Ashrita Furman is synonymous with Guinness World Records. Trace back over the last thirty years of his life and realize that he has achieved over 200 Guinness World Records. His latest record set earlier this week on April 14, 2009 is like a home run with bases loaded.
On Tuesday, April 14th in New York, he set a record for recitation of a poem written by Sri Chinmoy that was translated and read out in 111 languages. He was joined in this record by students of meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy, themselves from around the world, gathered in Queens, New York for a spiritual retreat. The record-breaking poem recitation took place at City Hall Park in Manhattan. Attired in sashes that displayed their language to recite, participants read the poem in 111 languages – some of which were completely unfamiliar – like Picard or Dzongkha. The previous record for multiple language recitation involved 79 different languages.
The Poem “Precious” by Sri Chinmoy from his classic book of poems entitled My Flute reads:
Precious beyond measure is God’s Will,
None can undo its Power.
Precious beyond measure are man’s tears.
They alone can hug God’s Hour.
Precious beyond measure is man’s love,
Unveiling his golden face.
Precious beyond measure is God’s Gift:
His all-fulfilling Grace.
Why is this poetry recitation record like a home run with bases loaded? By setting this latest record, he also reached the pinnacle goal of 100 Guinness World Records held simultaneously. Through the years he has achieved well over 100 records, but some of the categories have been subsequently broken by someone else. Reaching this record on April 14th catapulted him into a new realm – the first person in the world to hold 100 simultaneous, active and current Guinness World Records. Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday, attended the event and commended him for his extraordinary footing in the world of Guinness.
Did you know that Ashrita’s world record breaking abilities warrant an entire chapter in a book written about the history of the Guinness Records phenomenon around the world? Getting into Guinness : One Man’s Longest, Fastest, Highest Journey Inside the World’s Most Famous Record Book by Larry Olmsted provides an in-depth look at Ashrita’s record-breaking activities in its opening chapter – “Meet Ashrita, Record Breaker for God.”
Read more about the record in this post at the blog InspiringNews.org and in the New York Daily News. Watch a short video of Ashrita’s poetry record at the website of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.