Fasting In Indian Tradition: Why Do We Really Do It?

Why Do We Fast?

Fasting is something which is very common in our country.

Right from kids to elders, many Indian devotees fast regularly as well as on special occasions & festivals.

On such days, they do not eat at all, eat once, or do with fruits or a special diet of simple food.

Some fasts are rigorous as well.

There are many people. who does not even drink water the whole day! This is a very common scene in India, especially during the “Karva-Chauth” fast.

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The Main Question Is, Why Do We Fast At All?

Fasting is done for many reasons- to discipline oneself, to please the Lord, or even during some kind of protests- what we call, Anshan!

When someone is on a fast, food and water intake is drastically reduced, which may sometimes be harmful.

Is it to harm our self? Or is it to save food, or to create an appetite to feast after the fast? Not really.

Then Why Do We Fast?

In our Indian tradition, fasting is holy. In Sanskrit, it is called as “Upvaas”.

According to the traditional belief, Upa means “near” and Vaas means to “stay”.

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Thus, Upvaas/Fasting Means Staying Near The Lord

But again, how is mental proximity with the Lord related to not eating food? We all consume breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily without fail. Does this mean we are not near to the Lord?

A lot of our time and energy is spent in and around food items, preparing, cooking, eating, and digesting food.

Also, certain food types make us agitated as well. Our stomach and digestive system work more than our brains! Eating is the best time pass we can ever own. Everything needs a break, doesn’t it?

Hence, according to the Indian tradition of Upvaas, one decides to save time and conserve his energy by eating either simple, light food or totally abstains from eating. Every machine or system needs a break to perform better in usual work.

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Rest and a change of diet during fasting are very good for the digestive system and the entire body.

According to the traditional belief, during fasting, the mind, which is otherwise mostly pre-occupied with the thought of food, entertains noble thoughts and stays with the Lord.

We all have faith in doing what we are, to attain and achieve something. Many Indians have this belief to be on fasting, in order to achieve something.

Although this is traditionally linked to please the Lord by fasting so that one achieves what he wants, in practical life, it is related to something different.

We keep a fast so that we achieve something. To keep a promise strengthens our will and confidence, which will help procure a better performance.

However, This Includes A Risk Factor

Fasting should not make us weak, irritable, or create an urge to indulge later.This mostly happens when there is no goal behind fasting.

Some fast, rather than diet, just to reduce weight.

To reduce weight just by diet gives us physical well-being, But fasting gives us an essence, with a meaning.

Did you know benefits of intermittent fasting? Then read on to know more.

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