New York: Over 200 meditation students of Sri Chinmoy from 35 countries, including India, have set a new Guinness world record for the World's longest fresh flower garland to honour the Indian spiritual leader.
Joining them at an event in Queens in New York, home to a large number of Indian-Americans, to honour Sri Chinmoy's (1931-2007) 50 years' work for world peace on his Aug 27 birthday were New York City Councilman Jimmy and Ashrita Furman, holder of 206 current Guinness Records.
Ashrita Furman, a Guinness world records record-breaker and New York councilman Jimmy Jennaro with the world's longest garland to honour Indian spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy. Pic/IANS
The garland, which goes 5 miles in multiple loops on Joseph-Austin-Field in New York's Queens borough surpasses the previous record by 1.9 miles (3 km). Made of 180,000 carnations of various colours, it weighs 4000 lb (1800 kg), according to a media release.
Chinmoy, a renowned peace visionary founded the Oneness-Home Peace Run, world's largest torch relay for peace, composed 21,000 songs, wrote 1600 books and established meditation and peace centres in 60 countries.
The supersized garland also ensures Furman a new entry in the Guinness Book of Records.
The previous record of a 5 km (3.1 mile) garland was set by a team in India, four month after Ashrita had broken the record with a 2 mile (3.2 km) garland in 2011.
Furman, a 59-year-old health food store manager from Queens, New York currently holds 206 Guinness world records, including the official record for "the most records held at the same time by an individual".
Furman worked 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 release said.
Furman and his team worked from 7 am until 2 pm to create the longest garland of the world.
New York City Councilman Jimmy Gennaro completed the world's longest flower garland by attaching the last flower assembly.
"We hope this will inspire others to feel peace in their hearts. After the record we will give the flowers to people in the neighbourhood," said Furman.