T Nation

No Water for 72 Years




70 years without eating? 'Starving yogi' says it's true
Posted on Monday, May 10, 2010 7:00 PM PT
By Brian Alexander

Prahlad Jani, an 82-year-old Indian yogi, is making headlines by claims that for the past 70 years he has had nothing -- not one calorie -- to eat and not one drop of liquid to drink. To test his claims, Indian military doctors put him under round-the-clock observation during a two-week hospital stay that ended last week, news reports say. During that time he didnâ??t ingest any food or water â?? and remained perfectly healthy, the researchers said.

But thatâ??s simply impossible, said Dr. Michael Van Rooyen an emergency physician at Harvardâ??s Brigham and Womenâ??s Hospital, an associate professor at the medical school, and the director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative â?? which focuses on aid to displaced populations who lack food and water.

Van Rooyen says that depending on climate conditions like temperature and humidity, a human could survive five or six days without water, maybe a day or two longer in extraordinary circumstances. We can go much longer without food â?? even up to three months if that person is taking liquids fortified with vitamins and electrolytes.

Bobby Sands, an Irish Republican convicted of firearms possession and imprisoned by the British, died in 1981 on the 66th day of his hunger strike. Gandhi was also known to go long stretches without food, including a 21-day hunger strike in 1932.

Jani, dubbed "the starving yogi" by some, did have limited contact with water while gargling and periodically bathing, reported the news wire service AFP. While researchers said they measured what he spit out, Van Rooyen said he's clearly getting fluid somehow.

"You can hold a lot of water in those yogi beards. A sneaky yogi for certain," he said. "He MUST take in water. The human body cannot survive without it." The effects of food and water deprivation are profound, Van Rooyen explained. â??Ultimately, instead of metabolizing sugar and glycogen [the bodyâ??s energy sources] you start to metabolize fat and then cause muscle breakdown. Without food, your body chemistry changes. Profoundly malnourished people autodigest, they consume their own bodyâ??s resources. You get liver failure, tachycardia, heart strain. You fall apart.â??

The yogi, though, would already be dead from lack of hydration. If he really went without any liquids at all, his cardiovascular system would have collapsed. â??You lose about a liter or two of water per day just by breathing,â?? Van Rooyen said. You donâ??t have to sweat, which the yogi claims he never does. That water loss results in thicker blood and a drop in blood pressure.

â??You go from being a grape to a raisin,â?? Van Rooyen said and if you didnâ??t have a heart attack first, youâ??d die of kidney failure.


If he was under observation for two whole weeks and ate nothing yet seemed fine, what are they talking about? Wasn't THAT the test? How good was their observation if they still think he snuck water in?


Just because a thing can't be explained does not mean it is not true.


Many people have questioned the reults because the study was conducted by Indian doctors.


Another link to another story, this one from Fauxnews.


So would this mean his digestive track is like a vampires heart. Prune like? hmmmmmmmmmmmm


From the article:

Soldiers won't be able to meditate?

Our understanding of our own bodies is extremely young so I don't understand the stance some of the docs are taking on this. If he is cheating, why can't they see this during all of this observation? If he isn't cheating, maybe the soldiers need to learn some fucking meditation.


I was just thinking that X. Why can't the soldiers meditate? Might pass the time better than clearing and cleaning their weapons over and over and over.


Or, maybe, just maybe, the human mind is extremely powerful. We accept that tiny mothers can lift cars off of their off spring if under enough pressure but we can't accept tiny little Indian guys not needing to eat much at all.

This could all be a hoax, but I for one would study this real well before simply jumping to that conclusion.


Van Rooyen was successfully trolled irl.


All the crazy shit happens in India.



Could you be more vague?


Am I the only one wondering if this would help on a bulk?


^a bulk?


interesting review from the Skeptic's Newsletter # 34 (http://www.skepdic.com/news/newsletter34.html):
"Gullibility of the week award

Duncan Gill referred us to an article in The Australian about a man in India who claims he hasn't eaten or taken a drink in 68 years, a veritable inediate. Prahlad Jani also claims he hasn't gone to the bathroom in all those years. The story claims that Mr. Jani (whose name means Lying Through My Holy Palate) was put under round-the-clock surveillance at a hospital. Neurologist Sudhir Shah (whose name means I Am Too Smart to Be Fooled) said Jani was under watch for 10 days with a closed-circuit camera running and they didn't see him eat or drink anything or go to the bathroom.

The story was sent to The Australian by "correspondents in Ahmedabad, India" Ahmedabad means City of the Credulous and is the commercial capital of the western state of Gujarat (which means Gotcha!). When The Australian was contacted and asked if they had verified their sources' claims, they replied: "No. Why do you ask? It could be true, you know." Skeptics accuse Jani of surreptitiously sucking in prana through his nose ring.

The award must be shared with the BBC, CNN, Der Spiegel, China Daily, and the Hindustan Times. All report that Jani says he survives without food or water because of a hole in his palate and that his followers call him "mataji" or goddess. He also says he has lived in caves since he was eight, so how he attracted a following is not known, nor is it clear how a man who lives in caves and doesn't eat grew in size from a child to an adult as if he were an eater."


That wasn't very interesting. All that basically said was that they don't believe him. I am waiting on someone showing footage of him eating a ham sandwich.

Either India's camera surveillance skills are REALLY subpar, or the man went ten whole days with no food and water.


Watch your mouth boy.


those translated names were a joke. read the second half of the article.


I would like to know how much he willing to let doctors(indian then foreign) test him. As long as this continues I'm sure they are going to want to test a million different things. Interesting he decided to wait 72 years before letting anyone know.

This doctor sounds like an idiot.


I call bullshit.