Friday, June 19, 2009

Fasting is a Virtue !!


Today is Ekadashi (the eleventh day of a lunar waning / waxing cycle) and Hindus believe it is a good day to fast. I have been fasting on every Ekadashi for several years. I had read about the spiritual benefits about fasting on this day and decided to attempt it. The Ekadashi fast is one where one abstains from eating & drinking the whole day and the ritual breaking of fast is conducted the next morning only. Having seen my mother fast regularly and survive comfortably, I knew that fasting is manageable.

As I started fasting, I realised that hunger pains comes in fixed points of time. Hunger is a reminder by your system to inform you that the time to feed has come. If, using mind control and strong resolve, you resist the temptation to pop something into your mouth, the feeling passes after some time. So, hunger becomes your slave rather than you coming under its control. It is great feeling to have mastered it. It is believed that if one can master the cravings of the tongue, one can master anything.

Besides improving our mind and making us more disciplined, fasting has many other benefits. Our human body is like a machine which is working non-stop. Even in factories, they have periodic servicing of the machines. If we give a break to our stomach, we are giving it much needed rest and help it in becoming more efficient. By fasting regularly, we facilitate our bodies to survive for a longer tenure. When we fast, we are experiencing hunger more acutely and therefore are able relate to other poor beings that are unable or cannot afford to eat regularly.

There are many ways of fasting. One can go on a liquid diet or one can go without salt or one can have liquids and fruits etc. One can fast for a whole day or for part of a day. One can choose a particular day in a week or fortnight or month to make this a regular practice. It is necessary not to overdo this and one should stay within limits. But as you start this practice, you will realise that there is a pleasure of forgoing and abstaining. And this is one pleasure that is a virtue!!

4 comments:

lakshmi said...

Hi Vish
true indeed - fasting is a virtue. It teaches us to discipline our mind.
I went on a liquid diet for 10 days.......hmm pretty difficult but not impossible...........

if man thinks he can do it then he sure will do it right??????

KParthasarathi said...

Sir, I don't fast though aware of the advantages.Your post makes me think again.Thanks

manivannan said...

Hi Vish,

I was surprised to see your post title - and came here! And was even more surprised when I came to know you fast on Ekadasi...Guess what? I & my brother both fast on this auspicious day...I'm glad you've brought out the virtues of fasting in your post.

Happy fasting :D

sm said...

Fasting is a good way to keep fit .