In the name of peace and God: a Hindu holds his hand up since 1973Pictolic
Indian Sadhu (saint, ascetic) Amar Bharti has been holding his hand up for 48 years. Before he embarked on the spiritual path, his name was Mahant Amar Bharti Ji and he was an ordinary clerk in New Delhi. In 1973, he raised his hand above his head in honor of Lord Shiva and never lowered it, despite the pain and deformity.
After so many years, the ascetic's hand has turned into useless bones, covered with skin, with thick and spiraled nails (because no one cut them). The arm completely atrophied and froze in an unnatural, almost vertical position.
Before becoming a sadhu, Amar Bharati was an ordinary representative of the Indian middle class, he had a job and a family. But one morning he realized that all this did not matter, he gave up everything and devoted his life to the service of the Hindu god Shiva.
Three years later, in 1973, he realized that he was still connected with worldly temptations, and decided to cut himself off from them, keeping his hand raised.
Some sources claim that Amar Bharati was very hurt because of the wars and strife around the world, and he decided to raise his hand up for the sake of peace. Despite his worldly past, Sadhu Amar Bharati is highly revered during the rituals of the Kumbha mela mass pilgrimage in the city of Haridwar.
The Maha-kumbha mela in Haridwar is one of the largest religious mass events in the world. Amar Bharati also inspired other sadhus to raise their hands for peace and harmony. Some of them have been holding their hands up for 7, 13 and even 25 years.
In one of the interviews, Sadhu Amar Bharati said that his spiritual discourse focuses on the bitterness and strife in the modern world, on how people destroy their neighbors, and that the most important thing is to live in peace and harmony.
When asked if his raised arm hurts, Amar replies that it hurt, but he got used to it. Like most ascetics, he did not want to talk about life before he made his vow.
Amar Bharati explains that he is doing the same thing that many saints have done before him, and that he is simply continuing the tradition. In India, this is called "urdhaman tapasya" and means a type of service when an ascetic dedicates a part of his body to God.
Although there is no documentary evidence that Amar Bharati held his hand up for 48 years, it is known that Indian sadhus perform unusual tasks in the name of faith, such as sleeping standing up or fasting for a long time. In India, there is a saint Prahlad Jani, who has not eaten or drunk anything for 70 years. His case has been checked and documented by doctors.