Rupantar checks out the days poem himself.
Life is an adventure Be brave. Be Victorious God is waiting for you to garland you with his boundless joy and pride
Guru Sri Chinmoy
Ananda Lahari arrives. Yesterday he amazed just about everybody, but himself. He ran more than 64 miles, which he has not done since the first 3 days of the race.
Diganta did just about a similar amount, 62. Tomorrow he will be the next finisher. Today he has some rain, some sun, and 103 miles to go.
Pavol needs to get up just 3 mornings more. He will make his 2700 miles on Saturday.
Abichal will need to get up just 2 mornings more. He finishes on Friday.
Jwalanta shows up, as a welcome visitor this morning. He tells me that he has never been here in person for the race. He is impressed by how the runners, light up and smile. "It is so inspiring watching,"he says. He will have several hours to observe this today. He has just been signed up by Rupantar to count.
It is a dull and miserable morning. In a few minutes the sky will open up and it will rain. Here at the starting line, it is somehow all peace and light, as it is every morning when the runners pray before they start their day.
I have not asked Ananda Lahari the secret of his break out performance yesterday. As we walk together this morning the rain comes and goes but he and Pavol are oblivious to it all. Pavol is prepared for the rain with a heavy umbrella. Ananda Lahari wears his thin nylon poncho and tells me it is perfect. I am carrying an umbrella and have visions of my camera dying in the morning dampness.
He tells me that there are many races going on here. He recites a list familiar to all who have run here as well. He includes conquering tiredness, pain, injury, and poor consciousness. Most things, we on the outside looking in can just avoid or put off for another day.
He says something that does hit me as something quite profound. He says he feels that for him being here, "Is going to work for Guru, directly, 18 hours a day."
Pavol tells me with much satisfaction that he will finish on Saturday at 8pm. That is if he continues to average his 44 miles a day. He is enjoying it here, for him, when he is asked if he is having a good time, it is always an enthusiastic, "absolutely."
As for how difficult it has been for him, he says,"It was so hard from beginning. From first day to this day. Inwardly," he says, "It is so special."
A familiar face shows up this morning for the Enthusiasm Awakener's prasad. His day will not be quite as strenuous as Pavol's but still may be challenging. He has to take his daughter Alakananda shopping for her birthday, which is tomorrow.
Radha and her group are about to go off and sing. Niriha is holding a Bengali song book of their 100 quick tempo songs. Radha says she and her group have been coming here for 4 years now, and describes the experience as "fantastic." She says, "we are getting energy too." She adds that as a bonus, "it is also helping my running."
If you want to see what the Enthusiasm Awakeners can do to a runner just observe the change in Abichal's expression.
As I first run with Abichal he tells me of a very basic need he has, "I need some food." Breakfast will arrive shortly but right now he is not interested in pretzels and watermelon. One thing he apparently does not need is shoes, at least for now. Run and Become has come to his rescue as they have done many times before. He tells me how, "one year, I ran out a week before the end." He had no shoes he says, or money to buy them. He says of them, "they are SO important. If you don't have shoes you can't do anything." He reckons he has gone through 10 pairs of shoes over the course of the race. As for some of the top runners, he says, "Those guys shoes last 3 days."
We talk about some of the other runners who still share the course with him. The family still includes those 7 who have attained their victory but now it is down to just 5. He says of this group, "we are all the same, we are in the same boat. We are all here for Guru. We share the same reason being here. Only to please Guru, and do our best."
He describes that when your life is distilled down to its basic spiritual elements it makes for a very powerful life experience. When your life is about aspiration there is a purity in it. He says, "It is the trying, that is so important. It opens you, to the goal you are striving for." He says that he, and all his dwindling band forge on there is still a unique world here at the course. "By trying, there is protection."
Is the road for the ridiculous.
Is the road for the auspicious.
Is the road for the treacherous.
Is the road for the generous.
Excerpt from The Goal Is Won by Sri Chinmoy.