Yogi Prahlad Jani alias Chunriwala Mataji passed away in District Gandhinagar of Gujarat yesterday. He was 90.
Breatharian Yogi Jani, who claimed to have survived without food or water for more than 70 years, died at his native village Charada, his disciples said.
Popularly known as Chunriwala Mataji, the yogi had a mass following in Gujarat. Jani used to say that Goddess Amba was taking care of him and he did not require food or water to survive.
Being a devout believer of goddess Amba, the yogi used to wear a red sari (chunri) all the time and dress like a woman because of which he was known as Chunriwala Mataji.
Yogi Jani’s body has been kept at his humble ashram-cum-cave located near Ambaji temple in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district. The body will be kept there for two days for last darshan and the mystic will be given samadhi on Thursday.
“Mataji was shifted to Charada few days back after he expressed his will to spend some time at his native place. He breathed his last early today morning. His body will be kept at his ashram for two days to enable his devotees to pay homage. He will be given ‘samadhi’ at his ashram on Thursday,” his disciples said in a statement.
Jani spent 76 years of his life without consuming food or water, his disciples say. Jani had left his parent’s house at a very young age in pursuit of ”spiritual experience”. His followers say that he had stopped taking food and water at the age of 14.
Jani made a small cave located near Ambaji temple his home at a young age and subsequently gained popularity as a Yogi who survived only on air.
In 2010, scientists and doctors associated with the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS) — under the Defence Research and Development Organisation — had conducted a 15-day observational study on Jani to find out how he was living without food or water.
The DIPAS later stated that Jani had “some extreme form of adaptation to starvation and water restrictions”.
That a man could survive without food or water was always a matter of curiosity for scientists who tested him in 2003 and 2010.
In 2010, scientists and doctors DIPAS carried out an observational study for a fortnight on the mystic to unravel the mystery behind his claim of surviving without food or water.
The DIPAS had said after the study that Jani had “some extreme form of adaptation to starvation and water restrictions”.