Fasting has a vital role in Hinduism. It is a time of self-discipline when a person does not eat or drink water for a stipulated period of time. Fasting in Hinduism varies from occasion to occasion and so are the fasting rituals. Looking in a broader way, fasting has both spiritual and scientific significance and if observed properly it really helps people to the utmost level.
Sometimes fasting helps us in taking away of mind from physical things and helps in entering in a happy environment. In other words, it helps as a catalyst in increasing the power of prayer.
Why people fast or why should we fast?
Fasting is the best way to neutralize the chaos in the mind and body. Generally Fasting In Hinduism is observed on some festival or some spiritual occasion and hence fasting increases our ability to focus more on spirituality.
Fasting is of various types and can be done in many different ways. In India the methods of fasting change with geography, culture, and also beliefs.
Simple fasting is to avoid a specific type of food for a day or two. Some people avoid heavy eating and some avoid rice or sugar etc. As said it depends on occasion to occasion and people to people.
Upavasa is another name of fasting which is a culmination of two words i.e Upa means “near” and vasa which means “stay”.
It is believed that we are very near to God when we fast as our entire concentration is concentrated on spiritual deeds. Scientifically also it is very good to do this exercise as our body gets a break and it helps in the digestive system.
Fasting is observed at various festivals like Ekadashi, Diwali, Raksha Bandhan, Purnima, Karva Chauth, etc and each day has its own significance and story around it. In fact, every weekday has a type of fast and importance, the following is the list of weekdays fast.
Sunday – Fasting is observed for the Lord Surya (Sun), it is believed that Sunday fast helps in getting rid of skin diseases. Red is the color for this day and red flowers are offered to Sun God.
Monday – Monday fast is observed in the name of Lord Shiva. Unmarried girls usually observe this fast to get a desirable husband. This day is considered to be very auspicious and Lord Ganeshji, the son of Shiva is also worshipped.
Tuesday – Tuesday fast is observed in the name of Lord Hanuman Ji. this fast helps in getting rid of any life problems. Hanuman Ji is also known as “Sankat Mochan” and is believed to give strength and power to face anything in life.
Wednesday – Wednesday fast is observed in the name of Lord Shiva and also Planet Buddh (Mercury). It is often observed by married couples for happy married life and food is usually taken only one time and that too in the afternoon.
Thursday – Thursday fast is one of the most observed fast and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu or planet Jupiter (Brihaspati). Yellow is the day color and prasad is also made of yellow Chana dal and Gur (jaggery). Food is taken without salt and only in the evening for one time. The banana tree is also worshiped and this fast is believed to bring happiness and prosperity in life.
Friday – Friday fast is observed for planet Venus (Shukra) and is dedicated to Goddess Shakti. It relates to Goddess Lakshmi who is considered to be the Goddess of Wealth. There have to be some sweet desserts like kheer etc in this fast. This fast is usually observed for materialistic gains and happiness in life.
Saturday – Saturday fast is observed in order to reduce the malefic effects of Lord Shani or planet Saturn. There are a lot of misconceptions are there among people that Shani brings bad luck etc but the truth is Shani is a great teacher who teaches us about life by giving some hardships.
On this day people wear black and offer oil and black grams to the Shani idol. People should also donate some food or other useful material to the needy as it brings luck and peace of mind.
Hence some people observe fast for spiritual reasons and some for health reasons but it only brings healthy and happy life.
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