The Standing Babas were men who’d taken a vow never to sit down, or lie down, ever again, for the rest of their lives. They ate their meals standing up . . . They even slept while they were standing, suspended in harnesses . . . The pain was unending and terrible . . . Tormented, tortured, the Standing Babas were never still. They shifted constantly from foot to foot in a gentle, swaying dance . . . The faces of the Babas were radiant with their excruciation . . . [they] assumed a luminous, transcendent beatitude. Light, made from the agonies they suffered, streamed from their eyes . . . The Babas were also comprehensively, celestially, and magnificently stoned. They smoked nothing Kashmiri – the best hashish in the world . . . and they smoked it all day, and all night, all their lives . . . For a tiny moment in the infinitude of his suffering I almost felt it, what the human will can drive the human body to endure and achieve.
– Gregory David Roberts, “Shantaram”