On reading my March 28, 2009 story many friends wrote back expressing concern for my health. I appreciate it very much and wish to thank you all. Let me assure you that I am quite well. My body is as strong and energetic as before and it feels lighter and cleaner. My mind too is alert as usual. I also feel calmer and more at peace.
Let me share with you some basic facts about fasting:
1. Our body has strong inbuilt urge to live so it keeps a store of food and water for emergency. That is why we can live without eating for extended periods.
2. Fast for healing is voluntary. We are free to break it any time. In case of miner discomfort we may need only to drink coconut water or fruit juice and continue the fast.
3. Our body will warn us of any possible dangers sufficiently in advance. We would feel headache, fever, itch, twitch, pain, and a variety of other symptom. If we are alert, timely action is possible.
4. Fasting is known and practiced in all societies. In non-agricultural tribal societies people fasted for health and spiritual gain even for as long as 30 days. In the anthropological literature there are accounts of Eskimo spiritual seekers spending a full month alone in a small igloo built especially for them some distance from the village.
5. In the Indian society followers of the Jain religion practice fasting in various ways for long periods. I have never heard of anybody dying or suffering illness as a result. In fact almost everyone benefits. That is why the tradition has continued for more than 2000 years.
6. Millions of Muslims fast every year continuously for 28 days when they eat or drink nothing during the day beginning with sunrise and ending at sunset.
7. We know that all animals stop eating when sick. We too are their kin and have similar bodies. We learn many things from them. Fasting for healing is one of them.
However, if one suffers from some peculiar illness and is advised by their doctor to eat small amount of food frequently, such a person may avoid fasting until fit. Practitioners of modern allopathic medicine would normally not approve of fasting. But if one’s gut approves of fasting, I’d say it is okay to ignore the doctors. They do not know everything! Who does?
Hence, being time tested and widely practiced, fasting is safe. It is also free of cost and without side effects.
There is much more to say but there is no more space on this page.
April 11, 2009