A new Guinness World Record in honour of Indian spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy
A new record for the World’s Longest Fresh Flower Garland was set on a sunny afternoon in Queens, New York recently. The record was inspired by Ashrita Furman, holder of 206 current Guinness Records, and over 200 meditation students of Sri Chinmoy from 35 countries, including Australia and India, aiming to honour Sri Chinmoy’s 50 years of work for world peace.
The garland, which consisted of 185, 000 carnations of various colours, was 7.87 kilometres long. It surpassed the previous record of a 5km garland which was set by a team in India just four months after Ashrita had broken the record with a 3.2 km garland in 2011. The first record of a 2.5 km garland was set by a group in Tahiti.
Perth locals Anubha Baird and Hastakamala Diaz attended the record attempt and helped make the garland.
“The atmosphere was really divine,” Anubha said. “Everyone was working together with a feeling of self-giving, and it was really inspiring”.
“It was nice being part of a world record,” Hastakamala said. “Sri Chinmoy felt individuals’ hearts are like a flower that can offer it’s fragrance to the world for its improvement, so it was nice to work with such a big garland”.
Ashrita Furmanworked for three months with flower farms in South America and gathered a team from all over the world to plan the assembly of the garland. The 180,000 carnations were flown from the high plateau of Bogotá Savannah in Colombia to Miami airport and then were transported in a truck to a refrigerated warehouse near John F. Kennedy Airport, where Ashrita’s helpers picked them up.
Furman and his team worked on the field from 7am until 2pm to create the longest garland in the world. His assistants made one metre flower strings, each consisting of about 20 carnations, which were put into boxes. The boxes were carried to different locations on the field where the ends of the strings of flowers were gradually connected together.
The attempt was inspired by Sri Chinmoy, a renowned peace visionary, who founded the Oneness-Home Peace Run, the world’s largest torch relay for peace. Sri Chinmoy loved flowers and the purity they represented. “Because of your heart’s gratitude-leaf, you are divinely good,” he once poetically uttered. “Because of your life’s surrender-flower, you are supremely perfect”.