some of this story suffers from being written by a person (or people) whose native language is not english, but still, there’s enough scientific and journalistic integrity to make me severely wonder what ol’ P.Z. would make of it:
ETA: apparently he would do it differently… oh well, i guess i couldn’t have expected a lot more.
Ahmedabad, Apr 26: Survival of a Hindu ascetic, claimed to be not taking food or water and not passing stool or urine for over 70 years, has baffled the medical fraternity and now defence experts are studying about the miracle man to emulate the practice for soldiers1.
Experts of Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), in collaboration with the doctors of the city-based Sterling Hospital, have launched an observational study of the 81-year-old Prahladbhai Jani alias ‘Mataji’2, who is living in a cave in the temple town of Ambaji in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district.
The round the clock study from April 22 to May 7 will cover all aspects of physiology and biochemistry. The saint is kept in isolation at a special ward in the hospital and even mediapersons were kept out of bounds.
Talking to mediapersons at the hospital, Dr Sudhir Shah, a neurologist, and Dr Ila Wazgan of DIPAS said the main aim of the project is to study how a human being can survive without consuming food or water and not passing stool or urine for so long.
Dr Shah, who had conducted a similar study on the saint in 2003, said ‘There are incidents of prolonged fastings in our country. But they have been taking some water. In the case of Jani, he is not taking any food or water. What is medically more important and baffling is the fact that he is not passing stool or urine’.
The saint has informed the doctors that he has rare ‘Kundalini’ power (serpentine energy), a Yogic feat.3
Explaining the rationale behind the study, Dr Wazgan said ”If we can find out the reason or unveil the mystery behind Mr Jani’s survival without food and water, the study may help in working out strategies in managing calamaty-struck people, soldiers deployed at extremely hostile terrains like high altitude mountains and places with the scarcity of water and food”.
Considering the interest taken by DIPAS, some new parameters have been added to the study, Dr Shah said.
An interesting fact ascertained by doctors is that Mr Jani’s brain is as efficient as that of a 25-year old young man though he is aged 81. There are no signs of aging. Even today he can climb a seven storey building without any exhaustion, said Dr Shah.
The saint has shown evidences of formation of urine, which seems to be reabsorbed from his bladder wall. However, at present the medicos do not have any scientific explanation for the same but help of senior scientists and medical personnel of the country is being taken for the same.
A series of investigations are being carried out on Mr Jani according to a pre-determined protocol and additional tests are carried out as per suggestions of the team.
”If everything is ok with Jani, the study on his condition will continue for ten or 15 days. The defence wing wants to understand what is the structure of Mr Jani’s body, what is special about it, because of which he can survive normally. Whether the same can be replicated in other’s body, is the main question. If the answer is yes, it could be useful for soldiers and astrologers’4, added Dr Wazgan.
As per the details provided by Mr Jani’s followers, at the age of seven years, he left home in search of spiritual unfoldment. At the age of eleven years he was blessed by a goddess. He claims that since that blessing, he has gained his sustenance from nectar that filters down through a hole in his palate5, and has not passed urine or stools since then.
Mr Jani had explained to his followers, ”I get the elixir of life from the hole in my palate, which enables me to go without food and water”. Almost daily Mr Jani enters a state of Samadhi characterised by extreme bliss and enormous light and strength. He says that he has never experienced medical problems. He says that he did not speak for a period of forty-five years.
A Video of Prahladbhai Jani is also available, for those of you who might be skeptical.
1: the problem is that for soldiers to actually achieve the state that Mr. Jani has achieved, they would have to give up being soldiers.
2: the name “mataji” means “respected mother”… ?
3: Obsolete A specialised skill or profession. trust Indian journalists to use obsolete English…
4: “and astrologers“… ??
5: i learned about this while i was going through the preparation for my 2nd Kriya initiation, but i didn’t give it much thought at the time…