Run and become, become and run, part 3

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The fourteen-mile adventure1

The other night, Sudhir, Scott, Casey, Peter and I ran fourteen miles. After four or five miles I said, “You go ahead and clear the snow.”

Scott and Casey are “excellent” runners, so it was Sudhir and Peter who went ahead. After one hundred metres, Peter could not keep up with Sudhir, so like a gentleman he started running with Scott, Casey and me.

After five miles Casey was tired; he didn’t want to run anymore. While I was barking at him to keep running, I entered into a puddle. For five or six steps, it was so cold. Such agony!

Then we went on and completed seven miles. Casey said, “How can we get back?” I said, “We will take a taxi,” but in the back of my mind I knew we would run back — another seven miles.

Scott is wise. He saw a diner and he said he was wondering if they had hot chocolate. Secretly he was hoping I would say to stop.

We turned back. Only Scott, Casey and Sudhir were still with me. Casey was behind us. All of a sudden he got inspiration and he wanted to go ahead. I started barking at him, “Either be at least fifty metres ahead, or stay behind.” While barking at him, again I entered into the same puddle which I had run through going the other way.

Sudhir was very nice, always running far ahead of us. After two or three miles, I saw Casey and Sudhir putting on their jackets. They had taken them off on the way and left them by the side of the street. Luckily, people didn’t care for their jackets, so Casey and Sudhir got them on the way back.

RB 128. 11 February 1979

Mother and daughter2

When I was little, my mother used to give me money if I had eaten my food. If Madhuri takes most delicious things to Radha and tells her it will give her more strength, then Radha will become bigger than Madhuri. Then Madhuri can defeat her. If Madhuri feeds her, Radha will become three times as fat as her mother. Then it will be easy for Madhuri to defeat her.

During the New York Marathon, Radha saw me twenty times. Her stride was useless, but she had such determination to go ahead of me. She was absolutely grinding her teeth, and she did defeat me.

RB 129. 19 December 1979

A new theory3

After running, now I walk one mile. I like it very much. I have formed a new theory that if you walk fast, you will have more stamina and you will be able to run better.

RB 120. 21 December 1979

First among the girls4

Yesterday, while running by the canal in Honolulu, I saw Susan the Great first among the girls.

Susan is a great runner. She went ahead of me. Madhuri and Annette were right behind her by the canal, but I didn’t see them.

Before I greeted Susan, I looked at the time. It was four minutes to six. I said, “How can she do this? She is not allowed to run alone until after six o’clock.”

Then, ten metres behind, I saw the other two I said, “All right.”

RB 131. 21 December 1979

One good competitor5

I am so proud of myself. An old man was running about fifty metres ahead of me. I said, “I have to prove I am a good runner.” Then I went far ahead of him.

After each minute I looked behind to see if he was catching up to me. But no, he was getting even farther behind. When I reached the end of the canal, he was still staggering.

I said, “At least I have one good competitor.”

RB 132. 21 December 1979

Got a match?6

I was running at about five o’clock by the canal. A young boy came up to me and asked me for a match. Then he asked if I had a cigarette. I just smiled at him.

RB 133. 21 December 1979

The lost runner7

Yesterday, while running near my hotel in Hawaii, I got lost for about fifteen minutes. Then again today, I got lost for about twenty minutes. But now I won’t make a mistake. I know the name of the street well. If I can remember the name of my sister Lily, then I will remember the street name. Previously, I tried to remember where my hotel was by the small house with two trees in front. But then I saw that four or five houses had two trees in the front yard.

RB 134. 21 December 1979

The look-alike

I think people run on alternate days. The day before yesterday, many people ran. Then again today, there were many people. Some disciples run so fast.

One lady looked from a distance like Ila. She really looked like Ila and I was about to call, “Ila!” But then I saw it was somebody else.

The fast runner8

I wonder if some people are clever like me. When they see I am coming, they go fast. That’s what I do when I see some people. I don’t want them to see that I am running so slowly, so when I come near them — about thirty metres away — I increase my speed. I keep this speed for about twenty metres after I pass them. Then, when I think they are out of sight, I slow down.

RB 136. 21 December 1979

The tennis shoes9

Today, my bad luck started right from early in the morning. I have two pairs of running shoes, but they were all inside the car. So I was running in my tennis shoes. My tennis shoes are heavy. They kept striking the ground while I was running, hurting me like anything.

I ran five and a half miles. Then I said, “Why run anymore?” Then I walked two miles.

RB 137. 26 December 1979

Doing his duty10

When I went out to run, about 4:30 in the morning, the man at the hotel desk was doing his duty — absolutely in the other world. I opened the door very quietly, and he was still in the other world.

RB 138. 26 December 1979

Morning blessing11

Even around four-thirty in the morning, people bless me. Old people will walk side by side, holding tiny flashlights, and not permit me to run past them.

RB 139. 26 December 1979

The friendly runner12

Before the start of our five-mile race, a black man said to me, “So good to see you.” Afterwards, when I was at the two-and-a-half mile point and he was at the same spot completing four miles, he greeted me again.

RB 140. 4 January 1980


The other day in Hawaii, we were eating at the Pancake House. A man and his wife were sitting in the next booth. The man was talking about the Sri Chinmoy Marathon.

I looked at Ranjana to say that I was facing him, but he didn’t know it was me. Ranjana was whispering to Lucy about it, but the man still didn’t recognise me. He must have been reading someone’s T-shirt.

RB 141. 4 January 1980

Today you are running14

Today I was running and somebody said to me, “Oh, today you are running and not jogging.”

That means every day I jog.

RB 142. 4 January 1980

You look fine!15

An hour later, I was running to the tennis court. A young boy was standing there, holding some books. He was about seventeen or eighteen years old.

He said, “Guru, you look fine. Guru, you look fine.” Then he noticed a tennis racquet in my hand. “Oh, you play tennis as well?”

RB 143. 14 January 1980

A dog's life16

This morning around 5:30, a lady came out of her house with a little dog. I was going down 150th Street, running very slowly. She said, “Hi!” Then I said, “Hi.” She said, “I was talking to my dog, not you.”

I went on running. About fifteen minutes later, as I was running very slowly up the hill, I saw the same lady in her front yard. I didn’t pay any attention to her. I didn’t want to be insulted by her again.

She said, “Hi!” This time I absolutely remained silent. She said, “What is the matter with you? You don’t know how to talk?”

This was my morning blessing. I thought she was saying “Hi” to me, but her dog is better than I am. Then she insulted me again, fifteen minutes later. This is how the lady blessed me.

RB 144. 14 January 1980

Why are you quitting?17

Two hours later, when I was running again, I ran only 800 metres. A middle-aged man said, “I just started. Why are you quitting?”

I said, “I am very tired.” He had just started running, and I was stopping.

RB 145. 14 January 1980

Six hooligan cars18

Yesterday, at two o’clock in the morning in Queens, I was walking very fast. Six cars — not one, but six — were bothering me like anything. They were driven by young boys, blacks and Puerto Ricans. They were going against the light and going the wrong way down a one-way street. They were screaming and doing all kinds of absurd things.

Then they drove onto the sidewalk to bother me. So I tried to get the license numbers. Then they got frightened and said, “Sorry, sorry, we won’t do it anymore.”

RB 146. 14 January 1980

The smiling runner19

Savita was smiling all the time during the marathon. Usually, when you see people running, you can tell who are the helpers: they are the ones smiling. But Savita smiled for twenty-six miles.

RB 147. 20 January 1980

Hashi's blessing20

For fifty metres during the inspiration Marathon, I was blessing Hashi like anything. How? I was ten or fifteen metres behind her. Each time I saw her shadow, bang! I put my left foot on her head. For fifty metres I did it. It was at the twelve-mile point.

I was ten or fifteen metres behind her. She is so short, but her shadow was quite long. Then, the second time Hashi started running with me, she went so fast.

RB 148. 20 January 1980

Two competitors21

In the Vermont Inspiration Marathon, the first time I saw Gangadhar, at sixteen miles, he was smiling. Simon was behind him. The second time I saw them, Simon was ahead of Gangadhar. Simon was so happy that he was ahead and had taken the lead.

When I started running at the twenty-one mile mark, I saw Simon again. He was very glad to see me and said, “Guru, Guru, Guru!” Gangadhar was nowhere near him. I was always waiting to see if I would hear Gangadhar’s footsteps, and I kept looking around. But the only footsteps I heard behind me were not a man’s. It was Prataya. Gangadhar was walking.

Then I saw that husband and wife were going together — Gayatri was inspiring him.

The first time I saw him at sixteen miles, he was quite happy. Then at twenty-one miles, he was not smiling, but Simon was so happy.

RB 149. 20 January 1980

I run and they run22

I was on 150th Street, returning from my morning run. I had just passed a few of my girl disciples.

As I was approaching the bus stop, a woman with thickly painted lipstick said to me, “Master, Master, why do you have to run? Why can’t your disciples run for you?”

I smiled at her and said, “I run and they run too.”

Had one of the disciples whom I had just passed run by at that moment, I could have said to the woman, “Here is the proof. I am running, and they are running too.”

How do these people know me? I'm sure this lady was Puerto Rican, or else she wouldn’t have used the term “Master.”

RB 150. 22 January 1980

Hello or something23

When I was coming back from my walk, I saw an elderly man waiting for the bus. As I was approaching him, he said “Hello,” or something. I didn’t pay any attention. Then he said, “Why are you so nasty? I said hello to you. You can’t say hello?”

RB 151. 30 January 1980

Why are you walking?24

Yesterday morning I was walking at about 5 o’clock. A middle-aged man saw me two different times. He asked, “Why are you walking and not running?” I gave him a smile.

RB 152. 30 January 1980

You look so beautiful25

Yesterday, around eight o’clock, I was walking quite fast when an elderly lady came out of her house. Who she is, God knows. She must live on that street, but I had never seen her before.

She said, “Sri, you look so beautiful.”

Five or six steps passed before I said, “Thank you,” but by that time she didn’t hear.

RB 153. 16 February 1980

Go home26

This morning I was walking, and Scott and Casey were clearing the road. Snow and water were all over, and I felt sorry for them. So I told them, “I am going home. You go home too!”

RB 154. 16 February 1980

God speaks through me27

Sometimes God speaks through me. This morning God saved me. Otherwise, I would have been proved a liar.

At seven o’clock I went out to run. O God, with such difficulty I ran one mile. When I was nearing the starting line again, an old man shouted, “Hey! Good morning!” He was screaming and looking around.

I thought to myself, “Perhaps he is just looking around and not speaking to me.” But again he screamed, “Hey! Good morning!” So I answered, “Good morning.”

He had a cane. Next he shouted, “Come here!”

O my God, morning command has come! He was commanding me, “You help me cross the street. I was waiting for the bus, but the bus wouldn’t stop for me.”

He was on the wrong side of the street. Why should the bus stop or go on the wrong side to get him? He was an old man of about 80 and he walked very slowly as I helped him across the street. He said, “What is your name?” in a commanding way.

I said, “Ghose!”

“Ghose? I had a friend named Ghose. He is dead.”

I said, “I am alive.”

After we crossed the street, he commanded, “Now you wait with me here until the bus arrives.” I have to wait for the Sunday bus? But if I say no, then where is my sympathetic heart? So I said, “I can do something else. I have many students here. I will send one of my students in three minutes.”

“Three minutes?” he said.

“Five minutes,” I promised. “In five minutes one of my students will be here to wait with you.”

He said he had to get breakfast on Sutphin Boulevard and then go out shopping. On Sunday, what kind of shopping will he do? Anyway I had promised to send someone in five minutes, but I was unable to walk even. I was getting such pain!

I tried to run, but as soon as I took two or three steps, I saw a car come and stop in front of the old man. It was Nathan, and Vinaya was driving. So God speaks through me.

I shouted to them, “Stop!” but they had already stopped. I asked them to take him for breakfast. As I am lame, the old man could barely get into the car. Finally, Nathan took his leg and lifted it into the front.

The old man never believed that I would send someone. He thought that I would just go home, but I would have called Ashrita to get someone. He didn’t believe me, but God wanted him to see my sincerity.

This man lives in Ranjana’s building, behind her apartment.

RB 155. 2 March 1980

The lady and her dog28

While I was running, I saw an old lady and her dog. The old lady was walking the dog, and the dog was on a leash. The dog came up to me, as usual, and the lady could not do anything about it.

RB 156. 22 March 1980

The hit-and-run driver29

I was running about half a block from the house in Hawaii. All of a sudden a car went against the light, made a wrong turn — everything. He ran into me and I just fell down. But I was so lucky. One foot away there was a pole, and I fell against it. Otherwise, my whole head would have been smashed.

At that time, I did not think of getting his license number. The accident seemed like nothing. But when the shock was over, about two minutes afterwards, I could not see anything.

RB 157. 22 March 1980

Go, Sri, go!30

During the ten-mile race, the boys on my road crew were cheering me on: “Go, Guru! Go, Guru!”

Then some other runners started saying: “Go, Sri! Go, Sri!”

RB 158. 30 March 1980

Starting fast31

When we were lining up for the race, John was saying that those planning to run a five-minute-a-mile pace should stand here, and so forth.

I saw Charles there, so I said, “Let me go and stand there too.”

RB 159. 30 March 1980

An honour to run with you32

During the seven-mile race today, one man was with me for the entire time. I followed him and he followed me.

After three miles he took two glasses of ERG and offered one to me.

At one point, he went five or six metres ahead of me. I said, “Where is he going?” Then I ran fast and caught him.

He finished just a little ahead of me.

Then he shook hands with me and said, “It was such an honour to run with you.”

RB 160. 30 March 1980

The soul of Jesse Owens33

We ran twelve and a half miles. Nathan was ahead of me and Casey was behind me.

Casey was breathing so heavily: “Huh! Huh!”

And Nathan, was he walking or running? God alone knows.

After we ran five and a half miles, all of a sudden I saw Jesse Owens’ soul around my head, looking at me. It was full of love, softness and tenderness, and I stopped to help it.

When I came back from running, one of the disciples gave the news that Jesse Owens had died.

RB 160. 31 March 1980

The accident34

Around 3:20 this morning I was running on Main Street, coming back from Flushing Meadow Park. Suddenly I saw a blue car and a beige car have an accident. It was only fifty or sixty metres away from me. In the blue car were a black man and a white man, and in the beige car was a white man. Both the cars were badly damaged, but strangely enough, nobody was injured.

The two men in the blue car came out and started finding fault with the white man. Only one word which they used was civilised: ‘stupid’. The rest were beyond my vocabulary. Such a foul tongue they had.

The white man said that his daughter was in the hospital, so he did not know what he was doing. The others said, “Before your daughter dies, do you want us to die?” and all kinds of rubbish things.

For ten minutes it went on. I was sympathising with the man from the beige car, because of his daughter, and I was also sympathising with the other two because their car was badly damaged. Fortunately, I was quite safe because I was sixty metres away.

I was thinking how they could not get along with one or two in a car, and now you have to have three persons in the car during the transit strike. Let us see what happens.

RB 162. 1 April 1980

Long strides35

This morning, around five o’clock, I was running near the corner of our street. Somebody drove up to the corner, stopped and started honking. I knew that he wanted someone to come out of the building, so I paid no attention to him. I was running and running, practising short stride and long stride.

At one point he came out of the car. He was a very nice black gentleman. Finally I saw a lady come out of the building. He was telling me he would like me to teach his son how to run.

I was smiling and laughing, and telling him that I am the wrong person to teach his son.

He said, “No, your stride is pretty good.”

Occasionally I take long strides and fool people.

RB 163. 2 April 1980

Slow joggers36

During the 10-kilometre walk in Central Park today, I saw a man and a woman jogging. They were running and I was walking but I was going ahead of them.

RB 164. 13 April 1980

An unexpected companion37

This morning I was running up 150th Street, doing hill work. All of a sudden, a nice young man who had been running up the hill behind me started running with me. When I started walking, he started walking. When I began taking measurements with my feet, he began taking measurements with his feet. Then I did speed work, and he also did speed work.

This was going on, going on; he was doing everything that I was doing. I thought, “What kind of crazy fellow is he?”

One of my disciples spoke to him afterwards, and the man asked him when I was going to have the next public meditation. That means he was not a madman after all.

RB 165. 3 May 1980

Name and fame38

I was running on Kissena Boulevard. It was very far, and I was running on the grass. I had just finished my marathon running and I was going along rather slowly.

A young man ran nearby very fast and screamed, “Sri Chinmoy, Sri Chinmoy!”

I did not recognise him and my road crew did not recognise him. But since the man recognised me, that means I am greater than he is.

RB 166. 3 May 1980

My best disciple39

Jeremy is my best disciple. I see all my disciples while they are running the Long Island Marathon, and I greet all of them. But Jeremy enters into serious trance. His trance will really take him to the hospital.

RB 167. 4 May 1980

A guilty conscience40

I started running in the Long Island Marathon at seventeen and a half miles. I was feeling sad and miserable because I had so much energy. People around me were so tired, and I felt so guilty because I was deceiving those people. There was a small hill, and I was going up so easily, because I had just started. Everybody else was dying. Of course, they did not know that I was only running a few miles with some of my disciples to inspire them.

RB 168. 4 May 1980

Two blind disciples41

I wanted to run with Shephali and Amy. For two miles, I kept coming up behind them. At least eighteen times I did it, but I always remained two steps behind. They didn’t see me at all. Like that, it went on. They were so blind! Sometimes they took water and poured it over their heads, and I was only two metres behind them. But still they didn’t see me!

So many times I went five metres ahead of them and turned around. Shephali came, but Amy did not come. After twenty-three or twenty-four miles, one was on my right side and the other was on my left side. Then I saw that Jane was helping them, so I knew they were all right.

You should have seen Shephali’s face — it showed so much pain!

RB 169. 4 May 1980

Long-lost friend42

At one point during the Long Island Marathon, I was walking towards the runners for about half a mile. They were yelling, “Hey, Sri Chinmoy!” and “Sri” and “Master.” It went on like this and didn’t stop for the entire half a mile.

Then, three strong black men stopped running and captured me. One put his arm around my head. He was perspiring like anything. The other said, “How are you doing, Sri Chinmoy?” They said that they never saw me, so now they were getting a chance to see me.

RB 170. 4 May 1980

Which one is Sri Chinmoy?43

Shephali and I were finishing together. Six hundred metres from the end, they asked me to run outside the chute, because I didn’t have a number.

A husband and wife were watching. The husband said, “Look! Sri Chinmoy and his T-shirt.”

The wife looked at Shephali, who was wearing our Centre T-shirt, and at me, and asked, “Which one is Sri Chinmoy?”

Shephali and I were very near them at the time, but Shephali didn’t hear.

RB 171. 4 May 1980

The silent handshake44

I saw someone running with a T-shirt saying “Cahit Pacers.” The next minute I saw John running by. Suddenly somebody came and stood in front of me and shook my hand. He didn’t say anything. It was Cahit Yeter.

RB 172. 4 May 1980

The hidden disciple45

At one point, a man was running alongside Nishtha. I am sure she was desperately trying to look at me, but she didn’t go either one step ahead or one step behind this man. So I couldn’t see her.

RB 173. 4 May 1980

The waving bus driver46

This morning I was running along 150th Street and a bus that was passing by kept honking at me. Finally, I turned to see what all the commotion was about. The bus driver, a very nice black man, was waving at me. He had been making all that noise just to get my attention. This was the same bus driver who had asked me once why I wasn’t running any more.

RB 174. 6 May 1980

The blessing47

When I was finishing the three-mile race in Seattle, a man came up to me and said very imperiously, “I want your blessings. I am going to Pakistan.” Then he told me the name of the place. It is in West Pakistan, near the Chinese border. Since he will be leaving in a few weeks, he wanted my blessing.

RB 175. 12 May 1980

Suspicious characters48

Yesterday, around one o’clock in the morning, I took six or seven boys with me while I went out for a run. They were standing along 150th Street, helping me. They were so calm and quiet, but somebody called up the police and made complaints against us. They said some suspicious characters were outside.

A policeman came to see what we were doing. He was so sympathetic. He knew us well. He asked me whether I had run the Long Island Marathon. He said that if the rest of the people in the neighbourhood would be my disciples, then he would have no problems.

RB 176. 12 May 1980

I wish to meditate like you49

While I was running during my visit to Seattle somebody in a car shouted, “Sir, Sir.” I thought he was going to ask me directions, so I said, “I don’t know the way.” Inwardly I said to myself, “I know the inner way, but the inner way will not solve your problem.”

Then the man stopped the car and said again, “Sir.” He looked like a nice man, so I went up to the car.

He said, “You looked so beautiful and you meditated so beautifully at the concert you gave here. How I wish I could meditate like you.” He was appreciating me for my meditation.

I asked him, “Would you like to have a book on meditation? Please give me your address.”

While he was writing down his name and address, he said, “Believe me, I am one of your true lovers.” Then, as he was giving me the piece of paper, he grabbed my right hand through the window and kissed it. He wouldn’t let go.

I gave the Seattle disciples the address to send the man a copy of my meditation book. They said they know the man well. He belongs to the Theosophical Society and he sent me his greetings and love through one of the Seattle disciples when he came to New York.

RB 177. 12 May 1980

A warm reception50

When I was warming up before the three-mile race in Seattle, somebody came up to me and stood right in front of me. He looked at me and said, “Can’t you recognise me?”

Do I know these runners? Then I remembered him. He had lost so much weight. I said, “Frank.”

He said, “Yes, yes, it is Frank Bozanich.”

I said, “I saw you when you came to our place with Don Ritchie.”

He was talking and talking about the different runners. He spoke about so many runners, but what do I know about runners? He was telling me that today he was going to run in our three-mile race, the next day he was going to run forty miles and the next day one hundred miles. I thought he would win a prize in our race, but he didn’t get any place.

At the end of the race, Frank was waiting for me, and again he started talking. I went and sat in my chair. He followed me. Our conversation never ended. Then, when I was about to give the prizes, whom do I see? Somebody has to come and shake hands with me. That was the final time. He said he had to leave.

RB 178. 12 May 1980

The best mile51

It is no joke to run a seven-minute pace. Today, in the three-mile race in Greenport, Long Island, by the time the race started at ten o’clock, it was so hot. After the first six hundred metres, I was feeling very hot. My head was so hot, I couldn’t breathe and I was dying of thirst. Still, in my first mile, I did my fastest time since I have been in America: a 6:35 pace.

RB 179. 17 May 1980

The worried sixty-year-old52

After the three-mile race today in Greenport, Long Island, an old man of sixty came up to me. He was worried because I had finished before him. He thought I would take first place in his category — sixty and over. This man did stand first.

RB 180. 17 May 1980

The silent Brahmin53

One girl was with me all the time during the three-mile race. I was breathing so heavily, but from her there was no noise at all. She was the silent Brahmin. I felt miserable that I was disturbing her consciousness. She was the better runner, so she should have gone ahead, but she stayed right by my side.

Then, when we were 800 metres from the finish, she disappeared. But I could not go any faster.

RB 181. 17 May 1980

Such a wonderful brother!54

There were two children running the three mile race — a brother and sister about seven or eight years old. All of a sudden, the sister got a leg cramp and couldn’t even walk. The brother waited for her. I said, “Such a wonderful brother! He is waiting for his sister.”

RB 182. 17 May 1980

The problem-makers55

In the race, the young children were the problem-makers. They had indomitable energy. As soon as I saw a child, I would say to myself, “I am surrendering.” When children run, they don’t know how to become tired. They smile, and their strides are so wonderful. They go this side and that side, running back and forth.

RB 183. 17 May 1980

The San Francisco meeting56

Just before the Sri Chinmoy Marathon in San Francisco, I was warming up. A former disciple of mine was near me, but I could not recognise him. He was taking Chinese exercises. Finally, one of my San Francisco disciples told me, “This is Devashish.” I had been pretty sure, but then I went closer and I did recognise him.

I said to him, “Do you recognise me?”

Immediately he blessed me, placing both his hands on my feet. His eyes were flickering and moving around. I blessed him and told him that his soul had come to me so many times. He was smiling and full of devotion, but his eyes defeated my eyes like anything in flickering. Because his present wife, or girlfriend, was blessing me inwardly — or rather, cursing me inwardly — I left.

At about two and one-half miles into the marathon, there was a turn, and as I was entering the turn, I saw him on his way back. He saw me from about 500 metres away and he raised both arms. I signalled him when we passed each other.

Afterwards, he came up to me and showed me how many exercises he knew. Each time he did a punching motion, it reminded me of his monkey incarnation.

RB 184. 3 June 1980

Run and Become

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

— Sri Chinmoy

Editor's introduction

Sri Chinmoy's interest in running dates back to his youth. At the ashram, or spiritual community, where he lived from the ages of 12 to 32, he was the top-ranked sprinter and, for two consecutive years, decathlon champion. It wasn't until the fall of 1978, however, that he first became interested in long-distance running.

Since then, he has pursued the sport with the same one-pointed intensity that he has brought to his various literary, artistic and musical pursuits. For Sri Chinmoy, running — like writing, painting and composing — is nothing but an expression of his inner cry for ever-greater perfection: perfection in the inner world and perfection in the outer world. "Our goal is always to go beyond, beyond, beyond," he says. "There are no limits to our capacity, because we have the infinite Divine within us, and the Supreme is always transcending His own Reality."

Sri Chinmoy regards running as a perfect spiritual metaphor. "Try to be a runner and go beyond all that is bothering you and standing in your way," he tells his students. "Be a real runner so that ignorance, limitations and imperfections will all drop far behind you in the race." In this spirit he has inspired countless individuals to "run" — both literally and figuratively.

"Who is the winner?" he writes in one of his aphorisms. "Not he who wins the race, but he who loves to run sleeplessly and breathlessly with God the Supreme Runner" As a fully God-realised spiritual Master, Sri Chinmoy has consecrated his life to this divinely soulful and supremely fruitful task. At the same time, on an entirely different level, he has made some significant contributions to the sport of running. He was the inspiration behind several long distance relays, including a recent 300-mile run in Connecticut and the 9,000-mile "Liberty-Torch" run through all the states held during the 1976 Bicentennial. He has composed several running songs, which his students have performed at a number of races. His students have also sponsored Sri Chinmoy Runs throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia as an offering to the running community. Moreover, Sri Chinmoy has encouraged his followers around the world to take up running as a means of overcoming lethargy and increasing their spiritual aspiration on the physical plane. Two hundred of his disciples, for example — most of whom were novice runners — completed last year's New York City Marathon.

In the year he has been running, Sri Chinmoy himself has completed seven marathons. He averages about seventy to ninety miles a week, with most of his running done late at night or in the early hours of the morning. During his runs he has been chased by dogs, accosted by hooligans, greeted by admirers and cheered on by children. Sometimes he has had significant inner experiences; other times he has suffered deplorable outer experiences. As a spiritual Master of the highest order, Sri Chinmoy views these experiences — both the divine ones and the undivine ones — with a unique perspective. The running world is nothing but the human world in microcosm, and Sri Chinmoy's reminiscences stand as a remarkable commentary on the whimsical, poignant, funny, outrageous and, above all, supremely significant experience we call life.