Run and become, become and run, part 1

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The sprinter1

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

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

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

RB 1. 12 August 1978

The Grace protects2

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

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

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

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

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

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

RB 2. 12 August 1978

Big mouths3

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

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

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

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

RB 3. 5 December 1978

The power of a smile4

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

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

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

RB 4. 5 December 1978

Running late5

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

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

RB 5. 5 December 1978

Child's advice6

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

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

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

RB 6. 5 December 1978

The Christmas run7

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

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

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

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

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

Then we had a spiritual conversation.

RB 7. 25 December 1978

The ambulance driver8

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

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

RB 8. 25 July 1979

The direction-giver9

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

RB 9. 25 July 1979

Run within, run without10

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

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

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

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

RB 10. 30 January 1979

The severed head11

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

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

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

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

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

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

RB 11. 12 May 1979

The windy marathon12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Father's Day torture13

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

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

RB 13. 17 June 1979

The Indian's pranam14

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

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

RB 14. 25 July 1979

The moving car15

This morning I almost had an accident. One fellow had stopped at a red light but his car was still moving as I was running across the street. He was just looking to one side and so I had to bang on his car, because he didn’t know what he was doing. Of course, I banged on it very politely.

RB 15. 11 July 1979

A close call16

I was running across an intersection in San Juan. One car was coming from one direction and another was coming from the other. One of them had a red light and one of them had a green light. At the intersection, the driver of the second car got inspired. All of a sudden, instead of waiting at the red light for the other car, which had a green light, he took a short cut through the intersection. I screamed.

A gentleman with a briefcase was crossing the street at the time. He started chasing the car and screaming, using all American vulgar terms. He even crossed the street and followed the car for 50 metres. Then he began cursing himself, saying that instead of running after the car he should have taken down its license number.

He came up to me and said, “I can see you are a nice guy.” He said he also runs and a few days ago he had had a similar experience. How badly they drive in San Juan!

RB 16. 11 July 1979

No red light17

At one place, it took me seven to ten minutes just to cross the street because of traffic. I kept saying, “O God, why is there no red light there?”

RB 17. 11 July 1979

The race18

Today I saw one of my disciples running, about 200 metres ahead of me. Then my ego came forward and I said, “Just because her husband defeats me, that doesn’t mean that she will defeat me.”

So I ran past her, and then I ran practically 200 metres more.

Afterwards, a policeman smiled at me and spoke to me in Spanish.

RB 18. 11 July 1979

"Master, when did you come?"19

There was a very big puddle about 400 metres from the Centre, near Lilo’s Health Food Store. A lady was driving by quite fast, but she stopped her car in the middle of the street so that she would not splash me. Perhaps she had seen me somewhere — on television or in the newspaper. She asked, “Master, when did you come? How do you do?” The people waiting in the cars behind her were blessing her.

RB 19. 11 July 1979

Ashford Avenue20

Every day, at about four in the morning, I run down Ashford Avenue, but it is so dark that I can never really see it. Then, during the day when I ride in the car down Ashford Avenue, it looks so different. I can’t believe that I have run that far. I can only marvel and say to the disciples with me, “Look how far I have run!”

RB 20. 11 July 1979

A precious morning21

On the way to Jamaica High School I saw a man about my age wearing a suit. He looked like a perfect gentleman, and he had a briefcase in his hand. As soon as I crossed the street and ran past him, he gave me a very, very broad smile.

You know I may be miserly in other fields, but not in offering smiles. So I also gave him a very broad smile, but I didn’t stop running.

All of a sudden I heard someone running behind me. I turned around and saw the same gentleman running after me. This time he was almost shaking with a kind of reverential awe.

“Are you Sri Chinmoy?” he asked. Usually I can’t speak when I run. It takes time for me to catch my breath. So I just looked at him and again gave him a very good smile.

Then he said, “What a precious man and what a precious morning!” I continued running. When I had covered another ten metres, I turned around and I saw him still standing there, looking at me.

RB 21. 21 July 1979

Your best friend22

Today I saw a dog that I have seen a few times before. But for the first time I also saw the owner. It was an elderly woman, and she was holding the dog on a leash.

As I ran by, the dog blocked my way, so I just stopped and stood there. The dog was not barking at all and the lady said to me, “Don’t worry, don’t worry! She is as kind as any human being can ever be. She can be your best friend as well, if you want her to be.”

I said to the lady, “Thank you, thank you.”

Her dog can be her best friend, so true. After running a few more metres I turned around, and the lady was still looking at me.

RB 22. 21 July 1979

The stopping place23

When I run up the hill on 150th Street, always I come and stop at a particular tree. I breathe in four times and then again I resume my running.

The other day, one of the disciples told me that she was parking her car near there when a lady said to her, “I saw your leader this morning. I see him every day. He goes running up the hill and he stops right by that tree. He looks so thirsty, I want to give him a glass of water, but I know I can’t. Your leader is so terrific. You are so lucky to have such a good leader. He’s such a wonderful man.”

I think she is one of the ladies who had the fight with another lady and her dog a few months ago by the bus stop.

RB 23. 21 July 1979

A tale from Flushing Meadow24

The other day I entered into Flushing Meadow Park and I happened to see one of the disciples. On other days when he sees me or when I see him, he runs quite fast. But on that particular day he was running so slowly. I said, “Today is not his day.”

RB 24. 21 July 1979

A display of strength25

Yesterday in Flushing Meadow Park a group of black and white girls were playing with a doll on the grass. I was running by on the street when all of a sudden one of the black girls came into the street. She was quite fat and short, and she stood blocking my way and showing her muscles. I stopped running and went two metres to the right, and then I started running again. How she was flexing her muscles!

RB 25. 21 July 1979

Flushing Meadow blessing26

Ten minutes later I was running near the start of the Road Runners’ 100-mile race. I was running slowly. Near the bridge there were five or six young boys and one girl, all black. When I came by, they started using all their American slang and pointing at me, but I didn’t pay any attention.

But O God, one girl didn’t stop at just cutting jokes. In two minutes’ time she started running side by side with me. All American rubbish language she was saying, but I was deaf and dumb, absolutely not answering. She ran with me for about 150 metres. She was holding a baton or small stick. Finally, she threw it at me, but fortunately it did not strike me. Then she ran back to her friends.

That is why I ask my disciples, especially the women, to be very, very careful while running. I am an older man and yesterday I was wearing a running outfit and looking smart, too. But still they were joking and disturbing me. So please be very, very careful when you run.

RB 26. 21 July 1979

The intersection-haven27

Yesterday I was returning home after having covered only two miles. Suddenly, somebody from behind said, “Hey, hey! Hello, hello! Hello, Guru!” Now, you guess who it was. It was one of my disciples.

Then I told him to run according to his own speed. So he ran very fast, but he halted at an intersection. I continued running and I came very near him — 100 or 150 metres away. I was watching him. There was no car there, no red light, nothing. Even then he was waiting there. I said, “Oh, he is my perfect disciple. He can say that he is at an intersection, so it is all right to take rest there.”

RB 27. 21 July 1979

The silent dog28

The day before yesterday, around 5:30 in the morning, three dogs came running after me. One little dog ran very fast and came within a metre of me. He wasn’t barking; he was just running. I didn’t even see this dog until it tried to bite my ankle. Luckily, a car went by and the noise scared the dog away.

RB 28. 25 July 1979

A cooling friendship29

This morning, while I was running near the Grand Central Parkway, a man said, “Wait!” So I stopped and waited, but I didn’t know what he wanted. Then he said, “This will be cooler,” and he sprayed me with a hose.

He asked me where I was from. I told him, “India,” and I asked him where he was from. He said, “Ireland.” He was very happy to learn that I had been to Ireland a few years ago and had met the President. On my way back I again saw him working in his garden. I waved to him and he said, “Good morning.”

RB 29. 25 July 1979

The dime30

One day, after running eleven miles, I stopped to watch some children who were looking for something. One of them had dropped a coin, and they were all looking for it. So I also started looking. Finally, I found a dime and pointed it out to the child who had dropped it. He said, “Thanks a lot.” Then he gave me a smile and I gave him a smile.

RB 30. 25 July 1979

Who is that guy?31

Once I passed by an old man and a little child. The old man was looking at me with admiration. The child said, “Daddy, who is that guy?” The father answered, “He is a great man.”

RB 31. 25 July 1979

Too fast32

Yesterday at noon, when I was returning from my run, a little boy and a little girl came out of their house. The little boy ran and followed for fifty metres. He said, “Boy, you run quite fast.” Then he stopped and gave up.

RB 32. 25 July 1979

The hill33

Yesterday, after I had run about three and a half miles, I stopped for a couple of seconds while running up a hill. At that time another runner — a man of about my age — passed me and said, “Come on, you can make it. You are not that old.” So I started running and then I passed him. He gave me a broad smile and said, “I told you so.” He was very happy that he had inspired me. Then I made a right turn and he made a left turn and we parted.

RB 33. 25 July 1979

The fisherman's request34

One morning, after I had run ten miles, I saw a fisherman catching fish. He said, “Man, you have run a lot. Now give me a hand.” He wanted my help, but I just smiled and kept running.

RB 34. 25 July 1979

How many miles?35

The other day my road crew was following me in a car as I was running. After I had run only six miles, a fisherman started screaming at me, “Keep on running, run faster.” Then he asked, “How many miles have you run?”

The boys are such jokers. I had run only six miles, but they told him twelve miles.

RB 35. 25 July 1979

I am working36

On Parsons Boulevard construction men were digging a big hole and a very fat man was inside the hole up to his eyes. As soon as he saw me he smiled at me and clapped. Then he started grumbling, “Oh, I am here working and you are running and enjoying yourself.”

RB 36. 25 July 1979

The slow runner37

Once, a 60 or 70-year-old man was following me during a run. Then he said to me, “Young man, what is the matter? Why do you run so slowly?” For fifty metres he ran with me, but then he gave up. He was so out of breath.

RB 37. 25 July 1979

The garbage collectors38

This morning I was running by three garbage collectors, two white and one black. One of the white ones said, “Boss, what do you doing?” instead of what are you doing. So I smiled at him. The black one said, “He’s a smart guy.” I also gave him a broad smile.

RB 38. 25 July 1979

The drunken driver39

Yesterday I was running at five in the morning near Thomas Edison High School. At a little traffic island I had to stop for the cars. All of a sudden a car came right into the island, stopping just thirty metres from me. The man seemed drunk. If it had not been for the trees, it would have been a very close call.

RB 39. 28 July 1979

The showoff40

As I made a left turn off 150th Street, I noticed an old man on the corner, looking at me. I looked at him and said, “Good morning.” In a few seconds he felt inspired to also start running. I said to myself, “O God, what is he doing?”

As he approached me, the time came for me to show off. I ran fast, but then I cursed myself. Usually, if people pass by me, I say, “Oh, perhaps he is doing only one or two miles and I am doing eight or nine.” This time I felt sorry for my stupidity.

For 200 metres we ran together. Then he made a right turn and I made a left turn.

RB 40. 28 July 1979

Good job!41

Yesterday while I was running in the morning near the old Greek Deli which burnt down, a gentleman said to me, “Good job, good chap!”

RB 41. 28 July 1979

The barking girls42

Before the bus left for the triathlon, around midnight, I went for a three-mile run. After 600 metres I crossed the street. There were five girls sitting on the curb. As soon as they saw me, they all stood up and started barking the way dogs bark.

When I came back, they were still there chatting. Again, as soon as they saw me, they got inspiration to stand up and bark.

RB 42. 30 July 1979

The chase43

After one and a half miles, when I was returning from my three-mile run, I passed by a group of four or five Puerto Rican boys. They were looking at me. Then all of a sudden one got inspiration to run with me. It was almost as though he was chasing me. I ran quite fast for 300 metres and then he gave up.

RB 43. 30 July 1979

An invitation44

This afternoon some workers were digging up the ground in the middle of the street. They were listening to the radio. When they saw me, they gave me a smile and one said, “Come and join us and listen to the radio.”

RB 44. 30 July 1979

Don't be a fool45

This morning an old lady with a dog said to me, “You are tired?”

I said, “Yes, I am tired.”

“How many miles?” she asked.

I answered, “Six and a half.”

She said, “Kidding? Don’t have to kill yourself. Don’t be a fool, honey.”

This was the first time I had ever seen her.

RB 45. 30 July 1979

The storm46

One night I wanted to go for a sixteen-mile run. I started about 3 a.m. at Flushing Meadow Park and my road crew was following me in a car. After I had gone six miles, it started raining heavily. It was a real torrential downpour which lasted the whole night. But still I went on, went on, with my faithful crew.

RB 46. 7 August 1979

The running machine47

Last year I was practising on my running machine early one morning when a former disciple’s soul visited me. The soul said, “I wish I could run as fast in the inner world as you are running on this machine.” That night, this particular seeker visited the Jharna-Kala Gallery, seeing me for the first time in a few years.

RB 47. 7 August 1979

The sprinkler48

At about five-thirty one morning, a husband and wife were in front of their house. The husband was putting garbage in the garbage can and the wife was watering the lawn.

Suddenly the wife got inspiration to water me with the sprinkler. Her husband said to her, “Honey, why did you do that? Do you think he appreciates it?” Then she laughed and laughed. Actually, I don’t like the sprinkler at all. As soon as I see one I run away.

RB 48. 7 August 1979

The blessing49

As I was finishing a six-and-a-half-mile run and coming back to the starting point, a black man said to me, “The Christ will bless you.”

RB 49. 7 August 1979

The extra mile50

My road crew is very good, but sometimes when I give them a job, they forget to do it. Then, I bark at them like anything.

Yesterday I wanted to run only 400 metres, and when I didn’t see any mark, I said, “Perhaps I made a mistake.” I went on running farther and farther. Finally it became one mile — 800 metres one way and 800 back. My road crew had forgotten to measure that route.

Afterwards, I had them drive that way in a car and we discovered that I had run one mile extra.

RB 50. 7 August 1979

Join us51

One day, after running a few miles, I started walking for a while. Some workmen saw me and asked, “Why aren’t you running? We enjoy seeing you run.”

These same workmen once asked me to join them for a beer.

RB 51. 8 August 1979

The taxi driver52

Today, another taxi driver asked me for directions. Since I could not give him directions, I just folded my hands and said I didn’t know.

RB 52. 9 August 1979

The fat man53

One winter morning I went out to run thirteen miles. Right after I started, I saw three young girls on their way to school.

I am not fat, I have to say, but when I wear a down vest to keep warm, I do look heavier.

So one girl said, “Hey, fat man, you are doing well! Fat man, you are doing well.” Another girl said, “Fatty, carry on, carry on! Fatty, carry on, carry on!”

RB 53. 20 January 1979

An unexpected encounter54

Once, as I was running about five-thirty in the morning, I saw a young man waiting for the bus.

As soon as he saw me, he became so happy and he ran with me for thirty or forty metres. Then he went back to the bus stop.

After I had covered one mile and was returning, past the same bus stop, the young man ran with me again.

He was so happy to run with me. He said, “You are a good runner.”

RB 54. 20 January 1979

A running companion55

Today after I had run a mile and a half, a little dog… it was so ferocious… suddenly jumped at me and tried to bite me.

O God, what could I do? I was running in the street and there were a lot of cars coming. If you go that side, you will end up inside the car and if you go this side, the dog will bite you. Either way is dangerous.

But that is not the story. While the dog was trying to bite me, an elderly woman was enjoying it. And it was her dog! I had to change the position of my legs, scream something and pretend I had a stone. For twenty metres the dog chased me, and the old lady was enjoying it like anything.

I am not an American, and I don’t know your American slang. But you people would have gone up to that lady and insulted her. But I just walked in the street, staying as far from the sidewalk as I could. It was very difficult.

From the spiritual point of view, a dog symbolises faithfulness. If a dog bites you, they say that you have lost faith. When have I lost my faith? No, I have not lost it. It was just an attack by the hostile forces. They can act through a dog also. So a dog is supposed to be a divine instrument, but it can be very undivine as well. Here I am having such a serious problem, and the woman is enjoying it.

People should not run in the street. If they do, a dog will come from a house and create such problems! Out of the blue they come, sometimes three or four at a time. Some bark beforehand and some do not.

Almost every day I have problems at various places with dogs.

RB 55. 11 August 1979

The escort56

It was drizzling, and I was running back slowly along the same road where the dog had attacked me earlier. An old lady, over seventy years old, was standing on the sidewalk. Her umbrella was a plastic garbage bag. When she saw me she shouted, “Hey, stop!”

I said to myself, “O God, another old lady!” But I am obedient, so I stopped. There was a red light there, and I enjoyed stopping and resting at the red light. Sometimes even at a green light I enjoy rest.

The old lady said to me, “Do you know the Grand Central Parkway?”

I said, “Isn’t the Grand Central right here?”

She said, “No! What do you know?”

There were many cars coming by and she asked me, “Can you come with me?” I thought that she was asking me to carry her bag, so I said, “I will gladly carry it.”

I was observing her to see if she was really crazy. I felt sorry for her. Perhaps she felt sorry for me. When I took her to the other side of the Grand Central, she just stood there. I didn’t know if anything was going on inside her mind. She was not smiling, but at least she didn’t scold me.

RB 56. 11 August 1979

Observations from a bus stop57

A few days ago I was running past the bus stop on 150th Street. A black man and a white woman were standing there waiting for the bus.

Because of the construction there, I can’t run very fast and I always have to go from one side of the road to the other. When the lady saw me, she said, “Good going! You are going so fast.”

The man said, “No, he’s not. I could have run much faster when I was his age.”

The lady said, “No, you couldn’t have.”

Poor man, he was jealous of my running ability.

RB 57. 11 August 1979

Three car experiences58

The day before yesterday, in the morning, I had covered about two miles when a car with a little girl and her father approached me. The man said, “Look, look, Sri Chinmoy is running!” When the child looked outside the window, she was so delighted and excited to see me running.

Fifteen minutes later I was running near Bohack. Very slowly a car came toward me and finally stopped. A black lady and a black man were inside the car. The black lady was driving. She said to me, “Hi, Sri Chinmoy. You are running, you are running!”

One minute later another car with two middle-aged men slowly drove by. The driver asked me where a particular street was. I said, “Sorry, I do not know.”

The man said, “Damn you.” So I said, “Thank you.”

RB 58. 15 August 1979

The divine cheerers59

Five minutes later I was running on the street where the Greek school is — the one which leads to Agni Press. As I was running, I passed a young girl of sixteen or seventeen who was riding a bike. She came up to me and said, “Hi, Sri Chinmoy.” She was smiling and smiling. Then for about 150 metres she rode beside me, and then she pedalled away quite fast.

When I came up to Agni Press, I saw her talking to a few of her friends, some boys. As soon as I came by, they all started shouting my name, and clapping and jumping with such cheerfulness. They were cheering me at every step: “Sri Chinmoy! Sri Chinmoy!”

When I got home I asked one of my disciples to bring me twelve apples and twelve oranges immediately. But he didn’t hear the word “immediately.” Twenty minutes passed and I said, “By this time those divine children will have disappeared.” So I asked another disciple to drive me in the car. Then I saw the first disciple. He was walking very slowly. I said, “What are you doing? I asked you to come ‘immediately’.” He said, “Guru, I didn’t hear the word ‘immediately’, I just heard ‘go and bring’.”

Anyway, I went to the spot to see if those children were still there. To my great surprise, the girl was sitting on the steps in front of the Greek School, with a friend of hers. Since both of them were girls, I didn’t think it would be proper to go and speak to them. “Best thing is for us to go to Guru Stationery and bring some girls,” I said. So we brought back two girl disciples who were working there to the spot where the two girls were talking.

When the girl saw our car approaching her, she stood up and jumped towards the car. “Sri Chinmoy, Sri Chinmoy,” she said. She and her friend were both jumping for joy.

I said to them, “Can I give you some fruits?”

The girl who was then standing beside the car said, “Of course. You are such a sweet, nice man. Can I kiss you on your hand?”

I said, “Oh, no!” I gave them each an orange and an apple. Then I asked, “Where are your friends?”

They said, “We'll go look for them.” They went into the school, but their friends were not there. When they came out, the other girl said how happy she was to see me running. She was also a runner, and she said that she had run in one of our ten-mile races in Connecticut. She had come into Guru Health Foods that morning to ask when our next race would be. Both girls were excited.

I asked if they would see their friends soon, so they could give them apples and oranges, but they said, “No, we will not see them.” I said, “Then I would like to give you again another orange and apple.”

A young boy was watching the scene. He was not one of those who had cheered me, but he said, “Can I also have an orange? I don’t care for apples, however.” He came up to me all excited, and I gave him an orange.

RB 59. 14 August 1979

Two crazy fellows60

Last night, after six and a half miles, I was returning at one-thirty in the morning near the Grand Central Parkway. A car came slowly toward me. I was going away, but it went right against the red light. I said, “O God, what is he doing?”

The driver was smoking and his wife was sitting beside him. The man leaned out the window and said to me, “Please come near me. I shall not harm you. You don’t have to be afraid.” It was a very respectable looking couple, so I went over to the car. The man said, “Tell me, why are you running at this hour?”

I said, “I like it, I enjoy it.”

The man said to his wife, “Every day I also run at this hour and you call me crazy. Now, here is somebody else who is running.”

The lady said, “Yes, another crazy fellow like you!” Then she said to me, “Young man, go home and sleep. If you don’t sleep, you will die soon. But if you don’t run, you are not going to die soon.”

The man said, “It is better to die sooner than to live with a wife like you.”

The lady pushed her husband and knocked his cigarette out of his mouth. It fell down on the street, coming very close to my leg. But fortunately it didn’t hit me.

I started laughing, and then both of them started laughing and laughing. Finally they said to me, “Thanks a lot.”

RB 60. 15 August 1979

Street nuisance61

Yesterday I was running in Flushing Meadow Park when an old, fat lady came from behind me and with her left hand gave me a very good push on my shoulder. A thin old man dressed very smartly in a running outfit was approaching us and observing the scene. He said to her, “Street nuisance!” O God, I thought that I was about to enjoy seeing a very good fight. So I increased my stride and ran away quite fast.

RB 61. 23 August 1979

The lawn-mowers62

Yesterday as I was finishing a five-mile run I passed two men mowing their lawns. One of them came up to me smiling and said, “Are you Shry, Shry?” The other one said, “It is so nice that you are running.”

RB 62. 24 August 1979

Happy Birthday63

Yesterday, while I was running, a young girl came up to me on a bicycle. She said, “Hi! Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday!” Her friends were all looking at me and smiling and cheering me. Then, many of them joined her and sang “Happy Birthday,” for about three or four minutes, until I had run so far that I could no longer hear them.

My birthday, however, wasn’t until nine days later.

RB 63. 18 August 1979

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