Since 1979, Ashrita Furman has set over 350 Guinness records which means he is the greatest world record breaker of all time. He always loved the Guinness book of World Records. It was sort of like his Bible while he was growing up. He admired all those people who could do those amazing things and he just never figured he’ll be able to do it.
Now he gets fulfillment every time he’s doing a record, even a stupid one. When he isn’t breaking records, Ashrita manages a health food store, but now he wants to set a record by climbing Machu Picchu on stilts. One of the great things about the Guinness book is that you see things that you would never think of doing yourself.
Ashrita says he was a pretty big nerd, very mental and he didn’t have much of a life. He was first in his class; he was very industrious and he had a remarkable facility for asking questions that got right to the heart. His father wanted him to be an attorney but Ashrita decided that that was not the life he wanted… he thought there’s got to be some deeper meaning of life. And that was the beginning of his search for something more profound.
He tested out Judaism and he didn’t really found what he was looking for there. He started reading books on Eastern spirituality and he identified himself with Buddha. He wanted to attain enlightenment if possible. Then he started to search for a teacher and found one. At age 16, Ashrita became a disciple of Guru Sri Chinmoy.
When he dropped out of school his father wanted to disown him and he wouldn’t support him anymore. Anyhow, Ashrita decided to start setting world records to honor his guru… he decided to do jumping jacks. It was a little tough but he got through and decided to stop at 27,000. To him, because he was so non-athletic, it felt like a miracle.