Japan, my life bows to your heart

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Part I — Editor's introduction

From December 13, 1985 to January 13, 1986, Sri Chinmoy gave a total of nine concerts in Tokyo, Kamakura, Nagoya, Kyoto, Fukuyama, Hiroshima and Beppu as part of a worldwide Peace Concert series begun in 1984. The following pages record some of the peace activities of Sri Chinmoy and his students during the Japan concert tour, including messages for the people of Japan, interviews with eminent Japanese, songs composed during the trip and press and television coverage. Through these many diverse events Sri Chinmoy offered his universal message of peace to the people of Japan. In so doing, he expressed his love for the nation whose own unique message of peace he deeply reveres.

Record of peace activities

December 13, 1985 — January 13, 1986

December 16, 1985 — Peace Concert, Musashino Shimin Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo

December 18, 1985 — Meeting with Toshihiko Seko, Japanese champion marathon runner, Tokyo

December 18, 1985 — Peace Concert, Kamakura City Public Hall, Kamakura

December 19, 1985 — Marathon in honour of Nakamura, Yoyogi Park, Tokyo

December 19, 1985 — Peace Concert, Science Hall, Tokyo

December 20, 1985 — Meeting with Councillor Tokuma Utsunomiya at the House of Councillors, National Diet of Japan, Tokyo

December 27, 1985 — Peace Concert, Oita Prefecture Youth Hall, Beppu

January 1, 1986 — Hiroshima/Miyajima swim in honour of the United Nations international Year of Peace, Hiroshima

January 3, 1986 — Peace Concert, Miroku no Sato, Fukuyama

January 4, 1986 — interview with Nippon Hoso Kyokai (National Broadcasting Association), Fukuyama

January 5, 1986 — Peace Meditation and Balloon Release at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima

January 5, 1986 — Peace Concert and performance of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Cantata at the Hiroshima Prefecture Cultural Centre. Hiroshima

January 6, 1986 — Nagasaki swim in honour of the United Nations international Year of Peace, Nagasaki

January 7, 1986 — Sri Chinmoy completes 2,230 push-ups in 59 minutes, 40 seconds, Kyoto

January 8, 1986 — World Record for continuous pogo stick jumping set by Ashrita Furman (18.6 kilometres up Mt. Fuji)

January 8, 1986 — Peace Concert, Kyoto Furitsu Cultural Arts Hall, Kyoto

January 10, 1986 — Peace Concert, Tokyo University, Tokyo

January 11, 1986 — Kyoto Marathon, Nijo Castle, Kyoto

January 11, 1986 — Peace Concert, Aichi Prefecture, Women's Cultural Hall, Nagoya

January 12, 1986 — Meeting with Akishige Matsumoto, Honourary Doctor of Laws, Chairman of the Central Executive Office of the Japan Republic Association

Editor's note

Following are Sri Chinmoy's messages of peace for Japan which he offered at various times during his stay.

Messages of peace

Message to the people of Hiroshima

My simple and humble message to the people of Hiroshima is this: We shall not look back. We shall only look forward. Behind us there is no goal. The goal is ahead of us and this goal embodies real joy, real peace and real satisfaction.

In order to reach this goal we shall pray for God's infinite Compassion and we shall meditate for God's infinite Love. From our prayer and meditation we shall definitely receive infinite Compassion and Love. With these divine qualities from Heaven, Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be able to offer a fruitful and immortal dawn to humanity. It will be the dawn of universal peace, peace in self-giving and peace in oneness-family.

No other place has suffered as Hiroshima and Nagasaki have suffered. Therefore, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are supremely chosen by God to offer the message of universal peace-the message of peace in oneness-family and peace in the world-family, which is the only real peace.

May each human being on earth join the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in their soulful prayers and meditations for the transformation of the world-mind, the mind that wants to exercise supremacy. In fear there is no peace. In division there is no peace. In destruction there is no peace. Only in oneness there is peace. The mind of supremacy has to be conquered and the heart of oneness has to be brought forward and energised every day. It is the sufferers of yesterday who are now in the best position to receive Love and Compassion-Light from Above and to distribute it to the world of darkness all around.

My message to Hiroshima embodies my heart's most intense cry, and this cry I wish to share with all human beings who are conscious God-lovers, which means all those who believe in God's universal family and oneness-home.

The experience of supremacy must come to an end. From now on, forever and forever, the experience and realisation of self-transcendence should be our individual, our collective and, ultimately, our universal goal, the only goal. This goal of self-transcendence is God's supreme Choice in humanity and for humanity.

So this is my message to Hiroshima. It applies to all those who have special love for Hiroshima and also to those who love the suffering humanity and want to be of real service to the suffering humanity.

Hiroshima

January 4, 1986

Message to the people of Hiroshima

All over the world people have seen quarrels, fights, battles and wars. People are tired of seeing these old things. In Hiroshima the old things reached their lowest abyss. So Hiroshima is the proper place for an absolutely new thing to take birth and to spread its world-illumining light. And this light is oneness-peace in humanity's home.

Hiroshima

January 5, 1986

Message of peace to the people of Nagoya

Everybody in this world is crying and dying for joy, but unless one has peace of mind and peace in one's heart, one can never have joy. Without peace there can be no real joy here in Nagoya or anywhere. The seeker and God-lover in me is praying for each and every human being living in Nagoya and also in Japan to have inner peace, because I know it is from inner peace that they will get true outer joy.

Nagoya

January 11, 1986

Message for Japan

Japan is the land of infinite beauty, and this beauty is expressed through inner peace. Man has seen many things. Of the many things that man has seen, peace is new; and Japan is offering this new thing to the world.

Kyoto

January 7, 1986

Peace: God's dream-reality's oneness-boat, fulness-shore

Peace: God's Dream-Reality's Oneness-Boat, Fulness-Shore.

Peace is the aspiration-cry of man's heart in God's Compassion-Eye. Peace is the Satisfaction-Smile of God's Heart in man's perfection-life. Peace is in man's renunciation of his desire-life. This peace is superb. Peace is in man's acceptance and transcendence of his present-day reality-life. This peace is divine. Peace is in man's sleeplessly unconditional surrender to God's Will. This peace is supreme.

If I want peace, if I need peace in this world and from this world, then I must demand peace from my own heart, my own mind, my own vital and my own body.

Peace is at once God's transcendental and universal Language. Each seeker, during his Heaven-ascending prayers and earth-transforming meditations, must learn this language from God Himself. This peace-language only the Inner Pilot can teach a truth-seeker and God-lover. Here we are at Tokyo University. I am offering my heart's loving and soulful gratitude to the aspiring students and illumining teachers of this university. I am offering them my heart's divine love-songs and I am requesting them to spread their hearts' flower-fragrance all over the world.

(Sri Chinmoy sings a song he composed for Tokyo.)

My aspiring life sees, feels and knows that Japan is beauty's flower-garden. A flower immediately gives me joy, and inside this joy I immediately feel peace in my outer life. A good thought also gives me immediate joy, and inside this joy I immediately feel peace in my inner life. My outer peaceful joy is illumining. My inner peaceful joy is fulfilling. I pray to God for the inseparable oneness of my outer peaceful joy and my inner peaceful joy.

From the inmost recesses of my heart I am praying to the Liberator, Lord Buddha, to inundate the aspiring consciousness of Japan, his Immortality's choice abode, with his Infinity's Peace.

It is here in Japan that Hiroshima and Nagasaki became the untold destruction-sufferers. May Hiroshima and Nagasaki become the two harbinger-peace-givers for the entire peace-longing world.

Peace: God's Dream-Reality's Oneness-Boat, Fulness-Shore. Peace. Peace. Peace.

Sri Chinmoy gave this talk after the Tokyo University Peace Concert on January 10, 1986.

Part II — Brothers in peace: Tokuma Utsunomiya and Sri Chinmoy

On December 20, 1985 Sri Chinmoy met with Mr. Tokuma Utsunomiya, a member of the House of Councillors, National Diet of Japan, and a prominent spokesman for peace. Excerpts from their discussion follow.

Mr. Utsunomiya: I have heard a lot about you.

Sri Chinmoy: I have also heard much about you. I am told that you are the greatest lover of peace. You and I are sailing in the same boat. In my limited capacity, I also have been trying to serve mankind by trying to bring about peace. Your inner wisdom has touched the very depths of my heart. You have written that after World War Two the Japanese got the real experience of suffering, pain and agony. Their entire existence felt what disaster can bring. The way you have expressed in your writings the experience of the sufferer is so remarkable. The one who strikes does not know how hard he has struck. But the one who has received the blow feels how severe the blow was. The experience that the Japanese got is the real experience. The victors, the Americans, got a different kind of experience.

Mr. Utsunomiya: (Referring to a booklet he helped publish): Have you seen this?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, this is the one that I read, and also the other one about your experiences.

Mr. Utsunomiya: This is a handy, small booklet, as you see. It is easy to hand out to people. So whenever I go to the U.S. and elsewhere, I take a few of these booklets and distribute them. Many American friends of mine already have copies. It's not a matter of us disliking Americans — not any more — but rather it is a matter for the whole of mankind to remember that this has happened in the history of mankind.

Sri Chinmoy: If we remember our deplorable mistake, then we will not repeat it. But if it escapes our memory, then we may do it again. A child touches fire and burns his finger. Then after a few months, he may totally forget and then again he may go near fire and be burnt once more. But if he remembers, then he will not go near fire. Similarly, if the Americans remember what they did, then they will not repeat it and the world will not get the same experience.

Mr. Utsunomiya: It should be treated not just as an experience of the Japanese but as an experience in the history of all mankind.

Sri Chinmoy: Right, absolutely! The power of destruction is not the answer. Nobody has ever appreciated the power of destruction and nobody will ever appreciate it. It is the power of love, the power of oneness, that is of paramount importance. Peace comes from oneness. People will appreciate, admire and adore the lover of peace and not the destroyer of peace. Japan lost in the war. But the entire world sympathised with Japan's immeasurable loss after Hiroshima. You were fighting and fighting on one level and then somebody came with a most powerful weapon and changed the nature of the fighting. It is as if somebody pinches me and then I attack him with a big knife.

Mr. Utsunomiya: Over a one-hundred-year period Japan quickly and incessantly adopted Western civilisation and technology. And then, at one time or another over the years, Japan won minor wars. These victories led the Japanese leadership to sheer arrogance, and then they entered into a major war with the U.S. and the Western allies.

The worst incident of all during the war period, I believe, was the Japanese invasion of mainland China. Without Japan's invasion of China, there would not have been a war against the United States or, for that matter, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So it was not a question of who was bad or good. It was a question of who would lead the whole world to annihilation first. The U.S. was quicker to develop the atomic bomb. Japan was far behind in that particular technology. But sooner or later, if the situation had been left alone, either the U.S. or Japan would have destroyed most of the world. So I keep saying the Japanese should not have any animosity against the Americans. We did comparably bad things over the years, particularly in mainland China. We were to blame.

Sri Chinmoy: Here I wish to say that human beings are not perfect. The Japanese are not perfect, the Americans are not perfect, the Indians are not perfect. Otherwise, we would all be saints and sages and not do anything wrong. Just because we are not perfect, we make deplorable mistakes. Suppose that today I have done something wrong to you and caused you suffering. Then tomorrow you come back with infinitely more power than I have and you retaliate. If we continue this game, then there will never be world peace.

So we have to stop. I strike you and you strike me. Whose striking is harder, God alone has to judge. But afterwards we come to realise that we have done something wrong and we stop. If I want to remember that your blow was harder than mine, and I decide to again gather strength and give you one more blow, then there will be no end to it. Or often the superior one thinks, "Perhaps my opponent is gathering strength; so let me become more powerful." This is what America and Russia are doing. They are thinking that one day Japan or China will become stronger than they are, so they are all the time trying to increase their strength.

But this feeling of being stronger or weaker should go away. In a oneness-family, one brother may be physically stronger than the other brothers. Again, another brother may be mentally stronger and a third may be spiritually stronger. But it is all in the family, so each one's strength belongs to the others. You are a doctor, I am a lawyer and somebody else is a politician, let us say. The politician should not think that the doctor is useless, and the doctor should not think that the politician or the lawyer is useless. Everybody has his own respective place in our world-family.

We have to have inner strength in order to start spreading peace. Like Mahatma Gandhi said, it is one thing to strike someone; that is one kind of strength. Again, to bring forward inner strength and to refrain from striking someone is another kind of strength. It is one kind of strength to raise my hand and another kind of strength to keep my hand by my side. Strength comes not only in movement. Strength can also be found in remaining calm, quiet, silent. That is static strength.

Japan attacked China. Then it went to Burma and on to Chittagong. When I was a child, how many times I had to take shelter when the Japanese planes, like flies, used to come in the sky. There would be a siren, and we would immediately go into a V-shaped hole. At that time there was no peace. While sleeping, all of a sudden we would hear the Japanese planes buzzing. We were innocent village people, and everybody was frightened to death.

My father had a small bank. A Japanese bomb dropped, and the bank became a big hole-like a swimming pool. It just disappeared and became an open area. Like that, so many places were destroyed. Early in the morning you would be coming outside and bullets would be passing through the trees. Such an experience!

Now I have become a seeker and I do not hold anything against Japan. Why? Because I feel that at that time Japan was ignorant. A child is ignorant, so what does he do? He strikes and breaks things. He does not do it deliberately; unconsciously he does it. The result is that his own hand is broken or he realises that he has struck his dear ones and feels repentent.

Mr. Utsunomiya: Both superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, have a combined destructive force capable of destroying the whole earth probably ten or twenty times. And yet they continue to build and add to this enormous power. Some people, particularly President Reagan, insist that all this power is necessary to deter the other side from attacking the rest of the world-the theory of deterrence. Some Japanese leaders also agree with the American contention. But this is a self-defeating logic, in my thinking.

Sri Chinmoy: I am a seeker and a God-lover, and I fully agree with you, I fully agree with you, I fully agree with you. In this world, is there anybody who does not want satisfaction? What I want, what you want, what everybody wants is satisfaction. But what kind of satisfaction do most people get? A child throws a ball against a window and breaks the glass. He gets satisfaction for five seconds. Then his parents scold and strike him, and so many people speak ill of him and say that he is restless and useless. He gets a moment's satisfaction from destroying something, but then everybody scolds and insults him. So what happens to his satisfaction then? But if the same child studies well and is polite, humble, sympathetic and generous, he will get a different kind of satisfaction, and nobody will scold him or insult him. People will only love him.

If the superpowers use their atomic power, they will kill millions of people. But God's entire creation will not be destroyed. Impossible! Somewhere on earth, people will survive. These survivors will have no love for the ones who started the war. Let us say I am a poet and you are a boxer. We are members of the same family and live in the same house. If we have an argument, you can knock me down since you are a boxer. But the rest of the members of the family will hate you because the power that you have used is destruction-power and not love-power. Lord Buddha came here from India with the message of peace. Jesus Christ also had the message of peace. Is there anybody who does not know of them? The Christ is known, the Buddha is known and other spiritual figures are known as saviours, and they are remembered with love and adoration. But if the present leaders of the superpowers destroy the world, they will be known as Hitlers or Mussolinis. Now who is going to love a Hitler or Mussolini? I may be able to destroy you, but the world will hate me and I will experience no sense of satisfaction. But if I use my love-power, as Buddha used his love-power and Christ used his love-power, then the world will always remember me with love.

So we have to see which kind of power we need. If we want peace, which is the only satisfaction, then we need love-power. I have to love you and you have to love me. By loving we expand and expand, and the satisfaction that we get constantly increases, plus it lasts. But from destruction we get no satisfaction at all. It lasts for one second and then is destroyed by the hate we get from those we harmed. If I have done something bad, I can brag. But then I look around and see that everybody hates me. Will I get satisfaction? No! But if I have done something good and great, everybody will be dancing with joy, and that joy will last forever.

Mr. Utsunomiya: Yes, I fully appreciate what you have just said. Speaking about the theory of deterrence again, I doubt very much that what those people are calling the nuclear deterrent is functioning in any way. Rather, it's the certain degree of rationality, morality, intelligence and good conscience of those in leadership in their respective countries that is keeping war at bay. These qualities may be limited, but they are really keeping the world from nuclear destruction. As a politician, my basic policy, my most important political pronouncement, is that we should reduce the useless arms and, if possible, get rid of them entirely. That is my basic stance in my political life.

Sri Chinmoy: I admire this wisdom most soulfully. If I am doing something wrong, if all at once I cannot stop, then I will stop little by little. If I tell lies ten times a day, then I shall take an oath that from tomorrow I will tell lies only nine times a day. The day after tomorrow I will lie only seven times, and the following day only six times. Like that gradually, gradually it will become zero. If I increase my lying, I will feel miserable. But if I start decreasing and decreasing my bad habits, then I will feel some satisfaction.

Here also, if every month I have been making a certain number of weapons, then I will gradually make fewer and fewer and fewer. Then in six months or one year or two years, I will completely stop. This is the most effective way to rectify my mistakes. Slowly and steadily I will come to the right path.

Another thing also I can do. If I have done something wrong to you, I shall try to compensate for the damage that I have caused. But compensation in itself is not enough. I must do something on the strength of my sympathy and oneness so that you will not only be happy but actually forgive me. I must do more than just stop doing this thing. I have to do something to rectify it, so I give you as much as I can to make you feel that I have established my oneness with you.

There are quite a few things that America and Japan are doing together, and it gives them such joy. For example, Japan invites American runners to come to its friendship race. The whole world is running-either running towards destruction or running towards perfection. When the Japanese and Americans run together on Friendship Day, it is a great achievement. Both parties have forgotten their rivalry and animosity, and they are running as friends. So let this friendship increase from one day to two days. Gradually let it become 365 days of friendship and then another 365 days. If we have established friendship, how can there be any dispute, any quarrel, any fight, any war?

Mr. Utsunomiya: I am certainly impressed with what you have said, and this has to be repeated. The trust you have spoken of now and the beliefs which I have referred to in some way should be widely disseminated among the people. One of the worst possible effects of a nuclear war would be the destruction not only of the men who started it but also of all other living animals, plants and beings.

Sri Chinmoy: If we can pay not only more attention but all attention to peace, then we can try to avoid it. We can't deny that the danger exists, but we can easily avoid it. If there is a hurdle, we shall try to surmount it or we shall take another direction, which is the direction of peace. The world is now talking about destruction, but we are talking about peace. According to our capacity, God is utilising us to spread peace all over the world. So let each of us spread peace according to our capacity. We know that people are threatening to set fire to our building. But if we keep the building strong, we are well protected. Similarly, while the danger of war threatens us, if we can inundate the world with love and peace, that love will prove stronger than the strongest, and war itself will be destroyed.

God is all Love, and inside Love is infinite Power. So if I can bring forward my love and if you can bring forward your love, then our love-power will definitely silence this destruction-power.

Mr. Utsunomiya: One effect of nuclear war we experienced in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is that far more children and women and civilians were killed than soldiers. Most of the military leaders survived. This is not a war in the classical tradition. Classically, war was fought by uniformed people, military experts, professionals. But in a nuclear war, such as we experienced in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, far more innocent people were killed. This fact should be remembered by all.

Sri Chinmoy: Absolutely! In bygone days hero-warriors used to fight with one another. Civilians and innocent people did not come into the picture. If you wanted to fight, you issued a challenge and fought. But those who didn't believe in fighting, those who wanted to remain peaceful, were not bothered. Now war is like a mad elephant. A mad elephant doesn't know who is an innocent bystander and who is the enemy. It just destroys.

Previously, warfare was like a contest between two boxers. A boxer is not going to come out into the street to hurt people. A wrestler is not going to go out into the street to throw people into the air. A wrestler will fight with other wrestlers. A boxer will fight with other boxers. But now, innocent people who have nothing to do with boxing or wrestling are being destroyed. It is so ridiculous, so painful!

Mr. Utsunomiya: This is the English version of the pamphlet.

Sri Chinmoy: You are a man of infinite wisdom and light. At every moment sleeplessly you are trying to offer light to ignorant people. Ignorant people must realise that they need light from people who have light. If I am ignorant, I don't want to remain always ignorant. If somebody in the family knows something, then I have to learn from him. You know something. Now your dear ones, your friends and your countrymen must learn from you. There are many students in a class but only one teacher. One teacher speaks, and hundreds of students learn. Then again, each of these students can go to another place and talk about what he has learned of peace and love. In this way hundreds and thousands can learn. So from one it becomes many. But at one point someone has to start the whole thing. One individual has to offer peace before it will spread to two or three. So people like you must be given the opportunity to spread your light, and this is what you are doing.

I am extremely, extremely happy and fortunate to be here with you, and I am extremely, extremely grateful to you for translating this pamphlet. So you can feel my heart of gratitude.

16.

(Sri Chinmoy presents Mr. Utsunomiya with the banner of the Peace Meditation at the United Nations).

Mr. Utsunomiya: Thank you very much. Can I keep this?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes! This is for you. I am offering this with my heart's infinite gratitude. We are two brothers sailing in the same boat.

Mr. Utsunomiya: You will live longer than I will, but I am so honoured to hear that. Thank you.

Sri Chinmoy: But no matter where you are, your soul will bless us. You may not be in the body, but from Heaven you will bless humanity. You have been blessing humanity for 80 years, and I pray that you will continue to bless humanity for at least 20 more years. In India we talk about people living 100 years. I understand you are 80. So I pray that for at least 20 more years you will be in the physical to bless the world.

Again, it is not age that matters but the inspiration, aspiration and dedication that you are showing. This dynamism of yours will spread all over the world. This is most important. Otherwise, people live to a ripe old age, but they do nothing for mankind. In your case, at every moment you are serving humanity. So every second of yours on earth is so precious. I am a lover of peace and you are also a lover of peace. We are in the same boat, The Japanese are blessed to have you here.

Meeting you has been a very memorable experience for me.

Part III — One in heart and soul: Akishige Matsumoto and Sri Chinmoy

18.

On January 12, 1986 Mr. Akishige Matsumoto, Honourary Doctor of Laws and Chairman of the Executive Office of the Japan Republic Association, invited Sri Chinmoy to be a guest of honour at a reception given for Mr. Matsumoto in Kyoto. Following are excerpts from their meeting.

Mr. Matsumoto: May I kindly have your attention for a few minutes. I would like to introduce our special guest, Sri Chinmoy.

Sri Chinmoy: My Indian life is bowing to you, an illumination-soul of Japan, for your supreme blessings.

Now I wish to offer a soulful song to you, our most esteemed Brother-Friend, Mr. Matsumoto. This song I composed, and now some of my students from Japan, America, Canada and France will sing it. The song is written in Bengali, my mother tongue, so first I wish to read out the English translation.

Akishige Matsumoto,
Ceaseless aspiration-fire you are!
In you Japan has discovered
Benevolence-fulness unparalleled,
That sleeplessly shines
In your life's meditation-light.
O flower-blossomed heart of Japan,
India has flung open her heart's door to you
And is beckoning your
aspiration-peace-flooded eyes
And offering her soul's oneness-love.

20.

(While the song was performed, Sri Chinmoy offered a gift to Mr. Matsumoto and, in return, Mr. Matsumoto presented a plaque to Sri Chinmoy.)

Mr. Matsumoto: Thank you very much. I am very grateful. Before I left for Shikoku, a friend of mine told me about a man who lives in the heart as I do, and my friend invited me to go to a concert to see this man. While Sri Chinmoy performed on 10 different instruments at Bunka Geijutsu Kaikan Hall, I was deeply moved. It was a most mystical experience for me.

Ladies and gentlemen, I feel that the lives of the Japanese people are maybe a little too hectic and a little too busy. It is necessary for us to meditate inwardly once in a while to transform ourselves.

I am truly delighted to have Sri Chinmoy here with us as our special guest today. Transcending all nationalities, we are one in heart and soul.

Certificate of friendship to Master Sri Chinmoy

Below is the translation of the inscription on the plaque which Mr. Matsumoto presented to Sri Chinmoy.

CERTIFICATE OF FRIENDSHIP

TO MASTER SRI CHINMOY

We are extremely pleased to have had the bond of friendship established between you and our group while we continue our efforts in reforming the country and its people with our hope for world peace and the welfare of humanity.

As we feel deeply honoured to have had the opportunity to invite you as our special guest, we would like to present this certificate as a sign of our everlasting friendship.

Akishige Matsumoto

Japan Republic Association

January 12, 1986

Akishige Matsumoto

Akishige Matsumoto
Aspriha bahni abirato
Japaner maha kalian
Jani atandra taba dhyan
Kusumita hiya Japaner
Abarita hiya bharater
Dake taba puta ankhi
Tomare danite rakhi

Part IV — Marathoners meet: Toshihiko Seko and Sri Chinmoy

24.

On December 18, 1985 Sri Chinmoy met with Mr. Toshihiko Seko, Japan's champion marathon runner, and his manager, Mr. Shoichi Kobayashi, in Tokyo. Following are excerpts from their conversation.

Sri Chinmoy: I wish to offer my soul's deepest gratitude to our Brother-Father-Mentor-Coach, Nakamura. While he was on earth, he wanted his dearest Seko to offer to the world something unique. I am sure that in the soul's world he has the same vision-that his dearest student-son should offer something most extraordinary to the world at large.

His departure is extremely significant. According to Indian philosophy, water means consciousness: water signifies consciousness infinite. His soul came from Infinity and has again gone back to Infinity. From the infinite Consciousness he appeared on the earth plane to inspire the running world to become more perfect and to do many, many other extraordinary things not only for his beloved Japan but for the whole world.

Here we are remembering and we shall always remember our dearest Nakamura, our Brother-Father-Teacher-Friend, with our heart's boundless gratitude. His wisdom, his compassion, his love and his feeling of oneness for his students, especially Seko, for his dear, intimate ones and for the whole world, will always be treasured by us all. Now we are invoking his soul and praying to bring down his soul's presence to bless us all with his boundless Peace, Light and Delight.

Mr. Kobayashi: One of Mr. Nakamura's students just won the relay on the 15th of December.

Sri Chinmoy: Now that he is in the soul's world, he has much more Power, Love and Light than he had when he was in the physical. So he is able to achieve many more things than he was able to achieve when he was in the body. The body has limited capacities; the soul has unlimited capacities. So his soul's unlimited capacities he is offering to his students. His blessings from Heaven he is sending to his students.

Mr. Kobayashi: I would like to thank you for these kind words. As long as the runners follow Mr. Nakamura's spirit and feel that he is protecting them from Above, they will be able to continue with their effort and do very well.

Sri Chinmoy: I also feel exactly the same. As long as they offer their love and gratitude to their Sensei-Teacher-Brother-Friend, he will offer them Heavenly blessings. And these Heavenly blessings will become their most astonishing achievements.

Seko: I am sure that Mr. Nakamura, my Sensei's soul, is blessing us from Heaven. I feel that his blessings are raining down. It is a fact that he is no longer here on earth and now is the time for me to look into the future. I would like to remember and follow what my Sensei has taught me and become an even greater person than he was. I do not know if I can, but with this hope I would like to live the rest of my life.

Sri Chinmoy: The real father gets tremendous joy and satisfaction only when he sees that his son, his student, has surpassed him. If the father goes only to high school and then he sees his son going to college and learning much more than he has learned, he gets tremendous joy. Always the younger generation has to surpass the older generation; that is evolution. Someone achieves something, and his son goes far beyond his achievement. With Mr. Nakamura's blessings, Seko will go beyond him; and with Seko's blessings, the young generation will go beyond him. This is the message of the Beyond. I am very happy to hear this.

Now I would like my students to sing several songs for you.

27.

(Singers perform songs by Sri Chinmoy dedicated to Nakamura, including three songs to Nakamura's words.)

Sri Chinmoy (to Seko): How is your married life? You should have brought your wife here. There are so many of our girls here whom she could have met. Does she run?

Seko: Yes. She won the corporate relay for the S & B company. I am the so-called coach for the runners because my ankle has been injured.

/Sri Chinmoy: When are you going to run a marathon again?

Seko: I am going to run a race next spring. Next year I will run possibly two marathons.

Sri Chinmoy: Will you run in Fukuoka?

Seko: I haven't decided on which marathons, but I will run two.

Mr. Kobayashi: Mr. Shintaku of our team won the Fukuoka Marathon on December 1st in 2:09:51.

Sri Chinmoy: See how Mr. Nakamura's soul's blessings are working. Mr. Kobayashi: Mr. Seko and Mr. Shintaku are rivals from the same team.

Sri Chinmoy: Mr. Seko is now the boss. He is the captain. What was your best timing for the marathon? Was it in Boston?

Seko: In the Tokyo Marathon — 2:08:36.

Sri Chinmoy: But didn't something happen during that marathon and you could have done better?

Seko: Once towards the end of the Fukuoka Marathon I was ready to do a 100-metre dash to pass Ikangaa.

Sri Chinmoy: In one marathon you took off your hat.

Seko: When I threw off my hat during the Los Angeles Olympic marathon, at that time the temperature had gone down and I felt cooler. That is why I took it off.

Sri Chinmoy: Now some of my students have some questions they would like to ask you. This one is the editor of a running magazine in Australia.

Animesh Harrington: When you start running again, you will have to run against Steve Jones and other top runners. Do you think you can get down to the 2: 07 mark?

Seko: Absolutely yes!

Animesh: And the world record?

Seko: I would like to break it.

Sri Chinmoy: Is Lopes' world record an inspiration for you to do better, or is it something frightening or challenging?

Seko: What is most extraordinary is his age-the fact that he is 38.

Sri Chinmoy: It should be an inspiration, not a frightening experience.

Seko: Carlos Lopes' world-record victory gives me inspiration in the sense that if one heightens one's spirituality to a high level, one can achieve many things in spite of one's age. So it is truly an inspiration for me.

Sri Chinmoy: Among the marathon runners, whom do you like best? Seko: Lopes.

Sri Chinmoy: You have run with Bill Rodgers, Rob DeCastella and others also.

Seko: I also like Frank Shorter. When I was in high school, I respected and admired Frank Shorter.

Sri Chinmoy: With Rodgers it was competition. He was a rival.

Seko: Is Rodgers still running?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, he is. I was so happy when I saw both the races in Boston-the first time when you lost to Bill Rodgers and the second time when you went ahead of him. Bill Rodgers was exhausted, but you did not have even a drop of perspiration on your face. Even your hair was in perfect order.

Pahar Meltzer: What is the most significant thing that you think you have learned from Nakamura?

Seko: Genius has a limited world, but for those who make the effort, there is an unlimited world. That is the most important thing. If you try very hard to make the effort, for you the infinite is there.

Sri Chinmoy: It is true. A genius comes into the world with a special capacity from his past incarnation, or all of a sudden he achieves this kind of capacity. Then he may be satisfied with his capacity. He may not want to go beyond, whereas somebody who started with limited capacity may want to continue going beyond and beyond because he knows there is hope for him to do better. A genius may be a finished product, while somebody else who has aspiration and an inner cry will go on doing more and more.

Seko: Mr. Nakamura has taught me to be a genius of aspiration — someone who makes the effort, someone who tries to go beyond and beyond.

Sri Chinmoy: You have got a tremendous task ahead of you. Now you have to hoist your Teacher-Mentor-Father's banner and carry it all over the world. Nakamura was both your greatest friend and your dearest father. So now you have to carry his banner and spread his teachings and love not only in Japan but all over the world.

Please tell Mrs. Nakamura that my students and I are offering her our deepest gratitude. Our hearts' prayers are always there for her husband to bless not only her and the immediate members of his family but also all those who loved him, honoured him and treasured him. So on behalf of my students and myself, I offer our deepest gratitude to Mrs. Nakamura.

(To Mr. Kobayashi) You have a spice factory? Do you export or import?

Mr. Kobayashi: We do both.

Sri Chinmoy: Where do you import from?

Mr. Kobayashi: Since the climate of Japan is not warm enough to grow them, we import the raw materials for curry from Southeast Asia-especially peppers. We import the raw goods and then ship the finished product to foreign countries.

Sri Chinmoy: Which are the foreign countries?

Mr. Kobayashi: Europe and America. Hawaii in particular has many Japanese descendents. We also ship the finished product back to the Southeast Asian countries.

Sri Chinmoy: Do you sell them back to the Southeast Asian countries at the same price as you sell them to America and Europe?

Mr. Kobayashi: That is our policy. The countries in Southeast Asia are not ready to process the raw materials into spices and keep the product quality at a very high level. In order to keep the delicate quality, you have to process the raw materials in a certain way, and those countries do not have the capacity.

Sri Chinmoy: And Seko works for you as well as his wife? Previously he had some connection with Tiger shoes. He gave me a pair of Tiger running shoes once.

Seko: The President of Tiger was a good friend of Mr. Nakamura, so Tiger supplied the runners with shoes.

How many are running the marathon tomorrow? Are you also running?

Sri Chinmoy: Most of my students will run tomorrow. Unfortunately, I am having problems with my knees so I will not be able to run the marathon. Is it your left ankle that is injured?

Seko: The sole of my right foot has been injured for five months.

Sri Chinmoy: So for five months you have not been practising?

Seko: Very little. Only jogging.

Sri Chinmoy: It is getting better now?

Seko: It is a little better; there is a little progress. Next year I would like to go to Chicago to run the marathon.

Sri Chinmoy: The Chicago and New York marathons are practically in the same month.

Mr. Kobayashi: We just heard that next year the Chicago and New York marathons will take place on the same day — the first Sunday in November.

Sri Chinmoy: There will be a real competition. Chicago will give more money. There will be a competition in money-power.

Mr. Kobayashi: Chicago was very greedy last year. For the record breaking runner the prize money was very high.

Sri Chinmoy: This year they will increase the prize money.

Mr. Kobayashi: Probably the runners are more concerned with which races the stronger runners go to. They are more concerned with the competition than the money. They will go to the race that has the more powerful runners. If Chicago has more powerful runners, they will go there — not just because of the prize money but because of the good competition.

Sri Chinmoy: They are not greedy; they only want to increase their capacity.

Seko: Unfortunately, at the present time the Japanese runners wouldn't receive the prize money. They have not come to that level.

Sri Chinmoy: But you have come to that level, and you will be able to get it. Now, I would like you to advise one of my students about his training. His best marathon time is 2:56, but I would like him to run 2:30. Please advise him how he can improve.

Seko: How many miles do you run a week?

Pahar: Fifty or sixty.

Seko: You have to double it.

Sri Chinmoy: Five or six years ago I read an article in which you said that you were not running as many miles as Bill Rodgers and that it was not necessary to run so many miles. You said what mattered was how hard and how sincerely you ran, how much concentration you ran with and not how many miles you ran.

Seko: When a runner trains, he should have hard days and easy days in order to run a good marathon. He should prepare at least three months in advance. But during these three months he should do a concentrated training run only about ten times. The rest of the time he should run easy and relaxed.

Sri Chinmoy: How many miles? Seko: At least ten times one should try to run 40K or 25 miles very hard, very concentrated. I usually run 40K training runs in about two hours and five minutes.

Mr. Kobayashi: It is very difficult to compare the level that he is on to that of other runners. But in the case of your student, Seko is suggesting that in order for him to make a big jump to a higher level, he has to run more, to double his distance.

Sri Chinmoy: So he should not worry about his timing but run more, increase his mileage. Then, when he gets to a higher level, he should try the concentrated running.

Seko: If one feels that 40K is a very long run, an extraordinary distance, then one cannot be called a marathon runner. A marathon runner shouldn't fear distance.

Sri Chinmoy: So, Pahar, now you try.

Seko: Fifty miles a week is not enough.

Sri Chinmoy: Now he has to do 100 miles a week?

Seko: And also he should do a long run of 20 miles at least once a week. Then the rest of the week he can do shorter distances.

Pahar: Two runs a day?

Seko: That is the best. One in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening.

Sri Chinmoy: Shorter distances.

Seko: Then, once a week he should do speed work. Three times in one session he should run 5000-metre intervals in order to run a 2:30 marathon.As soon as my injury stops giving me problems, at the beginning of next year, I will start seriously training for the marathon. After my marriage, I stopped participating in races, so the world is saying that I have become lazy. I have to be careful so that people do not say that my wife is preventing me from participating in marathons. So I would like to start again participating in marathons.

Sri Chinmoy: Very good. When you come to New York, please inform us. We would like to invite you to come to visit us.

Seko: Thank you.

Sri Chinmoy: I am sure Mr. Kobayashi will come with you.

Seko: Mr. Kobayashi is afraid of airplanes. He has never ridden on a plane. He is afraid even to fly to the South island. He goes by train. He would like to take a boat to America.

Sri Chinmoy: Like Mahatma Gandhi, he is afraid of planes. Gandhi also used to take trains.

Mr. Kobayashi: I have inherited Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy.

Sri Chinmoy: We have seen you in Japan. Now we would like to see you in America.

Part V — NHK-TV Interviews Sri Chinmoy

On January 4, 1986 Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK-TV), the Japanese National Broadcasting Association, interviewed Sri Chinmoy in Fukuyama, a city near Hiroshima. The interview was later aired on national television. Below is an excerpt from this interview.

Interviewer: What is the purpose of your visit to Hiroshima?

Sri Chinmoy: I am going to Hiroshima to offer my dedicated service. This service will be in the form of my prayerful peace offering to the people of Hiroshima and all of Japan.

Destruction can never bring about peace. Many years ago Hiroshima and Nagasaki suffered destruction, and the peace that the world felt was no peace at all. It was only an experience of destruction. It is only when we pray and meditate and try to feel our oneness with all human beings that we get peace. So I wish to offer my prayer and meditation for the peace that I am talking about.

Interviewer: This is a very simple and basic question, but I would like to ask what meditation is and how one can reach the state of meditation.

Sri Chinmoy: Meditation is conversation with God. Here I am conversing with you. You are a human being and I am a human being, so we are using earthly language to talk to one another. Similarly, when we meditate, we can speak to God and He can speak to us, and we can understand one another. If we practise this conversation with God every day, as we practise other things, we can easily make progress in our meditation. The first thing we need to do in order to meditate is to silence our mind. This is first and foremost. Once we see that the mind is silent, we allow only divine thoughts-peace, love, joy and oneness-to enter into us. Then we try to assimilate them and make them part and parcel of our lives. Finally we try to offer to the world the same joy, love and peace that we have gotten from our meditation.