Breatharianism: The Science Behind Sustenance Without Food


Guest Writer | HumansAreFree

Breathariansim refers to the practice of sustaining oneself without the need for food. This concept is not new; in fact, for thousands of years, various cultures around the world have written of this ability.

In the third book of the Yoga Sutras, for example, approximately twenty-five siddhis are listed as having extraordinary abilities.

This is a common theme throughout Buddhism, and various other spiritual traditions as well. Clairvoyance, psychokinesis, and many more are all special traits attributed to the siddhis, as is the liberation from hunger and thirst.

Though modern day science has seen evidence of extended human capacities like telepathy, remote viewing, and pre-cognition, very little work has gone into examining breatharianism. Some brilliant minds do believe it’s possible, however, including Nikola Tesla.
In 1901, he made the following argument:

“My idea is that the development of life must lead to forms of existence that will be possible without nourishment and which will not be shackled by consequent limitations.

“Why should a living being not be able to obtain all the energy it needs for the performance of its life functions from the environment, instead of through consumption of food, and transforming, by a complicated process, the energy of chemical combinations into life-sustaining energy?” (source)

Liberation from food and hunger does indeed sound unrealistic and, from what we know of modern day biology, impossible.

But the history of science has shown us many times that the impossible can become the possible in an instant. A great example of this is the recent discovery that humans can actually influence their autonomic immune system using the power of the mind.

Let’s take a look at what happened when people who claimed that they don’t eat were examined by science.


The Qigong practice of Bigu, and Qigong practices examined by science have yielded some extraordinary results.

A study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, as seen in the the US National Library of Medicine, demonstrated that a woman with special abilities was and is able to accelerate the germination of specific seeds for the purposes of developing a more robust seed stock.

This is one example of many; you can find the study and read more about it here.

The Catholic Charism of India also involves the claim of living well without eating food. Dean Radin, Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, explains the concept in his book Supernormal: Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities:

“The implication is that the human body can transmute ambient energy into nutrients, and through the practice of cultivating this ability one can live comfortably for as long as one wishes without food, and possibly without drinking water. This is described as a siddhi in the Yoga Sutras as Pada 111.30: liberation from hunger and thirst.

“This flies in the face of a substantial body of medical knowledge, which has established that the human body can last about five days without water, and a few weeks at most without food. Beyond that, you’re dead.

“As a result, despite a host of historical examples of people lasting for years without eating, and sometimes without drinking, most nutritionists and biochemists regard such claims to be ridiculously impossible, and the people who make the claims—currently dozens to hundreds worldwide — to be seriously delusional. Some of those claimants may well be delusional. But all of them?”

Prahlad Jani

Prahlad Jani is a local of Ahmedabad, India, who claims that at the age of 11, the Hindu goddess Amba appeared to him and told him that he would no longer have to eat food.

He has apparently lived in a cave since the 1970s, and claims not to have eaten anything for most of his 81 years (as of 2012).

Jani was tested in 2003 and in 2010 at Ahmedabad’s Sterling Hospital by Dr. Sudhir Shah and his large team of doctors. Dr. Shah is a consultant neurologist who has been practicing for 20 years, as well as a professor and department head of neurology at KM School of PG Medicine and Research.

During the first test, which took place in 2003, Jani was monitored 24/7 by hospital staff and video cameras, where it was confirmed that Jani neither ate nor drank.

He also did not show any physiological changes which, according to modern day medicine, should be impossible.

This test took place over a 10 day period. Although it might not seem like a significant amount of time, to go 10 days without food and water and not experience any physiological changes is actually quite astounding.

He was tested again at Sterling Hospital in 2010 from April 22nd to May 6th. This time, he was observed by thirty-five researchers from the Indian Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences, among other organizations.

This time, Jani was observed to not eat or drink for two weeks. As with the previous test, he exhibited no deleterious effects from this abstention.

This truly is unbelievable, and goes against everything we know about both human physiology and the nutritional requirements of the body.

As one might expect, neither these tests nor their results were published in medical journals.  The studies have also generated a lot of criticism. The main arguments against these tests were, however, quite weak in my opinion.

One argument holds that Jani escaped the scrutiny of the hospital staff and video cameras with the assistance of his disciples, and that he did in fact eat/drink something.

Yet hospital staff maintains this is impossible because he was monitored around the clock, as per the requirements of the study.

Even with these criticisms, the evidence is solid and appears to correspond with a known siddhi.

A statement from a scientific group (which included the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences) given to ABC News back in 2012 reads as follows:

“We realized that, if this whole phenomenon really exists in a human being even for 15 days, it would have immense application in unraveling secrets of medical science and its application for human welfare.

“Instead of ignoring this case, we selected to investigate further, in a rational and scientific way. We again make it clear that the purpose of this study was not to prove or disprove a person, but to explore a possibility in science and study a new phenomenon.” (source)

It’s an interesting case, isn’t it?

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

64 Reader Comments

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

  1.' Josephr Estopellhan says:

    No comments ?

  2.' Carolyn Alvarez says:


  3.' Bevin Armstrong says:


  4.' Nelson Bravo says:

    Estefania Ramirez

  5.' Scott Haynes says:

    Yes for months… No food for days then as necessary vitamin pull supplements still no good for more days then some honey but no food. I actually felt better during my 2 years of fast than I do eating meals. I had twice the energy and output of work as those around me. I never are breakfast. I only are vitamins at lunch and no dinner…

  6.' Katie B says:

    I love food too much. How do you think I keep this figure 😉

  7.' Natanja Richter says:

    Depending on how you describe a “breatharian”, there are more among you than you think. There are already a lot people out there living without the need of food. And it’s a great life full of energy and in balance.

    •' Charles Mongillo says:

      How are you describing a “bretharian” for the people able to do it? Is it like re-defining food to mean something like carrots and beets only?

    •' Mark Raetzer says:

      So, where is their nutritional sustenance coming from?? Why does every single animal we can observe, eat all the time, and not just breathe air?

    •' Natanja Richter says:

      There are breatharians, that are real breatharians since they only need prana, qi, chi, ambrosia,… whatever you want to call the energy of life. And there are those who drink – like water, tee, deluted juices – that is what the difference is. Those who only need to drink, there are already many all over the world.
      And I just answered the second question: their nutritional sustenance is prana. Prana is everywhere. Plants take prana in and then you eat plants – or animals that ate plants and so on.
      Yes it IS unbelievable, but there is nothing more you need than prana, since everything is already in it.
      And there are a lot advantages about a life like that: more energy, longer concentration, more balance, less sleep, less work (no cooking, less shopping, less need of money….)
      Why don’t animals do this? I don’t know, maybe their task is another? Maybe some do and we don’t know?

  8.' Kim Beauchemin says:

    Charles Mongillo

    •' Charles Mongillo says:

      Oh. My. Fu**.

      While one could get their science from a non-science source like the book of Mormon or other dogmatic belief sources like the Conscious Life News, I admit I prefer evidence based science.

      This is exactly why, if interested in helping someone get to the truth, you wouldn’t just say, “Go research it.” Yes, it’s fine for fun conversation, but someone might use “Conscious Life News” as a some sort of acceptable site for scientific news, and thus believe they have “Researched it”.

      “Liberation from food and hunger does indeed sound unrealistic and, from what we know of modern day biology, impossible.”, that’s a quote from your link hehe.

      Anyway here is some evidence based research on the effects of starvation:

      Notice the way they have many references at the bottom, while the Breatharianism pages do not. As far as I am aware there has never been one reported example of a person that has been able to survive using their purposed technique. On the other hand, there is a 100% accounting of people dying by lack of food and or water.

      Could Breatharianism be true? YES! Just like Allah could be real, and there could really be a teapot circling Jupiter.

      Unfortunately until we test or observe it, there is no way to distinguish these claims from fantasies, so there is no reason whatsoever to accept these claims as true to reality.

      When you have a claim without any testable, repeatable evidence, it’s just as good as any other belief.

      You might enjoy this:

    •' Kim Beauchemin says:

      It was simply an invitation to read the article, not an invitation for debate or debunking. If we only believed what has already been proven, progress would never occur. Everything that has been proved to date started out as a belief. Sometimes one should simply read without trying to validate. An open mind can be a good thing. Relax, enjoy, have an open mind. Not interested in debating with you, just thought you would enjoy the read.

    •' Charles Mongillo says:

      Oh, well you know i’m too analytical to let an obvious affront to our current base of knowledge go without some argument.

      Honestly though, it’s fine for you to say that to me. But when some little girl thinks she wants to try a new diet and reads this fantasy, watching grown people defend it as if it backed by even the smallest bit of actual evidence, maybe she will give it a go, even though all actual evidence points to malnurishment being a bad thing.

      Maybe we should teach the controversy in science class because hey, keep an open mind.

      No good scientists has a closed mind to any eventuality, even this, but no scientists would teach this because there is simply nothing (yet) to support the claim.

      See the difference?

  9.' Donald Mannen says:

    I will probably die with a slice of pizza in my hand…

  10.' Stacey Pearson says:

    Heard about this last week for the first time it’s not possible to live without any food or water what a lot of ? people do eat to much in general your body can only absorb so much of what we eat but we live in a world that is obsessed with three Square meals a day we don’t need that much to live a healthy life, breath alone is not enough to keep you body functioning fact!

    •' Bevin Armstrong says:

      I heard about this about 10 yrs ago. IMO it’s very dangerous to tell people they can live without water. You just can’t.

    •' Stacey Pearson says:

      Totally agree Bevin Armstrong you can dedicate your life to mediation and have the cleanest most positive mind imaginable but you can’t live without water.

  11.' Annabel Maia says:

    I have experienced this liberation of need for food and drink on spiritual level…not deliberate fasting…but feeling that your body is really alive, vibrating energy that sparcles in the every cell of your body…your consciousness, your presence, your awareness of the body movementnes of the senses…everything is so full in you that you just don’t need to put something in your body…the body is light like a floating clowd yet totally aware of itself 🙂

  12.' Charles Mongillo says:

    Trade up this belief in Breatharianism to the flat earth. We have more evidence on the effects of starvation than we do on the world being round.

    If you find yourself prone to belief based thinking, miraculous conspiracy, and the touting of science geniuses of the past who can not defend themselves, I highly suggest this thought provoking and interesting escape from the bindings of reality. They even use mathematical formulas to prove their findings!

  13.' Pai La says:

    lol we are here on this Earth to have the human experience. the physical being of being alive through our three dimensional bodies. otherwise we go back to being beings of light. after death. lol so enjoy the glorious food and feeling of being a human on this planet. LOVE THEM FRieD CHICKEN!…. 😀

  14.' Chris Mate says:

    I heard today the vitamin-D is actually a hormone.

  15.' Rainer Lungwitz says:

    I have seen the movie “In the Beginning There Was Light”:

  16.' Rick Rockster says:

    Is this similar to sun gazing?

  17.' Michael Detrick says:

    This earth is home to many souls who are in many varying states of spiritual evolution. We all have our own unique path and life purpose. We know through quantum physics that there is no such thing as “solid” matter – that everything is energy that is expressed through an almost infinite range of frequencies. In this lifetime I have chosen to experience the range of frequencies that include the perceived need for food, water, air, touch, etc. I honour all beings at all of the varying stages of evolution and in all frequency ranges. I am grateful that I am very happy with the life I am now leading, and I have no regrets about my current desires for things that are physical. Thanks for the thought-provoking post!!!

    •' Joseph Haimovich says:

      E = mc(superscript)2 comes from Einstein theory of relativity, winch has nothing to do with quantum physics.

    •' Michael Detrick says:

      Thank you, Joseph. Einstein’s TR indeed started the ball rolling. String theory, a branch of Quantum Physics, Black Body Radiation, et al., substantiate the non-existence of truly “solid” particles, at least in theory. Hence, the word “theory” applied to both String Theory and E’s Theory of Relativity. All of these theories are 3 dimensional attempts to explain realities that are beyond this dimension.

  18.' John T Handshoe says:

    That is foolish thinking

  19.' Mendel Keller says:

    There are a lot more efficient methods of suicide.

  20.' Benedict Godlewski Mololo says:

    We can read some really stupid stuff on this page at some times

  21.' Edward Rex Skerritt says:

    A.K.A anorexia, except judging by the pic you turn into an alien ?

  22.' Joseph Haimovich says:

    Aaah… trees and other plant life will fall into this category. Oh, and algae… Those are all natural bretharians… So, grow some leaves… and roots… 🙂

  23.' Joseph Haimovich says:

    Phil, your mom posts a lot of funny stuff from the Onion. That could have come from there. 🙂

  24.' Jack Marsh says:

    These people who believe this shit also votes democrat.

  25.' Thomas Chenhall says:

    This yoga is mentioned in Autobiography of a Yogi as well as in Falun Gong, which indicated that it is a very serious practice, such that trying to go back to eating and drinking after embarking on this can send you to the hospital. Learning it wrong could also send you to the hospital.

  26.' Jill Kerber Smith says:

    Darek Smith

  27.' Lina Melani Ayala says:

    I enjoy this life so much… And the food, and my friends, and my job and family. Of course I can live without all those things, I just choose not to. I love my life just as it is.

  28.' Valmay van der Merwe says:

    I think i will rather eat

  29.' Daniel Combs says:

    lol yeah try to go a year with out eating and only drinking water youll die

  30.' Suki Kailla says:

    Sun gazing practised over a period of 3 years allows u to live without food .But still need water.Thats proven and I know 2 ladies that have achieved that state of being.

  31.' Jodz Curtis says:

    Daniel Curtis

  32.' Kim Tunnell says:

    Stephan Klaus

  33.' Valerie Schulte says:

    I lived as a breatharian most of my life now I eat and drink as I have good choices and decisions . thanksgiving and praises to god -what would Jesus Christ do?

  34.' Amelia Howe says:

    Hmm this really got me thinking. I dont believe the human body can function and survive after a certain time with out water, although the theory of hydrating ones self in a diffrent way is not to far fetched really… If you had alot of self decline to not hydrates ones self via mouth but simply by being in water ( as our skin is like a sponge ) than yes i think it would be possible. As for food many many people live without the “set western nutritional guidelines ” frankly i feel we over feed way to much, and it would take us re learning and committing our minds to the task for the health benefits. I know with my body if i eat carbs within an hour im sluggish and really in need of a nap, happens after most meals i eat. Think back to before we evloved we would hunt have a big meal than could rest because we had eaten, i dont believe the human brain has evolved past this. So to sum up my opinions on this, the lesson we should learn is to power our bodys in a way that gives us the best health and happiness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use' must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Send this to a friend