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  1. #1
    Chitvish's Avatar
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    Default Fasting according to Hindu Religion.

    Fasting is abstinence of food for a specific period of time. It is also a self-imposed form of discipline. This practice is followed by almost all religious groups in the world.

    There are many purposes for fasting. It has often been a way in which people have sought pardon for their misdeeds. In some religions, people fast during times of mourning. In others, the people believe that fasting will take their minds away from physical things, and produce a state of spiritual joy and happiness. People also fast because of health reasons. Fasting is very potent to increase the power and focus of prayer.

    Why do Hindus fast?

    According to the Hindu belief, fasting has a way of neutralizing or minimizing chaos in the body. Instead of focusing on food, when fasting, the whole body assists one in going towards spirituality. Hindus fast in observance of a vow or holy day.

    Fasting can be done in many ways.

    A simple fast may consist of merely avoiding certain foods for a day or more, such as when non vegetarians abstain from fish, fowl and meats.

    A moderate fast would involve avoiding heavier foods, or taking only juices, tea and other liquids.

    Upavasa is another name for fasting. Upa means near and vasa means to stay. So we can take it that it takes us to the proximity of God. On the days of fasting, we do not spend time and energy on cooking the food and related work. So the mind is comparatively alert and pure and entertains noble thoughts about God. Also our system gets a break and rest! This does a lot of good to the entire body and particularly the digestive system.

    In Hindu religion Ekadasi is observed by many, as a fasting day. It is supposed to free one from sinful activities and help him advance in spiritual life. Ekadasi gives one a real taste of renunciation, thus helping one give up trying to enjoy illusory sense gratification of this material world. It also helps us to minimise the demands of the body and to engage our time in the service of the Lord.

    Fasting helps us to discipline our senses and cultivate control over them. So gradually our desires are sublimated and we feel more peaceful. But care has to be taken to make sure that we do not become physically weak and hence irritable during fasting ! This will not happen if we fast with noble intentions.

    Love,
    Chithra.








  2. #2
    Kamla's Avatar
    Kamla is offline IL Hall Of Fame Finest Posts Leader
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    Default Re: Fasting according to Hindu Religion.

    Alas, a tried and tested practice which I personally have decided as not suitable for my temperament!!
    As a young girl, the only time I was asked to keep away from food was on Vinayaka Chaturthi and Varalakshmi Vratam...that too, only till the pooja was done. Later, we hogged more than necessary to compensate the belated meal! Also at times of eclipse, occassionaly, have avoided eating at certain times.
    Some years back, I decided to fast on Tuesdays as a mark of respect to God and avoided onions, garlic, rice and rice products. Believe me, all the dinner invitations and special occassions started taking place on Tuesdays! Also, my family decided to get extra hungry and wished for special preparations on Tuesdays. For some reason, my temper too seemed to flare up on Tuesdays. All in all, I do not think my God was pleased with me on ...guess what...Tuesdays!!
    Don't know Chithra, good or bad, I decided fasting was not for me. These days, i pray with peaceful heart and concentration. That just suits me.

    Sorry for subjecting you with Swayapuranam:) Sorry if I sound like belittling Fasting..... I have high esteem for those who do it with respect and confirmed dedication.

    L, Kamla


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fasting according to Hindu Religion.

    Dear Kamla,
    I agree with every word of what you write, since I too have gone through that experience !
    I had a tendency for migraine, which was waiting to flare up on the slightest pretext.
    Now, of late, I fast in a way, which suits my convenience. On any day of the week ( when the children are not likely to drop in !), I go on a fruit diet - no salt & no cooked food at all.
    I have one tea & one coffee. I think, this detoxifies & cleanses my system as well. ( maintaining weight is a bonus ! )I fully agree, it requires self-will & dedication, in a large measure. It is purely one's convenience, without disturbing others in the bargain by our moods & irritability !
    I am glad, you did'nt miss this post !
    Love,
    Chithra.






    Quote Originally Posted by Kamla View Post
    Alas, a tried and tested practice which I personally have decided as not suitable for my temperament!!
    As a young girl, the only time I was asked to keep away from food was on Vinayaka Chaturthi and Varalakshmi Vratam...that too, only till the pooja was done. Later, we hogged more than necessary to compensate the belated meal! Also at times of eclipse, occassionaly, have avoided eating at certain times.
    Some years back, I decided to fast on Tuesdays as a mark of respect to God and avoided onions, garlic, rice and rice products. Believe me, all the dinner invitations and special occassions started taking place on Tuesdays! Also, my family decided to get extra hungry and wished for special preparations on Tuesdays. For some reason, my temper too seemed to flare up on Tuesdays. All in all, I do not think my God was pleased with me on ...guess what...Tuesdays!!
    Don't know Chithra, good or bad, I decided fasting was not for me. These days, i pray with peaceful heart and concentration. That just suits me.

    Sorry for subjecting you with Swayapuranam:) Sorry if I sound like belittling Fasting..... I have high esteem for those who do it with respect and confirmed dedication.

    L, Kamla



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    chitrajan is offline Senior ILite
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    Default Fasting according to Hindu Religion.

    Dear C,

    Sometimes it is like you read my mind and write to clarify my doubts. But still I have one more doubt . How do you decide on how to fast?

    I was under the impression that fasting means total abstinence from food for a day. But I find that many of my colleagues, who are from Bombay and North India have different days of the week for fasting and they keep eating fruits (fresh and dry) during the day and have a meal in the evening.

    Chitrajan
    Work your way to progress.
    Cheers

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    Default Re: Fasting according to Hindu Religion.

    Dear Chithra

    I have done fasting before marriage on Mondays. Yes I do remember for the first time by the time I completed I was fully exhausted. But after two three fasts I started feeling ok. And I started enjoying it. But after marriage I have not able to do it even for a day. Actually I have not thought about it seriously. As usual your write up gave a clear picture. Thank you chithra.

    Love
    vidhi


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    Default Re: Fasting according to Hindu Religion.

    Dear Chitra,

    all spiritual practices seem to have deeper meaning -
    I don't fast but I don't treat my system like a waste bin filling it up with all crap. I need to be sure of what gets into my stomach. I can keep all the chocolates in front of me and avoid eating - all I need to do is just tell myself I won't and I really won't. that's about food.
    the other part of fasting - the spiritual inclination, that's something I've always had and I'm praying all the time. sometimes I feel, I'm distubing God tooo much.
    I liked your finishing line, Chitra .

    Meena


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    Vishana is offline New ILite
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    Default Re: Fasting according to Hindu Religion.

    Chithra,

    Thank you for sharing that with us. I am fasting at the moment but my simple fast contains of eating only veg, fruits, coffee, water. I do this for about 3 weeks when I feel I need to and for most auspicious occasions in the Hindu calendar .

    I only do an 'extreme' fast (where I don't consume anything at all for the day) when I am doing pooja, only eating once pooja is completed in the evening, still refraining from non-veg of course.

    It's amazing how great your body and mind feels once you have completed a period of fasting.

    Vish


  8. #8
    Chitvish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fasting according to Hindu Religion.

    Dear Chitrajan,
    Me, a mind reader ? - very flattering !
    How to fast - this is purely personal, I would say. It depends on your health ( diabetic etc), will power, physical work on that particular day.
    According to Mahaperiyaval, fasting should be done with not even drinking water. This varies with individuals. I avoid salt & cooked food. I have fruits so that I will not feel run down. Nuts & dry fruits also come under that category !
    I don't fill myself up, but eat the minimum thrice & not right through the day. I am not hard & fast with a particular day, as well. To be very frank ( You all know, I am not a hypocrite!) I do it more for detoxification & to keep the weight under control !
    Thanks for your F B .
    Love to
    Chitra
    From,
    Chithra.






    Quote Originally Posted by chitrajan View Post
    Dear C,

    Sometimes it is like you read my mind and write to clarify my doubts. But still I have one more doubt . How do you decide on how to fast?

    I was under the impression that fasting means total abstinence from food for a day. But I find that many of my colleagues, who are from Bombay and North India have different days of the week for fasting and they keep eating fruits (fresh and dry) during the day and have a meal in the evening.



  9. #9
    Chitvish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fasting according to Hindu Religion.

    Dear Vidhi,
    Thanks for your (as usual prompt) F B.
    Do it without feeling compelled & enjoy that as an offering to God. Do not feel compelled by do's & don'ts. Do what suggests to you as prctical. Do not discuss with others - I hate telling others about it. I write about it here more to let you know that it is possible, even at an older age.
    Love,
    Chithra.

    Quote Originally Posted by vidhi View Post
    Dear Chithra

    I have done fasting before marriage on Mondays. Yes I do remember for the first time by the time I completed I was fully exhausted. But after two three fasts I started feeling ok. And I started enjoying it. But after marriage I have not able to do it even for a day. Actually I have not thought about it seriously. As usual your write up gave a clear picture. Thank you chithra.

    Love
    vidhi



  10. #10
    meenu is offline Silver ILite
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    Default Re: Fasting according to Hindu Religion.

    dear chithra,
    Ihave always appreciated thetopicsyou select. This one indeed is fine. I agree with you totally that fasting can be done when you feel like andkeeping away from cooked food is a pracitcally good idea. It gives a change of routine and time for rethinking. you hit the nail on the head when you said that fasting makes people irritable and as you say the intention has to be good and will -power strong to continually fast.
    regards,
    meenu


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