http://www.chanderifilm.com/nagnath-yogeshwar-puja-film.html On the day in March 2010 when this tape was shot Yogeshwar Nagnath had been on a hunger strike without taking food or drinking water for 592 days. (Everyone says, that is not possible, yet he was doing it. And he was doing this without fanfare, without publicity.) He had undertaken a vow to not eat or drink as a protest to the large damming projects of the Ganges river which is restricting the rivers flow and the subsequent pollution the projects have brought to Varanasi and other Ganges river cities that live along her banks. He would end his fast when the Ganges river would flow free again. How can a person take on such a terrible vow knowing the suffering and obvious consiqueinces? And then survive in this daily suffering for 592 days and counting, in these spartan conditions of the Shiva temple that he is the caretaker, on the final steps to the main cremation grounds of Manikarnika, with a view of the cremation grounds at Banares staring back at him from beyond his sacred dhuni (fire) which itself comes from the eternal flame.
I was preparing this short film to mark the 5th year of Yogeshwar Nagnath's protest fast which he had started on July 19th 2008. When 2 days ago I received word Nagnath was again in a very serious state. For months now he has been in a hospital bed in Varanasi City, his limbs have become stiff and he is unable to even bend his fingers. And now he can barely move, nor does he rarely speak, he still he lives on, 5 years without food. Some may glorify this incredible show. Nagnath's spiritual strength can not be denied. However what I feel is a real man's suffering. How could he endure so much,day in and day out? If you have even gone one day without food, you know the ache and steady pain. I sat silently with this man for but a few days, and he left me with so many questions, that i still ponder to this day. On a couple evenings before Holi 2010 I came to the evening arti at the Shiva temple known as the Kashi Mahashmasan Peeth, where Nagnath Yogeshwar had been caretaker day in and day out for the past 20 years. One evening he let me film. This is a footage from that evening puja.