2,360 days and counting: Jain monk on ‘fast’ track

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The light is slowly dimming and Parasmuni, a Jain monk’s hair is being deftly plucked in the temple’s balcony. A ticker next to him is stuck at a random number: 2,360.

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Mumbai (Maharashtra), August 26, 2011:The light is slowly dimming and Parasmuni, a Jain monk’s hair is being deftly plucked in the temple’s balcony. A ticker next to him is stuck at a random number: 2,360. As the sun quietly rises into Friday, the count will go up by one, he explains, recording another fast successfully completed in his life.

Parasmuni took the lifelong vow of deeksha (monkhood) 40 years ago. Among the Jain disciples, he quickly earned the reputation of ‘upwaas-maharaj’, for his steely determination to fast for long periods of time.

The 57-year-old monk recently completed a marathon 30-day-long fast, ‘maaskhaman’ ; he subsisted on warm water through the month. But maaskhaman is a now routine affair; it’s been an annual feature for Parasmuni ever since he turned 17.

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare’s health and his ten-daylong fast has witnessed fierce debates on how long bodies can go without food, and the toll of age and past maladies. – News Courtesy: Times News Network

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Post Author: JHC