Benefits Of Fasting :-
- Fasting excretes huge amounts of accumulated wastes and poison from the body.
- The building of new cells speeded up during fasting whereas diseased, damaged, aged and dead are destroyed and eliminated.
- The eliminative power of lungs, liver, kidney and skin is greatly enhanced after fasting.
Sugar in natural juices strengthens the heart, liver and kidney.
- Fasting gives rest to digestive, assimilative and protective organs and systems of the body thereby capacity and utilization of these organs and systems greatly enhance after fasting.
- Fasting has bigger role in diseases like Indigestion, Constipation, Gas, Digestive disorders, obesity, bp, and gout.
- The best, safest, and most effective method of fasting is lime juice fasting and Tender coconut water fasting.
Fasting – Its Meaning and Purpose
Today, fasting has become a great trend across the world. In any bookstore you will find volumes of literature extolling one fast or another. There are juice fasts, water fasts, fruit fasts, etc. Fasting is frequently heralded as the “miracle weight loss” for those who have tried all else without success.
Connection With The Divine
However, while fasting is certainly of great health benefit, to define it merely as a type of “diet” is to undermine one of the oldest and most sacred spiritual practices. Fasting has been used for millennia by the rishis, saints and sages in order to purify their bodies, minds and souls and to bring every cell of their bodies into connection with the divine.
A True Fast
A true fast, undertaken with understanding and discipline has the power to cure most ailments of the body, mind and spirit.
For the body, a fast restores all systems of the body – the nervous, circulatory, digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems are all regenerated.
The toxins and impurities in our blood and tissues are eliminated and our system becomes rejuvenated. It is a rare man who dies from under-eating; however, the majority of all today’s terminal illnesses are rooted in over-consumption.
A fast also is one of the best ways of controlling our mind and senses. Fasts have been used for millennia to subdue passion, anger and lust. They allow us to withdraw our senses from the outside world and become refocused on our own divine nature and our connection to God.
Additionally, during this period of sadhana, of austerity, of restraint one realizes that one is truly the master of one’s body, not vice versa.
Unfortunately today, even the Indian community seems to have forgotten much of the purpose of a fast. Today, you will see people with plates overflowing with puris , who say they are fasting. There are chapatis, wheat bread and so many other hearty foods that we barely even notice it is a fast.
On the one hand, it is wonderful to see such a proliferation of the idea of phalhar, and I am glad to see that observing weekly fasts, or fasts on Ekadashi are rituals which have not been lost as we enter the 21st century.
However, it is crucial to pause and reflect on what we are calling a “fast,” for, although the idea of fast is still upheld with great fervor, its true meaning and purpose is quickly being obscured by the latest phalhar recipes.
In Sanskrit, the word for fast is Upvas. This literally means, “sitting near to…” Sitting near to whom? Near to God.
Fasting is a time in which our bodies are light, a time in which our vital energy is not being dissipated through the process of consumption and digestion, a time in which we are free from the heaviness and lethargy resulting from overindulgence.
However, a fast is not meant to be merely a refrain from eating. It is not as simple as just reducing one’s caloric intake or avoiding certain foods. Upvas is not a time in which only our stomach is free from excessive external stimulation. It is not a time of mere restraint of the tongue. Rather, it should be a time in which all of our organs are restrained. It should be a time in which all of our organs are purified, a time in which every sense is turned toward the divine.
Our tongues should refrain from both indulgence in food and drink, as well as from indulgence in speech. A fast should also be a time of silence, for we lose much of our vital energy in speech, and through speech our focus becomes diverted outward.
A Fast For The Senses
We tend to think that we only “eat” through our mouths, that our meals are the only “food” our bodies get. However, what we hear, what we see, what we touch – all these things are taken into our bodies as food. Just as pure, wholesome food brings us health of the body, so do pure, wholesome sights, sounds and other stimuli bring us health of the mind, heart and soul. Therefore, when we undertake a fast, we must be equally as aware of purifying the food that we take in through our eyes, ears and hands as we are of the food that we take in through our mouths.
Our ears should refrain from hearing anything other than chanting of the Lord’s name or the quiet of our own thoughts. During a fast we should not listen to rock music, watch TV, or be part of idle gossip. So frequently we see Indians at temple who have spent the whole day “fasting” and then they come to temple and huddle together for three hours gossiping and chatting. Their bodies may be hungry, but their soul has not fasted.
Additionally, that which we see – frequently without even noticing it – penetrates our minds and hearts and changes our perspective. The simple sight of a woman’s bare leg may arouse lust in an otherwise simple and pious man; the sight of blood might cause nausea and panic in one who is usually calm; the sight of a enemy might immediately evoke animosity in one who is usually peaceful and loving.
When we fast we must limit all stimuli which we perceive. That is why we should “sit near to God.” Sit at the temple – either the temple in your home or in the actual mandir. Or, if you prefer, be with nature. But, make sure that the sights and the sounds which you “imbibe” during your fast are pure, pious, loving and filled with divinity.
During a fast we should also try to quiet our mind as much as possible. So much of our energy is drained each day in our ceaseless, incessant thought process. And where do most of our thoughts lead? Either nowhere or to our own frustration. Rarely do we actually solve anything or find peace through our own pondering. Usually it leads only to more confusion and more questions. Therefore, as we give our bodies a rest from digesting food in our stomachs, as we give our ears a rest from digesting impure thoughts, and as we give our eyes a rest from digesting over-stimulating or sensual sights, let us also give our minds a rest from having to digest our thousands upon thousands of thoughts each day.