Saturday, November 04, 2006

Fasting

I have been brought up with an idea of fasting as an integral part of life. When I was young, I was motivated by my father to keep vows. Just for the sake of it. For example, I was in love with papads. I could have had a whole meal of papads itself, and usually I used to order for a papad even before I started my meal. So my dad gave me a challenge, to test and ask myself, "Can I live without papads for a specified period of time?". And so I stayed for weeks without it to take on this challenge. I really enjoyed the feeling of 'achievement' once the fast/vow/challenge was over, and used to resume to normal routine. For me fast is not something meant only for ascetics or the weight-troubled people. Also fast is not only related to food, but can touch various spheres of life. I believe its effects touch deep inside and the satisfaction it brings is unparalleled.

As youth took on its speed, I had forgotten this long lost joy. But, graduate life has given me an opportunity to slow down and live the life I really want to live(or atleast give an attempt). So, I planned another fasting. This time, Khatri Bhai was there to support me, not only motivating me to do it, but by being an 'integral' part of it, and phantom a 'official' part of it ;). The fasting was to stay on fruits and vegetables for seven days. No cereals and no dals. I almost believed to factuality that I cant live without rotis or rice without giving myself mental trouble, and this was to test myself of this limiting belief. Also, I was motivated in part by reading Gandhiji's autobiography, where he also experimented with food and in another part by my health condition.

To my surprise, it was an amazingly easy task to perform. I could not have imagined that I can stay easily without cereals and dals for a week. Infact, four days out of seven, I was living even without milk. And one of that day, was a pure juice day - no solid food, not even soup. To my good fortune, and what made the fast more exciting was that Bhavjit had his farewell party the very same day I was to stay only on juice. This was the only day I really felt week and need for food. My average diet during this period was, juice and munakka breakfast (sometimes sprouts), some fruit plus just boiled vegetable(usually carrots or cauliflower) for lunch and soup for dinner. I even abstained from any spices, living on just salt, pepper and lemon. I am happy that we were successful in the attempt and would do more such fasting in the coming years. Oh! and did I tell you that such fasting is also considered a cleansing process for the body in Ayurveda literature and even western medical science :)

My father also suggested me this book by Paul Bragg, which I have still not manage to procure. On the flip side, I was expecting a more pronounced effect of such a fasting on the body, with some spiritual side effects ;), but it seems that with pure satvik food its important to keep your mind at peace to reap the real benefits of such fasting, which was missing this time. I was as active as I am on any given day, and did not gave time to be with myself to have mental relaxation. Any suggestions for next fasting?

4 Comments:

At 1:37 AM, Anonymous SG said...

Nikhil bhai, I totally agree with the part that the essence of fasting is not weight-watching etc as it is often construed to be, but really a test of self control. And it's an amazingly easy way to test one's grit...
Nice post :)

 
At 10:03 AM, Blogger Nikhil said...

>I totally agree with the part

what about the rest of the part ;)

 
At 2:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nikhil i can see that the fasting has done u good. your article has less mistakes this time and is a pleasure to read it, Fortunately i have got the the seven days diet program i was talking about and yes we have the book by Bragg....so when in India make sure u take it.

 
At 11:13 AM, Blogger Harshat Pant said...

Well experimented, I must say. Fasting relates to the concept of regulating the intake of the body. It is a fact that the intake of the body must reflect and match its condition of physical as well as spiritual being. After all, a car can move with petrol in it but an aircraft needs aviation fuel! So the higher the state of being, the more subtle the intake. Fasting is perhaps mimiking the state of being of higher dimensions, trying to develop a liking for such advanced living....
(guess who?)

 

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