It's no fast-unto-death, it's no hunger strike. But a septuagenarian sadhu's apparently simple decision to switch off food since the age of ten after being "blessed by the Goddess" that has left scientists perplexed.
Prahllad Jani, the 76-year-old 'sadhu' from the pilgrim town of Ambaji in north Gujarat, has scientifically proved that he neither ate nor drank anything for the past 66 years.
Jani claims that he has managed to fight hunger and thirst after he was blessed by "Mataji" (Ambaji deity) at the age of 10 years.
The medical fraternity did not believe it prima facie, but after a close 10-day observation, including sonography twice a day, at the Neuro ICCU of Sterling Hospital, medicos had to admit that Jani has the ability to survive without food and water.
Hospital authorities confirmed that Jani not only refrained intake through mouth or any other route but he also did not excrete, while under observation.
"No doubt, his bladder produced 400 ml urine during the day, but the next day it was absorbed by the bladder itself", Dinesh Desai, a doctor at the Sterling Hospital said.
"Mataji blessed me at the age of 10 with energy in the form of 'Amrut' from my upper jaw to sustain me and since then I have never felt the need for food nor water nor have I fallen ill," Jani claimed.
"I will continue to live like this till she commands," he added.
"Though no normal person can continue without passing stool or urine for more than seven days, Jani is absolutely normal and shows the same physiological process like any other person. He is fit and fine," Dr VN Shah, a member of the Association of Physicians of Ahmedabad (APA), said.
The panel formed by APA, which took it upon itself to verify the authenticity of Jani's claim to observe him included a physician, cardiologist, neurologist, neurosurgeon, gastoenterologist, diabetologist and an ENT surgeon.
The Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), New Delhi would be conducting further research on him, Shah added.
Jani has now been discharged from the hospital but doctors intend to keep a track of him as this could result into new findings.