19394Re: Guinness Man
- Jan 4, 2007Dear Thomas, thanks for such a nice article!
In response to those wondering about the source of this article, a
search in Google pointed me towards your Sri Chinmoy Centre member
page, so I believe you wrote it!
The link to the original article in your member page is:
Ashrita is my boss at the health food store...he is two years older
than me, and about twenty years younger in fitness, enthusiasm,
determination and one-pointed concentration on his goals. He is also
very humble an unassuming, self-effacing and a very selfless
self-giver in every way. May I add he is also very compassionate?
My gratitude to you for this article, and to Ashrita for his glowing
--- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, thomasfromnz
> [Dear Thomas, did you write this? If not, could you specify the
> Ashrita Furman is the undisputed champion of Guinness world-record
> breaking. Ashrita is one of many who have achieved remarkable feats
> with the inner strength that they have learned to tap into with the
> guidance of spiritual master Sri Chinmoy.
> Who would have thought that a humble health food store owner and
> self-confessed former nerd could end up breaking more than a hundred
> Guinness world records?
> Ashrita Furman, the holder of more Guiness records than anyone else
> alive, has over the last 25 years broken 119 of them in a wide variety
> of unusual and often hilarious ways like pushing an orange along the
> ground with his nose, stilt-walking 8 km in less than 40 minutes,
> standing on a Swiss ball for over 2 hours, pogo-jumping along the
> street while holding a small dog, balancing a milk bottle on his head
> continuously for 81 miles and spinning the world's largest hula-hoop
> (his 100th record).
> "Ask fans who's the greatest athlete of all times," The Christian
> Science Monitor once wrote, "and you'll hear a familiar debate over
> the likes of Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan and Babe Ruth. Ask avid
> readers of the Guiness Book of World Records, howevever, and you're
> likely to hear consensus on one name: Ashrita Furman".
> His urge to break new records has taken him all over the world, and to
> numerous exotic places including Stonehenge, the Egyptian Pyramids and
> the Great Wall of China. Just recently Ashrita broke four records in
> four different countries in less than a month.
> One of Ashrita's favourite attempts was in 2003 when he visited the
> Kelly Tarltons Aquarium in Auckland to break the record for what he
> calls `gluggling' (underwater juggling).
> Ashrita jumped right into one of the fish tanks and started juggling
> three lead balls. It wasn't long before a parrotfish swam over and
> repeatedly bit his nose (a sign of affection, perhaps?), which brought
> the attempt to a momentary halt. Undeterred by failure, Ashrita tried
> a second time. 48 minutes and 36 seconds of non-stop gluggling later
> and he had broken yet another Guinness world record. He is still the
> current holder.
> Although Ashrita has a great deal of experience with breaking Guinness
> world records, each one requires an enormous level of preparation and
> endurance. When asked how the excitement of his latest records compare
> to older ones he said "the first one was the biggest thrill because
> throughout my whole childhood I had wanted to get into the Guinness
> book of records but it's funny because there is a tremendous thrill
> for me each time, it never fades, it never goes away". Ashrita
> arranged his 103rd record to coincide with Guinness World Records Day
> on November 9. It was for the fastest "fireman's carry", and called
> for Ashrita to carry someone of at least his own body weight for one
> mile in under 18 minutes. Fortunately Ashrita and his friend Bippin
> weighed exactly the same. The attempt was very physically demanding on
> both of them, and they collapsed in an exhausted heap at the end.
> Bippin, who has helped Ashrita break many records over the years, had
> mixed feelings about repeating the experience. "I don't look forward
> to doing this again, no. [Ashrita] probably will though. I'm worried
> because it's a new category and, as it's a fireman's carry, firemen
> are going to latch on to it. So I can see us doing this again - but I
> hope not!"
> How does he do it? Ashrita says that intense concentration both during
> and before each act of endurance allows him to make his mind calm and
> clear so that he does not lose focus and become distracted by doubts,
> fears and worries.
> Ashrita credits his meditation teacher with showing him how to use his
> inner strength to accomplish the seemingly impossible, and giving him
> the inspiration to keep going. "In my teens I started searching for a
> deeper meaning to life and studied Eastern philosophy and yoga. I
> later attended a meditation evening with the Indian master Sri Chinmoy
> , a meeting which changed the course of my life. Sri Chinmoy radically
> changed the way I looked at things".
> Ashrita says he had initial misgivings about the role of exercise in
> spiritual practise (which Sri Chinmoy endorses ) because he didn't
> consider himself much of a physical person due to his "life-long
> commitment to nerdiness".
> "But", says Ashrita, "I came to understand that the body is just an
> instrument of the spirit and, if performed in the right consciousness,
> physical feats can be just as or even more- uplifting than
> meditating in a temple!"
> Sri Chinmoy's ideal of continual self-transcendence - whether
> physical, mental or spiritual - is one in which there is no ultimate
> goal, for the achievement of today's goal is only the starting point
> for an even higher goal, and a much greater level of satisfaction. Sri
> Chinmoy says he wants to encourage people to improve themselves in any
> way they can, and believes that this is the only way we can be truly
> happy. His own self-transcendence is exemplified by more than 1,500
> published books ; 18,000 musical compositions ; 150,000 acrylic
> paintings and over 700 free concerts around the world. Most recently,
> he demonstrated the power of inner determination by wrist-curling a
> 270 lb dumbbell, following on from his record-breaking 256 lb curl of
> several weeks prior. Recently he also lifted two dumbells, with a
> combined 740 lb total, overhead from their cradle on a custom-built
> exercise machine to commemorate his 74 years on earth.
> Sri Chinmoy's feats of strength have evoked glowing accolades from
> prestigious members of the weightlifting community. Five-time Mr.
> Universe Bill Pearl called the 256lb curl a "miracle". Wayne DeMila,
> Chairman of the Mr. Olympia contest, said that out of all the
> weightlifters and champion bodybuilders he had seen, "Sri Chinmoy is
> the only one I have ever seen wrist curl a 200lb dumbbell".
> Sri Chinmoy credits all his athletic achievements to the inner power
> which he is able to access through his meditation and prayer. "What I
> wish to show by these feats of strength is that prayer and meditation
> can definitely increase one's outer capacities. I hope that by doing
> this I will be able to inspire many people to pray and meditate
> sincerely as part of their daily routine".
> Sri Chinmoy says that this inner power is available to everybody,
> because it resides within them. The difficult part is bringing it to
> the surface so that it can be expressed in our daily life. "If we can
> have a free access to our inmost consciousness, the cosmic energy is
> bound to come to the fore. If we go deep within, it comes like a
> spring, a never-failing spring. And when it comes, it permeates the
> whole body."
> Many of Sri Chinmoy's other students have found creative ways to
> combine fitness with self-improvement, and even with initiatives to
> help inspire social progress. The World Harmony Run, now an annual
> event which spans 80 countries across 6 continents, is an
> Olympic-style torch relay in which participants run through their
> respective countries to promote the spirit of international unity and
> What next for Ashrita? The sky's the limit. He is showing no signs of
> slowing down anytime soon, and so it looks as if he will be taking up
> plenty of room in the Guiness Book for the foreseeable future.
> For more information, visit www.ashrita.com
> Videos of Sri Chinmoy's weightlifting can be viewed online at
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