It’s a common enough phrase. “I’d give my right arm for…” after which comes a desire, whether minor or major. Now meet Sadhu Amar Bharati, who took that phrase far more seriously than most.
From a 2010 interview by Rediff:
Thirty-two years ago, Sadhu Amar Bharati felt disenchanted and disillusioned at the fighting and anger in the world around him. He felt that it was time for him to do something about it. So he raised his right hand.
He has not lowered his hand even once since then, says Sadhu Amar Bharati Urdhavaahu, and explains that it was imperative for world peace.
Bharati is a devotee of Shiva, the Hindu deity who is, in the eyes of his followers, the protector of the universe and destroyer of evil. In 1970 he walked away from a successful job, a wife, and three children in an effort to serve his religion. A few years after starting his travels. he realized what his life’s purpose was. And what he had to do was… raise his right hand.
The arm has now atrophied to where it is little more than skin and bone with the most basic of circulation required to keep the flesh alive. Tendons and muscle have withered to the point that he could not safely lower his arm. Unable to reach the upraised hand, he has not clipped his fingernails through the intervening decades.
What the connection is between world peace and Bharati’s arm might be is somewhat unclear. But it seems to have inspired some other Shiva devotees. Bharati has developed some followers, impressed by the level of his devotion, and some of them have decided to raise their hands as well… some for more than a decade.
Waiting to ask that question? Sadhu Amar Bharati is an Indian holy man who claims he has kept his right hand raised in the air since 1973.
— INSH (@INSH) December 4, 2017
Question of the day: Do you have a good travel anecdote?