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Observations placeholder

Fakir buried alive



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Dr Paul Brunton

A search in secret Egypt

..... with the following details which I have taken from Sir Claude Wade's official account.

The fakir was buried alive in a box which was placed in a cell three feet below the floor and with a guard comprising two companies of soldiers. Four sentries were furnished and relieved every two hours, night and day to guard the building from intrusion.

"On opening the box" wrote Sir Claude, "we saw the figure enclosed in a bag of white linen fastened by a string over the head. The servant began pouring warm water over the figure-the legs and arms of the body were shrivelled and stiff, the face full, the head reclining on the shoulder like that of a corpse. I then called to the medical gentleman who was attending me to come down and inspect the body, which he did, but could discover no pulsation in the heart, temples or arm. There was, however, a heat about the region of the brain which existed in no other part of the body. The process of resuscitation including bathing with hot water, friction, the removal of wax and cotton pledgets from the nostrils and ears, the rubbing of the eyelids with clarified butter, and, what will appear most curious to man the application of a hot wheaten cake about an inch thick to the top of the head. After the cake had been applied for the third time, the body was violently convulsed, the nostrils became inflated, the respiration ensued, and the limbs assumed a natural fullness, but the pulsation was still faintly perceptible. The tongue was then anointed with clarified butter, the eyeballs became dilated and recovered their natural colour, and the fakir recognized those present and spoke."

I remember a very old Indian, who had witnessed a case of burying a Yogi alive for twenty-seven days. He told me that when the man had been disinterred and resuscitated, the air rushed into his lungs with a whistling noise, like that of a steam-whistle.

The source of the experience

Hindu and yoga

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps




Brunton, Dr. P. (1936) A Search in Secret Egypt, 2nd revised edition, New York: Samuel Weiser, Inc