Just because I’m travelling doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep up on WORLD NEWS!

— ‘I am the serenest!’ he says

> LHASA, TIBET-Employing the brash style that first brought him to
> prominence, SriDhananjai Bikram won the fifth annual International Yogi
> Competition yesterday with a world-record point total of 873.6.
> “I am the serenest!” Bikram shouted to the estimated crowd of
> 20,000 yoga fans, vigorously pumping his fists. “No one is serener than Sri
> Dhananjai Bikram-I am the greatest monk of all time!”
> Bikram averaged 1.89 breaths a minute during the two-hour
> competition, nearly .3 fewer than his nearest competitor, second-place finisher and two-time champion Sri Salil “The Hammer” Gupta.
> The heavily favored Gupta was upset after the loss. “I should be
> able to beat that guy with one lung tied,” Gupta said. “I’m beside myself
> right now, and I don’t mean trans-bodily.”
> Bikram got off to a fast start at the Lhasa meet, which like most
> major competitions, is a six-event affair. In the first event, he attained
> total consciousness (TC) in just 2 minutes, 34 seconds, and set the tone for
> the rest of the meet by repeatedly shouting, “I’m blissful! You blissful?!
> I’m blissful!” to the other yogis.
> Bikram, 33, burst onto the international yoga scene with a
> gold-mandala performance at the 1998 Bhutan Invitational. At that competition he
> premiered his aggressive style, at one point in the flexibility event
> sticking his middle toes out at the other yogis. While no prohibition
> exists against such behavior, according to Yoga League Commissioner Swami Prabhupada, such behavior is generally considered “unBuddhalike.”
> “I don’t care what the critics say,” Bikram said. “Sri Bikram is just gonna go out there and do Sri Bikram’s own yoga thing.”
> Before the Bhutan meet, Bikram had never placed better than fourth.
> Many said he had forsaken rigorous training for the celebrity status
> accorded by his Bhutan win, endorsing Nike’s new line of prayer mats
> and supposedly dating the Hindu goddess Shakti. But his performance this
> week will regain for him the number one computer ranking and earn him new
> respect, as well as for his coach Mahananda Vasti, the controversial
> guru some have called Bikram’s “guru.”
> “My special training diet for Bikram of one super-charged,
> carbo-loaded grain of rice per day was essential to his win,” Vasti said.
> The defeated Gupta denied that Bikram’s taunting was a factor in
> his inability to attain TC. “I just wasn’t myself today,” Gupta
> commented. “I wasn’t any self today. I was an egoless particle of the universal no-soul.”
> In the second event, flexibility, Bikram maintained the lead by
> supporting himself on his index fingers for the entire 15 minutes while
> touching the back of his skull to his lower spine. The feat was
> matched by Gupta, who first used the position at the 1994 Tokyo Zen-Off.
> “That’s my meditative position of spiritual ecstasy, not his,”
> remarked Gupta. “He stole my thunder.”
> Bikram denied the charge, saying, “Gupta’s been talking like that
> ever since he was a 3rd century Egyptian slave-owner.”
> Nevertheless, a strong showing by Gupta in the third event, the
> shotput, placed him within a lotus petal of the lead at the competition’s
> halfway point.
> But event number four, the contemplation of unanswerable riddles
> known as koans, proved the key to victory for Bikram.
> The koan had long been thought the weak point of his spiritual
> arsenal, but his response to today’s riddle-”Show me the face you had before
> you were born”-was reportedly “extremely illuminative,” according to
> Commissioner Prabhupada.
> While koan answers are kept secret from the public for fear of
> exposing the uninitiated multitudes to the terror of universal truth, insiders
> claim his answer had Prabhupada and the two other judges “highly

With the event victory, Bikram built himself a nearly
insurmountable lead, one he sustained through the yak-milk churn and breathing events to come away with the upset victory.

(thanks to Cara)