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Man raises arm for 38 years

Mahant Amar Bharti Ji.
Mahant Amar Bharti Ji.

If you're ever looking for a volunteer to put their hand up for something, head to New Delhi and ask Mahant Amar Bharti Ji.

In 1973, the clerk raised his hand in honour of Hindu deity Shiva – and he hasn't put it down since.

In 1970 Amar left his job, family and friends to dedicate himself to his religious beliefs.

Three years later, feeling he was still too connected to his old life, Amar simply raised his hand as a sign of his devotion.

It's now been 38 years and the arm has not yet come down.

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.

Amar 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 Hinduism 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.

A close up Amar's hand after 38 years.
A close up Amar's hand after 38 years.