Bhadrabahu Vijay

Why is fasting essential ?

The body experiences weakness by fasting and hunger but that weakness is not caused by the absence of food but because the unclean stuff is cast off. After the body is purified strength returns to the body. It acquires freshness and agility. In this, there is no wonder. After the foreign, unwanted substances are removed from the body, health naturally appears in it.

Normally, in the body heat is always being produced. hence, there is always a certain degree of heat in the body. In the Jain terminolgy, this process may be given the, Taijas Sharir or Taijas Namkarma. To keep this process of the production of heat continuing, fuel is necessary. Most of the fuel is obtained from the carbohydrates and fats in our food. But during the period of Upavas fasting when the consumption of food has been stopped, the remaining oart of the food gets urnt and assimilated. Hence, during Upavas (fasing period) the fats soon decreases; and like fats the strength of the liver, the spleen and muscless also gets reduced but the brain never grows weak and never sustains even the slightest loss; so we get sound sleep. The thoughts become wholesome and pure. In the begining, the foul stuff found in the body may appear on the tongue; may come out in form of spittle; may cause giddiness etc., but gradually, everything gets all right.

Upavas is useful in getting rid of such diseases as fever, smallpox, measles, asthma, blood pressure, eczema etc. By means of Upavas the children of a doctor in America by name, Edward David, were saved from the dreadful disease of Diphtheria. In his book, The Non-breakfast plan and Fasting Cure, the doctor has written that during illness, it is far better to fast than to take fod or medicines because by that means, health can be soon recovered.

Panahar (Pachchakkhan of the Evening)

In this Pachchakkhan, fasting is observed during the previous night hours as a part of such austerities as upavas, ayambil, Ekasan, and Biyasan etc.


Taking a vow not to take any food or drink after the sunset till sunrise.


Taking a vow not to take any food or any other drink except water after the sunset. Even water should be taken only upto 12 p.m.