48,000 Candle Salute

August 27th, 2008, Jamaica. Queens. Contributed by ABTS

2-minute Guinness Record

Today Ashrita Furman of New York received the Guinness World Record Certificate for the most candles burning simultaneously on a cake. He and 80 assistants from many countries with blow torches lit 48,523 candles on a giant cake in less than 2 minutes to thank the world harmony leader and founder of the World Harmony Run Sri Chinmoy for inspiring them. Indian born Sri Chinmoy passed on last October 2007 at the age of 76 and enthusiastically fostered self-transcendence through his own world records, including publishing 1573 books, composing over 21,000 songs, drawing nearly 16 million Soul-Bird drawings and lifting 2400 pounds publicly on the standing calf raise machine. Sri Chinmoy stated, “If we compete only to increase our capacities, to transcend ourselves, and to inspire others, then we will be better citizens of a better world.”
54-year-old Ashrita Furman holds more Guinness Records than anyone in the world. This candle record is his 82nd. Ashrita, who manages  a health food store in New York, staged the record atop a cake spanning 52 by 17 feet (15.8 by 5.2 meters.)

A team of 200 helpers practised for days and spent several hours counting and inserting the small, colourful candles in a cake. After the candles were extinguished, many of the audience of 1100 friends and supporters of Sri Chinmoy’s lifetime of service for world harmony enjoyed a piece of cake, although many of the tops were covered with melted wax.
Ashrita had been waiting to attempt the new record after his previous record of 27,000 candles was upset by a Canadian team who lit 30,000 candles in September, 2006. Other of his Guinness World Records include creating the largest flower bouquet of 101,791 roses, underwater juggling and pogo-sticking up Mt. Fuji.