According to his passport Hindu monk Swami Sivananda was born on August 8, 1896. He performs yoga everyday for hours and has all his faculties intact. He is now applying to Guinness World Records to verify his claim. It currently lists Japan’s Jiroemon Kimura, who died in June 2013 aged 116 years and 54 days, as the oldest man to have ever lived.
India’s passport authorities confirmed Sivananda’s age from a temple register, the only record many Indians even decades younger have of their date of birth.
However, it would be extremely difficult to independently verify his age.
Sivananda, from the holy city of Varanasi, grew up in extreme poverty and chose to become a monk, saying he owed his age to “yoga, discipline, and celibacy”.
“I lead a simple and disciplined life. I eat very simply – only boiled food without oil or spices, rice and boiled daal (lentil stew) with a couple of green chillies,” he said after a two-hour yoga session in Kolkata.
Sivananda sleeps on a mat on the floor and uses a wooden slab as a pillow.
Sivananda said he had not previously come forward to claim the record because he did not seek publicity, but was eventually persuaded by his followers to apply.
“Earlier people were happy with fewer things. Nowadays people are unhappy, unhealthy and have become dishonest, which pains me a lot,” he said. – CINEWS