Longevity & The Truth of the “Immortal” Yogin

Devraha Baba is reported to have lived for at least 150 years. During his term in office, President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad (73 at the time) is said to have claimed that his father sat at the feet of Devraha Baba when his father was but a child. There is no other testimony to Baba’s age existent.

It is rumored that Devraha Baba attended the Kumba Mehla twelve times, once every twelve years. And there is a family record that puts his age at 250 years. There is no further evidence.

Today, Swamy Shivananda, 120 years old, is acknowledged to be India’s oldest living person. while Jean Calment of France still retains the world record having passed on at 122 years.

There are myths and legends around the world of saints and sages performing this feat or that. Some have even been verified. But I’m sorry to burst your bubble true-believers. Nobody lives for a thousand years. Moreover, there is nobody alive today making such a claim. Even though Devraha’s followers will put his age at 250, 700 or even 900 years, one would assume that if there was a truth to be known here, it would be known. And in this day and age, it could also be easily verified. Step forward, please, if you have met this sage who says he has lived this long. Tell us his name and where he may be found and how it is that you found him.

I tell you from experience. I have been up Kailash and down the Brahmaputra. I have lived with saints and walked with sages, high up north and deep down south and they all have one thing in common whether they be Naga, Aghori, Shivnetra, Shaivite or Vaishnavite – they all seek liberation. None of them is sticking around to read more scripture or experience any more of the life. What more is there to experience? How many more people need to be met? How much more needs to be witnessed. No. None of them wants to remain here for very long. And though some will stay around longer than others, to teach or simply because it is not their time to go, physics is one of those universal realities that defies myth and legend. This body rusts. It goes.

And yes, longevity can be tweaked through habit and activity and sometimes it is. But not to the extent of myth. If it were so, it would be common knowledge by now. More than just I have traveled with the sadhu. The Italians, Israelis, French and Americans – they love the culture, and a few have made it into the tribes. No, my friends. I am telling you the truth. Yogin are human beings. Sublimated to be sure. Exotic and full of fire and might, they are at times supernatural, but they are always, always, the epitome of nature. And that means the body breaks down.

Nisargadatta died before a hundred. Mahaavatar Babaji the same. Maharishi Mahesh the same. Buddha the same. Dalai Lama the same. My own Guru the same. I will be the same. You will be the same. Ramana Maharishi the same. Adi Shanakaracharya the same.

And I feel for you, I really do. In my innocence I, too, sought immortality. For some reason we need that to be true at some level. But this guy is just a painting. And besides, who would want to exist like this, just to exist like this? Forever. Not sadhu anyway.