Significance of Fasting in Hinduism

Hinduism photoMost Hindus observe a fast regularly. It may be on a special day of the week  or on certain special occasions & festivals. While fasting, they either do not eat anything from morning to night or eat only fruits and milk products.
Fasting is called upavas in the Sanskrit and hindi. Upa means “near” & vas means “to stay”. Hence Upavas means – staying near (to the Lord), or in close spirtual proximity with God.
Why is upavas associated with food?
We spend much of our time and energy in pursuit of satisfying our hunger and seek  food items; and thereafter a lot of time goes into cooking, eating & digesting food. Often what we eat makes us self centric  and quite often certain type of food makes us dull and lazy.
Fasting on certain days helps us to save time and conserve our energy by either eating simple and light food (fruits) or abstaining totally from eating in order to make the mind alert and think beyond self.
The mind when not  pre-occupied by food, thinks beyond self and tends to entertain nobler thoughts  Also, it gives our digestive system a break and rejuvenate.  It helps moving away from pampering our senses and helps sublimate our desires. It also guides our minds to move beyond self and connect with the almighty.Significance of Fasting in HinduismMost Hindus observe a fast regularly. It may be on a special day of the week  or on certain special occasions & festivals. While fasting, they either do not eat anything from morning to night or eat only fruits and milk products.
Fasting is called upavas in the Sanskrit and hindi. Upa means “near” & vas means “to stay”. Hence Upavas means – staying near (to the Lord), or in close spirtual proximity with God.
Why is upavas associated with food?
We spend much of our time and energy in pursuit of satisfying our hunger and seek  food items; and thereafter a lot of time goes into cooking, eating & digesting food. Often what we eat makes us self centric  and quite often certain type of food makes us dull and lazy.
Fasting on certain days helps us to save time and conserve our energy by either eating simple and light food (fruits) or abstaining totally from eating in order to make the mind alert and think beyond self.
The mind when not  pre-occupied by food, thinks beyond self and tends to entertain nobler thoughts  Also, it gives our digestive system a break and rejuvenate.  It helps moving away from pampering our senses and helps sublimate our desires. It also guides our minds to move beyond self and connect with the almighty.vv
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