Born in 1868 this great woman yogi has not taken food or drink since 1880. The Yogi Paramhansa Yogananda is pictured with her, in 1936, at her home in the isolated Bengal village of Biur. Her non-eating state has been rigorously investigated by the Maharaja of Burdwan. She employs a certain yoga technique to recharge her body with cosmic energy from the ether, sun, and air. Quote from "Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda"
The story of Giri Bala was told to Yagananda when he met with her when she was 68. At that time she had not eaten nor taken fluids for over 56 years. Still living the life of a humble and simple villager, she had in her early years as rumour spread, been taken to the palace of the leader of her province. There she was kept under strict observation and eventually 'released' with the sanction that yes she did exist purely on Light.
With Yogananda she shared how as a child she enjoyed a voracious appetite for which she was often chided and teased. At age nine she was betrothed and was soon ensconced in her husband's family abode. One day Giri suffered so greatly at her mother-in-law's tongue and teasing at her gluttony that she exclaimed "I shall soon prove to you that I shall never touch food again as long as I live". Teased further she then fled the village.
In great despair she cried from her very soul for God to send a Guru who could teach her to live by God's Light alone. At this time her Guru materialized in front of her and she was initiated into the art of a specific Kria Yoga technique to free the body of the need for physical sustenance.
The Guru shared 'Dear little one, I am the guru sent here by God to fulfil your urgent prayer. He was deeply touched by its very unusual nature. From today you shall live by the astral light. Your bodily atoms shall be recharged by the infinite current."
Since that day she has neither eaten nor taken fluids and has no bodily excretions. Yogananda shared that "she is setting this example to prove that man is spirit in truth, and also to prove that man can live by the Eternal Light of God."
Quote from Dr. Joshua David Stone's work "Forty of the Worlds Great Saints and Spiritual Masters".