Fasting | Spiritual Fasting

Fasting | Spiritual Fasting

Fasting is an age-old practice of abstaining from some kind of food or drinks for a period of time, especially done for spiritual, religious, and health reasons. We fast for a predetermined length of time to accomplish a spiritual purpose.

Fasting is part of a religious ritual and is popular among many religions like Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism, Taoism, Hinduism, and so on.

Fasting can be done in many ways, a complete fast means refraining from all the food and water for a specific period of time. There are fast where you can consume water. While in various other fasts you can consume certain food and water.

Fasting is not the same thing as dieting, which is done when you are trying to lose weight, you stop eating the things you want to eat. So dieting is hard while fasting is wonderfully easy without eating, so you can seek God’s presence.

Suggested Read: Benefits of fasting

In Christianity fasting is done to seek a closer intimacy with God. Some Western Christians observe the Lenten fast and they also fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

In Buddhism, there are some periods of fasting usually on full-moon days and other holidays.

In Jainism fasting is according to certain prescribed rules and practicing a certain type of meditation leads to trances, that enable an individual to dissociate themselves from the world and reach a transcendent state.

For Jews Yom Kippur, the day at Atonement is the best-known fast day. The Jewish calendar has six other fast days.

Muslims fast in the holy month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, it is considered as a mandatory fasting period. Various Muslim customs recommend other days and periods of fasting in addition to Ramadan.

Suggested Read: Hindu way of fasting

In Hinduism, some people fast on a particular day of the week considered scared to their chosen deity. Monday is sacred to Lord Shiva, Tuesday is for Lord Hanuman and Ganesh, Wednesday is for Lord Budh, Thursday for Lord Vishnu, Friday is for Goddess Lakshmi and Maa Santoshi, Saturday is for Lord Shani while Sunday is for Lord Surya.

In addition to these weekdays fast there are other fast that Hindus keep, like nine days fast in Navratri, Krishna Janmashtami, Mahashivratri, etc.

Motives for undertaking a fast are varied, some do it to increase self-control, others to propitiate a deity. Women fast to bring religious merit and God’s blessing to their families.

In Hinduism, fasting doesn’t mean going without food altogether, Fasting food includes milk, yogurt, fruits, and certain root vegetables, dates, and sago. But rice, wheat, millet, pulses, onion, and garlic are excluded. In spite of there being many permissible foods, many people allow themselves only water to drink between sunrise and sunset and break their fast after the moonrise.

Also, Read…Each Day of a Week is dedicated to Hindu God

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.