Kathmandu, Nepal - A 30-year-old Nepali guru, believed by his followers to be a divine being with supernatural powers, has created a record in the spiritual world by meditating for 27 hours - on Mt Everest, the highest peak in the world.
Bhakta Kumar Rai, born in an ethnic community in a remote village in Udaypur district in eastern Nepal, transformed himself into "Supreme Master Godangel" after founding a sect, the Heavenly Path, when he was only 18.
Rai's followers, who are scattered over Nepal, India, Hong Kong, Britain and Malaysia, regard him as an angel sent by God to earth to propagate peace, eradicate poverty and encourage self-healing. He is also credited by disciples with having performed miracles from an early age.
The 30-year-old did create a miracle on Mt Everest, summiting the 8,848m peak Friday and staying up for an incredible 32 hours, out of which he spent 27 hours meditating for world peace.
"He reached the summit at 5.30 a.m. on Friday and stayed up meditating till 1 p.m. the next day," said Laxman Bhattarai, spokesperson at Nepal's tourism ministry.
"Supreme Master Godangel spent 32 hours on the summit, meditating for 27 hours," Heavenly Path officials in Kathmandu told IANS.
"He used oxygen only for 11 hours."It is an incredible feat that breaks the record of the longest stay on Mt Everest.
In 1999, Nepali climber and high-altitude guide Babu Chhiri Sherpa stayed on the summit for 21 hours and 30 minutes, creating a record for endurance in the freezing cold where severe frostbite and swelling in the brain leading to death overcome less hardy climbers.
This month alone, three people died while trying to summit Mt Everest.
Rai's followers said he had meditated all through the day and night sitting out in the open on the summit. Bhattarai however said that it would have to be confirmed. Babu Chhiri Sherpa had stayed up in a tent.
The Heavenly Path says Rai foretold the royal massacre in Nepal in 2000 that saw the royal family perish, as well as the attack on the Twin Towers in the US a year later.
In 2002 he participated in a world peace conference in India's financial capital Mumbai where he was reportedly given the title of "Supreme Master Godangel".
This year, three spiritual expeditions headed for Mt Everest with the mission of spreading the message of world peace.
Besides Rai's Prayer, Meditation and Request for World Peace on the Top of the World Expedition, the other two are the Spiritual Everest Expedition 2011, led by Jogabyasa Bhoi from India's Orissa state who wants to spread the message of Indian revolutionary Aurobindo Ghose who later became a seer, and the Global Peace Initiative from the Highest Peak of the World led by Nepali Sarada Kumari Rayamajhi, a 34-year-old nun belonging to the sect commonly known as the Brahmakumaris, who have their headquarters in India's Rajasthan state.