Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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July 07, 2003

Surviving on a diet of sunlight

June 30, 2003 - NASA, the US Space Agency, has invited Hira Ratan Manek, an engineer from Kerala, India, to the US to study how he has managed to survive on a diet of sunlight and liquids for several years.

Last June, scientists from the US space agency verified that Manek spent 130 days surviving only on water, the report said. They even named this subsistence on water and solar energy after him: The HRM (Hira Ratan Manek) Phenomenon. Mr Manek is now in the US to show NASA's scientists how he survives without food. The US space agency hopes to use the technique to solve food storage and preservation problems on its expeditions.

Found on: SMH.COM.AU

Solar Energy - NASA To Study Man Who Lives On Liquids And Light

Sydney Morning Herald
June 30, 2003

NASA to study man who survives on liquids and sunlight

June 30 2003

An Indian man, who claims to have survived only on liquids and sunlight for eight years, has been invited by NASA to show them how he does it.

Hira Ratan Manek - also known as Hirachand - a 64-year-old mechanical engineer who lives in the southern state of Kerala, apparently started disliking food in 1992, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported.

In 1995, he went on a pilgrimage to the Himalayas and stopped eating completely on his return.

His wife, Vimla, said: "Every evening he looks at the sun for one hour without batting an eyelid. It is his main food. Occasionally he takes coffee, tea or some other liquid."

Last June, scientists from the US space agency verified that Manek spent 130 days surviving only on water, the report said.

They even named this subsistence on water and solar energy after him: The HRM (Hira Ratan Manek) Phenomenon.

Mr Manek is now in the US to show NASA's scientists how he survives without food.

The US space agency hopes to use the technique to solve food storage and preservation problems on its expeditions, the report said.

Mr Manek said he "eats through his eyes" in the evening, when the sun's ultraviolet rays are least harmful. He and his wife claim the technique is totally scientific. However, doctors warn that staring at the sun can make you blind.

His wife said: "He has a special taste for sun energy. He believes only 5 per cent of human brain cells are used by most people. The other 95 per cent can be activated through solar energy."

Forwarded by: Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

Article by Bineeta Mishra

See also:

A more recent article on The Hindu: Sharing their love for food, water, sunlight

Links to more information about Shri Hira Ratan Manek

Breatharian Jack Davis describes his personal path and experience

April 2010: Indian Man Lives Seven Decades Without Food or Water?
A neurophysician, Sudhir Shah, says Jani's survival is miraculous.

"A person can live without food and water for three, four, seven to 12 days and we have studied during …fasting in the past that people have done fasting for 16 or 30 days, but they were taking water after eight days and certainly they pass urine but this case is a unique phenomena."

Some tests on his brain revealed that it resembled that of a 25-year-old person.

Jani has also claimed he has a hole in his palate and through his head where a drop or two of nectar passes that helps him survive.

More recent: Someone made a movie aobut this...

Movie: Eat the Sun

Mason is a modern day 'sungazer' and subject of Peter Sorcher's award-winning and suspenseful documentary film that follows Mason on an unbelievable and often hilarious cross-country tour into the little known world of sungazing – an ancient practice of looking directly at the sun for a range of physical and spiritual benefits.

Throughout his journey, Mason is riddled with uncertainty. Will he damage his eyes? Is the man who inspires thousands lying? Will Mason succeed in his quest to uncover the truth? This captivating documentary will challenge your deepest held beliefs.

Official Trailer - "Eat The Sun"


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Monday July 7 2003
updated on Saturday July 9 2011

URL of this article:


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Readers' Comments

A comment received by e-mail today from Tamara, which I am posting here:

Sun gazing & the HRM Phenomenon

The method of sun gazing is known among some yogis, but it is only few who have developed this skill.

It may remind you of the Tibetan "tomo" techniques where yogis can e.g. melt ice around them with their body using a technique where they resonate with the heat of the sun (- not using a body
heat technique !)

Posted by: Josef on July 7, 2003 04:59 PM


Hi Tamara, good to hear from you after ages!!

Hira Ratan Manek (or HRM) is known to me. He has exchanged a few emails with me and talked to me a couple of times on HRM phenomenon. Nothing new, because, I learnt this Yogic kriya long ago in the early seventies when I did my Teacher's Training in Yoga.

Before flying off to USA, HRM was in Bombay twice or thrice. But I could not meet him due to my preoccupation.

With all his Yogic prowess, however, at 65, HRM looks too haggard and weak. Maybe, because he drinks coffee, tea and soft drinks, to keep company, which I told him was not proper.

I too have done the experiment of Sun gazing and it seems to work. If I too go off the food, like HRM, I shall let you know and then you too could compete with me!

But now it is rainy season in India, and the dark clouds of rains have enveloped the sun. I will let you know about my Sun-gazing experiment when I resume it sometime in August-Sept. when rains ebb and sun shines again.

As I write this email, it is raining cats and dogs and it is very pleasant out. Wish all my European friends were here to soak in the heavy Indian rains and see the peacock dance. By the way, have you seen a peacock dance? And have you seen a white peacock. It is so majestic, and it dances only in rain and the earth is green. Peacock is our national bird.

Kind Regards
Leo Rebello, Bombay

Posted by: Leo Rebello on July 7, 2003 06:17 PM


This is amazing. I would love to hear as much about this phenomenon as possible. About a week before I read this article, I actually had a random thought about this possibility, that we could get nutrients, energy, power, from peering into the sun. I thought, with the manipulation and lies instilled in us by the government (global elite), I thought to myself that the possibility/idea, of looking into the sun may not cause blindness and infact could give us incredible power and energy, was feasible. I was shocked and delighted to stumble across this article. If you think about it, it makes perfect since. If a plant, or tree, etc., does not get sunlight (ultraviolet rays) it will cease to thrive, and no longer live. Therefore the nutrients, vitamins, power/energy, (life essence), so to say, for lack of better terms, does not exist in the plant/tree at all, untill it is synthesized with the sun, otherwise they could still grow, to an extent, without the sun. Ofcourse they do not, so all the energy, power, (life), of the plant/tree, its very existence, is coming from the sun. This is an amazing concept, and I thank you, very much, for sharing this information. I hope you will keep us informed about this amazing phenomenon. One love, peace.

Posted by: Joshua on July 10, 2003 05:10 AM


I used to stare at the sun when I was younger; it would go from blinding white to yellow-green to a kind of ultraviolet blue perfect circle. I would be dazzled for a short while afterwards but I certainly did not go blind. I remember being puzzled when people told me that staring at the sun caused eye damage, because that contradicted my own experience, but I thought "maybe I was just lucky" and stopped doing it. I was fascinated when I read this article and I intend to (caferully at first!) start staring at the sun again.

Posted by: Alan on July 11, 2003 01:29 PM


Dear Friends,

Warm greetings from Chennai, Tamil Nadu,

Eating sun light:

1. It is possible to live by eating mere light per se.

2. It is also possible to live by eating sun light.

3. It is a 5000 year old yogic technique practised by yogis during intense spiritual practices. They needed it as they had to be away from civilisation for exchanging messages from astral plane.

4.It needs a trained Master to learn this technique from. As such it is not for hobbyists to tamper with these laws of Nature.

5. At one stage there could be an added element of metaphysical powers to facilitate the nature of mission one is commissioned to fulfill.

All the Best,

M S Vivek Gandhi

Posted by: M S VIVEK GANDHI on July 30, 2003 02:11 PM


Iam interested and also practicising such procedure here.Please keep me infprmed about further details

Posted by: PROF.O.P.GUPTA on August 3, 2003 10:09 AM


dear sir,
i would like to know how to practice HRM PHENOMENON in real life. i will be gratefull to you if someone of you could help me.

thank you

Posted by: SIMPSON JOHN on August 15, 2003 06:43 PM


Dear John Simpson,

if you read some of the other comments on the same article (below) you will see that this should not be attempted without specific knowledge. It would appear that this knowledge is available in the Indian yoga community. Unfortunately I cannot point you to any particular teacher but I wish you good success in finding what you are looking for.

Posted by: Josef on August 15, 2003 08:21 PM


My Friends,

These following observations may not sit too well with those who have already posted on the site, but it does give a bit of balance. I suggest that you examine the scam orchestrated by an Australian woman calling herself 'Jasmuheen' and the cult/sect she runs called the 'Breatharians'. She was invited by an Australian TV channel to demonstrate her claims that she had lived on light (plus of course a little water etc.) for years, which she duly did.

However she had to abandon the attempt because she became rather ill due to malnutrition. She blamed her failure on the lighting required for the TV cameras and the proximity of traffic etc. The TV company moved her to a quieter hotel with exactly the same result.

A recent TV documentary on this sect revealed that those undergoing the induction phase required to join the cult likewise became ill. Here in the UK one of the cult's members died of starvation in the Scottish hills while atempting to live on light.

While these examples of a probable con trick are revealing, I am by no means denying the proven abilities of yogi's and other mystics, it is more likely that these adepts are using altered states of consciousness to bring about their perceived 'miracles'.

Posted by: Brian on August 29, 2003 07:17 PM


Although not directly inherent to "sungazing", there are some properties of sunlight for health that seem interesting in this context.

The benefits of sunlight

The sun is not always the killer it is made out to be. Did you know that sunlight can act as a powerful medicine to help us fight many diseases - if used in a rational way. Sunlight protects us against infection by destroying bacteria, fungi and viruses. Until antibiotics were discovered in the 1940s, sunlight was widely used to treat infectious diseases, particularly tuberculosis.
Sunlight and ultraviolet light were also used to treat open wounds and burns. And until today, some hospitals use ultraviolet light to disinfect operating theatres. Sunlight has also been known to be a jaundice cure. Babies with jaundice usually recover when they are taken outdoors.
In fact, many bone problems are due to sunlight deficiency. It was known as long ago as 1822 that rickets (a disease which causes the bones to soften and deform) could be treated with fresh air and sunlight.
Our skin produces Vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is needed for the body to absorb calcium, which helps tobuild strong bones. That is why even osteoporosis (brittle bones) can be overcome if people spend more times in the sun - besides exercising and eating less calcium-depleted foods.
Today there is renewed medical interest in the use of light because of the harmful side-effects of anti-biotics, and because new strains of bacteria cannot be killed by antibiotics. Also more people are suffering from diseases, like AIDS and candida. These diseases are caused by viruses and fungi, which are even harder to destroy. Yet enough sunlight will wipe out most of them....

- Page 87 from: "Cancer-causing chemicals in Cosmetics & Daily Use Products"
Published by:
Consumers' Association of Penang
10 Jalan Masjid Negeri
11600 Palau Pinang
Tel: (04) 82 99 511
Printed by Jutaprint, Penang
ISBN 983-104-092-9

Posted by: Josef on October 26, 2003 01:28 PM


I have seen reports of him being invited to NASA in The Hindustan Times & However in both places the article have been deleted. NASA has denied any such incident. Anyone knows the real story?

Posted by: Angsuman Chakraborty on November 19, 2003 07:45 AM


I am pleased to hear the HRM phenomenon.Can that formula be used to cure cancer or increase the life of the cancer patient.Please advice me

Posted by: mukta on April 3, 2004 01:59 PM


I have never heard of HRM phenomenon being used for curing cancer.

There are many ways to approach cancer however, which do not imply cell-destructive treatments such as the current approach does.

Posted by: Josef on April 3, 2004 02:59 PM



Posted by: Watcher on July 20, 2004 09:48 AM


Are you guys serious? How come all the postings seem to think this could work? Have any of you guys graduated High School or the equivalent of Secondary Education? Is the 'phenomenon' of photosynthesis unknown to all of you? The idea that any animal (let alone a human) can photosynthesize is ridiculous. Futhermore, to believe that the same organ responsible for vision (the eye) can also photosynthesize is justified how?

I was amazed to read some of the postings above. Yes it is true and well known that all plants require the sun in order to produce their food, but that does not mean that animals (humans included) could suddenly use the sun to make their own food. Believe in creation or believe in evolution, either paradigm will lead to the conclusion that animals cannot photosynthesize.

Creation: animals were not created to make food from sunlight!

Evolution: If this were possible, every organism on this planet would be photosynthesizing since it is the most favourable trait to pass on.

Let's rationalize for a minute as to why human photosynthesis is highly unlikely. Everyone I'm sure will agree that humans (as a species not as individuals) are probably the most adaptable organisms on the planet; in the sense that if humans are in a dire situation, they will find a way to improve their situation (provided of course such a way exists). Human history is full of countless examples of this. Now if human photosynthesis were possible, then starving humans would have learned to survive on the sun. But the fact that so many people die of starvation throughout the world (where sunlight is abundant) shows that it just is not possible! We have had about a million years to learn to survive on sunlight; why then did we always choose to starve to death due to lack of traditional foods?!

Advocates may want to claim that starvation was not as big of a problem back then as it is today. But then consideration of how technologically advanced today's agriculture is and how much food we are able to produce in a very short time quickly invalidates the advocates claim.

Okay, well lets say human photosynthesis is possible; why the eye and not the skin? The skin receives a whole lot more sunlight than the eye does, and thus the skin could make much more food than the eye. The skin can handle direct exposure to the sun (and does every sunny day), the eye, however, obviously cannot. It is also already widely accepted that the skin does trap sunlight to produce vitamin D. It would seem that if it were possible to make other nutrients, even whole molecules from sunlight, then it would be a task for the skin.

Now as one could have deduced from reading my above concerns, I am scientific minded. Many may think this a flaw of mine, but understand this; the fact that I AM scientific minded means that I must always have an open mind. I am very skeptical about the 'HRM phenomenon', but still willing to give it a chance. If it is possible, however, then the above concerns raised in this posting must have deeper explanations. My only purpose for raising these concerns is the hope that someone out there can address them rationally.

Posted by: Skeptic on July 8, 2005 01:22 PM


hi everybody
I have the article of HRM phenomenon published in the 'Times of India' in which the total procedure of gazing at sun is given. But i m skeptical about the validity of the phenomenon due to dearth of actual Knowledge & any practical experience of any other than HRM.
I cannot take risk without talking to any other who has done it practically. Also i want to have the knowledge of obstacles in the phenomenon with the change in season.
If anybody has done it practically with results;pls mail me at
I shall be very thankful.

Posted by: kamal aggarwal on November 13, 2005 05:03 AM


Dude, why are you reprinting this spam hoax? NASA has repeatedly denied having anything to do with this guy. And, his "diet of sunlight" includes regular amounts of milk, soup broth, and tea... wow - truly miraculous! :-P

Posted by: Jacob on September 6, 2006 05:05 PM


Jacob, If there is even a slight possibility that the story can tell us something that might be useful, I am gladly taking the risk that it might be a hoax.

After all, people are supposed to be able to think for themselves.

Posted by: Sepp on October 6, 2006 09:17 AM


This is a recovered comment (some of them got eaten by the system) ...

I'm with the skeptics.

It's well-established that the human body can synthesize Vitamin D from sunlight, but to claim that it can derive all or even most of the nutrients it needs from sunlight is ridiculous. Human beings are not plants!

Even if, for the sake of argument, we were to agree that humans have the ability to photosynthesize as plants do, let us remember that plants DO NOT derive all of their nourishment from the sun; plants require a healthy soil for proper growth. The human body, like plants, needs minerals on a regular basis; are "sun gazers" claiming that humans have the ability to convert sunlight into essential minerals like calcium and magnesium?

But by all means, if you're buying into this bunkum and you want to damage your body by depriving it of sustenance, go right ahead. I'm not going to stand in the way of natural selection.

Posted by: ??? on October 6, 2006 09:20 AM


you are all mad and anybody stupid enough to try this diet deserves what they've got coming. Its the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a long time. If we could live off of sunlight I don't think drout and famine across Africa would be any kind of a problem would it?? nutters.

Posted by: simon on March 23, 2010 06:26 AM


All I see here is that the scientific method is not, as usual, being employed. A hypothesis has been developed, it needs to be tested. Irate and self-righteous individuals who come up with all kinds of reasons why "It can't be done" are simply latter-day Luddites. I accept that plants need more than water and sunlight and CO2 to survive, but I also know that living beings emit photons, and that these photons form themselves around DNA, in vitro at least, and remain in this configuration when the DNA is removed. There is a great deal that we do not know. It is certainly an entertainable hypothesis that the reason why people in famine-struck areas die, is because they do not know how to use sunlight in the way which has been mentioned. They have always been taught that it is impossible; and there are no stronger chains than those which are forged out of words. Plus the fact that the availability of water is also usually zero in such places. Doubtless people like the Watcher above were also amongst those who in a past era made ex cathedra statements about the impossibility of people ever being able to fly; "We cannot fly because we have insufficiently powerful chest and arm muscles!" Humanity advances via the occasional application of paradigm shift. Let's test the hypothesis, and then come to a conclusion.

Posted by: Tim on July 14, 2011 01:48 AM


yeah, so, this is complete and utter bullshit. lol

Posted by: matt on February 1, 2014 09:45 PM


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The Individual Is Supreme And Finds Its Way Through Intuition


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These articles are brought to you strictly for educational and informational purposes. Be sure to consult your health practitioner of choice before utilizing any of the information to cure or mitigate disease. Any copyrighted material cited is used strictly in a non commercial way and in accordance with the "fair use" doctrine.



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