Fasting is well known in India. And also it is well known in Russia too. But wherever these Russian people go, Indian people go, from the other country, whoever believe in the fasting, they carry those ideas with them. What is fast, first of all? For fasting, Sanskrit words are two. It is vrata or upavaasa. Vrata means you take one vow that I will eat only one time in 24 hours. So, one meal. That is called vrata. You took the vow. So then you stick with it. In 24 hours you take only one meal. Or sometimes people go a little further. They vow that “I will drink only water.” Then it has to stick with it 24 hours.
Why 24 hours? I will tell you why. Because the body is full of toxins and those toxins they don’t begin to burn unless you stay at least 24 hours with it. If somebody does like they eat twice or one time, it has benefit, but it doesn’t have much benefit. Much benefit is if you stay at least 24 hours. Like the muslims. They do Ramadan. And they think they are fasting. But it seems like to me they are not fasting. Why? The real fasting doesn’t happen in those cases. Why? Because they eat everyday in the evening. That’s one meal.
If they eat only one meal, stick with the one meal, it is still considered fasting. Fasting is one meal in 24 hours. But then it is not that. Wake up early in the morning 4 o’clock they start cooking again and feast before sunrise. So, where is the fasting now? Because usually people have two meals. Two meals, like lunch and dinner. And breakfast people really don’t eat much, so it is not considered. So the Ramadan, Muslims they eat two meals. And where the fasting is? So I don’t consider that is the fasting. It doesn’t work on your body and I notice in Ramadan people losing weight they begin to gain weight because they begin to eat a lot then.
So that is not fasting, it is a misconception of fasting. Misconception are many. First of all, if you want to water fast, it can be dangerous for you. Why? It depends on your type of body. If your body’s vaata, if your body’s mainly pitta, if your body’s mainly kapha. There are three kinds of elements in our body. Vaata, pitta, and kapha. Vaata means mostly the wind, the gastric trouble. Many people when they eat, their body produces a lot of gas in their body. They have suffer with the gastric trouble. And sometimes their body, whatever they eat, it creates a lot of acidity. That is called pitta. And then kapha, if you drink a lot of milk, dairy product, you eat lot of things so it creates a lot of kapha.
So it depends on if your body is pitta suppose, and your trying to do the water fast, you will have a lot of trouble. It will create a lot of headache, pain in the body. Why? Because it is pitta, the main it is called dosha. Pitta dosha means your body has lot of acidity and you cannot fast. The people who are having a lot of gastric trouble, they cannot fast either. So you cannot compare who can fast or who can not fast, and you cannot compete in fasting. Fasting is supposed to be natural way. Yes, if you do 24 hours, just drink only water so your toxins begin to move. Your toxins begin to burn within 24 hours. I will tell you one example. Your car needs after 5000 miles to change the oil. If you don’t change the oil, your car will not run smooth further, it might break. You are taking lot of risks. Same way all machinery in this world needs oil change. No matter it is a lawnmower, no matter it is a little weed-eater, but it needs to change the oil.
If you don’t change it, that machinery will be very much in trouble. It might break. Same way the human body is a big machinery. If you don’t change the oil from the human body, it is you are in risk. You need to change the oil. But there is a way to change the oil. 1. You can have a juice fasting. You can drink two or three times juice during the day. And it will flush out all the toxins. And the better way if you just only drink the water. And I will not put stress on the fasting much – water fasting – because it can be dangerous. Depending on what kind of body you are carrying. So if your body is gastric more, then you cannot fast longer. It is a big risk. You can fast maybe one day. You can try. Sometimes you are not able to fast even one day. Maybe half day. But, yes, benefits are tremendous. Benefits are when you take one day break from the food, then your machinery begin to relax.
It is like you are resting. You are giving the space to the machinery. And when it is given space, not eating anything, it’s not a burden. Machinery will rest. When it rests it will even function much better way after the fasting. So it is better like you do it just starting one day. If you do one day maybe you can try two days one time, another time.
But I will not tell you to do it, you see your own body first. But I can guarantee in one day you are not going to die. There is no risk. One day anybody can do it. And it is good for… so what if the situation happen the earthquake or this or that, never practice fasting. And somebody buried under the gravel, under all these material, fall down all the houses… And if they didn’t practice fasting, it is no chance they will survive under this rubble.
It is very difficult. But if they practice, if they are ever buried under, people are already searching, big help going on, rescue team is there… You are possibly even after 7 days, 10 days, you can be alive — but if you practice. There are many benefits. It is better, I suggest people to practice it because the water fasting or even the one time meal in 24 hours, it gives you lot of benefit. Your toxins begin to burn. It is like changing the oil. It is like you’re giving the rest. And when your body is totally relaxed, the toxins they don’t like that, they begin to move out from through your pores. And they are going out. So you feel very much lightened next day. And you begin to lose weight. If you do, if you practice one day, even once a month, you do one fasting, there are lots of benefits. But the best thing is I will tell you. The best benefit is… Best benefit is if you do the fasting not for the physical aspect only, but for the spiritual aspect. You will going to burn lot of karmas.
When you burn lot of karma, your soul begins to awaken. And that is the fastest way to burn the karma. Fasting. Why am I telling you? Because of in Mahavira’s time 2600 years ago Mahavira has a tremendous strong body. If Mahavira does 30 days fasting on the water and we do only one day on the water, it is equal. Mahavira will burn his karma, Mahavira kind of person, will burn in one month whatever karma we can burn in one day. So but I will still not suggest to you to force yourself. Do whatever you can do. If you can do one day, do only one day. If you try to do two days, you force yourself, and you are not able to do it, you might harm your body.
So I am not in favor of fasting much if you are forced. But if you try to do just one day or try to do two days, if your body accept the fasting, you can try to do four days. It is up to you. But benefit is tremendous. Your body becomes very lightened, your sickness begin to disappear, your kidney can be healed, your organs if they have any infection they can be healed. And best thing is your head is clear. Lot of clarity comes through the fasting. So I suggest to people do once in a while water fasting. And it gives you much practice. But it has to be done for the spiritual reason. Not just for to lose the weight only. To lose the weight only, it works too.
No doubt about it. But the best thing is when you are in that process why not to think about your spiritual growth, because your head is going to get clear? Clarity. When you have clarity, you can focus more, you can go deep into the meditation, and that is the best benefit of the water fast. Jai Siddhatma.
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