Ashrita Furman has the unique claim to hold the Guinness World Record for breaking the most Guinness World Records. At the latest count Ashrita has broken 108 official Guiness Records and currently holds over 32 records. Ashrita has also set many of his records in diverse locations such as CNN Tower Canada, Stonehenge, The Great Pyramids. Recently he set a record for the fastest mile whilst hula hoping at Eyres Rock Australia.
In doing so he succeeded in setting a world record in each of the 7 continents. Ashrita's record breaking achievements have both inspired and entertained many people awed by his unusual records! Although as People magazine stated."Hardly a man is now alive, who would want to do what Ashrita Furman . the Carl Lewis of oddball athletics . has just done." - People Magazine.
When asked why he does so many extraordinary activities Ashrita replies."I'm trying to show others that our human capacity is unlimited if we can truly believe in ourselves,".For the past 30 years Ashrita has been practising meditation under the guidance of Sri Chinmoy, who is also a noted for his athletic achievements. Through breaking records Ashrita has been able to show that the ancient Eastern art of meditation is not just about sitting in a cave attaining peace but also can bring to the fore our hidden capacities.
Ashrita says that before each record he likes to meditate briefly. He says:."I feel it is meditation that gives me the capacity to accomplish these feats. Sometimes my mind is wavering or my body is tired or even injured in some small way, and these things deter or distract you. Meditation helps to keep you focused and 'in the heart'?by that I mean that the mind becomes calm and sure of it's purpose?".As well as demonstrating the capacity for self-transcendence, Ashrita also likes to do unusual, wacky records that make people laugh.
Some of his more unusual records include: the longest distance for balancing a milk bottle on his head (80.9 miles); the fastest mile for pushing an orange with your nose (24 mins 36sec); largest diameter hula hoop (16feet) and fastest mile on a space hopper. However although many of these records give great amusement, Ashrita points out that all Guinness world records require a great deal of concentration and determination; he says it is never easy to break a Guinness world record.
At the age of 47 there seems to be no sign that Ashrita is heading for early retirement if anything is rate of breaking records seems to be increasing. During the last 3 months Ashrita broke 5 world records whilst on a vacation with Sri Chinmoy in Malaysia. The latest record involved the fastest mile crawling (under 30 mins).
When asked whether crawling was a good form of exercise. Ashrita quipped."Well, it's an excellent form of exercise?for every part of the body?but I don't think it will catch on!".Ashrita is a member of the New York Sri Chinmoy Centre and in between breaking world records manages a health food store in Queens, New York.
.Richard is an economics teacher in Oxford and is a member of the Sri Chinmoy Centre Richard also competes in various cycle races throughout the UK and is a keen gardener.