I have written about quite a few people who were special due to the unique dedication that they had to various causes, but Amar Bharati is truly the embodiment of a human-like no other when it comes to perseverance.
Many people actually do not believe that Bharti’s story is true, but it is as true as it can be. This man for the last 45 years has been holding his hand raised without once putting it down. Amar Bharati chose to become a Sadhu Indian about four decades ago, this means living a life away from material needs as well as any unholy activities, in other words, a monk.
What is interesting is the drastic transformation from the man he was to the man that he became as well as the reason behind it. To get a better understanding we need to first look at his life before a major change took place.
Life before raising his hand
In the 1970s Bharati was working at an Indian bank, living a modest life with his wife and three children. One day he had an epiphany, out of nowhere which made him choose to leave his family, job, and friends in order to follow his religious calling.
Bharati decided to dedicate the rest of his life to Shiva, a god from Hinduism. At first, he still felt the temptation to do things that were not permitted as a monk, that is why he needed to do something more drastic to truly consolidate his religious beliefs.
That is why in 1973 he chose to raise his hand and hold it up for the rest of his life in order to show his faith and appreciation towards Shiva. Amar Bharati soon became quite popular around the world and thousands were inspired by this gesture. When asked why he is holding his hand up he always responded that this gesture is to militate against wars and support world peace as well as being a way to show his respect towards Shiva.
At first, the pain in his hand was terrible, but the pain never outweighed his dedication. After the first two years, he started losing any sort of sense in his hand and with that also the pain started to go away. To imagine the huge effort that Bharati has been making for the past 45 years, try to hold your hand up for a few minutes and you would feel the pain most probably after 2 or 3 minutes.
Holding his hand for peace
In a rare interview taken by Indian media outlets at a ceremony Bharati said:
“I don’t ask for much. Why do we fight between us, why is there so much hate and enmity between us? I want all Indians to live in peace. I want the whole world to live in peace. “ (Quote by Amar Bharati)
The inspiration caused by this gesture motivated thousands of people around the world to fight, in their own way, for world peace. Even more interesting, this gesture inspired other Indians to become Sadhu (Hindu monks) and to hold their hands high for long periods of time, but no one managed to beat Bharati’s record.
This man is still holding his hand high and he is not planning to put it down any time soon. Even if he was to put his hand down, his muscles are severely atrophied, and most probably lowering his hand would cause permanent nerve damage in the arm, therefore he is better off alone keeping his hand up for the rest of his life, not only due to health reasons but also for spiritual reasons.