'Starving yogi' astounds Indian scientists

May 10, 2010 by Rajesh Joshi
Indian holy man Prahlad Jani speaks at a press conference at a hospital in Ahmedbad on May 6. Jani, who says he has spent seven decades without food or water, has astounded a team of military doctors who studied him during a two-week observation period.

An 83-year-old Indian holy man who says he has spent seven decades without food or water has astounded a team of military doctors who studied him during a two-week observation period.

Prahlad Jani spent a fortnight in a hospital in the western India state of Gujarat under constant surveillance from a team of 30 medics equipped with cameras and closed circuit television.

During the period, he neither ate nor drank and did not go to the toilet.

"We still do not know how he survives," neurologist Sudhir Shah told reporters after the end of the experiment. "It is still a mystery what kind of phenomenon this is."

The long-haired and bearded yogi was sealed in a hospital in the city of Ahmedabad in a study initiated by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the state defence and military research institute.

The DRDO hopes that the findings, set to be released in greater detail in several months, could help soldiers survive without food and drink, assist astronauts or even save the lives of people trapped in natural disasters.

"(Jani's) only contact with any kind of fluid was during gargling and bathing periodically during the period," G. Ilavazahagan, director of India's Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), said in a statement.

Jani has since returned to his village near Ambaji in northern Gujarat where he will resume his routine of yoga and meditation. He says that he was blessed by a goddess at a young age, which gave him special powers.

During the 15-day observation, which ended on Thursday, the doctors took scans of Jani's organs, brain, and blood vessels, as well as doing tests on his heart, lungs and memory capacity.

"The reports were all in the pre-determined safety range through the observation period," Shah told reporters at a press conference last week.

Other results from , molecular biological studies and tests on his hormones, enzymes, and genes will take months to come through.

"If Jani does not derive energy from food and water, he must be doing that from energy sources around him, sunlight being one," said Shah.

"As medical practitioners we cannot shut our eyes to possibilities, to a source of energy other than calories."

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smoke_and_mirrors
4.4 / 5 (14) May 10, 2010
Is it just because he's smarter than the average bear?

Sorry - something does not ring true about this. The last sentence is very suspicious. I remember the laughable debacle of Jasmuheen - who also claimed to "live on light". She was caught pigging out on an aeroplane, lol. Or at least it would be funny were anorexia not such a hideous problem.
Hunnter
1.4 / 5 (7) May 10, 2010
Damn, meant to hit 5, anyway, yeah, something tells me he might just be smart at concealing things.
Maybe he has found some sort of super food which he conceals in his mouth or something along those lines.

Either that or he really is genetically fairly unique.
Living on light, or EM in general isn't out of the realm of possibility, we know of many lifeforms that depend on EM for energy.
And given a fairly static life without too much pressure and stress, a person probably wouldn't need to regenerate much of the molecules in his body, as long as they didn't make a habit of losing skin or hair everything else should be contained if he isn't going to the loo.

Or he was "blessed".

Certainly worth looking in to, especially considering those 2 weeks.
He is either really smart, or really unique.
Both will provide insight.
Ravenrant
4.1 / 5 (7) May 10, 2010
He needs to be observed in a closed environment for more than 2 weeks to determine if he can survive without anything. He may be getting sustenance from something in his normal environment that isn't in a closed environment and 2 weeks isn't enough to tell. He may not even know what it is. People have survived longer than that on nothing, 2 weeks doesn't prove anything.
JJC
3.5 / 5 (8) May 10, 2010
Assuming he swallowed a little bit of water while bathing and gargling, and spent almost all of his time in meditation or non-stressful yoga poses, the answer may just be that he uses little energy.

Not to say this isn't amazing. Certainly it is.
visual
4.6 / 5 (9) May 10, 2010
It's not just a matter of how he gets energy, but also mass as well.
He lost weight the last time he was under documented observation like this, I think it was for 10 days or such.
Probably it was the same this time around, only the article lack any actual details.

He clearly can't regain that weight just from the sunlight. He is a scammer.
Sinister181
3.3 / 5 (12) May 10, 2010
Personally, I think something here sounds like a hoax. The article isn't too extensive either. Maybe he eats, drinks, and poops in private. Either that, or disables the surveillance systems somehow. There's no way someone can survive on air alone. I wonder which Goddess "blessed" him.
LariAnn
2.8 / 5 (14) May 10, 2010
You know, it wasn't too long ago that reports of people living to over 100 years old were also pooh-poohed as hoaxes. While prosaic explanations cannot be ruled out entirely without further study, can't people admit that they don't know everything? Without an unanswered question, there will be no scientific study!
Djincs
2.3 / 5 (9) May 10, 2010
15 days , come on and this garglin, he has a long beard you cant see is he swallow a little bit each time, with shure he is a lier....
NameIsNotNick
3.8 / 5 (10) May 10, 2010
You know, it wasn't too long ago that reports of people living to over 100 years old were also pooh-poohed as hoaxes. While prosaic explanations cannot be ruled out entirely without further study, can't people admit that they don't know everything? Without an unanswered question, there will be no scientific study!

These kind of claims have been made before and have always turned out to be hoaxes. Because we don't know everything doesn't mean we don't know anything. To paraphrase Marcello Truzzi: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof".
Quantum_Conundrum
1 / 5 (9) May 10, 2010
You know, it wasn't too long ago that reports of people living to over 100 years old were also pooh-poohed as hoaxes.


Um...in the case of some of the "oldes person alive" claims, one woman verifiably has 90-something year old children and has independent paperwork from her confirmation via the Cahtolic Church which shows she was 134 years old.

As far as fasting, the Bible records SEVERAL 40+ day total fasts without food or water by Moses (literally at least twice in a row, or 80 days consecutively), Elijah(Implied, but unknown duration,) and Jesus, as well as several others having total or partial fasts of 7 to 21 days.

From a Christian perspective I believe that there is something supernatural about these events.

We also find several instances in the Bible where demonic activity gave people super-human strength, such as the ability to break metal chains, or to overcome a group of seven men in a fight.

Therefore I would classify this as a "lying wonder"
yyz
4.2 / 5 (10) May 10, 2010
It appears Jani may not have been alone in this deception. The wiki entry for 'inedia' includes a section on Jani( http://en.wikiped...lad_Jani )that states:

Sanal Edamaruku of the Indian Rationalist Association claimed to have been repeatedly denied sending an independent team to survey the room where Jani was held. He also claimed that "this particular hospital, led by this particular doctor, keeps on making these claims without ever producing evidence or publishing research."

Further reading of the entry only confirms that Jani and others making this claim are 'fakirs' and that some people have in fact starved to death trying to emulate these people.
Truth
3.5 / 5 (11) May 10, 2010
Well, I'm glad to see that we Americans are not the only ones who get routinely scammed by televangelists and other fairy tale hoodwinkers. Looks like bamboozling is a world-wide phenomena. Oh, don't forget to buy that $14.99 book about the end of the world and the rapture. On sale now!
dirk_bruere
2.6 / 5 (5) May 10, 2010
Going without food for 15 days is not a problem. But then again, maybe he cheated by eating his own foot?
paulthebassguy
3 / 5 (6) May 11, 2010
I also was blessed as a child and I have a similar amazing condition. You see, everything that I eat is turned directly into energy and provided I do enough physical exercise in a day I don't even need to poop. I haven't pooped for 25 years.

I am offering this opportunity to any scientists on here to study me - please contact me and we can make arrangements including a figure.
Skepticus
3.4 / 5 (5) May 11, 2010
From a scientific point of view, they should have put him in an isolation chamber to monitor all amounts of oxygen, co2, water vapor, infrared and other radiation emission and absorption, etc, to have a complete picture..and checking the amounts of water after mouth washes and bath, taking into account of normal loses. This way his supposed feat would be more rigorously tested.
PinkElephant
4.6 / 5 (9) May 11, 2010
I haven't pooped for 25 years.
Pardon my directness, but wouldn't that entail that you're incredibly full of sh*t by now? =P (j/k)

For some reason, I'm reminded of the Golgothan, from Dogma (the movie.) Maybe it's because of the way this yogi's story smells...
satyricon
1 / 5 (2) May 11, 2010
Unconscious binging in the dead of night? Maybe he has NS-RED? If they have observed him 24/7 for two weeks then this is something scientists should definitely probe further and give it massive attention.
MarkyMark
5 / 5 (2) May 11, 2010
I haven't pooped for 25 years.
Pardon my directness, but wouldn't that entail that you're incredibly full of sh*t by now? =P (j/k)

For some reason, I'm reminded of the Golgothan, from Dogma (the movie.) Maybe it's because of the way this yogi's story smells...

LoL that made me laugh. Perhaps he just chews the matress at night?
ler177
May 11, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Anarch157a
5 / 5 (2) May 11, 2010
mohandas gandhi kept hunger strikes longer than that as protest, taking only water, lemon juice and some sugar during the protests.

as it was said before, with a long beard and hair, this guy could have concealed some sugar and used sleight of hand tricks to consume it during the time under observation.

magicians are known to be able to perform tricks that not even close inspection using cameras can show how they do it.

i call shenanigans on this yogi.
Djincs
2.3 / 5 (3) May 11, 2010
the trick is in gargling, no food ok(for two weeks), but no wather isnt ok...
freethinking
1.4 / 5 (9) May 11, 2010
I hate things like this because I need to agree with none other that Pink E. Get a magician to observe him and I bet within a very short time you will have this trick duplicated. I think that the scientist that observed him are of the same quality as the AGW scientists.

On a side note, and I think even PE would agree, televangilists who say they have cured people should be forced to prove they have done so. Medical reports before and after.

A person once said, a skeptic is the easiest person to make into a beliver. If they see something with their own eyes they believe. A free thinker sees something then finds out how it was done.
xstos
1.7 / 5 (6) May 11, 2010
"Where does it come from? This quest, this need to solve life's mysteries, when the simplest of questions can never be answered. Why are we here? What is the soul? Why do we dream? Perhaps we'd be better off not looking at all... not delving, not yearning. But that's not human nature. Not the human heart. That is not why we are here."

- Mohinder Suresh (Heroes)
MikeLisanke
4.2 / 5 (5) May 12, 2010
Why is science sponsored mysticism acceptable? Test him in a closed system; if he radiates energy (he does) and exhales H2O and CO2 (he does) and sweats H2O (he does) and assuming he obviously did not excrete excess protein imbalance, then he'll need to replenish them at the rate he emits these things. If he acquires nutrients and H2O from breathing, then he does this more efficiently then others and this too would be obvious in a closed system.
Choice
May 12, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
dsl5000
1 / 5 (2) May 12, 2010
Haha he has PIC line, of course he doesn't need to drink :) This article omits a lot of critical informations.
IngDutch
3.4 / 5 (5) May 12, 2010
http://www.youtub...6eJB9GLY

I'm just linking James Randi, because he just did a video on this topic. I love this website for its critical commenters. It seems allot of other websites the commenters have there head in the clouds.
GoodElf
1 / 5 (8) May 13, 2010
Assuming that this investigation by the military hospital is correct... it is possible that since human beings are 90% composed of organisms other than human cells, they might be providing him with a "closed ecosystem" in balance.
http://www.techno...0/page1/
He claims to be provided with some "fluid" from a hole in his palate. It may be he gets enough water from condensation inside his body from the atmosphere to compensate for water losses. The other organisms in his body may be providing him with all the internal sustenance he needs. It is just conceivable that some individuals have unique combination's of "flora and fauna" that are similar to "bottled ecosystems"... self sustaining and self limiting.
http://settlement.../ecosys/
Additional energy requirements may be provided by sunlight and conversion in the cells by our host mitochondria.

Similar stories of Sadu's being buried for months in the earth.
re_coyote
1.8 / 5 (5) May 13, 2010
wrong this guy was sent by the plants to teach us a lesson, the plants after enduring humanity for this long created this person for us
otto1923
3.7 / 5 (3) May 13, 2010
has astounded a team of military doctors
"All of war is deception." Sun Tsu

@paulthebassguy
-Please see new indie movie for ramifications of your affliction:
http://movies.nyt...man.html
thyran
3.7 / 5 (3) May 15, 2010
wrong this guy was sent by the plants to teach us a lesson, the plants after enduring humanity for this long created this person for us

Next to water and sunlight, plants need nutrients from their immediate surroundings as well.
thermodynamics
2.5 / 5 (8) May 16, 2010
I am astounded by the number of people commenting who even give a shred of credence to this article.
Eric_B
3.3 / 5 (4) May 16, 2010
"Similar stories of Sadu's being buried for months in the earth."
Buried in a pile of horsesh*t!
Eco_R1
3 / 5 (2) May 17, 2010
i love steak,chips,pizza and all the other stuff way to much to try and do this
Donna12283
2.4 / 5 (5) May 17, 2010
I heard about this guy many years ago when they did similar study on him. He's authentic. Westerners just can't open their minds to the FACT that many many yogi's live this way. Remember manna from above? Buddha lived that way too for many years.
weewilly
3 / 5 (2) May 17, 2010
I would keep an opened mind about this. No one understands everything and a scientific study can be done again to prove the validity of the first or second one. If it is a trick I sure would like to know how it is done.
Skepticus
1 / 5 (2) May 18, 2010
Oriental mysticism, scientific skepticism, religious and racial prejudice, out right emotional dismissal...is a potent mix. Fascinating, humans.
siliconboy
May 27, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Raygunner
not rated yet May 28, 2010
Got some munchies hidden in his beard I bet