A video viral across social media shows a man dressed in religious attire immolating himself. This video has been shared with the claim that the man in the video is a Sadhu filmed by a team from the BBC, which saw 400 Sadhus immolating their bodies as an offering to Lord Agni.
The video has gone viral across social media with the following claim:
"While covering the Kumbh Mela, a BBC team saw about 400 Sadhus offering their body to Agni Devata before Kumbh Snan. They took a video of the occasion. The BBC camera team had to go far away from flames due to the intense heat generated from burning wood. They were stunned to note that nothing happened to the Sadhus lying on the firewood. They also tested their clothes to identify any presence of firefighting chemicals, but failed to find any. The Sadhus were fully engrossed chanting Mantras. These Sadhus are called Siddha Sadhus. Te BBC team later telecast this on their channels."
The post went viral across Twitter with the following claim:
"While covering the Kumbh Mela, a BBC team saw about 400 Sadhus offering their body to Agni Devata before Kumbh Snan. They took a video of the occasion."
This is power of #SanatanaDharma— Vikas Raina (𑆮𑆴𑆑𑆳𑆱 𑆫𑆽𑆤𑆳)🇮🇳🇮🇳 (@VikasInExile) December 26, 2021
While covering the Kumbh Mela, a BBC Team saw about 400 Sadhus offering their body to Agni Devata before Kumbh Snan. They took a Video of the occasion. pic.twitter.com/Ggm8Zq9R6s
At the Kumbh Mela, a BBC team saw and recorded about 400 Sadhus immolating themselves to offer their bodies to Lord Agni before they took a bath in the Kumbh.
We used InVid's Keyframe Analysis tool to conduct a reverse image search on one of the keyframes from the video. Following this, we came across a clip which indicated that the video clip in question had been taken from the documentary, 'The Fire Yogi - A Story of an Extraordinary Journey.' The video clip in question is from the 18-minute mark of the entire documentary, which we found uploaded on YouTube.
We found the following description on Amazon.
"The Fire Yogi is a 47-minute documentary exploring the journey of a Yogi who has the extraordinary ability to use a unique breathing technique to get into union with Fire." The description claims that the documentary is non-religious and contains the chemical analysis of the Yogi's clothing and physical tests were conducted after his fire ritual.
"The Yogi has performed this Fire Ritual for a total of 1000 days over the last 45 years. The Yogi, weighing a mere 94 pounds which is around 43 kilos has been able to survive on only two bananas and a mere glass of milk with a few drops of water twice a day for the last 28 years." the description claims. Director and producer Mike Vasan has made this 2007 documentary. The documentary has a runtime of 47 minutes with a release date of October 16, 2007, as listed on Amazon.
This documentary is listed on several online outlets, such as ThriftBooks and Toronto Public Library. It is produced by 3dMaxMedia Inc, a production studio that has not made any film after Fire Yogi as per data on WorldCat. The film does not contain any references to the claim of 400 Sadhus attempting to immolate themselves through a fire ritual
The Logical Indian could not independently verify how the fire ritual was conducted. However, we found a report by NewsNation in which the experts reasoned that the Yogi performed the ritual based on science. They stated that a layer of petrol and water was applied to the clothes, enabling the Yogi to withstand the raging flames.
The experts mentioned that no part of the Yogi's body was exposed to the fire. The news report also noted that if the Yogi was genuinely impervious to the fire, his beard shouldn't have ignited. This Times of India report also documented the reactions of rationalists and scientists to the claims from the video.
Thus, the claim that a BBC team saw and recorded about 400 Sadhus immolating themselves to offer their bodies to Lord Agni before they took a bath in the Kumbh is misleading. The video is a snippet from a 47-minute documentary released in 2007, which was produced and directed by Mike Vasan and made under the banner of 3dMaxMedia Inc. The fire ritual of the Yogi in the video has also come under scrutiny and criticism.