Fasting for Healing
Most ‘educated’ urban people are either ignorant of this subject, or they have read a little but have rejected the idea as primitive superstition or quackery. People who come from agricultural background would not so easily reject the idea of fasting. They know that cattle, dogs and most other animals stop eating when they are sick and rest in a comfortable lonely spot till they get well again.
There are very few books on the subject of ‘fasting for healing.’ But there are a few doctors who practice the art in many countries. I have seen two books, one written by an American doctor and the other by a German layman practitioner. In my opinion one cannot learn much about the subject of fasting just by reading books. It is best learned by actual practice for the experience usually is unique for each individual as no two bodies are exactly alike. I can assure you fro my own experience that a deeply restful fasting experience is both highly educative and spiritually uplifting.
My first exposure to the idea came 20 years ago at Atheetha Ashram. Swami Sahajananda put me on a 3-day fast to heal my upset stomach. But it stretched to 5 and then to 8 days. My stomach got fully healed quite fast but the extra days brought a priceless gift of a totally scrubbed intestine. The job took a whole month and I could feel its movement starting from my stomach and ending at the anus. I felt rejuvenated and to this day I am reaping the benefit of that gift. In last twenty years I have fasted for about 50 times and from each fast I have benefited. Also, I have not visited any doctor except to quell the anxiety of my well-wishers and I have not needed any pills or injections.
Very simply the whole thing works as follows:
1. Our immune system works best when the body is at full rest and fasting.
2. As soon as we lie down and stop eating the body gets a signal to turn all available energy to the task of healing.
3. Body does just that and the illness or injury is healed. And, no side effects!
4. Body knows what all is wrong with it. It picks what needs most urgent attention and starts working.
5. We quietly watch and listen to what goes on in the body and learn a great deal about disease and health. This knowledge than teaches us about healthy living.
6. Being in touch with the body puts us in touch with the great wisdom that runs the universe. For, indeed, the body obeys not the mind but a higher wisdom. We learn to be free from the constant grip of the mind and slowly learn to observe with our divine third eye.
Of course, one gets in proportion to how much one puts in. I am only a helper and a prompter. I am a seeker like all of us and I do not claim to know very much. I cannot therefore guarantee anything. From my own experience I can say that you will probably start to gain from the very first fast. How much you get depends on yourself.
July 19, 2008