The realms of faith and spirituality begin where science ends -- at least that's what they say. However, today's medical experts want to turn this cliché upside down, it seems.
A team of 30 experts are to conduct a series of rigorous medical tests at Sterling Hospital to unearth the truth about the biological transformation that Prahlad Jani, a yogi claiming to have survived without food and water for the last 65 years, has undergone due to a spiritual experience.
Jani, who had been put under a similar 10-day medical 'trial' in 2003, has willingly accepted to co-operate again, for a 15-day analysis. A series of physical study tests, MRIs, EEG, ECG, aura study, blood studies and neuro-physiological studies will be conducted during these analyses. Dr. Sudhir Shah, an eminent neurologist, scientists from Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS) and physician and diabetologist Dr. Urman Dhruv, are conducting this observational study in collaboration with Sristi and government of Gujarat.
Dr. Shah, who heads the team of 25 doctors from Sterling Hospital, said, "In 2003, we had authenticated Jani's claims and had also observed that his biological parameters mysteriously remained normal. This time, we have planned to go beyond a mere rectification. A detailed research which includes a strict protocol of various tests is to be conducted within 15 days to understand if there is a specific biological transformation that has occurred within Jani's system due to prolonged fasting."
According to Shah, for the past 108 hours Jani has neither passed urine nor stool, nor has he consumed water or food. "And still, at the age of 83, he is active enough to use the staircase," added Shah, who said that this itself is a unique phenomenon which does not have any medical explanation.
Dr G Ilavazahagan, director, DIPAS, said, "The exercise of taking this yogi under a medical scanner is to understand which energy supports his existence, if not food or water. And if at the end of three months by which we plan to come out with observations based on this 15-day check up, we are able to reach to an explanation of this hypothesis - it would tremendously benefit mankind. The observations derived from this case study can help many soldiers, victims of calamities and astronauts - who often have to survive without food or water for long spells."
The analysis of Jani's biological transformation can bridge the divide between science, biology and spirituality, say experts. Dr. Urman Dhruv, a physician, said, "We are collecting data on a person who has lived on an alternative pathway compared to an ordinary person. The comparative study of his reports of the tests conducted in 2003 and results of the recent and on-going tests would throw light on the process of aging in Jani's body - which seems to have undergone some type of genetic transformation."