Is There Any Benefit to Fasting?
Once in every 11 to 14 days, you may not feel like eating. On that day, you should not eat. You know, even dogs and cats have this awareness? Have you noticed that on particular days, they will not eat? They are aware of their system. On the day the system says “no food,” it is a cleaning-up day, they will not eat. Since you don’t have this awareness, they fixed Ekadashi. Ekadashi comes once in every 14 days in the lunar calendar. At least every 14 days, you could go without food. If you are unable to go without food, if your activity levels are such and you don’t have the necessary sadhana to support you, then you could go on a fruit diet. Just observe your own system, and you may notice that on certain days, you do not really need to eat. Forcing food on those days is not a good thing to do.
Suppose one wants to fast for a certain period, it must always be supported with the right kind of spiritual practices or sadhana. If you forcefully fast without preparing your body and mind sufficiently, you will only cause damage to your health. But if your body is properly prepared, if you are mentally also in a certain state, if you are prepared energy-wise, then fasting can be of much benefit to you.
If you are constantly drinking coffee or tea, then, if you fast, it will become torture for you; fasting will be very difficult. So if you want to fast, first of all prepare the body by eating the right kind of foods. If it is a great torture when you hold back your urge to eat, you will only cause damage to the system. Maybe you are thinking of performing some kind of a feat “I did not eat for three days,” and you want to go and tell that to the whole world. Please don’t do such things. It is of no benefit to you. You will just make yourself weak, that is all. Just understanding the body and coming to a deeper understanding of how the system functions and what is the best thing to do, is more important than doing something like this.
It may not be a good thing for everybody to fast, but it has many benefits if it is done with proper understanding. So finding the right situation for the system and taking off food at that time will be a good thing to do.
Editor’s Note: Isha’s latest ebooklet, Food Body, looks at the kind of foods the body is most comfortable with and explores the most appropriate ways of consuming such foods. The 33-page booklet is a first step to tune into your body and figure out what suits it best. The book is available on a “name your price” basis. Pay what you want and download it.