Monday, March 8, 2021

The spiritual side to marathons

Sri Chinmoy devotees continue a decades-old tradition that began in California

Reading Time: 3 minutesAustralian and international students of meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy gathered in Melbourne for the 40th Marathon anniversary of Sri Chinmoy’s first marathon on the weekend of March 2nd and 3rd. Chico, located in California, was Sri Chinmoy’s first marathon that he completed on 3rd March 1979. He ran in a time of 4.31.34. It was the first of many; he completed 22 marathons in his marathon career.

He encouraged marathon or daily running as a means to maintaining and increasing both physical and spiritual fitness. “We have to keep the body fit, and for this, running is of considerable help. If we are physically fit, then we will be more inspired to get up early in the morning to meditate. True, the inspiration to meditate comes from within, but if we are healthy, then it will be much easier for us to get up at five or six o’clock to pray and meditate. In this way the inner life is being helped by the outer life,” said Sri Chinmoy in reference to fitness and meditation.
Similar celebrations honouring Sri Chinmoy’s Chico marathon run were held throughout the world in America, Europe and New Zealand. In Australia, we aimed to honour this achievement with a marathon and celebrate the whole weekend. The weekend coincided with the Peace Run finishing their Australian leg of the first All-Nation-Covering Southern Hemisphere Peace Run, a torch relay for peace Sri Chinmoy founded in 1987. As a result there were plenty of fit runners around used to the 37 degree heat forecast. Around 55 Australian and international members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team attended the weekend. Four members of the Perth Sri Chinmoy Meditation Group attended.

It was a very active weekend with plenty of performances, spiritual plays and meals. On the Saturday we certainly carbo-loaded the day before, eating heaps of food, an Indian meal and a massive dessert. Participants watched videos of Sri Chinmoy running his early marathons including Chico and Toledo which inspired them to think about the next morning. Some were running as teams, some as individuals and some like Goncalo, a young runner from Portugal, were running their first marathon
“I felt awesome the whole marathon,” he said later.
I think everyone else had the same experience. “I can’t believe I did it,” said Rakhi Mahbuba, a former Miss Bangladesh now living in Perth, who ran 10 kilometres in a team, further than she ever had before. “Halfway through I felt so emotional – the pride! I was inwardly moved, being here was really special.”

The marathon started around 7.15am in Princess Park on a flat, scenic, cinder track that was 1.9km. An amazing aid station loaded with coconut water, electrolyte, donuts, sea weed, crisps and so on kept runners going as the day warmed up.
Everyone gathered for an early Sunday evening meal before departing and many tales of the day unfolded as participants ate wholeheartedly regaining all the weight they had just lost!

- Advertisement -
Previous articleMeditation as a lifestyle
Next articleWalking for mum

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Latest News

mitali modi with kamala harris

Shattering glass ceilings: Mitali Modi on working with Kamala Harris

  Emboldened to take action in an era of heightened political polarisation, racial unrest and an uncontainable pandemic, young Indian American Mitali Modi talks here...
The free dialysis centre in Delhi's Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. Source: @mssirsa/Twitter

Free-of-charge dialysis hospital at Delhi’s Bangla Sahib Gurudwara

  A 101-bedded dedicated free-of-charge kidney dialysis centre is up and running at the premises of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib in New Delhi. The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara...

We asked children around the world what they knew about COVID

  During the pandemic, children have been separated from family and friends, schools have been closed and there have been limitations on important activities, such...

Flexible work arrangements help women, but only if they are also...

  Flexible workplace policies designed to improve gender gaps in employment and pay might actually make things worse for women. Flexible work has been on offer...
Guess The Song rj ekta

LISTEN: Will you be the one to correctly guess this tune?

  Are you good with guessing tunes? Keen ear for rhythm and beats? RJ Ekta might've been able to stump you with this one. She recently...