Have you heard of any saints of India recently?
Prahlad Jani is an Indian 81 year old sadhu who has claimed to have lived without food and water for the last 70 years. His ability to live without food and water was investigated by doctors at Sterling Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat in 2003 and 2010. The research team reported that he did not consume any food or water during this time, although they could not comment on his claim of having been able to survive in this way for 70 years. The study concluded that Prahlad Jani lived healthily without either food or water, and had passed no urine or stool, with no need for dialysis.
Interviews with the researchers speak of strict observation and relate that round-the-clock observation was ensured by multiple CCTV cameras. Jani was reportedly subjected to multiple medical tests. Jani's only contact with any form of fluid was during gargling and bathing, and the doctors said they measured the fluid that Jani spat out.
The case has attracted criticism, both after 2003 tests and after the recent 2010 tests. Sanal Edamaruku, president of the Indian Rationalist Association, criticized the 2010 experiment for allowing Jani to move out of a certain CCTV camera's field of view, meet devotees and leave the sealed test room to sunbathe. Edamaruku stated that the regular gargling and bathing activities were not sufficiently monitored, and accused Jani of having had some "influential protectors" who denied Edamaruku permission to inspect the project during its operation.
Doctors have not found any adverse effects in his body from hunger or dehydration. They think that yoga exercises may have caused Jani’s body to undergo a biological transformation. The researchers said tests found that his brain is equivalent to that of a 25-year-old.
To assure researchers of no possible intake of water, Prahlad Jani agreed he would not bathe during the medical investigation. Prahlad Jani was permitted a small measured quantity of water to use as a mouthwash. He then spat the water into a beaker to verify that none had been drunk. An ultrasound, which was made of Mr. Jani's bladder twice daily, indicated that there was urine accumulation, which subsequently decreased on its own without passing.