Indian Man Keeps his Arm Raised for 38 Years in Devotion to Shiva deity.
This is a story about an Indian Sadhu who kept his hand raised for 38 years, in devotion to Lord Shiva. The story refers to Sadhu Amar Bharati.
Story of Sadhu Amar Bharati
Sadhu Amar Bharati says that before becoming sadhu, he was Mahant Amar Bharti Ji, a clerk from New Delhi. He raised his right arm above his head in 1973 — in honor of Lord Shiva. It is said that the Sadhu continues to keep his hand raised ever since. Despite pain and deformation, he has been holding it up since 38 years.
According to an April 2011 article on OddityCentral.com , Sadhu Amar Bharati, after 38 years of raising, his hand is just a useless piece of skin and bone with thick and twisted nails (that are not clipped). His arm is completely atrophied and stuck in an unusual, semi-vertical position. Before becoming a Sadhu, Amar Bharati was a normal middle-class Indian with a job and family. But one morning in 1970, he realized none of it mattered. He gave up everything and dedicated his life to serving the Hindu god Shiva. After three years, in 1973, Amar Bharti realized he was still connected to worldly pleasures. So, he decided to separate himself from them by keeping his right arm raised.
At the ‘Kumbh Mela’
Other sources claim, Amar Bharati felt disillusioned by all the fighting going on in the world, and decided to raise his right arm for the sake of peace. His past aside, Sadhu Amar Bharati is in fact respected at the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar. The Maha Kumbh Mela in Haridwar is considered as the largest peaceful religious gathering of world. Amar Bharati has also inspired other Sadhus to raise their arms for peace and harmony; some of whom are reportedly doing it for seven, thirteen, and even 25 years.
Sadhu Amar Bharati Interviews
In a 2010 interview with Rediff.com, Sadhu Amar Bharati Urdhavaahu said that his spirited discourse is to address the bitterness and strife in today’s world, and how humans are destroying fellow humans. He urges humanity that it is crucial to live in peace and harmony. When asked if his raised arm does not pain, Sadhu Amar Bharati said that it used to pain, but he got used to it. Like most saints, he wasn’t willing to talk about his purvashram, i.e. the life before he took sanyas. As the Rediff reporters leave at the end of the interview, the Sadhu says, “I want all Indians to live in peace. I want the whole world to live in peace“.
In another interview in 2010, reported by News.OneIndia.in, Sadhu Amar Bharati explains what he is doing is a type of penance that was done in the past by various sages, and that he is just carrying forward that tradition:
“This is known as Oordhaman Tapasya (a type of penance where you devote a part of your body to the Almighty). It is something, which the saints have been doing for long; I am just continuing the tradition. It is not essential that it has timing.”
Other Types of Penance
Although there is no documented proof that the Indian Sadhu Amar Bharati has kept his hand raised since 38 years, Indian Sadhus do perform unusual tasks in the name of religion, like sleeping in an up-right position, or fasting for long periods of time. Prahlad Jani is a Holy man in India who claims he didn’t eat or drink anything for 70 years. His case is tested and documented by doctors.
Hoax or Fact: