Defenition of Upavasa (fasting)

Upavasa literally means “Near to God”, Another meaning is “Upari” + “Vasa” staying high, the main goal in our sanatana dharma is to get good health, good health is for attain Moksha/Mukti/Liberation, This article talks about the aspect of fasting only,
To fast (upavasa or anasana) is to go without food for an extended period. Fasting is practiced for religious, for health or for medical reasons. It has also sometimes been used for political purposes as Mahatma Gandhi and IRA prisoners did. Scientific research has shown that regular fasting for brief periods can be good for the health, although long fasts (more than three days) can be dangerous. Those preparing to undergo certain medical procedures are often asked to abstain from food.

Disclaimer: Please read the article, watch documentary and proof, its ultimately your choice of what you want to do.

Fasting in Sanatana DharmaUpavasa/Fasting in Sanatana Dharma:

  1. Fasting on Ekadashi thiti Day (11th day of moon calender).
  2. Fasting on Bhishma Panchaka.
  3. Fasting on Navaratri days.
  4. Fasting on Pradosh day (on Pradosh thiti of Hindu calender).
  5. Fasting on Special Vrat days (Chaturti, Shasti, Astami, Dashami & More)
  6. Chaturmasa Specific diet.
  7. Ayurveda uses fasting in prior Panchakarma process.

Types of Upvasa/Fasting:

  1. Nirjala Fasting (Purest).
  2. Liquid only Fasting.
  3. Vegetables Only Fasting.
  4. No Cereal/Grain, Beans, Salt, Sugar.

Effects of Upavasa/fasting:

  1. Will help improve will power and mind power.
  2. Regular Fasting helps in Intoxication.
  3. Improves Cell Recycling.
  4. Protects and Improves Brain health.
  5. Increases Growth Regulation (IGF-1).
  6. Fasting is an excellent tool for weight loss.
  7. Fasting promotes the secretion of human growth hormone.
  8. Fasting may be good for athletes.
  9. Fasting is great for normalizing insulin sensitivity.
  10. Normalizes GHRELIN Levels.
  11. Lower Triglyceride Levels.
  12. May slow down the aging process.

Scientists about Fasting

Dr. Alexis Carrel writes in his book “Man, The Unknown”: by fasting, the blood glucose decreases in the liver and the fat stored under the skin and proteins of muscles, glands and liver cells are released and are used to feed. Dr. Carrel said: the necessity of fasting is underlined in all religions. During fasting, at first hunger and then a kind of nerve stimulation and after that a faint happen, but at the same time, the hidden qualities that are of so much importance become active and finally, all body organs sacrifice their special substances in order to maintain the balance of internal environment and heart, and hence fasting washes all tissues of body and make them fresh.

Dr. Jean Fromozan interprets the treatment method with fasting as washing the body organs in which at the beginning of fasting, the tongue is heavy, perspiration is excessive, mouth has bad smell, and sometimes water runs from nose which are all symptoms of full body wash. After 3-4 days, the bad smell disappears, urinary uric acid reduces, and the person feels wonderful joy and happiness. In this situation, body organs also have enough rest.

Dr. Toumanintz writes: the big advantages of eating less and keeping away from foods during a short time is because the stomach has been regularly full during 11 months, disposes its foodstuffs during one month fasting, and also liver that has to repeatedly use bile in order to digest food will use bile secretions to solve the remaining of food. Digestive system will rest a little due to eating less. Fasting means eating and drinking less in a specific time of year, and this is the best way of cure and maintaining health that has drawn the attention of old and modern medicine to itself. Fasting can cure those illnesses relating to digestive system, particularly to liver and kidney, which are not curable by drug. The best way of curing jaundice which is the specific illness of liver is fasting, because most of the times the reason of this illness is fatigue of liver that cannot take bile from itself when it is tired.

Dr. Goel Pa from France says: four-fifth of illnesses is caused by the fermentation of food in the intestines that all will be disappeared by fasting.

Dr. Alexi Soforin writes in his book: during fasting, the body uses the remained materials in the body instead of food, and in this way removes the dirty and infectious materials which exist in the body and are the origin of illnesses. Fasting causes the remission of all diseases. Hence, it is worthy to clean your body by fasting.

The diseases that these scientists have been able to cure by fasting are as following: neurasthenia, gastritis, laryngitis, syphilis, tuberculosis, eye pain, chronic catarrh, chronic chest pain, bloating and swelling of the lungs, neurological diseases, trembling limbs, hydrocephalous, paralysis, psychological distress, general weaknesses, liver disease, and ultimately weakening cancerous glands and addiction.

Dr. Carew from America writes: each of the ill individual has to avoid food at a time of year, because as long as food reaches body, microbes are growing, but when he avoids food, microbes become weak. He further says: the fast that is necessitated by Islam is the biggest guarantee for health of body.

Fasting causes human to control his rogue soul and control his illegal and irrational interests and desires. When we recognize the specific role of fasting in self-purification that we know whatever happens against the humanity all around the world is due to selfishness, lusts and evil tendencies, and until human do not make himself free from these desires and lusts, oppression, corruption, murder, rob and sin will continue. Fasting is a factor by which the human is able to overcome his lust desires and rule over all his organs and control his carnal desires. While human is captured by his carnal desires, he never see the side of prosperity and happiness, because carnal desires, devotions and dependencies are heavy chains that capture human soul and until human do not break those chains, his soul will not become free from slavery constraints and bondages. Carnal desires are the enemies to inner of human, and overcoming these enemies is harder than overcoming the outside enemy.
Defenetion of Fasting

Fasting is an excellent tool for weight loss.

There have been studies that support fasting as an excellent tool for weight loss. One 2015 study found that alternate day fasting trimmed body weight by up to 7 percent and slashed body fat by up to 12 pounds. (1)

Another study, this one out of the University of Southern California, discovered that when 71 adults were placed on a five-day fast (eating between 750 and 1,100 calories a day) once every three months, they lost an average of 6 pounds, reduced inflammation levels and their waistlines and lost total body fat without sacrificing muscle mass. (2) If you want to lose weight and lose belly fat, fasting even irregularly could be the key.

Fasting promotes the secretion of human growth hormone.

Human growth hormone, or HGH, is naturally produced by the body, but remains active in the bloodstream for just a few minutes. It’s been effectively used to treat obesity and help build muscle mass, important for burning fat. HGH also helps increase muscle strength, which can help improve your workouts, too. Combine these together and you have an effective fat-burning machine on your hands.

Fasting may be good for athletes.

Fasting has been found to have positive effects on body mass as well as other health markers in professional athletes. This is because, as previously mentioned, fasting can effectively shed excess fat, while optimizing muscle growth, because of HGH production. Traditionally, athletes are advised to consume high-quality protein half hour after finishing their workouts (post-workout nutrition) to simultaneously build muscle and reduce fat. Fasting is advised for training days, while eating is encouraged on game days.

Fasting is great for normalizing insulin sensitivity.

When your body gets too many carbs and sugar, it can become insulin resistant, which often paves the way for a host of chronic diseases, including type-2 diabetes. If you don’t want to go down this route, it’s critical to keep your body sensitive to insulin. Fasting is an effective way to do this.

A study published in the World Journal of Diabetes found that intermittent fasting in adults with type-2 diabetes improved key markers for those individuals, including their body weight and glucose levels. (3) And another study found that intermittent fasting was as effective as caloric restrictions in reducing visceral fat mass, fasting insulin and insulin resistance. (4) If you’re struggling with pre-diabetes or insulin sensitivity, intermittent fasting can help normalize things.

Fasting can normalize ghrelin levels.

What is ghrelin? It is actually also known as the hunger hormone, because it is responsible for telling your body that it is hungry. Dieting and really restrictive eating can actually increase ghrelin production, which will leave you feeling hungrier. But when you fast, though you might struggle in the first few days, you’re actually normalizing ghrelin levels.

Eventually, you won’t feel hungry just because it’s your usual meal time. Instead, your body will become more adept in discerning when it actually needs food.

Fasting can lower triglyceride levels.

When you consume too much bad cholesterol, your triglyceride levels may shoot up, increasing your risk of heart disease. Intermittent fasting actually lowers those bad cholesterol levels, decreasing triglycerides in the process. (5) Another interesting thing to note is that fasting doesn’t affect the levels of good cholesterol in the body.

Fasting may slow down the aging process.

While not yet proven in humans, early studies in rats seem to link intermittent fasting with increased longevity. One study found that intermittent fasting decreased body weight and increased the life span in rats (6). Another found that a group of mice who fasted intermittently actually lived longer than the control group, although they were heavier than the non-fasting mice. (7) Of course, it’s not clear that the same results would happen in humans, but the signs are encouraging.

References:
(1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26374764
(2)https://www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5394735
(3)https://www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pubmed/19793855
(4)https://www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pubmed/21021020

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