Fasting is good for health but it has no religious merit. Some faiths hold very strong views on fasting. For them, fasting has some real value and has to be strictly followed. Sikhism does not regard fasting as meritorious. God has given us the human body – the temple of soul – which has to be nourished and cared for. Fasting as an austerity, as a ritual, as a mortification of the body by means of willful hunger is forbidden in Sikhism. There are sects which do not eat this thing or that. Some persons will not touch cereals, but will take other types of food, not because they want to but because they want to impress others. It is the feeding of the ego rather than the earning of merit.
Fasting for the reason of health is understandable. There are people who fast regularly on a particular day in the week. This may mean rest for the digestive organs. It may also serve as a means of saving food, particularly in times of food –scarcity or simply a method of balancing the domestic budget in case of poor families. Temperance and moderation in matters of food should be encouraged. Neither starve nor over-eat : this is the golden mean. People who want to engage in meditation should take simple but nourishing food, just enough to keep body and soul together and to prevent sleep and sloth.
22 May 2019
23 May 2019