World’s Oldest Man
In nearby Pushkar we heard stories of a baba who was over 125 years old. Some said he never ate any food. Some say he only ate rice. Others told us he lived in a tiny room where a fire burned that never went out.
Babas are men of respect in Hindu culture. Traditionally they leave behind the demands of society, foregoing money and possessions to live in the wild for years. They only emerge from the forest to take alms and eventually to offer teachings to other Hindus. With this path through life the baba is said to be able to escape the wheel of reincarnation. He can move on to whatever celestial heaven and no longer be trapped on this earth.
Some 40km outside of the holy town of Pushkar we found the Baba. Who’s to say he was 125 years old, but he certainly lived in a tiny room with a constantly burning fire. You had to duck down in the room just to breathe. The baba himself kept falling to sleep while we talked.
There was certainly something about his ascetic existence that made me consider the power of belief. I may not believe in it, but he certainly did.