Prahlad Jani, a holy man, or fakir, who is over 70 years old, has just spent 10 days under constant observation in Sterling Hospital, in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad.
During that time, he did not consume anything and “neither did he pass urine or stool”, according to the hospital’s deputy superintendent, Dr Dinesh Desai.
Yet he is in fine mental and physical fettle, say doctors.
Most people can live without food for several weeks, with the body drawing on its fat and protein stores. But the average human can survive for only three to four days without water.
Followers of Indian holy men and ascetics have often ascribed extraordinary powers to them, but such powers are seldom subject to scientific inspection.
On June 26, 2006, The Discovery Channel aired a documentary featuring Prahlad Jani – a man who has not eaten food nor water for over 60 years. Dr. Sudhir Shah hypothesized that Prahlad Jani is receiving nourishment from the sun – similar to the sun yogi Hira Ratan Manek.
For 10 days, Prahlad Jani was observed in strict isolation and by continual video monitoring. His body and health were measured internally and externally by a team of medical doctors and scientists, led by Dr. Sudhir Shah. Dr. Shah has also studied the sun gazing yogi Hira Ratan Manek during his 411 day water fast in 2000-2001.
Prahlad Jani explains that he receives his nourishment from a substance that is produced from a hole in the roof of his mouth. This substance is called amrit or amrita in numerous yogic texts. Amrit is a Sanskrit word that literally means “without death”. More commonly amrit has been translated as the “divine nectar” or “drink of the gods”. Many advanced yogis and sun gazers also claim to have experienced the amrit substance, which is thought to be secreted by the pineal and pituitary glands when activated by advanced yoga practices.
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