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The Self-Transcender and the Perfect Psychologist | Inspiration Sun

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  • inspiration_sun_1
    By Hiyamallar Picture this: it is a beautiful summer morning, and you are awakened by the sound of Bach being played on the violin as the sun splashes through
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 17, 2008
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      By Hiyamallar

      Picture this: it is a beautiful summer morning, and you are awakened
      by the sound of Bach being played on the violin as the sun splashes
      through the windows of your room in a lovely tree-lined city with
      almost fairytale architecture-idyllic, perhaps.

      Add a few details; you are crazy cold, hugging your blanket, because
      this is Edinburgh, a city which has no decent respect for the seasons,
      and your flatmate, in addition to churning out hundreds of difficult
      notes at 7:30 am has already a) gotten up b) gone to the Commonwealth
      Pool (in the early morning!) and c) swum laps for hours.

      Thus, you do what any sane person would do: roll over, curse him, and
      try to catch more sleep. So begins another day in Scotland (which
      actually can be a kind of Paradise) in the flat of Karteek, swimmer
      extraordinaire.

      Pretty much all of you know something about Karteek's Channel swimming
      efforts, and I refer those interested to his own account of swimming
      across Lake Windemere, as well as the often funny and excellent
      article by Devashishu, loyal helper par excellence, chronicling his
      experiences during one successful Channel crossing in 2003 (both
      gut-wrenching and gut-retching, if you will forgive the joke!).

      But there were some things about which I wanted to know more. So with
      only a little difficulty, I was able to have my ever-modest, if not
      self-effacing friend, talk about some aspects of his swimming not
      found elsewhere.

      I began by asking how he got the initial inspiration to take up
      long-distance swimming. It seems that in 1994, after reading some of
      the thrilling adventures of our earlier Channel swimmers, Karteek had
      the idea that he might like to try doing this.

      However, unlike most people (such as 99.99% of us), he went down to
      Dover shortly after and spent only a few weeks swimming in the harbor,
      perhaps doing one six-hour swim, his longest swim ever up to that
      time! (to put this in perspective, he routinely does two back-to-back
      days of six hours each for his crossings these days)

      Three weeks later he attempted his first Channel swim, and achieved an
      incredible twelve hours in his first experience of swimming in open
      water, before his inexperience and relative lack of training led to an
      end of that try.

      The following year, after having had more time to prepare, he was
      fully trained and ready to go, but one hour prior to the scheduled
      departure of his boat, the weather turned and he lost his spot. Due
      to other commitments, he was unable to stick around and try again.

      In 1996 the Edinburgh Center hosted a memorable concert for Guru, and
      for obvious reasons there was not enough time to prepare that year.

      Finally, in 1997 he had his breakthrough first successful Channel
      crossing, which he describes as a "long hard swim" that took 11 hours
      and 57 minutes, which he describes in his own words on our website.

      A few months later, at August Celebrations he was called over to see
      Guru. He was ushered in and was told to meditate in front of Guru,
      who then gave him an envelope. Being somewhat in a daze, Karteek was
      still unaware what was happening, despite the fact that Guru told him
      to "repeat 100 times" the contents of the envelope.

      It was not until he was leaving the court that he realized that he had
      been given his spiritual name, of course 100% appropriate, the basic
      significance being that of the "Divine warrior", who "places his
      teeming victories at the feet of the Lord Supreme".

      In 1999 Karteek successfully entered and completed the Lake Zurich
      26-km race put on by the disciples. He had an excellent experience,
      and this reenergized his swimming. Thus inspired, he wondered if he
      could repeat his earlier crossing and decided to give it another go in
      2000.

      What followed was one of his most difficult races, in windy conditions
      and with the development of sea sickness, which took him over fifteen
      hours to complete!

      At this point begins one of the most charming sequences which
      perfectly characterizes the divine play between master and disciple.

      CKG called the Edinburgh Centre and asked him how many times he had
      swum the Channel. When he was told that he had done it twice, Guru
      then asked Karteek to swim the Channel two more times. Ever
      obedient, Karteek agreed readily and proceeded to do just that,
      undergoing adverse conditions and having difficult crossings on each
      occasion.

      After four successful crossings, Guru again called the Edinburgh
      Centre and this time told Karteek that he needed to swim the Channel
      three more times because, "Seven is our number"!

      In reminiscing about these phone calls, Karteek remembers that while
      outwardly at times he might wonder what the point would be in
      repeating the swim, in each case Guru acted as the "perfect
      psychologist" as he puts it. To quote Karteek, he "picked up on my
      wish" to keep challenging himself, and his request came at just the
      right moment each time.

      On every occasion that CKG asked him to swim the Channel, he had the
      feeling of intense joy, adding that he "never felt forced" to do this
      event, recognizing that Guru was confirming what he already felt
      (despite the fact that the fifth, sixth, seventh (and even the eighth)
      crossings were all accomplished under difficult conditions and took
      over sixteen hours!

      Even better, he got specific advice from Guru, who told him that while
      patience was needed to do long distance swimming, "you also need to
      develop speed," as "speed is determination," and Karteek retains the
      command of "conquering the waves."

      At present, with no one pushing him outwardly (alas), Karteek feels an
      inner urge to continue his Channel swimming; even if the training has
      become somewhat longer and more difficult, it is "actually joyful" in
      his words.

      So, he is looking towards a ninth crossing of the Channel; he remains
      in about the eleventh place for the most crossings of all time
      (although he is quick to point out that some have swum the Channel
      over 30 times, and one even over 40 times!)

      The message he has been given is the same one we have been fed so
      lovingly, that of self-transcendence, and his story is especially
      sweet because of the gentle but perfect way he was nurtured and gently
      prodded. Many of us will recall the Master's way of doing this so
      perfectly, and his hand behind our greatest achievements.

      Oh, by the way, in Karteek's case, this urge towards
      self-transcendence doesn't end with his swimming: he is still hoping
      to better his 3:28 marathon, 11:20 two-mile, and 5:20 mile times! (I
      should also mention that he is pretty much fluent in German, Italian
      and Spanish)-it's no wonder one can't get any rest at his abode!





      Related:

      http://www.srichinmoyraces.org/channel


      Karteek and Mate v The English Channel
      http://srichinmoyinspiration.com/forums/1237

      From: Inspiration Sun edition 5
      http://srichinmoyinspiration.com/inspiration-sun
    • dmchaudhurani
      this is awesome stuff! The closest I ve ever come to channel swimming was in the 1980 s when Praphulla-the-great was recruiting girls for a relay channel-swim.
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 22, 2008
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        this is awesome stuff! The closest I've ever come to channel swimming
        was in the 1980's when Praphulla-the-great was recruiting girls for a
        relay channel-swim. I love swimming but my stroke is breaststroke and
        she said it would not be fast enough. So I took lessons and learned
        how to swim crawl. (At least I have something to show from that dream.)

        As we lived by the sea in Lowestoft I tried to swim in the sea every
        day, as training. Unfortunately I would get very cold, especially in
        winter, and sometimes I was seasick. I'd never heard of anyone being
        sea-sick from swimming. As a result my determination and enthusiasm
        for this particular form of transcendence evaporated.

        I guess if I do ever swim the channel it will be in a future
        incarnation. But every time I swim front-crawl I think of the great
        channel swimmers in the Centres and smile. I am so proud of their
        achievement. I think we all bask in the glory of our great heros and
        heroines. What an incredible family we have!

        Karteek and all the other great swimmers, I salute you.

        with love from Durga-Mata
      • vasanti_hd
        The funny thing is, since Praphulla needed a 6th swimmer for the relay in 1989 (the idea was to get our team name into the annals) and there was noone else,
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 24, 2008
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          The funny thing is, since Praphulla needed a 6th swimmer for the
          relay in 1989 (the idea was to get our team name into the annals) and
          there was noone else, Vedika was allowed to step in - breaststroking
          for 2x 1 hour each! That was her first Channel experience. Afterwards
          Vedika started swimming the Zurich lake (26 km), learned to crawl and
          ended up doing the Channel 5 times (crawl), including the first
          Channel- triathlon by our team, Dover-Paris! And she has never been
          fast even with crawl. That shows from where to where you can go if
          you follow your inner inspiration and dare to dream high and have
          faith.

          Of course, not everyone is made to do the Channel, no matter which
          incarnation. There are many other challenges out there!

          In oneness
          Vasanti
        • dmchaudhurani
          It is very inspiring to read this. I felt quite sad to have let Praphulla down by not managing to get into shape to take part in the relay. But now I see how
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 27, 2008
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            It is very inspiring to read this. I felt quite sad to have let
            Praphulla down by not managing to get into shape to take part in the
            relay. But now I see how Guru can use even our failures to bring about
            success. Perhaps if I had swum Vedika would not have had this
            opportunity. I am feeling a thrill of joy to read about her achievenents.

            If anyone dreams up another relay swim I would certainly like to take
            part. I think I could get in shape to do 2x 1 hour at least, specially
            if I could mix some breaststroke in with the crawl. Who knows, maybee
            it will happen and let the ghosts of my former disappointment be laid
            to rest.

            Durga-Mata
          • vasanti_hd
            There are dreams to do another Channel relay as a World Harmony Run swim - but very much a dream still. However, who knows - it may manifest if there are
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 30, 2008
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              There are dreams to do another Channel relay as a "World Harmony Run"
              swim - but very much a dream still. However, who knows - it may
              manifest if there are enough people to want it!

              I met an Indian girl in Dover who still remembers the "pujas" with our
              disciples who were training in Dover in 1987 - she got so much joy
              just from seeing Guru's name on my t-shirt and memories coming back alive!

              Vasanti
            • dmchaudhurani
              Please keep me in touch so if a Channel-Relay does start to materialise I can try to take part. Swimming is one thing that you can continue despite increasing
              Message 6 of 6 , Sep 30, 2008
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                Please keep me in touch so if a Channel-Relay does start to
                materialise I can try to take part. Swimming is one thing that you can
                continue despite increasing age and 'girth.' It has always been my
                gest and favourite sport and I will definitely be interested in
                manifesting this long-dormant Channel-swimming dream. All the best in
                all you are working on, Vasanti.

                With thanks

                Durga-Mata
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