FASTING – CLEANSES OUR BODY, MIND & SOUL
Food provides sustenance to our body
Proves harmful to our body system
When taken more than our body can digest
Since it forces our digestive system
Working more than what it is able to function
Thus in the process
Producing toxins and fatty acids – in excess
thereby making us obese due to excessive food consumption
Which impairs our body constitution.
Fasting is a willful self-restraint
We impose on ourselves
Giving a needed breather
To our digestive system
And other metabolic related organism
In the process regulating the body function
In sync with our body’s needs and aspiration
Thus ensuring sound mind
In a sound body
Thus cleansing the body and mind
Thus live a life suffusing with piety
With enough of satiety
Free from worries
Created due to life bereft of health related problems
Which otherwise adversely affects our system.
Fasting thus gives us break from eating
Which gives our digestive system
A needful breather
Thus helping our body
To perform all the functions properly
In sync with the need of our body
Along with all the organs of our body.
In the current Covid-19 Pandemic situation
Fasting will cleanse our body constitution
With it our mind and spirit
Thus help establish connectivity
With Omnipotent and Omniscient God Almighty.
FASTING TO INFUSE SPIRITUAL ORIENTATION
Fasting means not eating food for a fixed period of time or for a per-determined period of time. Fasting gives our digestive system some breathe or rest consequently keeping the body free of extra fats/fatty acids and toxins which results in numerous diseases such as disturbed sleep, hypertension, overweight etc. All these ailments prevent us from focusing on the job we are doing besides with unsound health puts a stop to focused attention to our prayers to our God for peace and prosperity in our life. Not having peace in life means we cannot serve the very purpose of our existence on this beautiful earth. Our purpose on this earth is to lead a spiritual oriented life by seeking connectivity with our Creator. Leading a spiritual oriented life means to perform our duties sincerely, having empathy for others by fulfilling the needs of others besides thanking Omnipotent and Omniscient God for His bountiful gifts which He has given us. Besides, leading a spiritual oriented life also do everything positive in life for Moksha or liberation from births and deaths ultimately. All this happens when we are having sound health. Sound health results when we keep a tight leash on our eating habits – when to eat, how best to eat and WHEN NOT TO EAT.
WHAT TO EAT AND WHEN TO EAT AND IN WHAT QUANTITY TO BE TAKEN ARE IMPORTANT
Essentially, it has rightly been said, we become what we eat since we get necessary energy from the food we eat. If we eat a balanced diet, rich in vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates etc. then we would be having sound body. More the energy and synergy to perform our daily work more output thus more the satiety in our life.
It is important to mention ‘What to eat’ is very important since if we eat indiscriminately, we may have the intricate situation of having Covid-19 Pandemic created by eating ‘bats’ meat’ or consuming whatever comes our way which has engulfed almost the entire humanity.
Then comes the significance of ‘When to eat’ since if we continue eating fast foods or anything which comes our way any time without even conforming to our eating schedules (breakfast, lunch and dinner), then, we are in for digestion related problems. It should always be remembered that every organ of our body including our digestive system require some breather or respite/rest; if it overworks, then, sure enough, it will not only adversely affect our digestive system but also impair overall working of our body metabolism. If we give a day’s rest to our digestive system, we shall feel light, our important organs like liver, intestines and in fact all the internal body mechanism will work in sync.
FASTING IS SKIPPING THE FOOD AND WATER INTAKE
Fasting is intentional skipping of intake of food material, drinks or sometimes both for a fixed or sometimes for a prolonged period of time. It may be for a complete day (24 hours) from early morning to evening (dawn to dusk) or early morning on a particular day to the morning of next day. Then the fasting could be continuously or intermittent; depending on the body requirement or for the intended purpose of observance of fast as a religious tradition being followed in some religions.
While in intermittent fasting, we remain without food, for a fixed time-span and then eat at a set time but in continuous fasting we remain without food for a long period of time – say from morning to the following morning of the day or still more for more days at a stretch.
BENEFITS OF FASTING
Fasting is both for regulating and energizing the body metabolism by pepping up / streamlining the digestive system so as to keep the body free of the extra fats and toxins besides keeping the body’s carbohydrates (sugar) synchronized with the need of our body. With slower and regulated metabolism, means our body organs can work for a longer period of time thus prolonging our age.
FASTING AND RELIGIOUS CONNOTATION
FASTING BY HINDUS
Hindu fast on religious and sacred days or on the religious festivals like: Navratris, Puranmashi (Puranmashi is the full moon day in traditional Indian calendar), Ekadshi (Ekadashi is the eleventh day of both the dark and light fortnight of each month), Maha Shivratri (auspicious time for Maha Shivaratri puja activities like Fasting and prayers are performed), Ramnavmi (Fasting observed on the birthday of the Lord Ram) , Krishna Janamashthmi (fasting on the birthday of Lord Krishna) besides many other festivals connected with Demi Gods and fasts relevant to local populace of a particular locality.
FASTING BY CHRISTIANS
The Christians skip their desire for food and instead devote time in seeking God. Meaning, the time spent on preparation of food etc could meaningfully be utilized for prayers and meditation on the Word. This fasting time could be per-determined and hunger for food could be compensated with hunger for the Lord. Jesus fasted from all food and drink. The Bible also describes some extreme times when people fasted.
THE FASTING BY MUSLIMS
The Muslims observe fasts in the month of Ramadan or Ramzan. It is a sacred month since Holy Quran was revealed in this month. The word Ramadan has been driven from the Arabic word ramaida meaning intense heat accompanied with dryness of ground. It is called so since it amounts to driving out sins with our good deeds like offering charity and keeping away or desisting from all body enjoyments etc along with intense penance by following the practice of fasting.
The word “fasting” (sawm) literally means ‘to refrain’ – means desisting from not only from food and drinks but also from unethical thoughts and actions which sully our thoughts and actions besides following all the guidance in letter and spirit enunciated in the Holy Quran. In other words, it is not merely restraint from food and drink but also our resolve as to how to control the urge of hunger and thirst besides devote ones energies on prayers thus gain spiritually. This way, the devout learn the traits of self discipline through self restraints too. The fast is broken at sunset before recitation from Holy Quran and thus being in connectivity with Allaha. The fast is broken with a sip of water and some dates.
FASTING FOR SPIRITUAL FORWARD JOURNEY FOR OUR HOLISTIC GROWTH
Fasting is done as an exercise of keeping oneself away from certain activities which prevent devout from being spiritually aesthetical both physically and emotionally. Thus desisting from taking anything and keep oneself away from worldly pleasures i.e. humdrum of eating drinking or even being away from thinking about anything like lust etc and divert all the energies to prayers – five times. Having abstinence means devoting much of time and resources on charities besides prayers infuses self discipline and ushers in all round development in the individual.
Everybody may be aware about IFTAR party – a social event where fast is broken. Here meal is shared with friends and others. Free meals are also served for the general public too at this get-together.
Ramadan or Ramzan is more than fasting. The entire month is devoted to prayers, internal cleansing, charity etc.
- The devout devote all his/her energies to focus on God.
- No compromise on the practice self restraint – physical or mental.
- Re-evaluate lives in the light of Islamic guidance
- Forget and forgive those who wronged
- Purify our lives physically and emotionally besides our thoughts and actions. A devotee thus adopts the qualities of head and heart
Fasting helps self awareness / self enlightenment
- Saves a devout from distractions and create the traits associated with sincerity and simplicity
- Restraint helps us discipline ourselves besides a person turns inward with regular prayers.