Is his now-gnarled arm a beacon of peace? A symbol of rejection of earthly pleasures? A crystal-clear example of the insanity of religion? In pondering Amar Mahant’s arm, everyone will see what they want to see — like a Cheeto said to resemble both Jesus and Elvis. Via the West Australian:
In 1970 Amar Mahant [of New Delhi] left his job, family and friends to dedicate himself to his religious beliefs. In 1973, the clerk raised his hand in honour of Hindu deity Shiva – and he hasn’t put it down since. It’s now been 38 years.
Amar’s followers claim his sacrifice is a beacon of peace, while others say he has given up the use of a limb in order to separate himself from the pleasures of mortal life.
Amar’s sacrifice has turned his arm into a useless stump of flesh and bone, with a gnarled hand and unclipped fingernails hanging from the end. He says he experienced years of excruciating pain in order to follow his beliefs, but the pain has now passed. What’s left of his arm is now stuck in the bizarre position, atrophied after years of non-use.
Devotees of Hinuisim will often undergo incredible acts of self-sacrifice, sometimes involving starvation or vows of silence. Many of Amar’s followers have followed suit, raising their own arms for years and even decades.