Faqeer Haridas of Lahore
Faqeer Haridas of Lahore

Lahore is famous for its crazy things. Things no sane mind can believe. This is the story of such an incident in 1837. Mahrajah Ranjit Singh was also not in a mood to believe any crazy stories. That is why when he heard the claim that the Hindu Haridas who had come to Lahore from the mountains had the ability to be buried alive for months, he confronted it as a personal issue to test the claims. Haridas adopted a sitting position and was sewn in Khaddar cloth. Then he was placed in a wooden box, riveted with personal seals of the Mahrajah. Then he was buried and an Army was placed on guard over the burial place. Forty days later, the same was dug up, an the lifeless body brought out. Desi ghee was placed on his tongue and his tongue was pulled out, and a exploding sound was heard and he was massaged with hot water and ghee. Within half an hour he was awake and a short time after that talking again with the British present there. The Mahrajah participated in the test himself, by putting the seals on the casket with his own hands.

The Daily Telegraph, London, reported this incident in 1880 with details:

“When all the necessary preparations have been accomplished, the Fakir closes all the openings of his body with stoppers made of aromatic wax, lays his tongue far back in his throat, crosses his hands on his breast, and suspends animation by means of holding his breath.
On his being brought back to life one of the first operations is, by means of the fingers, to draw the tongue away from the back of the throat; a warm and aromatic paste made of meal is then placed on his head, and air is blown into his lungs and into the ear-holes, from which the wax stoppers have been removed, the stoppers in the nostrils being presently forced out with an explosive noise.
This is said to be the first sign of a return to life. He then gradually commences to breathe, opens the eyes, and recovers consciousness, continuous friction of the body being carried on all the time.”

Everybody reckoned it as impossible, but when when it was witnessed by all, then it was left to experts to explain how the same feat was done. Dr Martin Honigberger, the personal physician of the Mahrajah was brought in, to test the claim on scientific lines. And much to the surprise of all, Dr Martin Honigberger, not only believed Haridas Lahori, but also brought out a scientific theory, as to how it was actually done. By even referring to stories in the Bible itself, he came to the conclusion that it was all possible, and their eyes were not deceiving them in any way.

The Journalist recalled a tale from the Bible itself:

” We are not told whether the Seven Sleepers who retired to a cave in Ephesus during the reign of the Christian-killing Emperor Decius, and only woke up 155 years afterward, when Theodosins II was on the throne, made any special preparation, but probably they did not. Perhaps it was not necessary. Those were stirring times for members of the new faith, and they had little opportunity to grow obese.”

Our region still remains a region of Unexplainable tales, which perhaps modern science could have explained, if anybody could have bothered. But this is a famous recorded case, and worthy of being remembered in time. A similar incident is recorded in the Humayoun nama, when they dug up a place, and found a man sitting there. He did not knew that present time and had been interred there from ages. But more on that later as it is is also related to Lahore itself.


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