the Brahmin, was the model of austere devotion. He lived 1,100 years, and spent each century in some astounding mortification.
1st century. He held up his arms and one foot towards heaven, fixing his eyes on the sun the whole time. 2nd century. He stood on tiptoe the whole time.
8th century. He stood on his head, with his feet towards the sky. 9th century. He rested wholly on the palm of one hand.
11th century. He hung from a tree with his head downwards.
“One century he lived wholly on water, another wholly on air, another steeped to the neck in earth, and for another century he was always enveloped in fire I don't know that the world has been benefited by such devotion.” —Maurice, History of Hindostan
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894