An afternoon of suspense and delight unfolded – or should I say ascended – on the afternoon of August 27, 2009 at Aspiration-Ground in Queens, NY as Ashrita Furman set another Guinness World’s Record – this time for the world’s largest lollipop.
I was in New York to observe the anniversary of the late spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy’s birth along with over a thousand other meditation students gathered from around the world. The biggest highlight of the festivities – and I mean biggest in a literal sense – centered inside one giant lollipop created by Ashrita Furman along with a team of over 20 helpers. Their goal – to create the world’s largest lollipop and set a new Guinness World’s Record.
They more than achieved their goal, besting the weight of the previous world’s largest Jolly Rancher lollipop by about 2,000 pounds. The lollipop weighed in at 6,706 pounds and involved the construction of a large frame for the lollipop mold and the melting of sugar and corn syrup in 100 gallon containers.
I came out to watch the lollipop get hoisted into the air with a crane and took the above photos of the record-breaking moment.
Ashrita, the helpers and the staff from the hoisting company worked together to determine the best way to lift the lollipop off the wooden frame and into the air. The lollipop was sticking to the wooden backing it rested on and I found it so inspiring to witness how the team from the hoisting company became completely engrossed in figuring out the best approach to getting the lollipop airborne. They seemed as invested and committed to success as the Sri Chinmoy Centre members who had spent the long hours making the lollipop. Watching this teamwork in action made the time pass quickly as I waited to get the photo of the lollipop upright in the sky.
While I watched and waited, I also kept staring at the enormity of the lollipop and imagined the magnitude of sweetness embodied in it. The colorful happy birthday message to Sri Chinmoy and the reproduction of one of Sri Chinmoy’s countless bird drawings added to the charm. Just looking at it made me feel like a child again.
And the symbolism of the sugar sweet resonated with my spiritual outlook on life. How many countless times have I experienced grace, blessings and forgiveness in my inner life of relationship with God? I think even a lollipop of this size cannot replicate the layers of sweet memories woven into my 24 years of spiritual journey inspired by the philosophy of spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy.
Ecstasy, light, delight
-Excerpt from Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 16 by Sri Chinmoy
And yes, in case you were wondering, I did taste the lollipop after the photo shoot of the event was finished. It tasted wonderful. It tasted sweet.