Fasting in Ekadashi

by | Feb 9, 2021 | Ayurveda, Lifestyle, Sanatana Dharma, Traditions

So, I thought there won’t be a better time to talk about a practice that has
kept me in top form

– Physically,
– Emotionally and
– Spiritually for a long long time.

What I am going to talk about is very scientific.

Let’s go!

When should we fast?

On every Ekadashi!

Ekadashi is a date in the Hindu calendar.

But for many of you who aren’t familiar with that, it is the 11th day from the
waxing and waning of the moon.

This is only for vegetarians.

For the non-vegetarians I will come back to the question of “When” a bit
later.

Why Should We Fast on Ekadashi?

I will be first giving you the scientific reason and it is full of technical stuff so
hold on to your seats & let’s get started!

DNA carries information about our physical body.

In the study of DNA, there is a concept called as the Junk DNA.

Junk DNA is a part of DNA that carries no information.

So, for a long time the scientists used this information to say that god does
not exist.

Because if you say that God makes everything perfect then why would he
make a part of the DNA which carries no information.

That’s how it came to be known as the Junk DNA.

It was also called the mistake of God by many scientists.

So, scientists for a long time thought that when cells split, they double
themselves and then again and like this they can go on forever.

But recently through studies, scientists came to a conclusion that it is not
possible for the cells to go on doubling forever.

Because when cells duplicate, the DNA duplicates.

And over a long period, every time the DNA duplicates a small piece of the
Junk DNA is lost.

And every time the Junk DNA is lost, your life reduces.

Basically if you lose your Junk DNA too much then you have a shorter life,
compared to the one who has not lost it as much.

Then, the scientists came to know that the cells can only duplicate for about
40 to 80 times.

And by the time the cells have duplicated 80 times, you lose all the Junk
DNA and you die.

Now you may ask that what is the purpose of this Junk DNA?

The Junk DNA is like the casing on both sides of the shoe laces.

It protects the information of the DNA from both sides.

(Remember, I mentioned that DNA carries information about our physical
body.)

So, scientists performed many experiments to find out how to increase our
life-span by two considerations:

1. To reduce the rate of cells splitting. Because

Lesser cells duplicate –> Lesser DNA splits –> Less Junk DNA gets lost =
You live longer.

2. To reduce the size of the Junk DNA that is lost every
time.

After repeated experiments, they understood that to
live longer, you have to reduce the calorie intake.

So more the calorie intake, the more the junk DNA is
lost through splitting of the cells and vice-versa.

At the end of the experiments, they found out 2 very
interesting things:

1. The people who lead a tamsik life or the ones who
have frequent sex, drink alcohol and consume drugs
lose bigger chunks of the Junk DNA and age faster and
get closer to death quickly.

2. And the people who eat vegetarian food and lead a pure/saatvik life lose
much smaller chunks of their Junk DNA.

So, now the scientists got a set of 14 students to experiments on. They
reduced their diet by 25% for 15 days and got excellent results.

But at the end of the 15 days they started feeling weak and went back to
their normal diet.

So, this was not sustainable.

After many more experiments, they found out that these very results can be
achieved by fasting for a day once in two weeks.

Scientists said that this fast must be performed by everyone between the
age of 8 and 80.

And this exact age span span is also mentioned in Padma Purana (a Hindu
ancient scripture).

Now coming to the Non-vegetarians and when should they fast?

“Patanjali Yoga Sutras” say that those who eat meat
should fast for one full month from sunrise to sunset
and only break their fast after sunset.

Interestingly, you will notice that religious faiths who are into meat eating
fast for one full month and only break their fast after sunset everyday.

For eg. The Bible describes the 40-day fasting of Jesus and Moses.

In Persia, people had to refuse food for 50 days,
while modern Islam puts restrictions on consuming
food during the holy month of Ramadan for one full
month.

Let me share with you that in 2016, Japanese scientist
Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel prize in Physiology
and Medicine.

He found out that short periods of fasting have a positive impact on cell
renewal and help slow down the aging process.

And Indians have been doing this on the day of Ekadashi for thousand of
years!

So start fasting. It has immense potential to give you a long & healthy life.