72,000 Burning Candles: A Celebration and A New Guinness World Record

In was in 2005 when Ashrita first came up with the idea of setting a new Guinness world record in order to celebrate Sri Chinmoy’s 74th birthday.   At the time it seemed like an impossibly difficult if not dangerous thing to do.

All of the above of course were true but in the end it turned out to be an amazing and inspiring success.

Of course great records can never last for ever and a few years later Ashrita assembled another large team in order to try and take back the record this time with 48,000 candles.

Fast forward 11 years and once again the record is broken and the goal is to break the new record of 50,000 burning candles


“It was very exciting all the candles merged into one single huge flame.  It was very exciting.”

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Swim Run Trio: Harriman State Park 2016

Video of the event







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Sri Chinmoy’s 47 Mile Race 2016

The footage is less than 2 minutes long.  A mere fragment of much greater event that probably could never be captured adequately by a super 8 film very well anyway.

Yet it shows Sri Chinmoy completing the 47 mile race in 1980 for the 2nd time.  A performance that took him 11:27:24  to complete and which surpassed his previous best by  74 minutes.

*photo by Bhashwar

Now there is a new generation following in those same footsteps as their late spiritual teacher 36 years later.


Many who have never even had the opportunity to see Sri Chinmoy little alone remember how powerfully he once used to run


Pratyaya the race director remembers those early days


Petra gets ready for a long night


There is a profound sense of calm as people register


Most have a clear sense of why they do this most difficult thing of running 47 miles starting at midnight on August 27th.


The time of quiet does not last long


Know that as much as it is gift to their teacher it is also something that will offer much more in return.  A dedication.


Even for those who do not run tonight but who instead help there is a sense of purpose and dedication.


The race is an opportunity for all to feel part of something great and beautiful that lies both within and without.


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August 27th: Sri Chinmoy’s 74th Birthday 2005

This is a short film that captures some of the highlights of Sri Chinmoy’s birthday celebration in 2005

*Photo by Prashphutita 2003*

O my rainbow-heart-sky,
In you I see
The beauty of the Unknowable,
In you I feel
The silence of the Unknowable.

28 August 2005
New York