“Dear little one, I am the guru sent here by God to fulfill your urgent prayer. He was deeply touched by its very unusual nature. From today you shall live by the astral light. Your bodily atoms shall be recharged by the infinite current.” Guru of Giri Bala
It was the great Paramahansa Yogananda who brought to the world’s attention this unknown saint of India, in his classic book, “Autobiography of a Yogi”. In this book he tells of his experiences meeting Giri Bala, the only woman in the world who had not eaten any food or liquids in over 56 years. In the chapter on Paramahansa Yogananda I spoke of Therese Newman, the Catholic stigmatist who only ate one blessed wafer a day.
Although similar, they were different in the fact that Giri Bala achieved her ability through practicing a certain meditative and yogic exercise given to her by her guru. Therese Neuman’s ability comes through more personal karma from many dedicated lives of union with God.
Giri Bala’s story is a fascinating one. It began at a young age where she possessed an unsatiable appetite. At the age of nine she was betrothed to be married. Her mother would often scold her for her greedy appetite, and warned her of future potential embarrassment after her marriage.
Sure enough her mother’s prophecy came true and her “Mother-in-law” would shame her unmercifully because of her gluttony. On one particular day where this occurred again, she exclaimed, “I shall soon prove to you that I shall never touch food again as long as I live.” The Mother-in-law teased her even more after this comment.
Giri made an iron resolution from this moment forward to live up to her promise. She went to a secluded spot and prayed to God to send her a guru who could teach her to live by God’s light alone and with no physical food. She immediately felt an ecstasy come over her and she set out to travel to the holy river called the Ganges.
As she left her riverbank her guru materialized right in front of her. This is what He said, as quoted from Paramahansa Yogananda’s book, “Autobiography of a Yogi”. “Dear little one, I am the guru sent here by God to fulfill your urgent prayer. He was deeply touched by its very unusual nature. From today you shall live by the astral light. Your bodily atoms shall be recharged by the infinite current.”
Giri Bala was initiated into a specific Kriya Yoga technique which frees the physical body from the need for gross physical food. This technique included the use of a mantra and certain breathing exercises. She practiced the technique religiously and has never eaten since. She said she has never been sick in her entire life, and is not emaciated in the slightest.
She also has no bodily excretions. She was strictly commanded by her guru to never divulge the secret technique she learned from her guru. The reason she is setting this example is to prove that man is spirit in truth, and to prove that man can live by the Eternal Light of God.
She has not eaten from the age of twelve years and four months to the age when she met Paramahansa Yogananda, which was sixty eight years old. Her nourishment comes from air, sunlight, and cosmic power, that comes through the medulla oblongata.
Early in her life, an investigation was performed to prove whether or not she was telling the truth. She agreed to go to the palace of the leader of her province and be locked in a small cell of his home for two months. She happily agreed and was not given any food the entire time. At a later time she spent twenty more days, and then a third test of fifteen days. This proved without a doubt that she was telling the truth.