Finish the Race
- Pavol, the tall and gentle young man from Slovakia finished his
distance today. He did not complete 3100 miles, but he did something
miraculous nonetheless, in running 2700 miles. This was the distance,
the race once was, way back in 1996
In a race, that is difficult for all, it can be especially tough and
challenging for first timers like him. Yet he never complained and
made the best of each and every moment, in his long long day.
Dearest Utpal, your dedicated service to the 3100 mile race is nothing short of the
praiseworthy efforts of all involved in this immortal event. Thank you so much for your
insightful offerings that bring so much dignity and reality to a race that strips people bare
for the world to see. Only in such a sacred site with such a sacred mission could these
runners be safe enough to display their vulnerabilities knowing that they could only be
appreciated and praised all the more for their superhuman efforts. Your most respectful
and loving profiles of the runners brings their achievements closer to each of our
capacities to understand what is really happening on that track in Queens;
brings each of our runner brothers and sisters closer to our own hearts and closer to what
Sri Chinmoy himself used to say ' accepting their victory and achievement as our own'.
Nobody who has visited this sacred 3100 track can deny the immense power of the Grace
that descends on these divine warriors. As they strive to raise the consciousness of the
whole of humanity through their self offering, you can also stand amongst them for
bringing them and their achievements closer to us!
wish I was there!
- Melinda perfectly expressed the debt we all owe you for your gift of
exquisite 3100 race coverage on your blog. I wish to add a big "ditto"
to what she wrote and take a moment to thank you as well. While I did
not faithfully fit in time to read each and every post of the 3100
race this summer, I really appreciated being able to read about the
Last weekend I was present at Ananda Lahari's finish on Saturday night
and the sentiment and joy felt in his victory was very special and
moving. Since we came there straight from a monumentally inspiring Joy
Day in Woodstock NY, it was kind of funny to look around at other
people watching him finish who were playing musical chairs a few
hundred miles away a short time prior to it.
We were ringing little bells along with clapping and most of the songs
sung that Guru has composed about the race I heard for the first time.
There was one with a phrase about something like moonlight bliss
embrace that I especially liked. Kharasrota shared about baking his
victory cake and how it managed to fall so a nice ice cream cake
purchased from the store took its place.
We had hoped to still be there for Suprabha's finish last Sunday (the
day after Ananda Lahari's finish) and planned to return home to Rhode
Island later than usual but when her time was projected at midnight we
didn't wait. Being able to read about it on your blog lessened our
disappointment in how close we came to witnessing her race completion.
We are all very lucky and fortunate to have someone with such talent
for interviewing and writing and videoing in our midst. You could
easily give the media professionals a run for their money any day.
- Dear Sharani and Melinda
You both, as well as so many others have made my task so rewarding and
fulfilling, with your constant praise and encouragement. But, what
the runners have done here, and have continued to do for so many
years, makes my own efforts, appear to me as almost inconsequential.
They work so continually hard on the other hand it appeared to me that
it would be a disservice to them and to Sri Chinmoy, not to work a
little harder and dig a little deeper, in order to share their
There came a point in my summer when it seemed to me that nothing else
existed other than the 3100 mile race. This is of course was not fair
to even the 3 different World Harmony Runs going on around the world
at the same time. It was a case of tunnel vision even if it is a
divine tunnel that leads to the ultimate source of light itself.
I do hope as time goes on, there will be others who will take up the
challenge of reporting on the many and diverse things happening within
the great and good Sri Chinmoy family. No matter who you are or what
you do. Whether you call yourself a student or a well wisher. All can
uniquely express the vision of transcendence he wanted not just from
his students but from anyone willing to test their limits , and see
how far they can go in order to lead a truly fulfilling life.
We all, it seems to me exist, in a challenging new world. We have
received a unique opportunity, by having the sweet, rare, yet too
brief opportunity to share a handful of years with a true spiritual
teacher of the highest height. Now is a profoundly important time to
examine the gift he gave the world, and in particular, to our own
lives. How we use it and manifest it is so important. We do not have
to run thousands of miles in order to self transcend.
- Hello Utpal,
I have also enjoyed and been greatly inspired by your regular news
about the 3100 race.
I'm sure you appreciate that without your efforts, without the
self-giving and support of all those who work and help at all the
races none of them could happen. ~ So in my view you are all just as
important and triumphant as the runners but in a different way.
You know I love sports day. I am not a particularly good athlete but
the sense of being able to give my love to Guru and please him just by
offering my energy, physical strength and willingness, by running or
throwing - it is something quite wonderful to do.
I have great admiration for the multi-distance runners and Harmony Run
teams and wish I had that kind of exceptional strength, fitness and
opportunity - they remind me of the Buddhist pilgrims who travel for
months on foot, totally dependent on the support of the communities
they pass through. Some move entirely by making full length
prostration, again and again for hundreds of miles. There is a purity
and simplicity in this kind of physical prayer. It is the essence of
You write that 'There came a point in my summer when it seemed to me
that nothing else existed other than the 3100 mile race.' I think that
experience must be a form of the concentration Guru is teaching us as
part of our meditation. It must be a bit like the one pointed
concentration that the runners themselves develop to transcend all
their physical pain and exhaustion, bad weather, mental and emotional
ups and downs and setbacks of every kind transcending everything and
just keeping on and on, never stopping until the Goal is won.
I'm sure those working on the '3 different World Harmony Runs going on
around the world' will have similar focus and concentration. The
different challenges and achievements are not in competition but
inspire each other, all as you say so beautifully, divine tunnels that
lead to the ultimate source of light itself.
I'm sure there will be countless others in times to come who will take
up the challenge of reporting on 'the many and diverse things
happening within the great and good Sri Chinmoy family.' The early
pioneers like yourself are setting a great example, true inspiration
and high standard for all the future reporters to follow.
- Hello Durga-Mata
Last night the World Harmony run team got to demonstrate for all, some
of the spectacular achievements they were able to accomplish this
year. On 4 continents the torch was carried and shared with thousands
and thousands. And yes it is still running. It was Sri Chinmoy's
express wish that it be carried out this year in a way that
transcended all previous efforts.
Thank you very much for your kind words. I also would like to take
this opportunity to thank another tireless supporter Nirmala, who I
know, has been identifying very deeply with the 3100 mile race this
And O yes, I saw a young chap this morning you might know, sitting in
the Aspiration Ground name Bijon.
- Dear Utpal,
I also would like to convey my gratitude to you for your dedication in
sharing the microcosm of the 3100 Mile Race with the rest of the
world. Your blog was tremendously inspiring to me and many others.