Secrets Of Vedic Fasting|Divya Toshniwal |

Secrets of vedic fasting

Fasting for us has either become a way to lose weight and control diet or it is a compulsion projected by the age-old rituals like fasting for Janmashtami, Karwa Chauth, and Shivratri, etc. For diet our fasting rules are set by our dietician who suggests not eating anything or being on a liquid diet etc. and as for the rituals, each occasion has a different set of rules which remain the same for everyone.

Vedic Fasting guide on the other hand explains fasting in a very different manner and personal to every individual. It explains what type of fasting should be taken up for what kind of problem. It explains fasting as a procedure to clear out the extra accumulated stuff in our systems so that what we eat next can be utilized better and our system keeps working well.

Why Should One Fast?

Take this scenario for instance. You went shopping and got a bag full of clothes, but your cupboard is already full and you don't have any space for new clothes. To add the new clothes you have to throw out a few other old and useless clothes. This is exactly what fasting does for your body. We have made our body a dumping ground where we keep putting in a variety of foods as and when we like. We eat Alu parantha for breakfast and then lunch is Italian while dinner is Chinese cuisine. It may not feel so immediately, but all this has a great impact on our system.

Fasting helps your digestive system to get the rest it has been desiring for. just after walking a mile, sitting for a while energizes you to get up and work better, that's how the digestive system works too. When you provide your digestive system with good rest, it works more efficiently when you reactivate it. Fasting also increases the life expectancy of a person and the body systems get to relax for a certain time in between. Just imagine if you had to walk 10 miles, would you be able to go from point A to B at a stretch? Probably not. But if you take a little break after every mile, sit and relax your body and then move ahead, probably you would be able to reach your destination

Spiritual Benefits Of Fasting

We generally tend to fast for physical benefits or because the rituals say so but there are also spiritual benefits of fasting. In the Vedas, it has been explained how your food affects not only your physical but also your mental health. What you eat is what you become. Think about this logically. Whatever components you are eating those are the ones that form energy for your cells and thus each and everything is responsible for your body to behave a certain way. And I don't need to mention that the body and mind are always connected so if you have a healthy body you have a healthy mind and vice versa.

So if you eat food that makes your body uncomfortable, your mind is disturbed too. Food affects your thoughts, your concentration power, your energy levels, and also how peaceful you are. Each and everything is connected to your spiritual health. Religions included fasting as a ritual to make sure that the people would follow as not everyone could understand the science behind it. But ritualistic fastings have taken a different turn with powerful people modifying them as per their needs. What we need to learn now is the spiritual science behind fasting and utilize them for our better spiritual health.

Types Of Vedic Fasts

There are 5 types of fasts explained:

1.Pachak Upvas: 

The ones that are done for cleansing the body and giving your systems a rest. In this type of fasting one should completely stop eating till they are extremely hungry. Usually, half-day or full-day but people also extend it as per their comfort. This is generally done by people who have complaints regarding their digestive system like constipation etc. Before starting such a fast one should understand 2 things. 

First, this is no ritual so nothing here is a compulsion. You do not have to decide that you would not eat for the whole day and then force yourself into it. You need to listen to your body. Again, I repeat, Listen to your body and not mind(which may tempt you towards tasty dishes). If your body says that you need to eat, go ahead and eat. 

The second and most important is to keep drinking water. In any situation, you do not need to do a fast without water. This will weaken your system instead of energizing them. So, keep drinking water and in fact, increase the intake of water. You may also drink lemon water to accelerate the process.

2.Shodhak Upvas:

Generally done to cure a few diseases, this fast needs a lot of rest along with it. In this type of fast one can only have water that is boiled and cooled down to normal room temperature. This kind of fasting is continued until the patient has started recovering from the disease. It says in the Vedas ' let the disease die from hunger'. 

3. Shamak Upvas:

Generally, this type of fasting is done for the needs of the mind and not the physical body. This type of fasting is done by people who want to increase their concentration power, will power, and use the power of their minds. Such fast should be done by consuming, water, fruit juices, buttermilk, milk, and anything which has a fluid nature( This does not mean one can have alcohol or aerated drinks for that matter). Have things that naturally exist on earth. You may have to take packaged milk or buttermilk, even fruit juice in someplace due to the unavailability of natural things, but, try to stick to natural things as much as possible.

Along with controlling food intake, it is important to indulge yourself in introspection, reading good books, and working on self, during this type of fasting.

4.Aanas Upvas:

This fast has the most extensive explanation. This type of fasting is done on a particular day of the week according to the need of your body. The most important part of the fast being absorbing the solar energy in your body. Each day of the week has a different impact on the energy of the earth. 

Sunday: For people who want to increase the heat within, Sunday is your day. Fasting on Sundays is done to increase the brightness and fire within. As day which is known as the day of sun in the Vedas, it is the most powerful day to absorb the solar energy. The food preference for this day should be things that are white in color and cow-milk, curd, etc.

Monday: Contrary to Sunday, Monday is the day of the moon and hence is more beneficial for people who need to cool themselves down. The fast on Monday is done to increase coolness in the body, for peace, and also for fame. One should eat food that is yellow in color like mango, and also the water strained from boiled rice is beneficial in this fasting.

Tuesday: The fasts on Tuesdays are done to increase one's strength and being strong both physically and emotionally. The food that should be added in the diet are things that are red in color like Cherries,  Pomegranate, etc. and buffalo-milk, curd, etc.

Wednesday: The fasts on Wednesdays are done to increase politeness, attraction, magnetism, and discipline in your personality. The food that should be taken on this day should be blue in color like blueberries, also one can have fruits that are sweet and sour in taste.

Thursday: Fasts on Thursdays are done to increase knowledge and brainpower. It is also said to increase money, leadership quality, and justice capabilities in a person. Food taken on this day should be orange in color and also one can have fruits that are sweet in taste.

Friday: To increase productivity, diplomatic abilities and agility, fasts on Fridays can work best for you. The food that you have on this day should be green in color like cucumber, guava, etc. One can also have goat-milk, curd. Jaggery is also said to be good for such fasts.

Saturday: The fasts on Saturdays are done to increase determination, willpower, stability, satisfaction, and happiness. Blue and black are the colors of Saturday and hence food of that color should be preferred.

The food preferences given above are not compulsive. It is said that the fast is more impactful if you can follow the food preferences too. Also along with that if one can leave sugar and salt for the day the fast is even more impactful for both your body and mind. The most important thing in this fast to meditate on the sun and believe that whatever quality you are desiring is entering your body through the rays of the sun.

5.Paavak Upvas:

In ancient culture, the cycle of karma has always been given importance. What you do comes back to you. Also, there are explanations of balancing the ' bad karma ' with something good to reduce its impact on your life and beyond it. Paavak Upvas is done for the same. This kind of fasting should be done only by drinking water with a strong determination and promise to self to never repeat the mistake. Also, something good of equivalent or more importance should be done to balance out your bad karma. 

Many people in medieval times used this concept to fulfill their selfish needs stating money and things should be given only to Brahmans(even when they are well to do). These people were responsible for distorting the Vedas and make it seem false and part of mythology. Doing something good, does not mean spending off a fortune on people who are well to do. If you want to give something, give it to someone who really needs it. If you cannot afford it, you don't have to take a loan to set off your bad karma. You can do something good even by investing your time and labor.

5 Rules Of Vedic Fasting :

a. Drink lots and lots of water
b. Spend time in self-development,  introspection, and reading good books.
c. Do not force your body into anything. If you feel weak you can have a fruit to give your body some energy.
d. When you open you fast do not open it with a pizza (any heavy food). Open fast by eating vegetarian light food.
e.Do not exert your body. Save your energy.
Going Back To Our Roots

Pins for later :

Types of vedic fasting

Rules of vedic fasting

Inspired from texts of Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya


  1. Thank you for sharing such informative article. I will definitely say now that I will do fasting for my better health. my thoughts on fasting totally changed post reading this article.

    Have come across similar article on this link -


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