An elderly Indian who won many hearts during his recent world tour at the age of 123 years attributes the secret of his longevity to a disciplined life, celibacy and daily practice of yoga.
Pictures and videos of Swami Sivananda Baba, who is seen walking swiftly with no assistance from anyone at the Abu Dhabi airport, have gone viral with many wondering about the secret behind his long life.
He was travelling from Calcutta to London via Abu Dhabi on board Etihad Airways. As the date of birth in his passport reads 08/08/1896, he faced many a questions on his lifestyle from people gathered around him.
He is considered to be the oldest living person on earth, but the Guinness authorities are yet to recognise it due to want of proper documents regarding his date of birth. According to the Guinness World Records, the oldest verified living person is Kane Tanaka of Japan, aged 116 years, 290 days, as on October 19.
A couple of years ago, he underwent the first medical check-up of his life after he was having headaches. A man who was born only a year since X-ray was invented was subjected to an MRI scan. But to the surprise of everyone, he walked out with a clean bill of health. Doctors and nurses at the private hospital were awestruck by the his mental and physical agility.
Asked whether he is the oldest, he replied: ”I am not only the oldest, but also the happiest man in the world.
“Discipline is the most important thing in life. One can conquer anything with discipline in food habits, exercise, and sexual desires. Because I was born in poverty, I have never had great demands from life,” he added.
He leaves the bed at three in the morning. After a bath, he will go for a Meditation and then one hour yoga. He eats a simple but only boiled food without oil or spices, rice and boiled daal with a couple of green chilies. He avoids taking milk or fruits because for him they are fancy foods.
Sivananda who was born in Behald in Kolkata in West Bengal grew up in poverty. He lost both his parents when he was hardly 4 year old. His elder sister who used to beg for food with him said to have died two years later due to starvation.
‘Sivananda Baba’, as he is known to his disciples, leads a spiritual life and isn’t married and eats only two times a day. He says that because of his lifestyle he has no desires, no diseases, no depression and he leads a tension-free life.
Standing 1.58 metres (five feet two inches) tall, Sivananda sleeps on a mat on the floor and uses a wooden slab as a pillow.