Real Meaning of Fasting
Upavasa (Fasting) means forgetting food, when you are immersed in God. (Upa = Near God, Vasa = Immersed). But today people are fasting by force, suffering with hunger. This is not Upavasa. When you do such fasting, Yogi Vemana says ‘Kuudu Vidachi Malamu Kudchura Upavasai’. This means a little excretory matter is left over in the digestive system after motion. When you fast the digestive system assimilates this little excretory matter. So on that fasting day, one has eaten the excretory matter instead of food! Similarly if you do not get sleep due to thinking of God, that is ‘Jagaranam’ (Not sleeping in the night). But people are stopping their sleep by force.
There should not be force to stop eating or sleeping. If they are stopped without force, automatically due to immersion in God and then only ‘Upavasa’ and ‘Jagaranam’ are fruitful. Aspiring some benefit, people are doing Upavasa and Jagaranam by force. Such acts are waste and useless. The right knowledge is necessary in any religious deed.
At the Lotus Feet of His Holiness Sri Dattaswami
Universal Spirituality for World Peace