The Little Master smashed 25 fours and three sixes in a stunning unbeaten 200 off 147 balls as India completed a 153-run thrashing of South Africa in the second ODI in Gwalior.
It surpassed the previous best of 194 set by Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar in 1997 and Zimbabwe’s Charles Coventry against Bangladesh last year.
His knock, supported by MS Dhoni’s quickfire 68 off 35 balls, helped India to a massive 401-3 in 50 overs.
Tendulkar, 36, already holds the record for most runs in both Test and one-day internationals, and raced to his 46th ODI century with a typically masterful knock of power and precision.
His previous best was 186no against New Zealand in 1999, but despite clearly suffering from cramp, limped to the historic 200 with a single in the final over off Charl Langeveldt.
The Proteas hold the record for the highest-ever run chase, the 435 against Australia in 2006, but never threatened India’s massive total in reply.
AB de Villiers led the way with a battling unbeaten 114, but three wickets from Sreesanth ensured the tourists crashed to their second heaviest ODI defeat.
HIGHEST INDIVIDUAL ODI SCORES
200no Sachin Tendulkar - India v S Africa 2010
194no Charles Coventry - Zimbabwe v Bangladesh 2009
194 Saeed Anwar - Pakistan v India 1997
189no Viv Richards - West Indies v England 1984
189 Sanath Jayasuriya - Sri Lanka v India 2000