Common Hindu family following Panchang knows at least three Upavasa. एकादशी,प्रदोष & रविवारका व्रत| There are total 500+ Vrata(s) observed in different parts of Bharat.
The fundamental principle of all Vrata(s) is युक्तआहार| Variations from no food to only fruits to one time meal. Adjusting food based on season and moon cycles.
Instead of prescribed regimes, we see rampant corruption in practice on both extremes of the pendulum. There are few who eat nothing for long against their body constitution and there are those who invent new recipes for fasting and eat more than normal food quantity! 😀
Fasting is new fashion. Good. Appreciated. However, only abstaining from food is not real fasting.
What is Upavasa?
To understand real meaning of उपवास, we must first understand what is आहार ?
आह्नियते मनसा बुद्धयाइन्द्रिर्वा इति आहार: |
मन , बुद्धि अथवा इन्द्रियों द्वारा जो कुछ आहरण ( बाहर से भीतर ) संचय किया जाता है वही आहार है |
All our thoughts taking chaotic birth continuously in mind-womb, all perceptual inputs our senses encounter, all intellectual decisions we take and physical food, water and air we imbibe is आहार .
Only not eating or altering physical food habits, won’t serve the purpose for long.
Continuous stirring in mind needs halt. Mind needs focus on Ishta Shakti. Worship by Japa. Worship by glorification of Godly’s life. Ideals. Restrain. Silence. मौन. Like tortoise.
Not having food but full fledged engagement in social media? What type of Upavas it is? 🙂
Not having regular food but eating double the Upavasa food? What type of Upavas it is? 🙂
Spending no time for inner journey, living life on toes, What type of Upavas it is? 🙂
When you decide to do Upavasa. Before Nazi-control over food change, try to control mind. Reducing wavering nature of mind. Focus. Become introvert for a day. Observe silence. Engage self in worship and concentration of Ishta Devata. Food control is easy then.
If not jungle in real life, simulate it in mind. It is possible. You really don’t need to go to Himalaya every day. Sit. Rest. Chant. Meditate. And as much possible, restrain food.