do is manifest it.
Similarly with the long jump, always feel that you have the capacity to become the world champion. Do not allow yourself even for one second to be intimidated by the thought, “Perhaps I can’t do it.” That ‘perhaps’ has to disappear from your mind totally. In fact, feel that you have already done it. Whenever you try either the 100 metres or the long jump, please feel that you have already done it. With that kind of confidence you will run; with that kind of confidence you will jump. Don’t for even one second think of the other runners or jumpers. No, no! You don’t have any time to think about them or even to hear about them. It is not that you don’t like them. It is just that whenever you think about them or hear about them, very often uncomely or distracting thoughts come. So do not think of others at all. Just feel that you yourself are your own best rival.
I have so much confidence in you. How I wish you would feel the same confidence in yourself when you run and jump, for you have to know that your confidence is your fastest speed; your confidence is your longest jump. And this confidence you will be able to bring to the fore through your prayer-life and your meditation-life. Each time you pray and meditate, just feel that you are transcending yourself. And once you start transcending, then naturally nobody else can come to where you are. You are always at your supreme height.
Every day you spend perhaps two or three hours practising your running and jumping. If every day you can also pray and meditate for just five minutes in the morning and evening and, if possible, at noon also, it will help you immensely. Prayer is your inner strength and your inner power, and this inner power is infinitely stronger than any outer strength.
When I look at the 7,000-pound weight that I lifted, I am the first person not to believe I did it. If I use my mind, I will be my own worst doubter. But I know that it is the Supreme in me who has done it because He wanted to express Himself in and through me in this way. In your case, it is exactly the same. If you can become the instrument of God and feel that you are going to break the record for God — in order to raise the standard of the long jump — then who will be able to defeat you? Please feel that when you transcend yourself in the long jump, God Himself is progressing in and through you. That is our philosophy. You don’t see this because you don’t yet have the inner vision to see the invisible. But when we develop the inner vision, we see that although God is infinite, eternal and immortal, He Himself is progressing in and through us. So if you can feel that your success is God’s Success and your progress is God’s Progress, then there can be nobody, nobody on earth who will be able to defeat you.
God means infinite capacity. The moment a drop enters into the ocean, it becomes the ocean. I am a drop, you are a drop, Narada is a drop, we are all drops. The moment we enter into God’s Ocean-Vastness, we become the Ocean-Vastness. The moment a flame enters into the sun, it becomes the sun itself. So while you are praying, please feel that you are a blazing flame that is climbing up higher than the highest and entering into the all-illumining sun. It is our prayer-life that connects us with the infinite Power. If we cannot connect with the infinite Power, then we remain just a little flame or a little drop.
We are God’s children, but we feel our Father is far away from us in Heaven. We say, “Oh, I have made so many mistakes and blunders. How can I dare to claim God as my very own?” But that is not the right attitude. No matter how weak we are, we have to claim God as our own, very own. The more mistakes we make, the more eager we should be to run towards Him. But no, each time we make a mistake, out of embarrassment or fear we try to go away from Him. That is absurd! We have to act like a child who has been playing in the mud. Nobody wants to touch him because he is so dirty and filthy. But he runs confidently towards his mother and she cleans him. Then he is all purity.
In our spiritual life, no matter where we are, no matter what kind of consciousness we are in — even if our consciousness is in the lowest possible plane — we have to run towards our Source, God our Heavenly Father. At every moment He is more than eager to help us. Unfortunately, we try to rely all the time on our own capacities. We say, “I can do this, I can do that.” But the capacities that we have on the physical plane will not always help us. So let us say, “I can do this because He is doing it in and through me.” Then we will have boundless confidence.
This is not the ego’s confidence that “I” can do something. It is the confidence that makes us feel we can do something precisely because God is doing it in and through us. Otherwise, we will all be like Julius Caesar, who said, “I came, I saw, I conquered.” And where are Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire now? But when the Christ said, “I and my Father are one,” on the strength of his inseparable oneness with God, he became the Saviour. Now the whole world worships and adores him because he had that inseparable oneness with the Creator. In him, God the creation and God the Creator became one. So his confidence came from the feeling that he and his Father are one. That is the kind of confidence that you need, Narada needs, we all need.
So let us feel that we are God’s; let us feel that He is the doer and that we are only the instrument. If we become His instrument and allow Him to manifest Himself in and through us, then He gives us such confidence. The confidence of being God’s instrument immediately makes us perfect and makes the Creator supremely happy.
Whenever you come, I offer my oneness in the form of advice, but please feel that my affection and concern for your success are boundless, boundless, boundless. So wherever you are whether in Texas or Germany or any place — please pray three times a day most soulfully. It is especially important to do this before the Olympics. It is like being a student. The student studies throughout the year, but before the examination he works hard, harder, hardest — more diligently and more soulfully than before.
In your case also, your inner life has to come to the fore, your prayer-life has to come to the fore and your oneness with God’s Will has to come to the fore. Then nobody, nobody on earth will be able to defeat you. Your oneness-strength with God’s Will and infinite Compassion must come forward. Then there will be no such thing as impossibility for you. It will all be possibility and reality. The reality is there somewhere; you only have to bring it down. The mango is on the tree; you just have to climb up and bring it down and then share it with the world.
SUDHAHOTA: I just wanted to say that this is a really special time and special year for me. I really believe it is a year for me to put to use every tool that I have in order to be the best. Just saying “Thank you, Guru,” isn’t all that I have to say. I want to say thank you for knowing the needs that I have and for trying to enrich me and fulfil my needs. I want to do more than just thank you for the motivation you give me and for continually understanding my needs and fulfilling them and giving me energy when I need it.
SRI CHINMOY: The outer life is limited, but the inner life is unlimited; the inner energy that comes from the Source is unlimited. Again, the outer life also can become limitless if it establishes its inseparable oneness with the inner life. You were just speaking about energy. This energy is inexhaustible; it is birthless and deathless. But there is only one way to have access to this energy, and that is through prayer and meditation. There is no other way. To achieve an earthly thing in life there can be several ways. But if it is something really significant, abiding, everlasting — if it is some significant success, progress or glory that you want to offer to God — then you have to bring forward this inner energy. In the inner world it is at our disposal, but most people do not care to bring it forward. Those who do are able to offer something most special both to humanity and to divinity.
I am very, very glad that you have made the inner life part and parcel of your existence. So please, please, every day pray and meditate — just for five minutes in the morning and at night and, if possible, also at noon. Then you have your brother, Narada, who is constantly inspiring and encouraging you. He is ready to go to the farthest corner of the globe if he can be of any help to you. So his request and my request to you are the same: dive deep within, and from your own prayer-life bring forward your limitless energy. Then success will be all yours. ‘Yours’ in this case means God’s, for it is He who will be succeeding and progressing in and through you.
The Olympics means oneness — the oneness of nations. Rivalry is there on the outer plane, but on the inner plane it is all oneness. Once we see our oneness with people from so many countries, we feel the fulness and complete satisfaction of God the Creator inside His own creation.
Sudhahota Made The Following Comment To Sri...Sudhahota made the following comment to Sri Chinmoy on 13 April 1988, the 24th anniversary of the spiritual teacher’s arrival in the West.
SUDHAHOTA: I want to say, “Happy 24th year!” It’s so special for me to be able to take part. I see people who mean so much to me, and each year you are able to touch so many more of us. Twenty-four means 24 karats and that’s what you are to all of us.
On 20 August 1988, Sudhahota Came To...On 20 August 1988, Sudhahota came to Victory Field in Queens, where Sri Chinmoy and his students were holding their annual Sports Day Competition. Sri Chinmoy and Sudhahota competed against each another in the 100 metres, with the Olympic athlete race-walking while the spiritual teacher ran. (Sudhahota won.) Sri Chinmoy also lifted Sudhahota with one arm as part of his “Lifting up the World with a Oneness-Heart” programme. The champion athlete stood on a specially built platform, which was several feet off the ground, and the Master then lifted the platform above his head. The “Lifting up the World with a Oneness-Heart” programme honours men and women of inspiration and dedication around the world.
During the day, several of Sri Chinmoy’s students asked Sudhahota questions.
Question: In Long Distance It Seems An...QUESTION: In long distance it seems an athlete has to put in a lot more training, whereas in short distance it’s pure natural talent. You almost just have to bring out the natural talent.
SUDHAHOTA: But a lot of little things mean much more. You get killed in sprints by the small things, not the big things. You have to spend so much time on starts, running the turn, accelerating. You have to spend so much time on the very, very small technical things, whereas distance runners focus on the large things — just to run. So we really put in just as much time but it’s more on the little things. That’s really the major difference.
Question: Has There Been Any Time That...QUESTION: Has there been any time that you’ve done any adjustment in your training in order to compensate for something?
SUDHAHOTA: I would just work harder or spend more time on something, but not really make any readjustments. There’s really only one right way, and every other way is wrong. It looks different because peoples’ bodies are different, but we’re still doing the same thing.
Question: There Was One Coach Who Wrote...QUESTION: There was one coach who wrote a book on sprinting, and he emphasised the importance of driving the arms forward. What do you think of that?
SUDHAHOTA: First of all, I think people write a lot of things, but they coach differently from what they write. Your running motion is supposed to be a natural thing. It’s natural when your arms swing, so this is where the emphasis should be. They should swing from the shoulders. A lot of times you think you can run faster by pumping your arms. But speed is a matter of quickness of movement. With sprinting, in many cases the slower action is better because you’re moving correctly.
Sri Chinmoy Went To Seoul, Korea, To...Sri Chinmoy went to Seoul, Korea, to watch Sudhahota compete during the 1988 Olympics. He met with the Olympic champion in Seoul on 25 September.
SRI CHINMOY: My dearest Sudhahota, Ben Johnson’s record must go. A few years ago, the great marathon runner Bill Rodgers said records are meant to be broken. So, do not allow your mind even for a fleeting second to cherish the idea that this is something unbreakable. No, this is something that can be easily, easily transcended through your own most outstanding capacities plus the Grace of God, your own father’s boundless compassion and concern in Heaven, my spiritual will and the good wishes of your spiritual brothers and sisters, and especially your mother and the other members of your family.
I am all for you. This record has to come back to you. Without fail, you have to set a new world record for your father’s sake, for your mother’s sake, for your Guru’s sake, for Narada’s sake, for Anukampa’s, for everybody’s! All you need is the determination that you can do it — that God, in fact, has already done it in and through you. In the inner world you have already done it. So you are bound to break this record!
Now please tell me, why did you — a world champion — have to glance to the right side after 75 metres? Even a beginner, a novice, would first and foremost be advised not to do that. It is such a deplorable mistake! I was so sad when I saw you looking at him. Originally your goal was in front of you, but then you changed your goal. He became your goal instead of the tape.
You have such determination, such will-power, that you easily could have fought him right up to the end. But instead, you did not maintain your adamantine will, and after 75 metres you surrendered. How did it happen?
SUDHAHOTA: Guru, I have no explanation. When I saw he was so far out, I was shocked for the first time. You are right.
SRI CHINMOY: I am telling you, until the very last moment nothing is decided. In boxing there are 12 rounds. Even if someone is leading in points after the 11th round, still you can knock him out in the 12th round. Then he is gone! So if you knock him out, those points are not counted. Similarly, no matter how far you are behind someone else, all that matters is who touches the tape first. The goal is not won until then. Let us say he is winning the first few rounds. But those rounds do not mean anything. If you are determined that in the last round you are going to destroy him, then why do you have to worry about the first few rounds?
SUDHAHOTA: Guru, you really make it sink in.
SRI CHINMOY: I tell you these things to convince your mind. How many times Joe Lewis fell down, then stood up and defeated his opponent by a knockout. So this is the kind of attitude that you have to have, no matter how many metres ahead of you your opponent is. As soon as you look at him, you are entering into his consciousness, and your own consciousness you are losing. You are surprised and shocked that he is ahead of you. But when you are shocked you are invoking a kind of force inside yourself that enters into him and helps him. But if you only think of your goal, then you are entering into God’s Consciousness, and God is helping you. It is like this. When you think of your opponent — even if you are thinking of how you will defeat him — a little bit of your determination goes into him and adds to his capacity. But if you think only of your goal, then God comes to increase your determination.
I am only a layman, and these things are easy to say. So in no way am I criticising you. Only I am sympathising with you that this unfortunate thing has happened, and trying to say things that will help you not to repeat the same mistake again.
Then there is something that you have to do only for me. To please me you have to do this! Please practise running 20 metres, and try to increase the length of your stride. You may not be able to do away with one full stride, but even if you can cut back by seven inches or a foot it will be very helpful. Your problem is with the first 20 metres. Even the quite inferior runners are keeping up with you during the first 20 metres, and there are even two or three runners ahead of you. I am watching you and taking pictures.
These runners are nowhere. After 40 metres your speed increases and you leave them in the dust. At the end of the 100 metres, they are 10 metres behind you. It is like seeing a little mouse ahead of a deer. The deer took a slow start, let us say, and the mouse is ahead. We know the deer is definitely going to win. But in the beginning if you had the speed of that little mouse, you would do better. The speed you already have is tremendous, absolutely tremendous, but if you could add just a little bit to it, I would be so happy.
I am the worst possible runner, but I am telling you this on the strength of my oneness with your heart. I am worse than the worst, but I am advising the absolute best on the strength of my oneness, so that you can be better than the best. You are the best, but I am telling you to be better than the best in the first 20 metres. So many times I am seeing on the tape that your first 20 metres can be better.
SUDHAHOTA: I just have to work on it, Guru.
SRI CHINMOY: After 40 metres we don’t worry. Then all the other runners fall away. But if you can cover the first 20 metres at their speed, then you will do even better. In no way are you going to get tired at the end if you have a most powerful start. It is absurd to say that you will not be able to maintain your speed.
We have one picture where the runner on your left has already gone while your foot is still in the air. At the end that poor fellow is nowhere, but in the beginning he is ahead of you. So if you had his speed at the beginning, you would be able to do much better.
There is also another thing you can try. Many, many years ago, long before you were born, I read about this and tried it. I was only an 11 or 12-second runner, but I was able to increase my speed. I don’t have your capacity, but I definitely improved according to my capacity. So you also can try. In the last four metres, instead of taking a long stride, you could jump. It is not at all illegal.
Many times it has happened that somebody was behind me, and I increased the distance by absolutely jumping the last two strides. With my fellow runners I always used to do it. I also did it with my German coach. One time I was about a metre and a half behind him when I tried it. He couldn’t believe it. It is legal; I was not disqualified. Even if you fall down, you will not be disqualified. Only once I fell down after crossing the finish line. Others didn’t dare to try it, thinking they would collapse; but I did not collapse.
My long jump was about six metres and yours is nine metres, so with your bounding speed at the end it would be nothing for you to jump four metres — two strides — when you are behind. During practice, if you could have a mark at, say, 96 metres, you could try this. It is not a high jump. You jump very low; only your feet are not touching the ground.
When you run, do you have any mental mark after 50 or 60 metres that this is the time to accelerate your speed? You are doing it anyway, but do you have some kind of mental switch that goes off at a certain point?
SUDHAHOTA: Yes, I have a point where I say, “Now keep going, keep the pressure on!”
SRI CHINMOY: Mentally you are telling yourself to keep up the same speed. But you have to feel that you are like a machine. In the beginning when you switch on the machine, it starts running. But when you come to the second stage, you press another switch, and then it goes much faster — with volcanic speed. If you use the fastest speed at the start, you will only fall down. But after 50 metres, you have to convince your mind that there is another dynamo inside you which goes much faster than your starting speed. You have to feel that you have another tiny motor in you, which you will switch on after 50 metres, and that this motor is 10 or 20 times faster than the first motor. If you can convince your mind of this, if after 50 metres you can feel that you have turned on the second switch, then your mind will make you much faster. These things are not theoretical. In the beginning they may sound theoretical, but then they become practical, and you will go much faster. Dearest Sudhahota, I tell you, Ben Johnson’s timing is not settled in my mind. I will not allow it to be settled until you settle it by defeating him.
SUDHAHOTA: Guru, I am convinced that I can run faster, too. Every year it has been better.
SRI CHINMOY: Our philosophy is to always make progress. But do not be disheartened by what has happened. Only feel that now Ben Johnson has got it and next it will be coming to you. I will be so happy if you can win in the next Olympics. The mind says, “O God, four years is so long to wait!” But you have to think of these four years as four months. If you can convince your mind that it is only four months, you are not fooling yourself; only you are touching another dimension and using another vision. If you think of four years, all your determination goes away. You say, “Oh, I have plenty of time. Now let me enjoy a little rest.” But if you think of the next Olympics as only four months away, then you will maintain your topmost determination. And the determination that you maintain will definitely increase your speed, and this increased speed will be your possession.
I really do not want you to wait another four years; I want this record to be broken in a year. I am seeing in the inner world that you have already done it. Outwardly you still have to do it, but inwardly you have already done it. So try to feel that in one year’s time you will break it. Do not even think of one year. Think of one or two months. There will be lots of meets in which you can do it. So you have to be ready. After the Olympics, while the other runners are taking a little vacation, I want you to reach another plateau, another height. While the rest of the world is sleeping, that is the time for you to be fully awake. It is like trying to accumulate wealth. When you get better speed, it is like inner wealth that you have accumulated.
I really feel that after this Olympics you should not relax. After making a new world record you can relax. But right now do not accept defeat unless it is God’s Will. In your case I know it is not God’s Will. I am always ready to surrender to God’s Will. If I know that I have done everything that I could do, if I have prayed and meditated and done everything that I am supposed to do, then I am ready to offer the results of my actions at God’s Feet. But in your case immediately the answer comes that you have not done everything. If you had done everything that you were supposed to do in your inner life and outer life, then you would not have looked at Ben Johnson after 75 metres. Unfortunately, what has happened has happened, although it is not God’s Will. But now that it has happened, you have to feel that the past is dust. You have to believe in yourself today!
I am all for you. You have no idea how much I am for you. You are going to be 27 in July. I was born on the 27th — in August. You will be 31 in the next Olympics. I was born in ‘31. In my heart these things are all very important; these are very special, sacred, occult numbers. When you were running the 100 metres, I was holding an American flag. After you lost, a Canadian told me to put it down. I said, “Not for long, not for long.” He looked at me and saw that I was very serious.
So please try these things that I am suggesting. You will also have our prayer and meditation, and your father’s help from Heaven. Right now you have $100, let us say. Let us take the capacity that God has already given you as $100. We are trying to give you another dollar, so it becomes $101. If he gives you a dollar and she gives you a dollar, then it becomes $102, whereas Johnson only has his original $100. So these last two dollars that you are getting will help you go ahead of him.
I am so proud of you and grateful to you that you offered your gold medal to please your father’s soul. (Sudhahota put the gold medal which he won for the 100-metre event in the Los Angeles Olympics into his father’s coffin.) Right now your father is in another room. Previously he was in this room, and you were able to see and touch him. Now he is in another room, where you can only feel him. If you could open your third eye, which is the eye of vision, you could also see him.
You have boundless love and affection for your father, and he has boundless love and affection for you. Your feeling of love has entered into him in the soul’s world, and his feeling of love has entered into you in the physical world. So he is offering considerable help to you. Also, God’s Compassion, our good will, everything is for you. So you are getting great inner wealth.
Tomorrow is a big day for you. I will be there around nine o’clock. For tomorrow, no advice — only our prayers, good will and determination.
Your friend is your soul; your friend is your country. When it is a matter of sacrifice, you have to feel that America, your country, comes first. I really want America to be proud of you every second. In the case of Martin Luther King, for example, there is no white, no black; there is only appreciation, admiration and adoration, for he has conquered the hearts of all. Similarly, when Carl Lewis comes into the picture, I want the people throughout the length and breadth of America to claim you as their very own. I want the public and the press to both claim you as their own. Right now when the press speaks ill of you, there are many who get malicious pleasure. But your heart’s sympathy, closeness and oneness will conquer the heart of the entire America. In the beginning Martin Luther King also had enemies. But now when you say his name, people immediately feel a kind of reverence, love and fondness. So whenever anyone says “Carl Lewis,” I would like you to get that kind of appreciation and love.
In the press they criticise you for not being like the others. Why should you be like the others? God created five fingers, but some fingers He made longer and stronger than others. Even my own fingers are not of the same size. But when I try to lift something, they all come together. If the smaller fingers are not satisfied, they can blame God! You are criticised for not mixing with others. But why should you? In Los Angeles you suffered so much! Here you are trying to become the world champion, and they are criticising you for not mixing! In the Olympic Village they are leading an ordinary pleasure-life; it is like a party. And you are trying to maintain your concentration and determination to become the world champion. So is this the time for you to enter into a night club atmosphere?
SUDHAHOTA: Guru, I think it’s getting a lot better. The problem is they are jealous.
SRI CHINMOY: I am seeing that their lungs and heart are burning with jealousy. It is like a fire — not the fire that purifies and illumines us but the fire that consumes us. Look at your feeling of oneness! Ben Johnson is your worst rival, but right after he defeated you, you went over and congratulated him. This time his consciousness was so bad. I am a spiritual man and I have occult vision. Everybody will think I am crazy, but I have to tell you that his eyes are not normal at all.
ANUKAMPA: Even when he got the medal he was not normal. He wouldn’t smile or anything.
SRI CHINMOY: No, his eyes were not normal. He was possessed! What more can I say? Somewhere there is something really abnormal. What he did is not the ultimate capacity of the 20th century; it cannot be!
My dearest Sudhahota, we are not only all for you but only, only for you. We don’t want to hear anybody else’s name or even look at anybody else. That is what love has to be like. If we love someone only, then there is tremendous determination in our love. It goes like a bullet. If I want someone only, then my concentration-power is not dispersed; it goes all to you and nobody can come in between.
On 23 July 1989 Sudhahota Came To...On 23 July 1989 Sudhahota came to Aspiration-Ground for a special programme that Sri Chinmoy was holding to honour a number of athletes who had participated in the New York Games. Sudhahota spoke during the programme, which was called “The Morning of Champion-Hearts Supreme.” His remarks follow.
This is a very special time for me. Although a lot of people may not know it, I’ve known Sri Chinmoy for the better part of six years. Just about everyone here is a good friend of mine. I’ve known them for years. This is almost like home to me. Every time I’m in the area, I visit Sri Chinmoy. And he and many of his disciples actually came to the 1984 and 1988 Olympics to see me. So I feel like this is always family here. To have some of the other athletes witness this and share in this experience is a special thing for me.
I don’t know if everyone recognised the song that they sang ("Sudhahota"), but Sudhahota is actually my spiritual name, and that’s how I’m known around here. I’m glad that some of the other athletes were able to meet Sri Chinmoy, because he’s an inspiration to all of us. He continues to help us to aspire and to be very positive, and also to meditate and find our inner peace. That’s what’s very important, for it’s something that we can transmit to everybody. It goes beyond the boundaries of sports.
Everyone here is very special to me spiritually. So I just hope we have more and more family members, and that Sri Chinmoy can continue to inspire you the way he does me.
On 6 September 1989 Sudhahota Attended One...On 6 September 1989 Sudhahota attended one of Sri Chinmoy’s Wednesday night public meditations at P.S. 86.
SRI CHINMOY: I am extremely happy and extremely proud to have with us here the fastest human being on earth.
(Sri Chinmoy meditates with Sudhahota, Narada and Anukampa, and the singers perform the “Carl Lewis” and “Sudhahota” songs.)
SRI CHINMOY: Before Narada speaks, I would like to tell you a cute but also significant story. Last year I went to the Olympics in Seoul only to see one individual. I wanted to be 100 percent of soulful, devoted service to my dearest Sudhahota on the strength of my oneness-heart.
During the 100-metre final I was holding a huge American flag. You know why! As ill luck would have it, somebody else got the glory in that race. Anyway, as I was coming out of the stadium, I was feeling a sadness beyond description. On the way a Canadian saw me carrying the American flag. He said, “Now you can put it down!”
Something within me quite unexpectedly prompted me to reply: “Not for long, not for long.”
The Canadian said to me, “What? What?”
I repeated, “Not for long.” Sometimes God does speak in and through me. It took only a day and a half for my words to prove right. And now it has been officially declared that Carl Lewis was again the fastest human. Now it is officially accepted.
NARADA: Our dearest Guru, Sri Chinmoy, inspires all of us to run very fast. That is why on this occasion we are so happy to be with the fastest of all of Guru’s students, our dearest Sudhahota Carl Lewis. You are indeed the fastest man and, in fact, when we first met you, Guru was so impressed by you because inwardly you were able to move and be receptive so quickly. And we all bow in deep appreciation and oneness with you on your great achievement, because you are outwardly the fastest and also inwardly very fast.
SUDHAHOTA: One thing I can say is that Guru actually repeated that story to me. Also, Guru said something about my looking over to the side toward the end of that race. But you didn’t tell them about that. Guru is so special to all of us. He used the fact that I had looked to the side during the 100 metres as an example and spoke about how spiritually you have to move forward and concentrate only on the goal, not run against the person who is next to you. And that, I think, says how much Guru means to all of us. He’s able to inspire us, but he’s also able to take every facet of our experiences and apply it to our inner life. Guru is so special to me because he has found a way to connect our inner world with our outer world in a way that most people cannot even conceive of.
So, again, Guru, thank you for everything. I also want to thank Narada and everyone else for our relationship because it’s very unique and very honest. I feel that from everyone here. So I just want to say, “Thanks, family!”
ANUKAMPA: I think I’ll end with a story that occurred two days after the 100-metre race, at three o’clock in the morning. I was at Sudhahota’s house. I was sleeping in my room across from his room when I heard his phone ring. It was a small house, so it woke everybody up. I was half awake, half sleeping. I could hear Sudhahota getting very, very excited. He was on the phone talking to his brother, saying, “Are you joking with me? What are you saying? What are you saying? Do you know what you’re saying?”
His mother jumped up and said, “What’s going on?”
He said, “Mother, I’ll tell you in a minute. I have to talk to somebody. Let me talk to somebody.”
He hung up the phone and ran down to his manager. It was just so incredible that this all was taking place at what Guru calls the God-Hour — three o’clock in the morning. That’s when he got word from the Olympic Committee that this other person had been disqualified and that he indeed had won the gold medal for the 100 metres. The day before, Sudhahota had become resigned to having lost. Also, I think seeing Guru that day helped him to feel, “Well, I’m on to my next step. I have to go on.”
What I admired the most about Sudhahota was that he was able to go on even after suffering such an unfair defeat. That wasn’t going to crush him and destroy him. This was one of the most important moments of his life at the Olympics, and he kept on. So I’m always inspired when I think of it.
(Singers perform “Congratulation” song for Sudhahota.)
My Dear Friend Carl, My Affectionate Brother...My dear friend Carl, my affectionate brother Sudhahota, on this most auspicious occasion in your life, my heart is prayerfully invoking the divine presence of my esteemed brother-friend, Bill Lewis, to shower his choicest blessings from Heaven upon his beloved son, Carl.
Today we are singing and dancing in the ecstasy-boat steered by the world’s proudest mother, Evelyn Lewis. Carl, to your affection-flooded mother I bow in deepest gratitude. I must also offer my joy and thanks to your oneness-heart-sister, the star athlete Carol, and to your two untiringly self-giving brothers, Mack and Cleve.
Carl, Sudhahota, your own fondness-creation-child, Inside Track is before long going to be a perfect rival of your athletic summits. Inside Track is your literary journey’s glorious start. The fascinating story of your life’s experiences will abundantly inspire athletes throughout the length and breadth of the world and expedite their success-progress-dream-fulfilment.
Dear Jeffrey Marx, O helper, coordinator and co-author of the treasure Inside Track, to the literary genius in you I offer my literary mind’s genuine appreciation and my aspiring heart’s soulful admiration.
Carl, Sudhahota, by nature you are extremely tender-hearted. But when dire necessity demands, you become not only faster than the fastest (which is your forte) but also stronger than the strongest — an iron will-soul. We, your dear friends, unreservedly admire your sleeplessly burning hunger-cry for the universal justice-light, especially in the sports arena.
Your compassionate heart encompasses us all. I offer a radiant example. My running speed is synonymous with turtle-speed. I take an unthinkably long 20 seconds to cover the short distance of 100 metres. You are the world’s fastest human being. And what do you do? You affectionately, compassionately, enthusiastically and one-pointedly teach me how to run faster. And one striking experience will never be deleted from the tablet of my heart. Two years ago I made an absurd request to you to walk with me 100 metres. I would run my fastest and you would be allowed only to walk. As usual, you immediately complied with my request. Alas, my sad defeat was the result. Again, quite recently in New York you kindly instructed me on how to develop better speed by improving my hand movements. Sudhahota, to me you are nothing other than a self-sacrificing life.
And now I would like to declare an undeniable truth to the world at large: nothing is beyond your capacity. As was the case with Napoleon Bonaparte, the word “impossibility” is not to be found in your dictionary. The entire world is amazed at your astounding athletic capacities, but you just smilingly tell the world, “I stopped surprising myself a long time ago.”
Narada, Narada, Narada! May the supreme musician-singer of India’s hoary past bless us all here today. I salute my own Narada, the 20th century’s Narada Michael Walden, the unique musician-producer, the most prestigious Emmy and Grammy award winner. I also offer my heart’s deepest love and gratitude to Narada’s better half, Anukampa, the embodiment of compassion limitless and a most accomplished Indian dancer. Both Narada and Anukampa brought you, Sudhahota — the infinite in you, the immortal in you — to me seven years ago. Now every day in the small hours of the morning my heart and I lovingly, soulfully and speedily send our gratitude-blossoms to you three: Sudhahota, Narada, Anukampa.
Finally, Sudhahota, unparalleled sacrificer of immortality’s Nectar-Delight, I and all those who sincerely, proudly and unconditionally love you shall always remain faithful to you while you are soaring high, higher, highest to your pinnacle-heights in the firmament of Eternity’s Consciousness, Infinity’s Oneness and Immortality’s Fulness — to the ever-increasing nectar-delight of your soul-bird.
Sudhahota Inscribes A Copy Of The Book...Sudhahota inscribes a copy of the book to Sri Chinmoy. It reads:
To Dearest Guru!
My dearest friend, my continual inspiration. Much love at everything you do! Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy.
Sudhahota Carl Lewis
On 24 June 1989, When Sudhahota Was...On 24 June 1989, when Sudhahota was in Paris for a major track meet, Sri Chinmoy also happened to be in Paris to give a Peace Concert. In his book, Inside Track , Sudhahota recollects a conversation he had with the spiritual teacher when Sri Chinmoy visited him in his hotel room:
“Before today, I thought I had heard all the excuses for running a bad race, failing to meet expectations or just missing a world record. But this morning I was introduced to a new explanation: the ground has a heart, and our relay team had not been in France long enough to feel that heart, to be comfortable with that heart, before our race.
“The explanation came from Sri Chinmoy, who was in Paris for another road run to promote world peace. I was glad when I heard Sri Chinmoy was here, because he had wanted to meet my teammates, and this was a good opportunity for that. In our hotel lobby, Joe DeLoach, Floyd Heard, Leroy Burrell and I visited with Sri Chinmoy. He was surprised when he heard we had arrived only a day before the meet.
“‘This explains why you did not win the world record,’ said Sri Chinmoy, his words coming slowly, his eyes opening and closing as he spoke, his head nodding gently as he focused on his thoughts. ‘The ground has a heart. Everything has a heart, a spirit and a heart. When you fly here you have to be on the ground long enough to feel the heart. Yes, that is important. And you missed the record by only a little bit. In a new place — you have to understand this — you have to be on the ground longer before you race.’
“I smiled and nodded, familiar with the way Sri Chinmoy explains things. But my teammates were a bit stunned. They did not say much to Sri Chinmoy. They just observed.
“Sri Chinmoy gave me a birthday cake, a week early, but he wanted me to have it. Sri Chinmoy wished us good luck for the rest of our trip, and that was that.
“Back in my room, Joe, Floyd and Leroy agreed on a one-word summary of what they had just seen. interesting.”’
Note: Before going to Tokyo in August 1991 for the World Championships, Sudhahota said to Sri Chinmoy, “Guru, I’m going to take your advice and go two weeks early.” At those games Sudhahota set a new world record of 9.86 for 100 metres at the exceptionally advanced age (for a sprinter) of 30!
Sister Evelyn, Mother Evelyn, Compassion-Soul!Sister Evelyn, Mother Evelyn,
No, no, no, no retirement!
A new life’s enlightenment.
Olympian Mother’s Olympian son,
With her Carl, God’s God-Dream has begun.
On 5 May 1991, Sudhahota Joined In...On 5 May 1991, Sudhahota joined in the celebration of “Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run Day,” proclaimed by Houston Mayor Kathryn Whitmire. A welcome ceremony for the relay runners was held at the Jeppesen Field House at the University of Houston, where Sudhahota works out every day. Sudhahota acted as Master of Ceremonies, introducing City Councilman Jim Greenwood, who read the proclamation from the Mayor, and Jack Berger, Director of The Houston Sports Foundation and member of the Olympic Committee. Following are excerpts from Sudhahota’s introduction:
“The Peace Run is being organised by the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, an international running organisation that holds over 500 races each year, including ultra-distance events in several countries. The team seeks to promote world peace and harmony through athletics.”
Santa Monica TeamSanta Monica Team!
A God-fulfilled dream.
Athletes’ tallest height,
A flood of delight!
On 21 July 1991 Sudhahota Met With...On 21 July 1991 Sudhahota met with Sri Chinmoy at Annam Brahma Restaurant.
SRI CHINMOY: The long jump is yours. No more talking! It’s a very old story. Now, I also have made a promise. I want to break my 100-metre record of 14.48 that I made 10 years ago in the World Masters Games. And ultimately something else unbelievable, unimaginable, unthinkable I want to do; I want to break my old Ashram record. At the age of 22 or 24, my timing in the Ashram was 11.7. Unofficially I used to run the 100 in 11.2 or 11.4, but my timing in competition always was very bad. Still, I was first for 16 years straight!
My friends from the Ashram are all my age — over 60 years old. When I said I would break my World Masters Games record of 14.48, they believed me. But then I bragged to my close friends that I am also going to break 11.7 once again. They were all laughing and laughing at me, but sometimes God does speak through human beings. For right now I am only worrying about how I can break 14.48. So I need your encouragement and advice. And you have to fulfil your long jump promise.
SUDHAHOTA: Yes, I will, Guru!
SRI CHINMOY: During my last year of running, a coach came to the Ashram from Cologne, Germany, to teach us. I was the best athlete, the decathlon champion. He wanted to change all my styles, and he tried for three months. But it was too late. Then he said it was a hopeless case. When he left the Ashram to return to Germany, he gave me a photograph of himself swimming which he signed, “To Chinmoy, who gave me much love and who gave me much trouble.” He is still a good friend of mine. A few years ago when I gave my first major concert in Cologne (over 9,000 seekers attended), at my request he came to the concert. After the concert was over, I honoured him by having my American and German students sing a song which I had composed about him. He was extremely pleased. His Indian name is Saumitra. His German name is Werner.
Later, At Aspiration-Ground, Sudhahota Offered Sri Chinmoy...Later, at Aspiration-Ground, Sudhahota offered Sri Chinmoy some coaching tips.
SUDHAHOTA: Guru, it would help to let your arms swing back a little farther. That will open your stride op a little bit.
(Sri Chinmoy runs.)
Okay, now your arms are swinging better, but keep your legs the way they were before. Leave your legs the same, but just change your arms. In sprinting, Guru, remember, all your power comes from the ground. So your objective should be to push off the ground, and then let your legs come right back down and push off. Before, you were really pushing well.
(Sri Chinmoy runs.)
SUDHAHOTA: That’s good! Why can’t all the guys at the University of Houston be like that? The college kids drive you crazy!
(Sri Chinmoy runs again.)
SUDHAHOTA: That was the best. Did that feel better, Guru? That was the fastest one.
SRI CHINMOY: Is there any exercise I should do?
SUDHAHOTA: The only drills that we do are box drills. Get three or four boxes about 18 inches high. Just jump up, then jump down, and then jump up again. When you jump up, you swing the arms up, and when you go down, you swing the arms back. Do maybe five of those two days a week. That will make that part of your legs stronger and help you push off better. Do it with your legs together. I think this drill is what has helped me recently. It gets you stronger naturally — without lifting. So between that and keeping your arms open and your legs turning over, that’s it!
SRI CHINMOY: You have been coaching me for years. I am so grateful to you. Next time when you come, I will run faster.
Before leaving, Sudhahota and Ambalika offered the following greeting for Sri Chinmoy’s upcoming 60th birthday, which was videotaped.
SUDHAHOTA: Sixty is so special, Guru. For 60 years you have been inspiring so many millions of people throughout the world, but more than that, inspiring so many special people in the inner world. So Guru, thank you for all you’ve done for us, thank you for all the special times you’ve given us and thank you for the time you spent in America — because many of those 60 years you’ve spent here. We want to wish you a beautiful and happy special soul’s day.
AMBALIKA: A beautiful and happy special soul’s day! Happy birthday!
World ChampionshipsWords and Music by Sri Chinmoy
June 20, 1991
World Championships, World Championships!
Each athlete’s self-transcendence-trips.
Country-division-lives no more,
Goal, only goal: the Golden Shore.
After Setting A New World Record For...After setting a new world record for the 100 metres in the 1991 Tokyo World Championships, Sudhahota gave Sri Chinmoy the running shoes he had worn in that race. This is the message of gratitude that Sri Chinmoy, on 27 August 1991 — his 60th birthday — offered to Sudhahota from Aspiration-Ground.
My dearest Sudhahota, with my utmost divine pride in you, with my heart’s infinite, infinite love, with my soul’s infinite, infinite blessings and with my life’s infinite, infinite gratitude, I am holding your world-record, champion-hero supreme running shoes. At this moment I am most devotedly invoking the soul, the spirit, of your father, whose joy and pride in your achievement know no bounds. His divine vision he is executing in you and through you. I am so proud of you for having offered your supreme achievement to your dearest father in Heaven. His blessingful concern, blessingful love and blessingful pride I am sure your heart and your entire being cherish at every moment.
Again, at this moment I am soulfully thinking of Ambalika, your sweetest mother. Her blessingful presence in Tokyo has helped you immensely, plus immeasurably. Therefore, I am very proud of your mother, Ambalika. Also, the encouragement that your sister Carol has offered in so many ways to your athletic career can only be felt and never described.
Something more: I saw the loving friendship between your mother and Leroy Burrell’s mother. This kind of soulful friendship is rare, very rare in this world. I am extremely proud of these two noble and magnanimous hearts.
Finally, I would like to say something about the statement made by Leroy, your dear friend and great rival. The intimate connection and feeling of oneness between you two gives me enormous joy. May you two grow and glow in divine friendship.
Mr. Joe Douglas has kindly said a few very nice things about me and my Japanese disciples. I am very grateful to him. Takashi and Yoko are serving the Supreme in you in a very devoted way. These two spiritual friends, Takashi and Yoko, deserve my very special gratitude. In this connection I must also say that Kirit also has done much for you. To these spiritual brothers and sisters of yours I am offering my special blessingful gratitude and pride.
So again and again, Sudhahota, I am offering you my heart’s infinite love, infinite joy, infinite gratitude and infinite divine pride. The world misunderstands you, for misunderstanding is the order of the day. He who is really great, unfortunately, is bound to be misunderstood. This is what we learn from this world. But again, he who is really a great, dauntless, supreme hero will walk, march, run and sprint faster than the fastest like you — towards the destined goal. May your fastest speed inspire us all — your spiritual brothers and sisters as well as all human beings on earth — to run faster than the fastest in our spiritual quest to reach our goal of the ever-transcending Beyond.
Sudhahota’s inscription on the shoes reads: “Dearest Guru, much love, Sudhahota — 9.86”
At A Special Dinner Commemorating Sri Chinmoy's...At a special dinner commemorating Sri Chinmoy’s 60th birthday, which was held on 11 September 1991, Sudhahota made these remarks.
I’d like to say just a few things about how the many disciples numbering in the thousands all over the world in so many countries feel about Sri Chinmoy and what he has done for our lives. And I’ll give you a few examples.
I met Sri Chinmoy in 1983 here in New York City. I’ve become very close since then, not just with Sri Chinmoy but with the many brother and sister disciples and friends throughout the world. And I’ve been fortunate enough in the years since to travel throughout the world and meet disciples in France, Japan, Germany and many, many different countries. You get a chance to meet many spiritual brothers and sisters that you haven’t been able to touch or get to know or even see before. But still you’re able to feel a bond that is just there forever. Year in and year out I’m able to see many of them here in New York City for the celebrations.
Sri Chinmoy has been very special to all of us. I think I can definitely say that for all the disciples. Just to think that he was there with me in 1984 at the Olympic Games! He came all the way to Seoul with a number of disciples to visit me again. And even just this past week, the night before each one of my finals, he was one of the few callers to talk to me, because my manager didn’t want anyone to get through.
Sri Chinmoy is a very special individual for all of us. He stands for all the things that we can believe in — peace, being the best you can be, enjoying and knowing God and also oneness. Oneness to me is just being able to accept the love, accept the peace, accept the spirit of everyone and accept God and let Him lead the way.
I’ve read many things, but one thing that always sticks out in my mind is the way Sri Chinmoy always talks about going forward, going ahead. I have a chance to see that because, as an athlete, I have had great times and bad times, wonderful times and difficult times. But as long as we keep focused ahead, we’re able to do what we have to do in life. That translates to everyone here and to all the disciples around the world. From North to South, from East to West, Sri Chinmoy has meant more to our lives than any of us can ever imagine.
And this is one so-called “old” 30-year-old that he has meant so, so much to in his life. Two months ago I was young, and now I’m old. I don’t know what happened. But I must say that Sri Chinmoy’s inspiration and his talks to me have meant so much to my life. Most of you think, “Oh yes, he just says ‘go and do your best!"‘ But let me tell you, he talks a little tougher to me. He says things like, “Do it! I’m sick and tired of hearing about these old records. It’s time to get busy!” That’s the kind of stuff he tells me.
I just want to close by saying, Guru, that all of us feel very strongly for you because you have meant so much to all of our lives. Not only have you taken the time to care and think about all of us, but you’ve taken the time to point us to the greatest thing that we could have or even imagine in our lives, and that’s the Supreme. Thank you!
Sudhahota Met With Sri Chinmoy On 12...Sudhahota met with Sri Chinmoy on 12 September, the next day, at Annam Brahma.
SRI CHINMOY: I am so proud of you for offering your victory to your father. Here is the proof that you believe in the spirit. An ordinary human being would say, “Oh, my father is now gone.” But you have kept such a strong and powerful inner connection with your father’s heart. That means you have kept the connecting link between earth and Heaven. So your father’s good will, his inner will and power help you tremendously. You keep your physical fit; he keeps your inner world fit.
Your father’s spirit has helped you develop tremendous inner receptivity in your life. The receptivity that you have is like a magnet; it pulls the higher forces down. You are thinking that if you had a little more strength in your quadriceps, or if you had something else, you would do better. But these things are only outer capacities, and God has given you infinitely more outer capacities than you need. In your case, you are able to bank on your inner capacity, whereas others have to entirely depend on their outer capacity. It is like having two friends who are all for you, whereas others have only one friend.
Your outer friends are your coach, your own practice and so many other things. Your coach, Tom, for example, is helping you in so many ways. He is instructing you, giving you extraordinary advice, giving you confidence. But you also have an inner friend, which is your heart. Your heart is drawing cosmic strength, cosmic energy, cosmic light from Above.
You have many inner friends, but they are invisible. I call them divine forces. They are working so powerfully and successfully in and through you. When you are jumping or running, in addition to your physical capacity, so much cosmic energy, cosmic light, cosmic power is coming to help you. These invisible capacities you can see only when you use the inner eye, the third eye. If you use your inner eye, you will see that you have so many friends who are dying to help you. That is because your victory is their victory, just as their victory is your victory. But if you want to rely entirely on earthly help, then this inner help you do not get.
I feel sad because you have touched the shore, but you have not yet jumped onto the shore. You have safely reached the shore; now the next thing is for you to step onto the ground, the victory-ground, and show that you are the victor. Do not feel that you still have to increase your capacity on the physical plane. What you have to add is only on the inner plane. Your heart tells me and your soul tells me to use the term “within easy reach.” It is not that you are 20 miles away from your destination. Your destination you have almost touched. You have to just a little way to go, and then you can declare your victory.
Do not let yourself become relaxed and say, “Oh, I have come so far; now I need rest.” Some forces may try to create unnecessary relaxation in you and take away the determination that you had gotten on the strength of your inner aspiration. Do not let this happen. If you take rest and start again, you will feel that you have retreated quite a few steps. So why retreat? You have practically reached your destination; now all you have to do is step onto the victory platform and declare that you are far better than the one who is known as the winner.
When you jump, your father’s soul and Jesse Owens’ soul are dying to help you. So do you think they appreciate it when you want to sleep? Somebody says, “Wake up, wake up! Don’t wait, jump, jump! And somebody else says, “Oh no, father, I am tired now. I have done so much.” Sometimes it is difficult for us to go according to the soul’s speed, because they are so fast. In a fleeting second they go here and there, whereas in a fleeting second we barely take one step. But that doesn’t mean we should sleep, either.
Does your coach believe in this kind of talk? You can speak to him. He doesn’t have to understand my language. Does your mother talk to him?
AMBALIKA: I talk to him!
SRI CHINMOY: I am seeing that this is your golden chance, your absolutely golden chance. It is a matter not of months, but of weeks. The force that is helping you inwardly is very powerful. In jumping you are not fouling like you used to. In the inner world — the world that creates what appears in the world of manifestation — it is done. You have brought the victory from above down to the first floor, and are holding your victory banner there. Now you are about to bring it down to the ground floor, where the whole world can see it.
Being a human dynamo, the fastest runner in the world, how can you not think of doing something sooner than the soonest? As an American, you know the value of speed. In India we have the term “bullock cart speed.” I come from India, so I can tell you that India’s bullock cart goes on, goes on, goes on as slowly as possible. You come from the fastest country and you are the fastest human being on earth. But now you want to wait and see! Your mind is in a tug-of-war with your heart. If you take the side of your heart, then you don’t have to wait three or four months.
Being in the spiritual life, I always feel that if I can do something tomorrow, why do I have to wait for 10 years? Every day, every hour, every minute time is bringing us a new message. If you can see and feel that there are people who are trying to help you do something today, then why do you have to wait to make your mind stronger? The mind is not the only thing; there is also the heart and soul. They are all ready to for you to become the victor supreme.
SUDHAHOTA: We shall do it, Guru. We shall do it.
SRI CHINMOY: You know, one of your greatest admirers is Monica Seles. She read your book and was so deeply impressed. She is so natural and spontaneous. When I gave her a picture of the shoes that you gave to me, she couldn’t believe it. She was so excited. The following day she sent me one of her rackets.
SUDHAHOTA: The Olympic trials are so drawn out; they kill everybody. Then you have to come back again and do it at the Games! That’s why everyone is so tired. We’re the only country that duplicates the Games in our trials. Most countries just have track meets and pick their teams out.
SRI CHINMOY: Now let me learn about this wind-aided business. You will be there for 8, 10 hours, and they are so merciless that they cannot wait two minutes until the wind stops?
SUDHAHOTA: As usual, there are silly rules. When they call your name, they turn the clock on and you have 90 seconds to land in the pit. If you are running down the runway when that 90 seconds is up, it’s a foul. And if the wind happens to gust and blow at that time, that’s it!
When we went to Japan, the guy from the organising committee told us we could go to a certain track the next day to practise. But when we got there, the officials from the Japanese Track and Field Federation said we couldn’t train there until the following day. In the newspaper the next day the Federation said, “No matter who it is — even if it’s Carl Lewis — nobody is supposed to train until tomorrow.” But Joe Douglas let them have it. He said, “You can sit and talk your rules all you want, but we’re here for one reason — to give a great show for the Japanese and to set world records.” Here again, it’s rules! But what kind of rule would say the competitors can’t train whenever they want to? And anyway, the Italian team was training there with the blocks and everything.
SRI CHINMOY: You have to fight for justice! You have won so many times and proved yourself to be a world champion without taking drugs. The things you are seeing wrong in the Olympics and elsewhere you should write down and fight them to the end. There are many things that they are doing wrong, and if you do not fight them, I don’t think anybody else will do it. Because you are the 20th century’s greatest athlete, you have a voice. For the last 12 years you have been fighting against the wrongdoings of the Olympic Committee and others. They won’t listen today, but there will be new Committees and new people who will pay attention. So if you continue to fight, there will be lots of improvement.
Otherwise, these foolish things will go on, go on, go on, and after 10 or 12 years everything will be absolutely fixed. Then there will be nobody who is as powerful as you are to speak up against them. Even now, from time to time they do listen to you when you fight. These are not personal objections that you have; nobody likes these things. But nobody else is brave enough to fight against the authorities.
You also have to work very, very hard to keep politics out of sports. So many politicians say things that even they don’t believe. And every second they contradict themselves. They are in the mind, but sports is all heart. Many politicians are only trying to divide and separate, whereas athletes have the golden opportunity to join all nations together. So sports and politics do not go together.
On 1 November 1991 Sudhahota Came To...On 1 November 1991 Sudhahota came to Sri Chinmoy’s running track at Aspiration-Ground to offer him more coaching tips.
SUDHAHOTA: You look fine, Guru. You’re staying relaxed and letting your arms swing. There is only one thing: just make sure your jaw is relaxed. Other than that, your arms and shoulders are swinging and you’re turning over.
SRI CHINMOY: Even then, I have my same, eternal problem: how to increase my stride.
SUDHAHOTA: If you stay relaxed and just let your feet turn over, we’ll just keep the stride but increase the pace so you run faster. Your stride length is fine, but by being relaxed and turning over, you will just go faster and faster. Unlike us, most of the time you remember what you are supposed to do.
(Sri Chinmoy sprints again.)
SUDHAHOTA: Your legs are more relaxed and you’re letting your arms swing. The arms really dictate the stride; you can’t have a longer stride than your arms can dictate. So when we got you to swing your arms, that basically told your legs how far to go. A lot of times people try to get a long stride before they deal with their arms, and their stride is longer than their arm swing. Then everything is out of sync. That’s why I really focus on the arms because they tell the legs what to do. So just stay relaxed and keep turning over and don’t try to reach or stretch at the end. Just keep that stride turning over. That’s the way to get your speed.
Well, I wish to God the people at University of Houston were so easy to coach. They’re all kids and they’re tough to teach. Every day you tell them the same thing over and over, but they don’t learn anything!
SRI CHINMOY: Then I am a good student?
SUDHAHOTA: Yes, you’re a very good student because you listen and learn.
SRI CHINMOY: I am dying to listen to you. Three or four days ago when I was in Germany, I was talking to my German coach. He could not come to my concert in Frankfurt because he was out of town. So I called him from the airport. I was telling him that one of these days he would hear from me that I had broken the personal record I had set at the Ashram where I was brought up. He started laughing and coughing. “Oh, oh, Chinmoy!” he said. But I only said, “Wait, wait, wait!”
I always set a goal, and then I try to go beyond and beyond. Self-transcendence itself is my goal. So my immediate goal is 13 seconds. By April 1 want to run the 100 metres in under 13 seconds. Something within me is telling me that I will be able to do it. Then gradually, gradually I have to come to my dreamland, which is 11.7 seconds. That was my best timing when I was in the Ashram in India. At that time I was around 25 years old, and I kept that timing for a long time. Once I reach 11.7 seconds, then I have to go to 11.6. It is a long way to go, but if you don’t start, then how will you move at all? You have to start at one point. So now I have started. My immediate goal is 13 seconds. But eventually I want to reach 11.7 seconds and then even transcend that goal. So, do you think it is possible?
SUDHAHOTA: Yes, but you have to work.
SRI CHINMOY: I am working.
SUDHAHOTA: Yes, I see. Just keep your tempo all the way through. Relax and keep turning over. And remember, if you try to reach at the end, you’re going to slow down.
SRI CHINMOY: This tempo comes from the hands?
SUDHAHOTA: Right! Once you get up to full speed and your arms are swinging, just let your legs follow your arms. If you keep your arms going the whole time, your legs will follow.
SRI CHINMOY: Recently I got the inspiration to offer you something. Since you are now 30 years old, I would like to offer you 30 soulful messages. I have started writing them. In a day or two I will complete them. We will make a booklet, and it will have lots of pictures.
I would also like to have your kind permission to make another book. Over the years you and I have had many momentous conversations. Most of them have been recorded. With your kind permission, I would like to make a book out of these conversations, also with many, many pictures. Of course we would publish it only in a very limited way. Our Agni Press would make a few hundred copies — mostly for the disciples. But again, we have some friends all over the world, and we would also give it to them.
SUDHAHOTA: Oh, of course, Guru.
SRI CHINMOY (showing his new portable stairway): This is a new exercise I have been taking. I go seven times up and seven times down. It helps me.
SUDHAHOTA: That’s good. That is definitely good.
SRI CHINMOY: It’s hard work.
SUDHAHOTA: I know it’s hard. Running stairs is very good training. I started doing it myself this year.
SRI CHINMOY: You do a few steps or go very high?
SUDHAHOTA: They’re higher than yours. We go about twice as high. It’s in a stadium, though. Climbing stairs is good because it helps you get stronger without doing weights.
Guru, since we’re talking about working hard, do you run up these stairs?
SRI CHINMOY: The first time I don’t. After two or three times I run up.
SUDHAHOTA: One time you should hop all the way up.
SRI CHINMOY: Hop? Oh, I will die. It is so high for me.
SUDHAHOTA: Half way, then. Do it once during every workout. Just hop with two feet. Make sure you push off with your toes and then go on down to the balls of your feet. You can take it slow; it doesn’t have to go fast.
SRI CHINMOY: What will the hop do for me?
SUDHAHOTA: When you’re sprinting, you push off. The last place you push off with is your toes. What it does is give you the firepower to push off the ground. Running gives you the strength. But the hopping gives you firepower to push off the ground.
SRI CHINMOY: I will try.
(Hops up the stairs almost to the top.)
SUDHAHOTA (seeing Sri Chinmoy go beyond the halfway point): Workaholic!
SRI CHINMOY: What you are teaching me, I am practising most devotedly. But you have to do the same thing in your own life. You have to become more and more serious about your long jump. You have become the fastest, supreme world-champion runner, that everybody knows. Now you have to do something else; you have to become the longest jumper. You have touched the destination in running; but now you have to go beyond in the long jump. When will your next long jump meet be?
SUDHAHOTA: Probably in February — either in New York or New Jersey.
SRI CHINMOY: I will go, I will go! Now, I would like your advice about running in spikes. I was brought up in a spiritual community, where I didn’t have the opportunity to use spikes. Now, when I use spikes, I feel so uncomfortable, and they give me pain in the shinbone. When I was in Germany recently, they gave me the absolutely shortest possible spikes, and still I was feeling uncomfortable. If the spikes are longer, O God, it is worse. So please tell me the advantages of using spikes.
SUDHAHOTA: Spikes mainly help the grip. They’re also lighter, but they won’t make that much of a difference if you get a light pair of flats. Spikes can make a difference, but I don’t think they make as much of a difference as people say they do — maybe a few tenths of a second in the 100 metres.
SRI CHINMOY: In your case, the ones you used this time were quite long.
SUDHAHOTA: Well, they definitely helped, but it’s really hard to say how much because I always wear them. They help, but if you find them uncomfortable, I don’t think the advantages offset the discomfort. If it were like the difference between wearing combat boots and spikes, then I’d say, “I’m sorry, you have to let your feet hurt.” But it isn’t that big a difference.
SRI CHINMOY: Do you use them when you practise?
SUDHAHOTA: Oh yes, I use them all the time. In practice we use different ones than in competition.
SRI CHINMOY: It does not give you an uncomfortable feeling to wear different spikes on the day of the competition than what you have practised in?
SUDHAHOTA: No, I wear new shoes every race, which is strange. Most people like to break them in, but I like brand new shoes every race. The ones I sent to you, Guru, I only wore that one time.
After Observing Sri Chinmoy's Running And Stair-Climbing...After observing Sri Chinmoy’s running and stair-climbing at Aspiration-Ground, Sudhahota joined the spiritual teacher and a few of his students for breakfast at Annam Brahma.
SRI CHINMOY: You have to go to Japan now and give a few talks. After his Olympic glories, Jesse Owens used to go to so many places and give talks. You should do it to inspire people. You have achieved something far, far beyond humanity’s imagination. Now you are what you wanted to become. So this is the golden chance not only for you but for the public as well, because now people are very eager to listen to you. There are thousands and thousands of people who admire you tremendously and who can receive real nourishment from you. When you speak, flames of inspiration will enter into them most powerfully. This is the time for you to do it because if even once someone else wins, people will not take you 100 percent seriously. That is how human beings are. But now they will take you 1,000 percent seriously because you have proved to them what you are.
You should go not only to Japan but to other places as well to speak. Japan worships you, so you should go to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and various other places. But also go to Switzerland, Norway, France and wherever else you have been before. You can also give talks to children and to your Christian group, the Lay Witnesses for Christ. Then you will be able to combine all your talks into another immortal book. Poor Jesse Owens had only six talks — ready-made. His friend Payton Jordan told me that these six talks he used to give everywhere. In your case, you don’t have to worry about that. Because of your inner background, you can write 600 different talks.
QUESTION: I saw a TV show about you in Japan. The most fascinating thing was your shoes, because you could see they were spikes when you walked around.
SUDHAHOTA: They were very light. When I first put them on, I said, “My God, these are too light.” It felt like I was just putting on a tight sock and running barefoot.
QUESTION: But it gives you inspiration in a way, doesn’t it?
SUDHAHOTA: Yes, it does. The first day of practice, it felt funny, but you get used to it. The hardest thing was that track! That track was as hard as this table. We did some hard starts Wednesday, a few days before the competition. Boy, my legs were dead. I mean dead! That track was hard! All of us were hurting after the hard rounds.
QUESTION: It’s a little scary, isn’t it, on the day of the competition when your legs feel a little dead, and you say, “Uh, Oh!”
SUDHAHOTA: Right! The morning of the competition they were rested, but still a little sore. After each race, it actually takes between 40 to 48 hours for your body to recover 100 percent. So when you run four rounds, that’s four races. And we had to run the entire four rounds in about 36 hours. It would be better if they set it up so you ran just two rounds before the finals.
SRI CHINMOY: Now, may I change the subject? You are 30 years old, so as I told you earlier, I have started to compose 30 soulful utterances about you — "Carl Lewis: The Champion inner Runner.” Three days ago I started writing this — on my return from Europe. When I heard how they had honoured you in New Jersey, I got the inspiration to honour my Sudhahota in my own way.
(Sri Chinmoy reads from the typescript.)
This will be finished and printed in a few days.
SUDHAHOTA: Wow! All right, Guru!
EcstasyBefore registering his small yacht, Sudhahota made a special request of Sri Chinmoy to offer his boat a name. Sudhahota was most delighted with the name chosen by Sri Chinmoy, “Ecstasy.” Following is the song Sri Chinmoy was inspired to write about the boat.
Words and Music by Sri Chinmoy
Ecstasy, Ecstasy, Ecstasy, Ecstasy!
Carl Lewis and his life-boat’s intimacy.
Ecstasy-heart is Carl’s God-prepared meal
To give Sudhahota Infinity’s thrill.