Image courtesy: AFP 


Healthy eating and plenty of exercise is no longer the only key to longevity, according to this 120 year old Indian monk, who is still in good shape and owes it all to his lifestyle and choices. Swami Sivananda’s secret to living this long is because he has abstained from sex and spices all through his life. He also attributes his good health to his daily routine of practicing yoga, despite his age.

Surprised? Well, the man is renowned as the oldest to have ever lived and was born on August 8, 1896, according to his passport details. If the numbers are true, then he is definitely a remarkable figure whose life has spanned across three centuries.

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Image courtesy: AFP


Born in the holy city of Varanasi, Sivananda grew up in extreme poverty and his parents passed away when he was merely 6 years old. He later decided to become a monk in order to practice ‘yoga, discipline and celibacy’. He is now applying for the Guinness World Records so that his claims can be verified since Japan’s Jiroemon Kimura, who passed away in 2013, holds the world record as the oldest man to have ever lived.

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Practicing Yoga; Image courtesy: AFP


“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 told AFP.

He also stated how he avoids “taking milk or fruits because I think these are fancy foods. In my childhood I slept many days on an empty stomach”.

Sivananda generally sleeps on a mat on the floor and makes use of a wooden slab as a pillow and is pretty fit, without any form of medical complications. On certain occasions, he even travels alone on trains, unaided.

swami-sivananda-3-afpImage courtesy: AFP


Swami Sivananda, who was born in an era when there was no electricity, telephones or even cars, prefers to lead his life without technology.

He also stated how during earlier times, “people were happy with fewer things. Nowadays people are unhappy, unhealthy and have become dishonest, which pains me a lot” and all he ever wants is that people should be “happy, healthy and peaceful”.

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