Sadhu Haridas

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Sadhu Haridas (fl. 1837) was a hatha yogi and fakir of nineteenth-century India, renowned for his reputed power to control his body completely using the power of his mind, employing the energies of kundalini. His most notable feat, carried out in 1837, was to survive burial underground, without food or water, for forty days. This feat was said to have taken place at the court of the Maharaja of the Punjab, Ranjit Singh, at Lahore, India (now in Pakistan).


Haridas was allegedly interred in the presence of the Maharaja, his whole court, and a number of French and British doctors. He adopted a sitting posture, and was covered over and sewn up in cerecloth. He was then placed inside a large wooden case, which was strongly riveted closed and sealed with the Maharaja’s own seal. The case was then lowered into a specially-constructed brick vault. Earth was piled upon the case, and a detachment of the Maharaja's guard was placed to keep watch over the vault; four sentries mounting guard over it by day, and eight by night. Forty days later, Haridas was disinterred in the presence of the Maharaja, his court, and the French and English doctors who had been previously present at his interment. His apparently lifeless body was washed with hot water, massaged, and ghee placed on his eyelids and tongue; in a short time, he had recovered.

According to Claude Wade, the British Resident at the Maharaja's court: "From the time of the box being opened to the recovery of the voice, not more than half an hour could have elapsed; and in another half-hour, the Fakir talked with myself and those about him freely, though feebly, like a sick person. Then we left him, convinced that there had been no fraud or collusion in the exhibition we had witnessed."


  • Garbe, Richard (1900). "On the voluntary trance of Indian fakirs". The Monist. 10: 481–500. doi:10.5840/monist190010432.
  • Wade's account on WikiSource
  • "Buried for Forty Days" (news article from the Daily Telegraph)