FAST, Vrata, Upvaas – Dictionary meaning specifies this as “Abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink, esp. as a religious observance”.
Most of the religions have this concept of keeping fast on some special days of religious significance. It is believed that we offer our devotion & respect to GOD by keeping these fasts. This in result develops a faith that GOD will listen to our prayers & will give us desired results.
There are several types of fasts—-Some allows eating selective food items, some allow eating only once, some allow eating without salt, & some are so hard that restricts drinking water also.
Now, does this mean that my GOD is pleased if I stay hungry & thirsty? This doesn’t seems to be true as I have always heard that GOD is kind. Why will then GOD listen to us when we keep fasts? Or is it a misconception created by humans themselves?
It is said that to attain GOD one needs to focus & concentrate. One needs to disassociate from worldly attractions & just think & feel the existence of GOD. One shall not have any desires and shall act thinking that every action is service of GOD. One shall not rejoice on success and cry on defeats as every success & defeat is also the will of GOD. But, most of the times we try to take ownership of what we do & we try to act the way we feel like. If we can control our senses & our feelings then we are on a path to understand and reach GOD.
Here is a small story to share, in which a saint tried to control his feelings & desires. He felt like eating sweets but he controlled himself & decided not to eat. He kept getting the urge to eat those sweets & he strongly fought against that feeling & didn’t eat. But, after lot of struggle it became very difficult for him to let go-of that feeling. So, he decided to eat. He was satisfied & his stomach was full. Still he kept on eating & eating. And in the end, he landed up vomiting & everything he ate was out. So, he finally succeeded in not letting his feeling or urge to eat sweets conquer him. He spitted out all he ate & questioned himself- “Do I still feel like eating sweets?” And, the answer was- “NO”.
So, while keeping fast and eating selective food items we are not just restricting ourselves on eating other things. We are in fact, trying to control our temptation & feeling to eat other items. When we eat once a day we are not just trying our capacity to stay hungry but we are trying to show our determination & dedication. When we stay thirsty whole day on the name of fast, we are not trying to show how difficult it is but we are actually trying to understand and believe how everything is so easy when GOD is with you. In all, we strengthen out trust in GOD & HIS trust in us. We develop a bond with GOD telling HIM that we can sacrifice all our desires; we can control all our temptations & feelings if our Almighty GOD is with us.
After every successful fast, I get that pleasure of seeing & feeling that GOD is with me. Thank you GOD for supporting me, guiding me, being with me and walking with me..!! 🙂
May GOD Bless you all..!!!!!