Uniting Sports and Spirituality: a feature article in Hinduism Today
The April/May/June issue of Hinduism Today contained an extremely in-depth article written by Dr. Kusumita Pedersen, Professor Emerita of Religious Studies at St. Francis College. Kusumita has been studying meditation with Sri Chinmoy since 1971 - long before the founding of the Marathon Team - and this article explores the many different ways in which sport can contribute to personal growth and development, and a happier world.
Quite unusually for Indian spiritual teachers, Sri Chinmoy was an avid sportsman who brought the philosophy of self-transcendence to all of his activities. The article talks at length about Sri Chinmoy's youth spent in an ashram in south India which included sports as an integral part of the discipline, the running and weightlifting endeavours he pursued throughout his life, and the different initiatives he founded - the Impossibility-Challenger festival which has featured numerous Guinness World record attempts, the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run which has carried a burning peace torch to over 140 countries, and of course the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team. In particular, the article shares the inner experiences of some of the runners of the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, which the Marathon Team puts on every year and which is the longest certified road race in the world. The 2018 edition of the run started on June 17, and will continue until August 7.
“I hit the wall many times—and went on. I was convinced I had taken my body to the limits of its endurance, but then I went deeper, into the core of my being where strength, power, poise and silence all exist. If we can tap into this inner source, nothing can stop us moving forward.” - Grahak Cunningham, 4-time finisher and 2012 winner.