Body-Mind-Spirit - Part 2

Illumining insights into the body-mind-spirit connection by Sri Chinmoy

UNLESS YOU TOUCH something every day, it does not shine. Often I have told people to touch the furniture in their homes every day. As soon as you touch something, it gets new life. If you are aware of something, immediately it shines and gets a new luminosity. If you have good health, if you touch your health every day, it gets new life. By giving attention to something, you give new life to it.

PHYSICAL FITNESS is of paramount importance. We are not practising sports to be the world's greatest runner or athlete. We are praying to God to keep our body physically fit so that early in the morning we can pray and meditate and begin our day's journey with a prayerful heart. When we think of sports, we think of physical fitness, not physical supremacy. The most important thing in our life is prayer and meditation, and that we cannot do if we are not physically fit.

Sri Chinmoy taking his mark

From the highest point of view, the goal is not to defeat anybody but only to compete with ourselves. When we compete with others, we are never happy. Today I may defeat someone in running, but tomorrow I will look around and see that there is somebody who is far better than I. Our goal is to do our very best and try all the time to compete only with ourselves. But whatever the result, we have to accept it cheerfully. We will do our best and then, whatever result God wants us to have, we will accept.

Sri Chinmoy sprinting

WE TRY TO SYNTHESISE and harmonise the outer life and the inner life. The outer life is like a beautiful flower and the inner life is its fragrance. If there is no fragrance, then we cannot appreciate the flower. Again, if there is no flower, how can there be any fragrance? So the inner life and the outer life must go together.

The body is like a temple and the soul or inner reality is like the shrine inside the body-temple. If the temple does not have a shrine, then we cannot appreciate the temple. Again, if we do not keep the temple in good condition, then how can we take proper care of the shrine? We have to keep the body fit, and for this, running is of considerable help.

The body's capacity and the soul's capacity, the body's speed and the soul's speed, go together. The outer running reminds us of something higher and deeper – the soul – which is running along Eternity's Road. Running and physical fitness help us both in our inner life of aspiration and in our outer life of activity.

Sri Chinmoy competing in the high-jump

WE HAVE TO PRACTISE self-discipline. It is by doing something, by becoming something – not necessarily something great or famous – that we can overcome our reluctance. It is through moving – which is progress – and achieving – which is another type of progress – that we can overcome reluctance. In order to overcome reluctance, we have to have a goal and we have to try to reach that goal. By always moving and progressing toward a goal, you not only become a better runner but you also become a better instrument of God.

WE HAVE TO KNOW that physical energy has only one source, and that source is spiritual energy. As long as we remain in the body consciousness, we are not aware of this. But when we go deep within, we see that spiritual energy is the source of physical, vital and mental energy. When spiritual energy enters into the physical, it becomes somewhat polluted. It is unable to maintain its pristine purity.

What we need is purity on the inner plane and dedication on the outer plane. Inner purity we can get through aspiration, and outer dedication comes through gradual inner purification and inner awareness. When we have both inner purity and outer dedication, then spiritual energy enters into physical energy, and physical energy at that time becomes an added strength to spiritual energy.

IF VICTORY IS THE ONLY GOAL, then athletes can never find happiness, for even if they win today, tomorrow somebody else will come along and take away their glory. Real happiness can never be found in separating ourselves from others. Real happiness comes only in feeling our oneness with others, even if they defeat us.

Regardless of who wins on the sports ground, each one should try to excel in his own life by competing with himself and going forward according to his own capacity to his destined goal. In this way each individual will all the time make progress and achieve greater and greater perfection. True happiness comes only from our increasing sense of perfection which we can achieve only through self transcendence.

RUNNING REMINDS US of our inner journey, which is ahead of us. The goal is ahead and we are running towards the goal. It is a great feeling, which eventually grows into a great achievement. Playing tennis reminds us of being an instrument. The tennis ball is a self-giving instrument, always trying to please us in our own way. Whichever way we want to strike it, the tennis ball surrenders. It is always ready to listen to us, according to our capacity. So tennis reminds us of a divine goal, which is to become a perfect instrument of God and to please God in His own Way, and running reminds us of our continuous journey along Eternity's Road toward the destined goal. Tennis and running are like two paths going to the same goal; they both ultimately reach the goal, but they reach it from different directions.

Sri Chinmoy playing tennis
Sri Chinmoy sprinting during his youth

WE RUN. WE BECOME. At every moment we are running to become something great, sublime, divine and supreme. While we are becoming, we feel that we are in the process of reaching our ultimate Goal. But today's Goal is only the starting point for tomorrow's new dawn. At every moment we are transcending our previous achievements; we are transcending what we have and what we are. By virtue of our self-giving, we are becoming the Beauty, the Light and the Delight of our Beloved Supreme.

RUNNING HAS ITS OWN inner value. While you run, each breath that you take is connected with a higher reality. While you are jogging, if you are in a good consciousness, your breath is being blessed by a higher inner breath. If you are in a good consciousness while you are running, each breath will connect you with a higher, deeper, inner reality.

IF YOU ALWAYS TRY to go beyond, to transcend, then you will have a better speed. Satisfaction is good, but it is also good to have hunger. God has given you an iota of peace, so you are satisfied. But you should want to have more peace. This hunger for something more we call receptivity. You can increase your receptivity. When you come to a particular standard, you have to say, "Is there anything more I can do?" Then do it.

WHEN WE RUN in the inner life, we have to feel that we are not only running against ignorance; we are also running with God. In a 100-metre dash, if one runner is 70 metres ahead of another runner, then the one who is far behind will not have any inspiration to run. But if the leading runner is only a few steps ahead, then the one who is behind feels determined to overtake him. That is why, when God runs with us, He uses only a little of His infinite Capacity. Only then will human beings have the inspiration and aspiration to catch Him and run with Him. God stays only a few steps ahead of us so that He can be seen, felt and ultimately realised.

WHEN IT IS A MATTER of running, all the members of the family – the body, vital, mind and heart – have to work together. It is like a family gathering, a family party. The head of the family has invited all the members to come and eat. If one son comes and another does not, the parent cannot be happy.

Kids running.

Through running, the soul wants to offer a feast to all its children. Its joy will not be complete if even one member – the body, vital, mind or heart – does not participate. What running is doing is keeping the body, vital, mind and heart fit so that the soul can get complete happiness. The soul is happy when it sees that all its children have come to enjoy the feast.

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