Fasting holy man under probe4th May 2010
Military scientists in India are researching a holy man who claims that he has not eaten food or drunk water for 65 years.
The man, named Prahlad Jani, is being held in isolation and closely monitored so that the Indian defence force can monitor his body for signs of exhaustion.
Jani, who dresses in red and wears a nose ring, grew up in a village in Gujarat.
G Ilavazhagan, director of the Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences, Jani's claims could lead to a breakthrough in medical science, if they are verified, and help people during natural disasters, at high altitude, on sea journeys, and in other natural and human extremities.
He said that the study could also throw light on human survival without food and water, and that he hoped people could soon be educated about survival techniques in adverse conditions with little or no food and water.
Jani claims to be able to live on spiritual life force, or prana, due to a blessing given to him by a goddess when he was eight years old.
During the past six days, Jani has not shown any signs of getting hungry or thirsty, nor has his physiology shown any change, in spite of the fact that he has not eaten or drunk anything.
Most humans, by contrast, cannot last more than five days without drinking water.
If the man's claims prove to be false, the researchers expect to see signs of muscle wastage, serious dehydration, or organ failure within the next two weeks.
Ilavazahagan said that people could also end up benefiting from Jani's methods in future missions to the Moon and Mars.
For the study, the researchers are using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure brain and heart activity.
The research team is also measuring the man's vital signs using blood tests and electrodes attached to the heart.
Ilavazahagan said that the research team wanted to know what energy supported Jani's existence, and that Jani himself claimed that he gathered energy by meditating.
Sudhir Shah, a neurologist who studied Jani several years ago, said that two stationary 24-hour video cameras had been set up in the holy man's room for the current experiment.
He also said that a mobile video camera followed Jani whenever he needed to go outdoors.
Although the study will only take about three weeks to complete, the results will take several months to analyse.
Sri Sahaj Muni Maharaj, a Jain monk who fasted from food for one year, said that people who are busy with something did not feel hunger or thirst, and that his contemplative life helped his fasting.
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Swami Nityananda Giri
Wednesday 5th May 2010 @ 7:12
Paramahansa Yogananda in his 'Autobiography of a Yogi' mentioned about the fasting woman, Nirahari Bala. So such instances are found earlier. In 'Yogasutras' of Rishi Patanjali there is indication of such a result in sutra 30 of chapter 3. It is believed that there is a technique of meditation related to cervical centre but this technique is very secret and we generally donot find sages versed in this technique. Regarding this perticular case it will be known in few days by the researchers about the correctness of such state of the holyman. But may be the researchers are trying to find the rules of the subtle world by gross means.
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Title: Fasting holy man under probe
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 14779
Date Added: 4th May 2010