Fasting: Religious and Astrological factors behind fast

Fasting: Religious and Astrological factors behind fast

Fasting Religious and Astrological factors behind fast

Fasts have an underlying deeper significance in science as well as astrology. It means a personal sacrifice of a meal or your whole diet to gain positive vibes. The fasts help the body and mind adapt to the changes. Moreover, one can keep a fast for their own benefit as well as for their loved ones. During a fast, one surrenders himself or herself to the Almighty and eliminates the negative energies.

Reasons and Benefits behind fast

Fast, known as Vrat in Hindi is an austerity practice and a religious rite. People observe fasting as a religious votive rite. Hence, it includes astrological factors and festivals. Fasting is a pious ritual and kept mostly during the festival days. It includes strict regulations in speech, behavior, and food drinks. Moreover, people also keep fast for the fulfillment of their desire or wish. Also, one can keep Vrata for the wellness of the dear ones of their life. It will be typically accompanied by pujas and prayers too.

Significance in ancient scriptures

The fasting has significance in Hindu Vedas, Upanishads, and Puranas. One can easily find the term ‘fast’ almost two hundred times in Rigveda. As per a hymn in Rigveda, any work or profession to which a person does with full devotion is called Vrat. In scriptures, it is an act of sacrifice while the Upanishads conceptualize Vrat as an ethical and behavioral discipline. It has classified Vratas as Kayika, Vachika, and Manasa. The Puranas refer it to a practice of empowering the mind and dharma mentions it as an act of expiation.

A personal practice

It is a self-imposed restriction on behavior and food. In addition, it doesn’t include the involvement of any priest and is a personal practice. The fasting also involves prayers, meditation, and charity. There are many reasons for practicing fast. It can empower one’s mind, buildup morale, the fulfillment of a wish, or as an act of expiation. The wish made can be related to someone’s else life, like recovery from an illness, good health, success, longevity, prevention of negative energies, or overcoming hardships. Soma fasts are an outcome of a relative vow taken in consideration of religious and spiritual practices.

Religious, Cultural and Astrological factors

Vrata is observed privately and does not demand any public ceremony. It’s a personal sacrifice following strict fasting and some rules in life. A typical fast involves fast for a fixed duration, mostly for a day where either one meal or no food is consumed at all. There are regulations like one can eat fruits in the diet. In addition, observing fast is a custom in certain pilgrimages. Some Vrat is obligatory for those performing rituals in temples. Moreover, the main motive behind it is to mold a person’s mind and body and it may take some days of a week.

Some of the common Vrats are based on astrology. These fasts are included on weekdays such as Njayarazhcha Vrat on Sunday, Thinklashcha Vrat on Mondays, and some others are observed on specific lunar days like Pradosham or Ekadashi. However, the rituals that are performed and the deities that are worshipped are different as per different fast. According to astrology, observing fasts on significant occasions include specific vibrations. Some of the common fasts around the year include:-

– Maha Shivratri

Mahashivratri falls on Krishna paksha Tryodashi or Chaturdashi on Phalguna month according to the Hindu calendar. On this day, some ardent devotees of Lord Shiva observe fast by completely avoiding food and water. Also, they stay awake at night, meditate and chant prayers.

– Navratri

This festival is celebrated at the beginning of autumn or at the onset of winter. It is very popular and is known as Navratri. The special details include that it is a festival of nine days and celebrations are made on nine nights. Celebrated from Pratipada of the bright fortnight in the lunar month of Ashwin, the devotees fast for nine days to celebrate this festival.

– Purnima Vrat

It is observed on the full moon day. This fast commences with a glimpse of the sunrise and ends by observing the moon. However, keeping fast throughout the day without consuming anything is an ideal choice.

– Amavasya Vrat

Observed on the new moon day, this fast is kept by the devotees to give offerings to their ancestors.

– Ekadashi Vrat

This Vrat is of great significance to the Hindu community. On the eleventh day of every fortnight, Ekadashi falls and the devotees keep fast. From the sunset of the day before Ekadashi until the sunrise on the day after Ekadashi, this fasting takes place. Hence, the fast lasts for forty-eight hours in total.

– Pradosh Vrat

This observed on thrayodashi to worship Lord Shiva and Lordess Parvati. The devotees keep a strict fast on this day from sunrise to sunset. In addition, After the sunset and their evening prayers, they can have a significant meal.

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