Making sure the intake of daily meals and thirst-quenching drinks is something we all do. It’s hard to imagine a life without food for even a day, let alone decades. But the story of Prahlad Jani is quite something. The story of this 90-year-old Indian yogi challenges the very limits of what we thought was possible for the human body. Prahlad Jani unfortunately passed away on May 26, 2020, at the age of 90 years.
‘I am fit and strong today and even the doctors agree. They ran every test possible for 15 days and proved that I do not need food to keep me strong. I am strong and healthy, because it is the way God wants me to be.’Prahlad Jani
No Food or Water Since World War II
For over 70 years, Prahlad Jani claims to have stayed without a bit of food or a drop of water passing his lips. His story sounds like something out of a mystical legend. However, it’s a claim that has fascinated medical experts as well as skeptics.
Jani’s journey into this extreme form of fasting began during the early years of World War II. He admits that he can’t recall the exact nature of his last meal, as it happened so long ago. But what’s truly amazing is that he insisted he had not consumed any food or water since then.
This is in stark contrast to what medical science tells us. Humans are thought to survive only a few days without water and a couple of months at most without food. Yet, Prahlad Jani remained well alive in his years. Surprisingly, in great health too.
He spoke of his ability to walk long distances through the jungle without breaking a sweat or feeling tired. Meditation sessions lasting for hours, and even months, are part of his routine. But how can this be possible?
Experts To Investigate
To put Jani’s claims to the test, Indian military doctors conducted two observational studies, one in 2003 and another in 2010. Both were under the supervision of Dr. Sudhir Shah. During these periods, Jani was placed under strict observation, where he did not ingest any food or water. Astonishingly, he displayed no ill effects during these studies, defying what we know about the human body’s need for sustenance.
In 2017, a separate brain imaging study conducted by the IIT Madras team added another layer to this intriguing mystery. The results showed that the size of Jani’s Pineal and Pituitary glands resembled those of a 10-year-old boy, raising further questions about how his body functions without sustenance.
‘Clinical, biochemical, radiological and other relevant examinations were done on Prahlad Jani and all reports were within the safe range throughout the study. He is healthy, his mind is sharp. What is truly astonishing, and something we have no explanation for, is that he has not passed stools or urine. To my knowledge, that is medically unprecedented.’Biologist Dr Ilavashagn, director of the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS)
However, these claims and studies have not come without their fair share of skepticism. Many experts, including nutritionists and skeptics, have voiced doubts about the validity of Jani’s story. They argue that even a day without food can be dangerous, let alone 70 years. They’ve also questioned the rigor of the studies. Some experts suggest that Jani might have had access to food and water during the observation periods.
Despite the controversies surrounding his claims, Prahlad Jani has expressed a willingness to cooperate with further investigations, and scientists from various countries have offered to conduct additional research.
The story of Prahlad Jani is a baffling one that challenges our understanding of human biology. While his claims are met with skepticism, they cannot be easily dismissed.
Whether he is a true anomaly or there’s a hidden aspect of his survival that science has yet to grasp remains a mystery. But one thing is for sure, Prahlad Jani’s story is a testament to the incredible complexity of the human body and the many secrets it still holds.