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James Randi Speaks: Powered by Sunlight PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Rich Montalvo   

Summary: A recent study in India by the Defense Research and Development Organization observed a holy man who claims that he has lived for decades without food or water. A team of 30 medics are reported to have been in attendance during a 14 day observation of the man.

Can a person survive on just air? Perhaps, as a professor in the study says, "If he does not derive energy from food and water, he must be doing that from energy sources around him, sunlight being one."

There have been many claimants over the years for the Million Dollar Challenge who say that they have survived for years without ingesting any food or water. When put to the test, they fail.

Original Story:
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/18/20100510/tod-starving-yogi-astounds-indian-scient-451ab4f.html

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written by William, May 13, 2010
I just don't see how one can absorb 8 million joules of energy from the air and sun.
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written by William, May 13, 2010
What's that, like 10kW of power in a day?
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written by dirk, May 13, 2010
Its really interesting that there is no mention of this guy Prahlad Jani or Sudhir Shah on the DRDO website
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written by dirk, May 13, 2010
Should have included this link in the original post http://www.drdo.gov.in/index.html
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written by Willy K, May 13, 2010
I live on sunlight.

Of course it's first converted into nutrients by some handy-dandy photosynthesizing plants and then some critters eat those plants and in turn I grill those tasty critters over charcoal... YUM! smilies/wink.gif
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I saw this on another site and it is worth repeating!
written by Bea, May 13, 2010
James Randi has the worlds most epic eyebrows!!!

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written by MadScientist, May 13, 2010
That's awesome --- worldwide hunger and water supply problems have just been eradicated!
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written by Zoroaster, May 14, 2010
This one bugs me a little bit. Mr. Randi's condescending, satirical attack is justified in terms of media sensationalism but is premature for a study that has not yet been compiled and published. While it's true that the quotes published reflect some absurd speculations, the media tends to embellish and take things out of context so who knows what those researchers were actually saying. I highly doubt that the researchers will claim the man lives without food and water or that they can find a way for others to do so. I would not be surprised, however, to learn that the man does have an unusual metabolism and may have trained his body to endure unusual stress and deprivation through an ascetic lifestyle.

As for the man's claims, yes they are ridiculous, but how are they to be proved or disproved without testing?

By the way, I looked through the 'Log of Applicants' and the 'Challenge Blog' and could only find one claim that was close to Breatharianism and that was a guy whose only claim was that he could go without eating for 96 hours. I would assume that any serious claims would be rejected as they would endanger the subject's health so is the MDC really an option for this guy?

Oh well, at least James brought it back to the media at the end. Media sensationalism is the problem not scientific curiosity, say I.
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Guys . . . it's called
written by Bea, May 14, 2010
Prana . . . google it! smilies/cool.gif
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www.visionfromfeeling.com, Lowly rated comment [Show]
scientificindians.com
written by scientificindians, May 14, 2010
Mr. Randi is 100% correct. As soon as news broke in Indian media, we tried to communicate with those so called "scientists" and they were not willing to reply any of our email. We recently communicated with director of homeopathy research center here in india and you can see full email log at http://www.scientificindians.c...n-is-yours

The neurologist who claimed about getting energy from sunlight is very old woo-woo promoter and you can visit his site at sudhirneuro.org He is a religious nut who's only aim is to promote an indian religion called zainism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism). These people put a mask on their mouth to avoid killing any living being (hands are free for it) without realizing how much bacteria living on/inside their body and how many they are inhaling daily.
Thanks.

Anand
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written by rosie, May 15, 2010
Enhanced sensory experiences
, i.e. hallucinations, are commonly associated with kidney failure and other forms of poisoning of which starvation is one. Many people have reported a "high" from fasting for several days. This does not make it a good idea.
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Fasting is awesome, Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by monstrmac1, May 16, 2010
I haven't eaten in 20 years. Unless you count Burgers, pizza, and ice cream.
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written by Trez, May 17, 2010
"Fasting is awesome"??

I think you're looking for one of the anorexia web-sites instead. Comments like that aren't clever
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This is the educational foundation right . .
written by Bea, May 17, 2010
You have to be really uneducated to compare fasting with anorexia. Fasting for a few days is very good for you. It allows the organs in the body to rest, replenish and rejuvenate. However, you do drink lots of water and herbal teas, juicing is also acceptable.
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Skeptic . . . just one letter away from Septic, Lowly rated comment [Show]
But to be fair
written by Bea, May 17, 2010
I have also met some very polite people on this site who make excellent points presented in an intelligent manner and being an open and curious human being . . . I am open to everyone's opinions as it enables to weigh things with greater understanding of opposing views in my own mind. Knowledge is Power!

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written by TDjazz, May 17, 2010
I just saw the video of the man in question on CNN, and I think I see a Snickers candy bar sticking out of his sleeve. smilies/wink.gif
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written by EdipisReks, May 17, 2010
"It allows the organs in the body to rest, replenish and rejuvenate."

that is simply not how mammal biomechanics work.

"You are what you eat!"

no, you aren't. the human digestive system processes intake into a set form of substances (and voids anything that can't be processed). carrot or rabbit, the original intake does not end up in your arms or legs.

"Many of the major killer pandemics we've been plagued with were acquired from non-human animals. Here are just a few: we got tuberculosis from cattle, influenza from pigs and birds, whooping cough from pigs and dogs, smallpox from cattle, and of course cowpox from cows. Even HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is believed to have been first transmitted to humans through the butchering and consumption of infected chimpanzees. it is our very consumption of animals and their products that has bestowed upon us what "Guns, Germs, and Steel" author Jared Diamond calls the "lethal gifts of livestock." Our abuse of nature comes full-circle and at a heavy price for both the consumer and the consumed. "

your example of HIV is specious, as chimpanzees are not harvested agriculturally.

agriculture has indeed introduced diseases that might otherwise not have plagued our species, but that is more than balanced by the positives that agriculture has introduced. if you think that pre-agricultural humanity was free of disease and suffering you are highly deluded.

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written by Bea, May 17, 2010
agriculture has indeed introduced diseases that might otherwise not have plagued our species, but that is more than balanced by the positives that agriculture has introduced. if you think that pre-agricultural humanity was free of disease and suffering you are highly deluded.

Name the diseases caused by agriculture . . . pesticides maybe . . . but apples and bananas don't cause disease.

And people are going to die period . . . so the deluded ones are those with God complexes who somehow think they are going to stop or abate death. Sorry ain't gonna happen. None of us get out of here alive. Medical Science is a profit motivated drug cartel! But enjoy it . . it's your life. Do what you want.

My body is a Temple not a Tomb!
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Maybe this is similar to the story of Therese Neumann, stigmatist
written by shawntr, May 17, 2010
Wikisource has an "Autobiography of a Yogi" in which Paramahansa Yogananda meets Therese Neumann, a stigmatist.
The yogi meets her and asks her if she really lives on only a consecrated communion wafer.---

"Don't you eat anything?" I wanted to hear the answer from her own lips.

"No, except a consecrated rice-flour wafer, once every morning at six o'clock."

"How large is the wafer?"

"It is paper-thin, the size of a small coin." She added, "I take it for sacramental reasons; if it is unconsecrated, I am unable to swallow it."

"Certainly you could not have lived on that, for twelve whole years?"

"I live by God's light." How simple her reply, how Einsteinian!

"I see you realize that energy flows to your body from the ether, sun, and air."

A swift smile broke over her face. "I am so happy to know you understand how I live."

"Your sacred life is a daily demonstration of the truth uttered by Christ: 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.'" {FN39-3}

Again she showed joy at my explanation. "It is indeed so. One of the reasons I am here on earth today is to prove that man can live by God's invisible light, and not by food only."

"Can you teach others how to live without food?"

She appeared a trifle shocked. "I cannot do that; God does not wish it."
---
There are a few other supernatural claims in this chapter.
The yogi hears his master's voice to return to India in meditation.
Therese is able to bear the diseases of others.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/...Chapter_39
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written by jensfiederer, May 18, 2010
I am even more powerful than this yogi. In fact, I'm ready to take the test.

For a million dollars, I can go for two weeks without BATHING. Which seems to be more than this holy man could do.
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written by pxatkins, May 18, 2010
Name the diseases caused by agriculture . . . pesticides maybe . . . but apples and bananas don't cause disease.


ergotism; alcoholism; various cancers (smoke anyone?); lytico-bodig; etc. Fungii are not plants but are a bona fide agricultural crop and some of them are very naughty.
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written by Caller X, May 18, 2010
@ VisionFromFeeling:

You went 8 days without water? Really? Where? Lyingstan?

It's not that Randi wasn't allowed to investigate. He simply wasn't invited. He uses the word "invited" several times, and seems peeved because he wasn't "invited".
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@pxatkins
written by Bea, May 20, 2010
From Wikipedia "Ergotism is the effect of long-term ergot poisoning, traditionally due to the ingestion of the alkaloids produced by the Claviceps purpurea fungus which infects rye and other cereals, and more recently by the action of a number of ergoline-based drugs.

That is like saying ... water makes you sick. Grain does not make you sick . . . contaminated grain like contaminated water makes you sick.

Alcohol is man made and natural tobacco smoked by Indians for thousands of years does not cause cancer. It is the chemical additives made in labs by scientists that give you cancer.

And yea outside of mushrooms . . not too big on the fungi diet either. Try again!
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Official DIPAS statement
written by Liamo, May 22, 2010
The official DIPAS statement can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/dipasstatement

2 paragraphs of interest:

-During the above observation period Shri Prahlad Jani has not consumed anything and has not passed stool. The only contact with any form of fluid was during gargling and bathing periodically during the study beginning from 5th day of study.

[emphasis mine]

-The study could not have been possible without the utmost voluntary cooperation for each part of the protocol by Shri Prahlad Jani, his brother who was a genetic control in the study and his followers who ensured smooth conduct of the study.

So his brothers and followers probably had access to him.
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This stuff never ends...
written by ws1o, May 24, 2010
This is just a couple of laws of physics away from being fascinating.
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Personally...
written by ws1o, May 24, 2010
I've tried this a few times, not quite voluntarily (it's sometimes known as the Mafunzalo Diet). Had a dandy clean colon. Nice low blood sugar, Sluggish metabolism. Achy tummy. Didn't like it a bit.
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Amazing
written by veeRoods, May 31, 2010
You must admit he really does make a LOT of sense.

Lou
www.anon-posting.at.tc
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