In an awesome demonstration of his yogic power, mighty man R. Letchemanah, of Malaysia, towed a 71,000 pound Boeing 737-200 jetliner a world-record distance of 129 feet, using a thick hand plaited to his hair. Letchemanah is not a stranger to such events. In 1985 he pulled a six-ton bus with 25 passengers over a distance of 65 feet with his hair. HINDUISM TODAY interviewed him in Kuala Lumpur right after the feat.

HINDUISM TODAY: Did you do some sort of exercise or meditation prior to pulling the airplane?

Letchemanah: Yes. Boxers use their physical strength to fight their opponents. I am using my "inner" subtle power which is only available through concentration and meditation.

HT: Do you do any special hair treatment?

Letchemanah: No. I had been practising for the past 19 years. Even the Madras Medical College did a test to see whether my hair was original or not. They confirmed it was original. It is all my inner strength and not my physical body that enables me to do this.

HT: How did you develop your power?

Letchemanah: I have learned the Indian martial art Silambam for seven years. Then I graduated as a master in other martial arts like Karate, Kung Fu and Tae Kwon Do. These helped me to discipline my body and mind. I learned breath control and concentration exercises. I learned kundalini yoga from Mr. Velu. All these various trainings helped me to awaken my kundalini power to higher chakras. I am able to utilize my kundalini power with vayu (air) in the body to achieve the energy needed to perform such feats.

HT: Are you a vegetarian?

Letchemanah: I observed a very strict vegetarian diet for a month prior to pulling the plane. The diet really helps to control the mind and I am able to concentrate, meditate on my goals. It is very vital for my performance.

HT: Is your family involved with your work?

Letchemanah: Yes. My 13-year-old son, Thiyagarajah can pull a truck using his teeth. My daughter, aged 12, can pull a car with four passengers using her hair. I am teaching my youngest one the concentration exercises. My wife is very supportive in helping me achieve my aims.

HT: The current record on a bed of nails is 301 hours, held by a Christian clergyman. Can you break this record (H.T. Aug., 1990)?

Letchemanah: I can do it. I have to practice and have someone organize the event.

HT: Can you say something to the Hindus worldwide?

Letchemanah: Hinduism is a complete religion. It has everything. Many Hindus are converting to other religions because they have not learned their religion well enough. Once they study and have practiced what they learned, then they will never convert. I pulled the plane with the Kundalini Shakti, which is a basic part of Hinduism.

Article copyright Himalayan Academy.