A hermit in India’s Ahmedabad City claims to have survived without food and water for the last 70 years.
The Defense Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences is carrying out a study on Prahlad Jani at a private hospital to understand the phenomenon behind his claim.
He will be kept under observation at the hospital for the next 15 days and will go through a number of tests.
[Dr. G. Ilavazhagan, Defense Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences]:
“This may help in working out strategies for survival without food and water when it is not available, for example, in natural calamities, people face this situation. Similarly, our soldiers may also face this situation when they are left in the deserts or in forest or in high altitude areas.”
A neurophysician says Jani’s survival is miraculous.
[Sudhir Shah, Neurophysician]:
“A person can live without food and water for three, four, seven to 12 days and we have studied during …fasting in the past that people have done fasting for 16 or 30 days, but they were taking water after eight days and certainly they pass urine but this case is a unique phenomena.”
Some tests on his brain revealed that it resembled that of a 25-year-old person.
Jani has also claimed he has a hole in his palate and through his head where a drop or two of nectar passes that helps him survive.
Initial test reports confirmed Jani’s body has undergone a biological transformation due to yoga exercises.
Doctors also said there was no sign of fatigue or any other problem with the hermit, and he still prefers using stairs to the elevator.
Not much is known about Jani’s family since he had left home at the age of seven and wandered in jungles.
It would be pretty neat if our bodies could do something like this. Nectar? Not to be insulting, but could someone have a bag of nutrient water implanted in his nose to pull off a trick? I’d like to see some scans. X-ray his stomach. Does he have one? Is it atrophied? Is there food in his system? That would show right away if his claim is real. What about his brain resembles the brain of a 25-year-old? That’s an absurdly non-scientific non-medical and vague statement. Well, I’m intrigued, but I don’t buy it. Check back in 15 days and perhaps there will be a follow up.
Inedia is the alleged ability to live without food. Breatharianism is a related concept, in which believers claim food and possibly water are not necessary, and that humans can be sustained solely by prana (the vital life force in Hinduism), or according to some, by the energy in sunlight. The terms breatharianism or inedia may also refer to this philosophy practised as a lifestyle in place of the usual diet.
While it is often seen as an esoteric practice performed by eastern ascetics, with no basis in scientific fact, some groups and individuals promote the practice as a skill which anybody can learn through specific techniques, sometimes only after paying large fees, as in the case of the “Breatharian Institute of America”.
The word “inedia” simply means “fasting” in Latin, and was first used to describe a fast-based lifestyle within Catholic tradition, which holds that certain saints were able to survive for extended periods of time without food or drink other than the Eucharist. …
The well-publicized deaths of 49-year-old Australian-born Scotland resident Verity Linn, 31-year-old Munich kindergarten teacher Timo Degen, and 53-year-old Melbourne resident Lani Marcia Roslyn Morris, while attempting to enter the breatharian “diet”, have drawn further criticism of the idea. Jim Vadim Pesnak, 63, and his wife Eugenia, 60, went to jail for three years on charges of manslaughter for their involvement in the death of Morris. Verity Lynn, the Scottish woman who inadvertently killed herself by choosing the breatharian “diet” was a nominee for the 1999 Darwin Awards. She “took to the highlands”, the article says, “with only a tent and her grit and determination. She died of hypothermia and dehydration, aggravated by lack of food.” Jasmuheen claimed that her death was brought on by a psycho-spiritual problem, rather than a physiological one.
Jasmuheen has denied any involvement with the three deaths and claims she cannot be held responsible for the actions of her followers. In reference to the death of Lani Morris, she said that perhaps Morris was “not coming from a place of integrity and did not have the right motivation”.
Prahlad Jani, a Jain holy man, spent ten days under strict observation by physicians in Ahmedabad, India, in 2003. The study was led by Dr Sudhir Shah, the same doctor who led the study of Hira Ratan Manek. Reportedly, during the observation, he was given only 100 millilitres of water a day to use as mouthwash, which was collected and measured after he used it, to make sure he hadn’t consumed any. Throughout the observation, he passed no urine or stool, but doctors say urine appeared to form in the bladder, only to be reabsorbed. However, despite Jani’s claim to have gone without food for decades, Jani was not engaged in strenuous exercise during the ten-day trial, and longer trials were not recorded under similarly strict observation. Further, his weight did drop slightly during the 10 days, casting some doubt on his claim to go indefinitely without food. Jani claims a goddess sustains him through amrit that filters down through a hole in his palate. The Indian Rationalist Association labels him a “village fraud”.
On June 26, 2006, The Discovery Channel aired a documentary called “The Boy with Divine Powers” featuring a 5 minute interview with Prahlad Jani and Dr. Sudhir Shah.