Indian Holy Man Astounds All, Lives On Air for 2 Weeks

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 Indian 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 said after 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 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.

His only contact with any kind of fluid was during gargling and bathing periodically during the period,” said a statement from G Ilavazahagan, the director of India’s Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences.  The yogi has since returned to his village near Ambaji in northern Gujarat, where he will resume his routine of yoga and meditation. He says that at a young age he was blessed by a goddess who gave him special powers.

During the 15-day observation which ended last week the doctors took scans of his 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,” Dr Shah said.  Other results from DNA analysis, molecular biological studies and tests on his hormones, enzymes, energy metabolism and genes will take months to process.  “If Jani does not derive energy from food and water, he must be doing that from energy sources around him, sunlight being one,” Dr Shah said. “As medical practitioners we cannot shut our eyes to possibilities, to a source of energy other than calories.
_____### end of original story at Study of starving yogi bears few answers (AFP)

Of course, if you’re new to Eastern philosophy, this is surprising to you as well.  Practitioners of yoga philosophy (not all practitioners of the exercise called yoga adhere to yoga philosophy) know that believers in Breatharianism claim food and water are not necessary, and that humans can be sustained solely by prana,  the vital life force, also known in Chinese tradition as chi or qi.  Historically, Catholic saints were said to survive for extended periods with nothing other than the sacrament of the Eucharist.

I’m stoked they are doing clinical study like this, and that medicine and science are catching up to what yogis of have long known.  “As medical practitioners we cannot shut our eyes to possibilities, to a source of energy other than calories.” When they begin to more readily accept that consciousness itself has more to do with many physical and mental functions than they previously considered, new worlds will open and the cat will be out of the bag.

“The DRDO hopes the findings could help soldiers and astronauts survive without food and drink, or even save the lives of people trapped in natural disasters.”  Ah, but there’s the rub!  It’s more about consciousness and belief that allows the condition to occur, than it is about sunlight and air.  Take your average GI Joe and tell him you’re taking his food and water away but he’ll be able to live just fine, and watch what happens.  Just as he had to be programmed to accept the beliefs of the military lifestyle in order to conform and survive within it, just so he’d have to be re-programmed with new beliefs to expand into a new level of consciousness.

That’s what meditation is about. That’s what creative visualization is for.  You meditate in order to train your mind to focus attention when you want it to.  Some do it to relax, but relaxation is natural byproduct of meditation.  As you practice meditation, it trains your mind so that you can hold it for extended periods of time on a particular topic or belief.

One example of it coming in handy for me was when I was in the emergency room years ago with pancreatitis.  I’d never been in such pain, but I had the presence of mind to know that if I could focus on my breathing and raise my consciousness enough, it’d go easier.  I knew I’d get a pain shot as soon as they could get an IV in me and figured it was 40 minutes from the time the pain got bad (at home) until I got the shot (in the E.R.)

I began to focus on my breathing and to feel it move through every part of me.  I reminded myself  (reinforcing my belief) that help was on the way.  Being hopeful was an important exercise as well, so I kept reminding myself, “It won’t be long.  They know just what to do.  They are well equipped here.  They’ve seen this before.  The pain will be over soon.  I’ll get trough this in no time. This will be just a memory tomorrow.” All the while focusing on my breathing at the same time.

I remember my body flailing around and I couldn’t stop it.  I knew it was happening to ME – that it was MY body doing that – but I couldn’t control it.  I could hear myself moan and wail in pain, and knew it was me, but I couldn’t control it.  It seemed the flailing and wailing were coming from someone I was watching.  Yes, I felt the pain but was not focusing on it, so mentally I was getting through it.  I felt bad for my friend Suzie Miller who was there beside me, and for the nurse who had to catherize and IV that body.

Had I not been a regular meditator since I was 20, I would not have been able to get myself into that state of mind so fast, the state of consciousness I needed in order to withstand that heavy physical ordeal.

Training soldiers and astronauts in meditation would be easy to do, simply add it to their training. But what about disaster victims, those trapped after earthquakes, say, or mines where it may take days and weeks to get to them?

The quickest way I know to change a belief temporarily is through hypnosis. I hope that is already being used anywhere victims are within earshot of disaster workers.  To help give them hope, to reduce anxiety, to help them feel comfortable, to help them get through pain.  Even if it’s not a disaster situation, it works for everyday fears and anxieties as well.

So, rather than just saying I’ll be a breathatarian and I’ll live on just sunlight and air, it’s more about what you believe is possible and how focused you can keep your consciousness, in order to do what must be done every day.

No matter what the circumstances.

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