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Fasting Days & Guidelines

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by Maija, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. Maija

    Maija New Member

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    480
    What are the Most Important Fasting Days--in your opinion?

    Also, what are the guidelines- what does one abstain from all food and liquids?

    Lastly, I have a endocrine/metabolic disorder and pre-diabetes, is it culturally accepted to customize my fasting for this? For i.e. I know some people do a partial fast, fasting from certain things but taking others, i.e. yogurt & fruits..would it be ok to do that for each fast as I could not go without food for too long w.o. entering an unhealthy state..


    thanks in advance if you have answers or the time to read :)

    HARIBOL!
     
  2. Maya3

    Maya3 Well-Known Member

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    2,076
    I don't fast at all. I also have a specific reason for this.
    But generally I think that many Hindus fast by avoiding meat on holidays. (At least the ones that I know personally, they are not vegetarian).

    Vegetarian Hindus might eat lighter, maybe yogurt and fruit like you mentioned.

    I think it should be up to the individual, if it brings you closer to God then that's great. If it is just one of those things you think you SHOULD do, but doesn't help you spiritually then I don't think it's necessary.

    Maya
     
  3. Maija

    Maija New Member

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    480
    I guess coming from an Islamic Faith it's hard to imagine that things can be just up to me, much is mandatory and if not done needs to be made up for later.

    I guess as a vegetarian maybe go vegan for the week or day.

    Thanks Maya for the input (that's actually how you pronounce my name :p )

    Have a fruitful day.
    Haribol!
     
  4. Thorbjorn

    Thorbjorn Vikingr vald eda matnadr!!! Staff Member Premium Member

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    No fast is mandatory, regardless of what you may read. Sometimes the rules can get a bit outrageous. Bhakti, devotion, is what counts.

    There are many fasts that one can undertake, in many ways (giving up certain foods, for example). Each day is dedicated to a deity, so one can pick the fast for the deity one worships. For example, Monday is for Lord Shiva, Tuesday is for Sri Hanuman, and so on. There are fasts for Diwali, Durga Puja and many more. Want to lose weight? Become Hindu. :D

    [Deleted because it was a bit overwhelming].

    Lastly and most importantly, and to the point, which I cannot stress enough...

    If you have a physical condition as you do, or do manual labor, or anything else that puts a strain on your body DO NOT undertake anything more than a token fast, if even that. The Lord does not want us to suffer for the sake of "rules". It is the devotion that counts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  5. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee

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    Fasting really varies, by definition, and by practice. So when someone says, "I'm fasting," you have no idea what they mean. It can mean nothing at all, nothing but water, just fruit juice, just fruit juice and a sweetener, no meat, etc. Many Hindus don't fast at all. Others fast once a week. Others fast on specified Holy Days according to the Hindu calendar. Others fast just before attending temple, so if they are planning to go in the morning, they skip breakfast. Or if they're going in the evening, don't eat until very late. Still others fast for major festivals, moreso for the penance or austere ones like Sivaratri. Still others will undertake longer fasts like 6 days for the festival of Skanda Shasti.

    So yes, it is up to you.
     
  6. Maya3

    Maya3 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Maija you have a beautiful name :)

    You will find that Hinduism is very freeing, it is a totally different mindset then with Abrahamic religions. There is no fear, guilt or any sense of not being good enough. It's all about finding God within.

    Well, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, I do often feel that my meditation was not as good and focused as it should have been. But still, it's rather freeing for the most part.


    I forgot to mention in my earlier reply; that if you have a health issue then of course there is no reason to fast.

    Maya
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  7. Shuddhasattva

    Shuddhasattva New Member

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    Medical concerns always take precedence in any spiritual dietary prescription.
     
  8. Vrindavana Das

    Vrindavana Das Active Member

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    As per Vaishnavism, for progressing in the Devotional path to Supreme Lord, the most important fasting days are that of 'Ekādashi'. Ekādaśī is very dear to Kṛṣṇa and is considered to be the 'mother of Devotion'. Typically, there are 2 Ekadaśī days in a month.

    You can find the Ekādashi calendar for 2012 here: Monthly Ekadasi Dates 2012 Calendar - Ekadashi Dates

    Also, what are the guidelines- what does one abstain from all food and liquids?

    Foods that can be eaten on Ekādashi:

    All fruits (fresh and dried)
    All nuts and nut oils
    Sugar
    Buckwheat
    Potatoes, cassava and sweet potatoes
    Coconut
    Olives
    Milk
    Fresh ginger
    Black pepper
    Rock salt

    Restricted foods on Ekādashi:

    All grains & products derived from these ingredients
    Peas, chickpeas, dahl and all types of beans, including derived products such as tofu
    Salt, baking soda, baking powder, custard and many sweets are avoided as they are often mixed with rice powder
    Sesame seeds (except on Sat-tila Ekadasi, when sesame seeds may be offered as well as eaten)
    Spices such as asafetida, cloves, fenugreek, mustard, tamarind, fennel, cardamom and nutmeg

    For devotion and service to Supreme Lord, body needs to be taken care of. Taking medicines is allowed on Ekādaśī days. Asides, as you can see above, you can eat a lot of things on Ekādaśī days. :)

    Haribol!
     
  9. Maija

    Maija New Member

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    480
    That post was really helpful, Vrindavana ! I will most definitely be able to fast now, thank you :shout so much. I also get to learn about Ekadasi, fasting for my Lord days..

    Maya--

    I completely agree, it's a totally different feeling than other religions, compared to Islam it's like night and day. Looking back, I have wonderful memories of Islam, but it did seem to have definite sentiments of what was correct/incorrect, how many times people threw the word "haram" around. Plucking eye brows is haram, wearing hair in a high bun is haram, showing hair, showing face, wearing perfume.. Just examples, so it's very different, wonderfully freeing in fact.

    Jainarayan-- do you fast? Which aspect of God do you feel most devoted to, just curious. You're very knowledgeable!

    Thank God I'm journaling now, I have so much wonderful knowledge to add each day.

    Love and blessings.

    Haribol !
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  10. Vrindavana Das

    Vrindavana Das Active Member

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    Happy to help!

    I think I sound like a Vodafone commercial...:p
     
  11. Thorbjorn

    Thorbjorn Vikingr vald eda matnadr!!! Staff Member Premium Member

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    Yes, I fast. I fast on Ekadashi, which is Lord Hari's (Vishnu's) day. I have started fasting on Pradosham, which is Lord Shiva's day. Both days come on the 11th and 13th days after a new and full moon each month. So there are four of those fast days per month. I also fast for Krishnashtami, which is the day of Lord Krishna's birth (Aug. 9 this year).

    I am primarily devoted to Lord Narayana (Vishnu in all His forms, especially Krishna), but I am also drawn to Lord Shiva and Divine Mother in all Her forms. It's said that Lord Shiva will teach and grant spirituality and the ways to reach Lord Vishnu, who grants liberation. So, one can worship and pray to Lord Shiva to learn how to overcome the obstacles to liberation. I believe Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva are flip sides of the same coin... complementary to each other, and Maa (Divine Mother) is the power of Them. One big happy family. :p That's just my p.o.v. As far as my knowledge, that's questionable... "1 billion Hindus; 1 billion opinions and beliefs". ;)
     
    Shuddhasattva likes this.
  12. Vrindavana Das

    Vrindavana Das Active Member

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    As per Vaishnava calendar, Janmashtmi is falling on Aug 10, 2012. :)

    EDIT: Fast to be broken after sunrise and before 9:32 A.M. on Aug 11, 2012.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  13. Thorbjorn

    Thorbjorn Vikingr vald eda matnadr!!! Staff Member Premium Member

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    It depends on where you are. :: Sri Guruvayurappan Temple ::

    Vaisnava Calendar
    9 Aug 2012
    ThursdayAstami, K, 05:00* , Bharani
    +Sri Krsna Janmastami: Appearance of Lord Sri Krsna - Fast till midnight, then Ekadasi preparations only

    *06:00 on east coast of US

    10 Aug 2012
    FridayNavami, K, 05:01 , Krittika
    +Break fast 05:01 - 09:41 (Daylight savings not considered)*

    *On east coast of US, fast is broken @ 06:01 - 10:41 EDT.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  14. Vrindavana Das

    Vrindavana Das Active Member

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    I do not know if Sri Guruvayurappan Temple follows the Vaishnava calendar.

    But for the Vaishanava Calender from Purebhakti.com...:yes:
     
  15. Thorbjorn

    Thorbjorn Vikingr vald eda matnadr!!! Staff Member Premium Member

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    :facepalm:

    Did you see the link I posted from Purebhakti? No, I didn't think so. Once again...

    It depends on where you are

    :: Sri Guruvayurappan Temple ::

    Vaisnava Calendar
    9 Aug 2012
    ThursdayAstami, K, 05:00* , Bharani
    +Sri Krsna Janmastami: Appearance of Lord Sri Krsna - Fast till midnight, then Ekadasi preparations only

    *06:00 on east coast of US

    10 Aug 2012
    FridayNavami, K, 05:01 , Krittika
    +Break fast 05:01 - 09:41 (Daylight savings not considered)*

    *On east coast of US, fast is broken @ 06:01 - 10:41 EDT.

    This is for New Delhi Vaisnava Calendar:

    10 Aug 2012
    FridayAstami, K, 05:48 , Bharani
    +Sri Krsna Janmastami: Appearance of Lord Sri Krsna - Fast till midnight, then Ekadasi preparations only

    11 Aug 2012
    SaturdayNavami, K, 05:48 , Krittika
    +Break fast 05:48 - 10:14 (Daylight savings not considered)

    Now, after having done research before posting something, can all this trying to lift one's leg and **** higher cease and desist? :rolleyes:
     
  16. Vrindavana Das

    Vrindavana Das Active Member

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    Whats the matter with you?!!!

    I simply said that yes, I see what you are saying, as far as the Vaishnava Calendar from Purebhakti.com goes.

    As for the link of calendar from :: Sri Guruvayurappan Temple :: is concerned, I do not know if they follow the Vaishnava tradition. So, I cannot comment on it's credibility. It could have the right date or it could have the wrong date. Maybe this date coincides, but the other Ekādaśi dates may not.

    This, I do not think even deserves a comment.
     
  17. Thorbjorn

    Thorbjorn Vikingr vald eda matnadr!!! Staff Member Premium Member

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    What's wrong with me is that I get tired of repeating myself. I didn't see where you said yes, I see what you are saying, so for that I apologize.

    Who is Sri Guruvayurappan? One guess only. ;)

    The temple follows the Purebhakti calendar.
     
  18. Thorbjorn

    Thorbjorn Vikingr vald eda matnadr!!! Staff Member Premium Member

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    No, none required. Just a general outburst indicating that I really do need to spend less time on the internet, as I said I would.
     
  19. Vrindavana Das

    Vrindavana Das Active Member

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    I thought the nod :yes: would communicate that I am agreeing with you. I apologize if it did not communicate what I meant.

    If I remember correctly, you had mentioned that the temple has many other deities. So, I assumed it is not a pure Vishnu temple, therefore, may not be following Vaishnava dates. There are many temples which have Viśnu deity along with many, but are not following Vaishnava calendar. My apologies if that is incorrect for this particular temple.
     
  20. Thorbjorn

    Thorbjorn Vikingr vald eda matnadr!!! Staff Member Premium Member

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    This is why I'm coming to hate the internet. So much to say to each other, with so little tools. It's the effect of global communication. But of course I'm becoming a serious technophobe anyway.

    For some reason (maybe because I didn't sleep well!?), I am in a somewhat foul mood today. So I do apologize. Maybe a Valium and a round of japa will help... or a round of japa and a Valium. :D

    Yes, it's primarily Vaishnava but there are many other deities. Too many when you come to think of it. I mean, do we really need three representations of Sri Vishnu: (Balaji & Sri Devi & Bhudevi; Sri Satyanarayana Swamy; in addition to the presiding deity Sri Guruvayurappan with their sanctums all in a row? And only a small sanctum to Sri Radha-Krishna. I would have hoped for a full size sanctum.

    Then we have Kala Bhairava; Maa Lakshmi-Durga-Saraswati sanctum; Sri Ambika; Sri Kannika Parameshwari; Minakshi Kalyanam; a sanctum to GarudaNot to mention priests from Shaiva line doing Vishnu pujas and priests from Vaishnava line doing Shiva pujas. Most confusing, with lines blurring. Especially when one of the Shaiva priests, whom I think knows I am Vaishnava, says to do 1008 (or is it 1080) of Sri Shiva mula mantra in front of His sanctum to cure my shoulder injury. Now, I do pray to Lord Shiva but I never considered doing that.

    I think the wide range of deities is to cater to the wide range of devotees. There are so few temples in the area. There is an ISKCON temple and a Durga temple, and that's about it within any reasonable traveling distance. Hence the size of the temple complex and community center. One unfortunate thing about a mixture of deities is that one can feel guilty by not visiting every sanctum and paying obeisance. In itself that can take 15 minutes, at least, more if one circumambulates a shrine or three.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
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