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Prahlad Jani: The Man Who Lived Without Food or Water for 80 years

Updated on August 26, 2020
Readmikenow profile image

Readmikenow enjoys writing about unique and interesting people. He likes to learn about individuals who live or have lived unusual lives.

Prahlad Jani
Prahlad Jani

He was born in the Charada village, which is currently located in Gujarat, India, in 1929. Prahlad Jani was seven years old when he left his home and decided to go and live in the jungle. According to Jani, he was 12 when he had a deeply spiritual experience. It resulted in him becoming a follower of Amba, a Hindu goddess. He then decided to wear the clothes of a female Amba devotee. He would wear a red flower in his shoulder-length hair, a red garment that appeared to be a sari as well as jewelry. During this time, he was often referred to as Mataji or the great mother.

No Food or Water

Jani came to believe the Goddess Amba gave him water. This water went down through a hole in his palate. Jani believes this enabled him to live without food or water. In the 1970s, Jani began living in the forest of Gujarat in a cave. He lived as a hermit. Initially, there was no way to confirm Jani's claim of living without food and water. Physicians know a normal person is unable to go without food or water for an extended time. Should such a thing occur, a person's body will experience organ damage and their body will begin breaking down. Jani's claim of being able to survive for decades with no food or water attracted the interest of the medical community in India.

Dr. Sudhir Shah
Dr. Sudhir Shah

Scientific Testing

There were two observational studies conducted in 2003 and 2010 of Jani. These studies were conducted at Sterling Hospital in Ahmedabad, India by a neurologist named Dr. Sudhir Shah. In each of the studies, Dr. Shah was able to confirm that Jani was able to be healthy without having food or water during the entire period of the study. A spokesperson for the team involved in the study said their findings would be kept confidential until all the possible results had been established. Other physicians not involved with the study have questioned the validity of the research conducted.

Prahlad Jani being examined
Prahlad Jani being examined

2003 Study

During this time, Jani was observed for a 10-day period and remained in a sealed room. The physicians involved in the study said that Jani passed no stool or urine during this entire time. They did observe that urine did seem to be forming in Jani's bladder. Others involved in the study claimed that in all other ways Jani was physically normal. Physicians did state there was a hole in Jani's palate and that it was in an abnormal condition. Results of the 10-day study period showed Jani's weight decreased only slightly. This has led some to claim this makes it doubtful Jani could go without food or water indefinitely.

2010 Study

This time the Indian Defense Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS) provided 35 researchers to help observe Jani. Dr. Sudhir Shah and other organizations also participated in the study. The Indian military believed the results of the study could benefit mankind. If there is a way victims of disasters, astronauts, or even soldiers could go without food or water for long periods, it could save their lives when experiencing difficult situations.

It was obvious that Jani's skill with yoga enabled him to control the physiological functions of his body. A team regularly observed Jani. Clinical examinations, as well as scans of his body and blood tests, were done daily. Jani was observed 24 hours a day with CCTV camera surveillance as well as personal observations. Those involved in the study took Jani out of the sealed room for certain testing as well as exposure to the sun. His only contact with liquids was during his periodic bathing and daily gargling. This was done under constant video recording.

Prahlad Jani under observation in hospital
Prahlad Jani under observation in hospital

After 15 Days

Upon the completion of the 15th day of observation, Jani had not eaten or drunk anything. He never went to the bathroom. Results of all the medical tests performed on Jani showed he was normal. Researchers reported the level of liquid contained in Jani's bladder would fluctuate. They agreed it seemed as if Jani could generate urine in his bladder, but he never passed any urine. Researchers measured Jani's two appetite-related hormones, ghrelin, and leptin. They believe it is possible he may have had some advanced ability to deal with water restriction and starvation.

Brain Imaging Study

In 2017, a team of researchers conducted an imaging study of Jani. After collecting images of Jani's brain, the Pituitary, and the Pineal gland were measured. The results showed the size of these glands in Jani was the same as that of a 10-year-old boy. The study results have been published in scientific journals.

Poster for Austrian Documentary "In the Beginning There was Light".
Poster for Austrian Documentary "In the Beginning There was Light".

Documentaries

A documentary called The Boy with Divine Powers was aired in 2006. It featured an interview with Jani and Dr. Shah. The Independent Television Network (ITN) in 2010 had an article and video featuring Jani that covered the testing done on him in 2010. An Austrian documentary featuring Jani was released in 2010 and was called In the Beginning There was Light.

Death

Prahlad Jani died on May 26, 2020, in Charada, India due to old age. He was 90 years old. It is acknowledged that Jani spent his life performing a daily routine of mediation and yoga. Dr. Shah told reporters they could not determine how he survived. It will remain a mystery as to what type of phenomenon kept Jani alive for so long without him taking any sustenance.

Skeptics

Many skeptics point to the fact that the study conducted by India's Defense organization DIPAS was never submitted for peer review or published.

Sanal Edamaruku is the founder and president of Rationalist International. He said the experiments were a farce. He claims Jani was able to move out of camera view. Jani also received devotees and could leave the sealed test room to do sunbathing. Edamaruku also believes Jani's bathing and gargling were not properly monitored.

Many people in the scientific community point to the biological law that no animal or human has the ability to survive without the regular intake of water and food.

© 2020 Readmikenow

Comments

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    • Ken Burgess profile image

      Ken Burgess 

      10 months ago from Florida

      T

      That is what will make it an interesting topic to learn more about.

      In extreme conditions, or meditative conditions, it is well known that people can survive two weeks without food and water.

      I also have done some research on the healing factors of fasting for 3 days or longer, how the body changes drastically in what hormones it produces and how many organs work. Its a great way to purge toxins and other hostile elements within us.

      So who knows what I will learn about.

    • profile image

      10 months ago

      But Ken, are highly criticized studies that are not peer reviewed Science? Just how committed to science can a country where 79.8% of the population practices Hinduism, 14.2% adheres to Islam, 2.3% adheres to Christianity, 1.7% adheres to Sikhism, 0.7% adheres to Buddhism and 0.4% adheres to Jainism?

      No one can exist for 70+ years without food or water. That is a scientific fact that nothing related to anything about Jani’s life can refute.

    • Readmikenow profile imageAUTHOR

      Readmikenow 

      11 months ago

      Ken, thanks. I find it fascinating that science can't identify exactly what is happening with him.

    • Ken Burgess profile image

      Ken Burgess 

      11 months ago from Florida

      Another great article Mike, very interesting, Jani is the articles focus but there are others like him, this will be a fascinating topic to learn more about.

    • Readmikenow profile imageAUTHOR

      Readmikenow 

      11 months ago

      Cheryl, thanks.

    • Cheryl E Preston profile image

      Cheryl E Preston 

      11 months ago from Roanoke

      This is very fascinating Information. Thank you for sharing.

    • Readmikenow profile imageAUTHOR

      Readmikenow 

      11 months ago

      Flourish, thanks. Non-Indian authorities were going to test him, but he died before that could happen. I wonder if that would have made a difference? I don't know.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      11 months ago from USA

      It would seem that if he were genuine he’d welcome non-Indian medical authenticators as well. I think something was up.

    • Readmikenow profile imageAUTHOR

      Readmikenow 

      11 months ago

      Fran, thanks. I agree. I do respect his willingness to let scientists examine him.

      MG, thanks. I think the scientists involved were a bit amazed at what they discovered.

    • powers41 profile image

      fran rooks 

      11 months ago from Toledo, Ohio

      Wow! How is it possible Jani could survive so long without food/water. But, I believe strange things are always possible. Interesting article.

    • emge profile image

      MG Singh emge 

      11 months ago from Singapore

      I have read about this individual. ˜The fact remains that no medical specialist from outside India was incorporated in research, so whatever the findings published need to be taken with a pinch of salt. Nice article highlighting something unusual

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