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Fasting for the Body, not for the Divine
We fast not to please the Divine, but to cleanse our body. You overwork your liver, stomach and pancreas so much. If there was a labor court for the body, all these organs would have complained against you in that court. We don’t allow them to rest at all. We drink and eat the whole day until night, and we overwork our system. They do need some rest and for that you need to fast.
God is not going to be pleased by your fasting. It is more to detox your own body. And why fasting is combined with prayer all over the world and in all religions, is because when you are fasting, you are detoxified and your prayer becomes authentic and deep. Your meditation happens best when your stomach is empty. Isn’t that your experience?
If you meditate on a full stomach, you will fall asleep. That is why it is said, you can say your prayers when you are fasting as your body is detoxified and your mind is rested and alert.
Just think of your own classrooms. In which period do you feel very alert? First few sessions, or just before lunch. If you have had a heavy breakfast the first session can be boring. And when do you feel heavy and dull? Right after lunch!
When I was in college, I also used to sit and sleep because I had had some nice food, and that too with yogurt. At that time, classes are like a burden. Nobody taught us in those days that food has an impact on our mind. Nobody taught us not to eat these particular things during the day.
Do you know what is the worst punishment? Give someone curd and rice, and don’t let them sleep. It is so difficult. So, our fasting has an impact on our alertness, and our mind which is why in all the religions of the world, be it Islam, Christianity, Hinduism or Jainism, fasting has been followed. But it is only for the body not to please God.