Fasting can be defined as abstinence from food in observance of a religious ritual or sacred ceremony. It indicates the denial of the physical needs of the body for the sake of spiritual gains.
Fasting can also mean abstaining from taking certain things, either for religious reasons or for the sake of good health. A fast can be observed in many different ways:
- A simple fast may just mean abstaining from such foods as fish or meat for a day or more. Many Hindus choose at least one or more such days in the week.
- A moderate fast may consist of drinking only liquids and avoiding solids during the day and having a single vegetarian meal after sunset. This type of fast may continue for several days, especially in the case Navaratri, when Hindus fast for 9 days in honor of goddess Durga.
- A serious fasting may involve taking only water or no water at all for a day or more, such as the single day no-fluid fast by women on Karwa Chauth
- It is said, "When the stomach is full, the intellect begins to sleep. Wisdom becomes mute and the parts of the body restrain from acts of righteousness." By fasting, the digestive organs get rest and all body mechanisms are cleansed and corrected.
Read more about the significance and philosophy of fasting. Let us know your thoughts on fasting by posting a comment below.
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