Saturday, May 1, 2010

The man with no appetite

An Indian yogi named Prahlad Jani has been in the news recently due to his claim of not having any food or water for seven decades.  Here's an excerpt from an article on Fox News:
Indian doctors are studying an 83-year-old holy man who claims to have spent the last seven decades without food and water.
Military doctors hope the experiments on Prahlad Jani can help soldiers develop their survival strategies.
The long-haired and bearded yogi is under 24-hour observation by a team of 30 specialists during three weeks of tests at a hospital in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad.
I thought I remembered hearing about this yogi before, so I looked up some more information on him and found a BBC article about him from 2003.  Jani is also mentioned in a Wikipedia entry about inedia, which is apparently what the alleged ability to live without food is called (although the entry states that the word "inedia" simply means "fasting" in Latin).

Some people think Jani is a fraud, but according to the news articles I've found, the physicians have not seen him eat, drink, or use a toilet.  If he is a fraud, he's a good one.  If he is legit, then he is a pretty unique guy.

I'm not sure if should be amazed or if I should feel sorry for him....he's missing out on some good stuff!


  1. I gotta say, I would never have become such a good cook being married to him, but I find it extremely unlikely he's legit, other than he could go for periods of time, but not 7 decades. Just to run the body--even if you lie still--you have to burn calories (basal metabolic rate) and in order to maintain electrolytes for electrical activity you have to have water. So, he might go for a period of time, but not decades. Yeah, I'm in the medical field, it shows, huh?

  2.'s hard to believe someone could go seven decades without food or water. One thing the BBC article noted though was that the physicians studying him several years ago said at one point it appeared that some urine had formed in his bladder, but the urine was just re-absorbed by the bladder walls. How strange is that? Even if he isn't totally legit, they may still be able to learn something from him because he, at the very least, has a very high tolerance for lengthy fasts.

  3. I think I feel sorry for him... Food is half the reason I get up in the morning.

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