NEW YORK, NY (TIP): Ashrita Furman, a fifty-eight year old health food store manager of New York and a team of 20 friends, among them the incense expert Nikhil Divekar from Panaji (Goa) in India, constructed the world’s largest incense stick and incense holder within thirteen days. Ashrita Furman’s team completed and set up the incense stick today in the borough Queens of New York City. Furman explains: “We choose an incense stick to express our gratitude to our meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy, who would have been 82 on August 27th. He showed us a way to find inner peace and tranquility in a world of turmoil and stress.” The incense stick has a height of 31 feet (9.45 meter), a circumference of 76 centimeter and its fragrance is Nag Champa. The ingredients were brought from India. Ashrita Furman is the holder of 163 current Guinness World Records, including the official record for “the most records held at the same time by an individual”.
The oversized incense stick ensures him a new entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. The old record for an incense stick was 8.8 m (28.87 feet) with a circumference of 74 centimeter. Ashrita has been breaking Guinness World Records since 1979. He achieved his first entry in the Guinness Book by completing 27,000 jumping jacks. Since then he has broken records on all seven continents, including bicycling the longest distance underwater in Portugal, running the fastest half marathon while balancing a milk bottle on his head in New York and racing against a yak in Mongolia to set the mile sack-racing record. As a teenager Furman got inspired by Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy of selftranscendence. Indian born Sri Chinmoy also set many records, such as writing 1,301 poems in 24 hours and composing 21,000 songs during his lifetime. Furman attributes his success at breaking records to meditation, which he has practiced daily for over 30 years. Meditation helps him keep his childlike spirit as well as his mental and physical power which is needed to continuously set world records. Ashrita started setting Guinness World Records 34 years ago and hasn’t stopped yet. “Going beyond your every day capacity is such a fulfilling feeling. The day I break a record I’m just happy the whole day,” he says. “I’m trying to show others that our human capacity is unlimited, if we can truly believe in ourselves,”