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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Why do people keep fast before Puja or religious occasions?

    It is often seen that people (I am also one amongst them) keep fast before puja or other religious occasions. Why do they do so? Is there any particular reason or simply to attain mental satisfaction?

    In northern India, people observe fast during the day time and take food only at night. Same is the case with many other communities where they keep fast for the whole day without gulping even a drop of water.

    I feel that there must be some scientific reasons also behind the rituals. What is that? Can any of you explain in details?
  • #606006
    To observe fasting without taking water is known as 'nirjal upavas' and mostly the followers of 'Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu' and staunch Vaishnavites observe such fasting particularly on 'Suddha' and 'Bahula Ekadasi' days i.e the 11th day after 'Amavasya' and after full moon day as per Hindu calendar.

    I don't know the exact reason for remaining empty stomach before performing puja, but whatever little I know, I am sharing it. Most of the poojas take long time (few hours) for completion. And according to religious beliefs, the one / couple who sit and perform pooja is not supposed to get up till the end of the pooja. So, I think to avoid urgent nature calls (urination or excretion), it is advised to perform pooja empty stomach. However, they can take simple foods like fruits to withstand.

    Secondly when the tummy is stuffed with food items, naturally there will be belching (emission of gas through mouth with sound). Even when someone belches in a high level meeting, they feel sorry / beg for pardon. So, it is not good to emit gases / pungent gases either through mouth or other aperture as it spreads the pungent smell.

    During pooja, it would be delightful to have nice fragrance - i.e the fragrance of agarbatti, chandan , camphor etc - spread across as it gives a divine feeling and not the pungent smell.

    Please Note: This is what my parents used to tell me. I neither read about this anywhere nor have heard from anyone else other than my parents.

    Thanks & Regards

  • #606039
    Upvas means 'being near'. That means we when doing some pooja or vrat our entire mind and attention should be towards the God. As the mind is main enemy for doing any good things we should make it as as friend and make tot oblige with us while doing pooa or vrat. If we do all pooa etc., after full belly, we should always in the sleepy mode and our purpose will go into vein. For this purpose also, our elders are setting aside some vegetables during that occasions from usage as they lead us to the 'thaamas guna'. some vegetables like onion and garlic are inductive of 'kaama', we should avoid on those days. In some pooja salt is to be avoided as the same is inductive itches in somebody. Once a friend of mine told while I was on the rounding of navagraha, not to hold the tips of dhothi (which I did for easy walking, as my entire thought would go to the tip of dhoti only and not towards the God. Though it is a small thing but the same is valuable one to me on that day.

  • #606043
    Apart from religious importance, our body needs to be over hauled at least once in Month so that it gears up to function normally. We tend to eat spicy food, hot food, cold food and above all the junk foods with lots of oily and ghee factor in it. All these items would create a problem inside the stomach and for some stomach upset is also possible. In this regard I appreciate the Muslims for having fast from early morning to the late evening so that they give their body to regrow and adjust with the new kind of in take. Same is the case with fasting. But what I suggest that some people do keep fasting and after that they eat double quantity which is not right. In the garb of being hungry for so many hours, so people just grab what ever they get to eat and try to digest it. Again we may put the body functions in jeopardy.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #606058
    Upavasam means upa + vasam. upa means near. Vasam means stay. The meaning of this is stay near. To whom. Here in the contest of religious performance it is God only. Staying near to God is the actual Upavasam. All hindus believe that a person remember the God at the time of his death will get Moksha. The person will be under tremendous pressure and pain at the time of death. BY withstanding this pain and remembering God at that time is not easy lot of concentration is required. To achieve this, Upavasam is a practice. If you are not eating anything you will feel hungry, but you should pray God those moments also. So as you do during your life, you can remember God in your painful days also. This is one way of understanding the upavasam.Some people may think we should not eat rice on fasting day. They avoid rice and eat all other junk. This is a wrong concept, a little fruits can be taken but not too many times. Only once you can have.
    As far as health is considered it is always better to go for fasting at least one day in a month. It will clean up our digestive system. Your body will be under your control. If you eat once a day, you are a Yogi.If you eat twice a day you are a Bhogi(a family. if you eat thrice a day you are Rogi.

    always confident

  • #606064
    Most of the people (irrespective of their religious affiliation) think that not taking food would purify their body and soul. So, they keep fast before and during major religious ceremonies. But generally Buddhists don't believe in fasting.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #606076
    Partha sir for the first time I am coming across the fact that Buddhist wont have faith in fasting ? That is on expected lines. But what I feel that given our body metabolism and our eating habits of various foods and savories on daily basis, it needs regular clean up and over hauling and the fasting is the better way to keep oneself fit and health for future. But what I request the people of various faith that after fasting do not try to eat more. That means eating double the quantity to compensate the missed menu during the day. That could be new problem being created to our health and setback is for sure.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

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