Fasting has been practised for time immemorial and has been known for various health benefits. According to research, fasting initiates the process of regenerating new cells and repairing the old ones. It boosts the immune system, helps in weight loss, stabilizes the body as a whole and cleanses the system. But fasting is not limited to physical well-being and it has plenty spiritual benefits as well. We will discuss them below.
Spiritual Science has shown great benefits of fasting for the mind, body and the soul. It is believed that fasting cuts down karmas and helps prevent making new ones. A simple act of consuming food has the potential to produce lots of karmas by craving and thinking over and over. If the food made/served is simply accepted and eaten, you will lead a better karmic life. Also, you may opt to give your meal, which was part of your destiny, to someone else. By doing so, you are sacrificing something and not encashing the good karma.
Fasting leads to increased sensitivity of the energies and deeper meditative states. Fasting practised along with meditation, has a great power to accelerate the growth of the soul to reach its destination faster. It helps connect the body and the soul as there are lesser external pollutants in the system and it becomes easy to concentrate. When there is a sync between what your soul wants and the way the body and mind perform, then it might lead you to higher dimensions of consciousness and let you feel the inner peace or eternal bliss. Fasting is one of the methods that helps make this connection.
Fast and see the strength of the spirit reveal itself – Rumi
Almost all religions advocate fasting. Muslims through Ramzan, Christians through many fast days, Jains, Hindus and Buddhists also believe in it. Nyung Ne is one such technique in Buddhism which combines fasting with meditation to accelerate spiritual growth. Many practices in Yoga are also performed empty stomach as it helps to focus and form a connection with your soul.
There are many different types of fasts that people practice – Only water fasts, dry fasts (no water) and intermittent fasts (skipping meals). The idea of these fasting strategies is to train the body to consume less. If one follows these fasting techniques dedicatedly, it will show great benefits for the body and the soul. It may be an uncomfortable thing that the body needs to deal with but it accompanies with great benefits. Everyone knows the feeling after a good workout.
Fasting is also believed to help gain control of your own body and build will power. It is very easy to give in to your desires and cravings when it comes to food. But fullness is not always good and emptiness is not always bad. The body does not always need what the tongue likes. Fasting helps to take control of your tastes and be grateful to the food that you eat.
Fasting should not be limited to just food. It could be practised for whatever things/activities/emotions that take up more space and time in your life, the things that take your most attention and influence your mind the most. Anything that is deviating you from your higher priorities could be fasted upon. It might be helpful to assess the role the thing you are fasting from plays in your life – how much you really need it and whether you should continue it in moderation or leave it all together.
We have seen great benefits that fasting provides for physical and mental well-being and for spiritual growth. If practised with dedication, the results will be there to be seen.