Ekadashi Fasting: Amazing Effects in Dental Problems

Recently, one of my relatives who has extremely bad teeth, tried Ekadashi fasting. He had a terrible toothache for past few days and there was no dentist to treat his condition because of corona lock-down. Every night, his tooth would pain terribly.

So, he decided to give a break to eating and went for Ekadashi zero food, zero water fasting this month on 18th (18th May 2020).

Very surprising, the toothache stopped. And he did not take any pain killer or any other medicines. He also did not make any other kind of dietary or lifestyle change. We can attribute it to not eating anything the whole day. And so there was no food stuck in his cavities that might cause pain. However, the tooth did not ache even the next day when he started eating food, and for few days after that. It started aching again on 23rd May 2020.

And this got me to think about our dental problems in a different way. probably, our digestive system is the source of all our disorders, even the dental ones.

Digestive system is the source of all the body fluids, including the saliva. And saliva is the fluid that creates the oral environment. Now, we know that all body fluids share some basic features. For example, if the digested juice is acidic in nature , everything right from blood to urine will turn more acidic. No wonder, what goes inside, makes the body.

And wrong food can turn all the body fluids slightly more acidic than normal. And we can imagine what can happen if our saliva is slightly more acidic than normal on a regular basis.

Normally, the food stuck in teeth gets softened and slips out after some time, along with saliva. Tongue also helps to clean the teeth. However, what if the environment around teeth is not healthy?

Acidic environment in the oral cavity can weaken the gums, cause mouth ulcers, help the germs to thrive and thus trigger rapid tooth decay. And probably that’s why we see that some people rapidly develop tooth problems, whereas many others do well even without a strict dental hygiene.

A few decades back, a lot of Indian had bright white teeth,without use of any tooth brush or tooth paste. However, they used to fast regularly, used neem twig as brush(and this twig provided both natural bristles and a bitter tooth cleaning solution). Besides, the overall quantity of sugar in the food was very low.

Sugar in our food does not affect our teeth that much by getting stuck on them. I personally believe that what sugar does to the overall body fluids is more important. It creates a rapid sugar surge that takes some effort on body’s part to control. Very frequent sugar surges tire out the pancreas and promote rapid decay across the body, including the teeth. Probably, that’s why dental problems are far more severe in case of diabetics!

If all of the above logic is correct teeth health is directly related to gut health. Probably, it is impossible to have healthy teeth , if your gut is not healthy. And therefore a dentist should also prescribe a healthy diet and lifestyle to keep the digestion healthy, because that’s the root of all dental problems.

Most of the women experience rapid tooth decay during pregnancy. Probably, it is because they eat all kinds of things, that too in a huge amount. This abnormal diet puts an extra pressure on the digestive system. And it gets derailed. The toxins thus produced due to under-digested food alter the composition of saliva and thus accelerate tooth decay.

So, now I believe that dry fasting for 24 hours can actually bring back not only your digestion, but also all body fluids to a completely balanced state. It definitely helps to remove excess sugar from all the body fluids, but also deep cleanse the body tissues and rejuvenate them! And if we do not spoil its effects by random eating afterwards, monthly Ekadashi dry fasting can extrapolate and multiply the health benefits exponentially.

The above explanation looks logical. However, I have no experimental proof for the above hypotheses. Anyways, I look forward to conduct some experiments on this concept in future. If you already have similar experiences or are doing some kind of related research I will be more than happy to know about it, please share!

May all of us achieve the ultimate aim of human life through shared wisdom!

What We Can Learn Today From Ayurveda

Today, when the world is facing this extreme corona crises , we can learn a few very important things from Ayurveda

Holistic Approach

The entire body is well connected, one cannot treat one organ and leave the other organ unaffected. So, a holistic approach is the only way to achieve any cure in the human body. All Ayurvedic medicines have multiple effects on different organs of the body and harm no part of the body in the process of treatment.

Natural

Everything whether it is product or service it is derived right from nature in Ayurveda. Infact, Ayurveda medicine is the next step in the treatment, the first step is always healing the body by itself. Simple things like air, water and earth can also heal the body.

All Ayurvedic medicines are derived from plant and made in Holistic Manner, manually from hand. No Ayurvedic preparation requires heavy machinery or artificial methods. In this way Ayurvedic treatment has zero carbon footprints.

Whole

All Ayurvedic medicines are derived from nature. According to Ayurveda, everything on earth, living or nonliving, has medicinal value. Besides, instead of using chemicals extracted from herbs, the entire herbal part of medicinal value, like fruit, root, stem, etc, is used. The chemical of medicinal importance is balanced by other coexisting chemicals and roughage provided by plant cellulose. This wholeness of Ayurvedic medicine is a contrast to herbal extracts, where a single chemical compound is extracted in hope to produce a faster and better effect. This singling out destroys the possibility of an overall balanced impact of the unique naturally co-existing chemicals.

A singer works with his mouth, a painter works with his hands. But will you get a faster result of you cut out the mouth of a singer or the hands of a painter? Will the hand work faster than?

The effect of a medicinal herb is like the beauty of a flower. How can we appreciate its beauty by dissecting it? We fail to realize the life resides and sustains itself in wholeness and not in fragments.

Disease Eradication

Ayurveda does not aim to treat or subdue the symptoms. For example, impure blood is considered the cause of acne in Ayurveda. Therefore blood purification Therapy is the main treatment for acne and not the application of topical creams.

Ayurveda believes that all treatment comes from inside the body and not from outside. According to Ayurveda, any disease happens only when the body is weak from inside. And any permanent cure can come only when we remove the weakness from inside the body. When the body is strengthened to its natural form, it can fight back the disease and treat itself come on even without any external intervention.

Side Effects 

No Ayurvedic Medicine is reported to cause hormonal imbalances or allergies even when used for a long duration.

However, most of the people do not know that this is true only for Herbal range of Ayurvedic medicine. There is another range of medicine which come under rasashastra. Medicines of receptive contain heavy metals like mercury, lead etc. Combination of Mercury and sulphur is highly praised in rasashastra medicine.

However these medicines containing heavy metals can bring severe Side Effects if they are not properly prepared. They can even be fatal if not used properly.

However when used in a right way these medicines can bring immediate improvement in severe conditions like facial paralysis kidney failure extreme fever etc.

Prevention

Ayurveda elaborately describes healthy food and lifestyle to avoid diseases. The motto of Ayurveda is “ to keep people healthy and treat IF anyone falls sick”.

As far as I know, Ayurveda is the most elaborate preventive system in the history of medicine. Ayurveda sees that prevention is a daily task and not something which you do once in a while.

Besides Ayurvedic treatment extends to a wider region and covers much more than only vaccines for health supplements. According to Ayurveda the most effective prevention comes from inside the body. It is a known fact today according to all scientific studies, that stress is the leading cause of 99% diseases. And therefore the most effective prevention in Ayurveda is aachar Rasayan.

According to the tenets of Aacharya rasayana, A person should not get stressed, angry, greedy, jealous, or sorrowful. Avoiding all these negative emotions can help to preserve the the ultimate mental homeostasis which reflects in a complete hormonal balance and nervous balance in the body. And when these two control systems in the body are completely balanced there can be no disease.

Ayurvedic prevention starts from herbs, dinacharya, ritucharya, but it goes beyond the physical dimension to the mental dimension of prevention period and therefore it is a whole and perfect prevention.

Individualistic Approach 

All human beings are unique, they have different body types (Prakrati), therefore Ayurveda advocates personalized treatment for everyone.

Ayurveda is a person to describe the park Prakriti or individual body constitution for each person. Each person is naturally susceptible to one range of diseases where as he might never get others. Therefore Ayurveda AIMS for a perfect prevention and a permanent treatment by ascertaining the body type of a person.

It is best to go for the battle when you know the war field. Without knowing your body, any treatment or prevention is like shooting arrows in the dark.

Psychosomatic Approach

Mind rules the body. Many lifestyle disorders like diabetes, hypertension are directly linked to stress.

We have already discussed about aachar Rasayan in previous paragraphs. However aachar Rasayan is the preventive method. Most interestingly, Ayurveda has the most extensive range of treatments for all kinds of mental disorders. Ayurveda underlines the Treatment of the mental base of all diseases through Satvavjaya Therapy.

And it is very interesting to note that shock treatment, music therapy, arts therapy, counselling, meditation, mindfulness et cetera are all discussed as parts of mental treatment in Ayurveda.

Body-Based Treatment 

Diseases might be caused by pathogens, but a weak body defense provides the safe harbor to the pathogens. Therefore Ayurvedic Treatment is never focused on the removal of pathogens but enabling the body to prevent or fight against diseases.

For more interesting information on these lines, please check out Ayurveda and Law of Attraction-II

Humanitarian Approach

The word ayu means the duration for which body, senses, mind, and soul come together and form a living creature. Therefore Ayurveda is not applicable only to human beings but also to plants, animals and birds. It Aims to serve all living creatures without any discrimination.

According to Ethics of Ayurveda, no Vaidya or Ayurvedic doctor should charge a consultation fee. All consultation on medical advice should be free of cost to all people. And therefore even if a person is not able to pay he should not be denied medical advice.

And in the case of Ayurveda, even medical advice can help help to treat a person. As he can try various home remedies for Herbal medicines to cure himself. This is a true Holistic Si system which is all inclusive without any discrimination against financial status of the patient.

Even medicines for free for the poor. According to Ayurvedic ancient text, Vaidya or Ayurvedic doctor can keep 1/11th part of all the medicines prepared for the rich. These medicines can be used for the Welfare of the poor people.

Conclusion

In the end, I would say that all knowledge or wisdom that comes with the intention of healing the pain is Ayurveda. It is the science of life and no matter where it emerges and with whatever name, it should be treated with respect. And therefore it is useless to find out which is the best system of medicine. We should try to integrate all healing wisdom across the globe for the Welfare of all living creatures.

The Ayurvedic Classical Text: Source but not the destination!

 Namaste, I am Kanika, an Ayurveda physician and today let us discuss how important is Classical Ayurvedic Text in Ayurvedic study!

The User Manual of Health

 You see, all products come with a user manual and this user manual describes everything about the product,its structure, functioning, how to repair, etc. However, isn’t the product its best manual? A product  flawlessly exhibits everything about itself to a RECEPTIVE EYE and a person who is receptive can get to know about EVERYTHING everything about the product by just looking at it.

According to the ancient Vedic people the Vedas are the USER MANUAL   of the Universe. These Vedas reflect the way in which the universe functions and AYURVEDA is called the fifth Veda. It is a part of the Vedas and therefore what should we do to internalize this cosmic wisdom?  I think that books are not ALL that we need

 The Indicative Text

 Do not look at my finger when I point towards the moon – Buddha, Shurangama Sutra

 According to Acharya Charak, the great sage of Ayurveda  ALL ancient classical Ayurvedic text is but INDICATIVE in nature and the wise can decipher more than words.

There is no limit to the subject and a description too concise is beyond the capacity of average men.

Therefore, the description here is neither too concise nor too detailed.

This description is enough for men with limited wisdom.

Wise men equipped with skills of observation, foresight, and planning can decipher beyond the words.

Charak Samhita

And so all these classical Ayurvedic texts are like a foundation that can help us to develop our own unique understanding of Ayurveda. They are like a launchpad which can give us an initial push into the world of this divine wisdom. At best, we can say that all ancient classical text is like an alphabet system and when we have learned our alphabet, we can write our own sentences! And this is the reason why all ancient civilizations were able to develop their own unique systems of healing which were completely compatible to  their resources and their needs.

 The Eternal Wisdom

 The science called Ayurveda, a subset of Atharva Veda

 was formulated by Brahma with one lakh shlokas and a thousand chapters

 But observing the short lifespan  and limited intelligence of the humans,

 he divided this wisdom into eight parts.

 Sushrut Samhita, Sutra Sthana:1/6

According to ancient  classical text when Brahma or the creator created Ayurveda, he divided this science into eight branches because no single person can contain all this limitless knowledge in his mind and this signifies the  limitless nature of Ayurveda which cannot be contained in books. Here, I am not saying that classical Ayurvedic text is not important!

The Stepping Stones

 Classical Ayurvedic Text is the very foundation for the study of Ayurveda. However,  all learners of Ayurveda must understand that limitless wisdom cannot be contained in books. All these books are indicative in nature and they can help us to develop an understanding about Ayurveda, just like the books of Math, these books contain rules but they do not solve all problems of life. We can understand the  rules and solve our own problems.

 The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon,

 but only to hold a foot long enough to put the next foot higher.

Thomas Huxley

 So, let us start with the text but not end there. You see, we all are unique people. We are part of the whole and let us  try to develop our own unique understanding of this wisdom and contribute our part to the whole! I invite you to contribute your share in this limitless wisdom. …

 That (the universe/supreme consciousness) is whole

 This (the particle/inner consciousness) is whole

 The whole emerges from the whole and what remains is also whole.

Isha Upanishad

Complete Relief from Mucus Accumulation in Sinuses through Dry Fasting – 48 Hours Ekadashi Observations

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Hi all,

Today is Ekadashi (11th day of the lunar phase according to Vedic calendar). By tomorrow 6 am, I will complete 48 hours without food or water. And I want to share my amazing health experiences with you all!

I remember the first time I did dry fasting was on Karva Chauth. And I was so scared of dying out of thirst that i went to sleep for most of the day and woke in the evening to drink water and eat. I am more or less fine with not eating , however no water was a scary concept for me. So, if you also feel the same right now, I would like to welcome you to the amazing world of dry fasting!

I started Ekadeshi fasting 2 years back after my teacher asked me to try it. Initially, I started with a fruit based diet and it worked well. After 2-3 months, I turned to a zero food fasting for 24 hours, sustaining only on water.

After a few more months, I started feeling better and more comfortable with the idea of dry fasting. With Apara Ekadashi of 2018, I started monthly twice dry fasting on Ekadashi. The fasting is normally for 24 hours. However, it extend to 36-48 hours for the people who believe in vedic astrological basis of Ekadashi fasting.

Here are some of my health observations regarding dry fasting –

Initially, when I started with the normal fasting, there was not much change in my health except better digestion. However, with dry fasting I saw a radical change!!!

As a child, I always had some or the other respiration issues, not very sever but I remember never going to sleep without Otrivin in my nose. And the feeling of breathlessness is quite terrible for a child! In fact, many of my family members have had severe respiratory problems.

A few years back (2015) I developed severe chronic cold. I would start sneezing the moment I woke up. My feet felt so cold that I would be wearing socks even in the summer mornings. And at the same time I also developed a severe breathing problem. I would feel breathless most of the time, esp at night.

I am severly allergic to all allpathic medicines. Therefore, Ayurveda is the only relief for me. However, even as an Ayurveda physician, I practiced Ayurveda the allopathic way, that is I always relied on Ayurvedic medicines. I completely forgot or never absorbed the fact that elimination of the root cause is the fundamental step of Ayurvedic treatment. All these diseases that I was blessed with, helped me to recall the basic concepts of Ayurveda.

When I started the dry fasting, I would feel a mild but constant flow of mucus from the head region towards the food pipe. And this would continue throughout the day. Sometimes, I would get some tiny lumps on mucus in my mouth as well. However, this would not happen on any other day. And with this experience, I felt lighter in my head after every Ekadashi. And with this observation, I can safely conclude that there was a huge built up of mucus in my sinuses. I never felt any pain and therefore it was easy to ignore other minor symptoms.

Here, I have an important observation to make. On 29th Oct, 2019 I fasted for Chadra Darsgan (new moon sighting, another traditional fasting day). I was supposed to eat at night after a full day dry fasting. However, there was a constant mucus flow from the head and I did not feel like eating.

However, I wanted to eat something. So, I convinced myself of so many health reasons, and that I might feel hungry at the middle of the night (you don’t feel like getting up then), and had a good meal of sweet potatoes.

The mucus flow instantly stopped and I started feeling itchy in my nose. By the next morning, I had a fully blown cold, with watery nose and heaviness in head. This was a very interesting incident and we can conclude a lot of things from it. However, the bottom-line is that never go against the digestive system. Your body knows what it needs and when! Another inetersting read is – Go Dinnerless !

And with dry fasting , all this mucus gradually dissolved and disappeared from my system. There was so much of mucus that it took a whole year to be completely eliminated. Now when I am fasting today, I feel no mucus discharge from the head region. However, I am sure that now the fasting benefits will be channelized to some other metabolic improvement!

Earlier, I would catch a cold if my feet or head was wet even for a few minutes. Cold shower appeared deadly. Today, it is been almost 2 years since I caught a cold, even a minor one.

Also, now I have a cold shower every morning before sunrise no matter what the season or place may be, and I face perfectly no problems at all. And all this happened without any medicine at all!!! only by neti neti, not eating or drinking anything.

Thus inspired, I started adding more traditional fasting festivals to my monthly list like Chaturthi, Ashtami, Chaturdashi, Poornima, Amavasya (4th, 8th, 14th, 15th day of lunar phase respectively). I do a normal fruit fasting on other days, eating a single fruit meal at night.

In Dec 2019, I discovered the amazing concept of Bigu, Chinese fasting technique and sun gazing techniques. Now I am fully convinced that material food is only a very small part of the total energy that our body can receive from the environment. Will be writing more about my excellent experiences about permanent, zero exercise weight-loss (approx 20 kg) with dry fasting.

May God bless you with great health and a peaceful mind!

The Companion Tree

In Indian culture, trees play a very important role in the lives of people. They are not only important for their material use. Trees are a part of family, a part of society and a part of life. In fact, trees were planted and worshipped in all religous cetemonies. A description Ram Charit Manas says that King Janak (Father of the bride – Sita) planted fruit trees throughtout the path of barat ( the wedding procession). According to another ancient tradition, a fruit tree is planted at the birth of a child. It was believed that the tree would be a steady companion for the child. It would take away any mishap that might befall the child. Today we know that at least that tree will compensate the co2 exhaled by the child and give a constant supply of food!

My meditation teacher Daadji recounts a incidence in his life when he fell sick and was not getting cured. Someone advised him to try a traditional remedy – go to a tree and request it to take away the sickness. So, he went to a nearby tree and meditated on his request to the tree. And to his surprise, he got cured soon after. This can be an effect of placebo also. But it worked and we should see if there is a cure elsewhere than the pills. 

These might be just stories, but the strong emotions, faith, devotion and even greed attached to them have saved the forests in India for ages. However, these values are withering fast in the face of modern consumerism.

Plants and animals form an integral part of all ancient cultures. The tradition of worshipping a tree or an animal is nothing but a part of being truly grateful. Because we are not masters but fellow living beings. Masters require slaves and history proves it. Possessed by this spirit of mastery, once humans have enslaved other human beings, leave alone plants and animals!

Trees and plants do have a connection with us. And I know that we all have our own stories about trees, old or new. So, let’s start sharing them and make a compelling collection of these stories!!! I invite everyone to share their tree story. These stories might revive the culture of tree worship.

Here are some of the Hindu mythologies related to trees. 

Tulsi Plant (Holy Basil)

  • In Hindu mythology, Tulsi is worshipped as Goddess, also considered as a wife of Lord Vishnu (called as Vishnupriya, the beloved of Vishnu).
  • Tulsi Plant or Holy Basil is a very sacred plant, in other words, its also called Miracle or Queen of Herbs. It has been significant to mankind in many religious and medicinal ways.
  • It is believed that you show not chew Tulsi leaves. According to science, Tulsi leaves contain a very high level of mercury that might damage the teeth!

Peepal Tree (Ficus religiosa)

  • Worshipping the tree helps in controlling the thoughts, removes hurdles in marriage and good for children and fertility and prosperous for family growth.
  • It also helps in removing obstacles in Financial growth and brings multiple sources of income to the worshipper.
  • In Vedic Astrology, the Peepal tree is related to the planet Jupiter. If a person has a auspicious Jupiter, worshipping Peepal tree, makes Jupiter into very graceful and rewarding one and if a person has an inauspicious Jupiter, worshipping Peepal tree turnsit into a stronger one. And Also, wood of the Peepal tree is used for havana ceremony to calm down the effects of malefic Jupiter.
  • Peepal tree is the most preferred tree for all kinds of pollinating insects, esp the honey bees. And in this way, this tree is a spring of life for all vegetation growing nearby. 

Banana Tree 

  • Banana Tree is a very pious tree and symbolizes Lord Vishnu. People worship the tree on Thursdays to get the benefits of Jupiter. Roots of Banana Tree are tied with yellow thread are worn for their special astrological benefits. 
  • Banana as a fruit is offered to Lord Vishnu and Laksmi for good Married Life and good Financial Condition and happiness of a family.

Mango Tree

  • Mango Tree is a very sacred Tree and its fruit and leaves are used for many religious purposes like Yagya (Yagya is an important ceremony to calm down the negative effects planets and obtain their beneficial results).
  • It’s also said that planting 5 mango trees can help 14 generations, as long as the thoughts are positive – otherwise the benefits will be for the business only.
  • According to Vasthu Sastra, mango leaves are helpful in removing Evil’s Eye and brings harmony in one’s house.
    Take 11 mango leaves, string together and hang over entrance of your house.
  • According to Feng shui, Planting a Mango tree in your house or property, helps in inviting the God of Wisdom, Peace and Luck.
 
If you want to donate to plant trees, please check out this link. Thanks for reading!
apple tree
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My Experience with Ashtami Vrata in Traditional Hindu Intermittent Fasting

Namaste!

I have been practicing traditional intermittent fasting as was practiced by my ancestors, to understand its effects and I have come to observe incredible results.

It is a saying that Hindu people have thirteen festivals in three days (teen din me terah tehvar). Most of these festivals are associated with some of the other deities. However, one noticeable thing is that all these festivals form a deep mesh of intermittent fasting, based on the position and state (waning/waxing) of the moon. And it is now scientifically proven that the lunar phases have an impact not only on the tides, but also human circulatory system, menstrual cycle, nervous system, and hormones.

I started a study of ritucharya as a systematic preventive regimen against seasonal disorders in 2015. However, now I realize that it is not only a preventive system. It is much more rigorous than that. There is a huge possibility that this system can actually stay the entire aging process.

And ritucharya is more outside the ancient Ayurvedic text. It is mentioned in an indicative fashion in the classical text. However, the real practice of ritucharya is deeply ingrained in Hindu religious practices. I now believe is that a person living in a Vedic manner, should ideally not age at all.

Today, it is Ashtami (the eighth day of lunar waning) and I have been observing dry fasting (zero food and water) on each Ashtami, which is twice a month. Today, it was hotter than the rest of the days and therefore, I thought that I would rather continue with fruit and vegetable-based fast rather than a complete dry fast.

I ate fruits in the morning as I was really hungry then. In the afternoon, I was not hungry at all, but still, I had a good amount of cooked vegetables and watermelon. By 3.00 pm in the afternoon, I felt so abnormally drowsy that I was not able to keep my eyes open. This is a rare incidence for me as I also practice sleep fasting or ratri Jagran multiple times a month (zero sleep for 24 hours).

I drank approx 200 ml of coffee in the afternoon to prevent sleeping during the day. milk-based Coffee is anytime a better option than sleeping during the daytime. Normally, even 50 ml of milk-based mild coffee will keep me up for the entire night. But even after drinking this coffee, I fell asleep.

Sleep is a way of the body to counter excessive heat. Even animals like snakes and other reptiles sleep in order to cool off their bodies. This naturally happens as our metabolism is drastically reduced during sleep and therefore this helps to reduce the heat production ion the body as well.

In normal dry fasting, I would not have anything including water throughout the day. During Ashtami, I would drink water and eat one meal after the sunset. In Ekadashi, it is 24-hour fasting. And the incredible thing is that during all these fasts, I never feel weak, or tired, or sleepy. In fact, I feel lighter, cooler, and more energetic.

However, today I missed the fast. There is a reason to conclude that our body does not only have a bio-clock, it might also have a bio-calender. I believe that my body was expecting no food or water today and had other things planned for the day.

But since I had food, in addition to the increased day heat, the body had no option but to shut off the system and go to sleep.

Normally, I would sleep for 5-6 hours a day without any problems at all. But today even after sleeping for one hour extra during the day,  I felt so tired and heavy in my head after waking up.

In Bihar, (a state in India), there is a highly revered festival of chatt (which includes48 hours dry fasting). It is a very tough vrata and the follower is strictly advised to never drop the annual fasting routine. Even if one has to drop the fasting ritual, there is a special procedure for it. Otherwise, the follower may invite the wrath of the presiding deity -the sun. It reinforces my belief in the annual calendar memory of the body.

I assume that body metabolism has as its own inertia of momentum and when this natural rhythm is obstructed in some manner, there is an equal and opposite )and probably not very pleasant) reaction – the wrath of the diety!

It is interesting to note that all human body parts have a presiding deity, for example, the eye is the abode of the sun god, the nose of the abode of vayu (air god), and so on. Similarly, each day of the lunar month has a presiding deity according to Vedic astrology. And today, I can definitely feel the wrath of the presiding deity of Ashtami – shiva 🙂

I will try to document all my personal experiences of Hindu Traditional Fasting and I sincerely hope that it might help to throw new light on the lost science of ritucharya!

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti!

Fast Health! Through Ayurvedic Fasting

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Fast your way to Health

We can prevent all disorders by nipping the buds of diseases. And this can happen through fasting. Besides, it is really important for us to detox today as we are eating all kinds of chemicals along with the food.

According to Ayurveda, we all have a unique body type or body constitution. It is called Prakrati (the nature of the body). Prakruti is made up of a combination of 3 dosha (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha). This combination is different for each person, for example for one it might be Vata, Pitta, Kapha or Vata-pitta, or kapha-vata etc. Dosha are basically physiological systems that run the body. Because of this different combination of Dosha, each body reacts differently to the external stimuli.

Therefore anything that suits one person might not be equally good for the other. Similarly, the procedure of fasting also cannot be same for everyone. The best for you cannot be general, it has to be unique like the way you are!

Fasting comes under a broad range of Ayurvedic treatment approach called “Langhan”. Langhan is a Sanskrit word which means “the process which makes something light or small”. It is similar to the Sanskrit word “Laghu” or small/light. Langhan is basically used to remove excess fat, mucus, toxins or any undesirable material from the body. Langhan is a wide term, it includes many tools like exercise, internal cleansing, sunbath, use of digestives etc. Fasting is one of the tools used for the process of langhan (detoxfying or lightening the body).

Not too Fast!

This is a general guideline regarding prohibition of fasting. The two sutra to be understood here are –

1). Nothing is good all the time,

2) Any kind of excess is never beneficial.

Following people should avoid fasting without medical supervision.

  • Person with severe mental or physical trauma
  • Person involved in hard manual labour
  • Person involved in active military service
  • Person working in night shift
  • Emaciated
  • Weak or debilitated person
  • Very old
  • Very young (children)
  • Person suffering from Vata diseases like joint pain, body pain, migraine etc.
  • Pregnant women
  • Lactating women

Apart from the above stated people, there are certain conditions in which no should observe zero food / zero water fast–

  • During long journeys
  • In extremely hot or extremely cold climate
  • During medical treatment
  • During panchkarma
  • During recuperation period

However, once you get habituated to fasting, most of these rules might not be applicable to you.

Fasting from the scratch!

The Fast Observer

If you have never fasted or are uncomfortable with the idea of fasting, you should have a slow graduation from no fast to regular fasting.

Ideally you should start with one meal fast. You can also start with the fruits and milk fast if you are fond of fruits.

The type of fasting depends on your lifestyle as well –

  • If you are a person who is involved in work of high manual labour, for example if you are an athlete, you have minimum requirement for fasting. Your body metabolism is fast enough to drive away all the toxins at a break-neck speed. However, regular detox from intermitent fasting is like a provident fund that you use in your later less active years.
  • If you are a person with medium manual labour, you can choose any kind of fasting.
  • Fasting is excellent for people with low manual work and high mental engagement. Benefits of fasting (link to previous article).

Fasting also depends on your stamina or your body strength –

  • If you are a thin, weak or emaciated person, ideally you should not observe zero food fast. However, fruits and milk fasting can help in the case of anorexia (lack of hunger). This kind of fasting will ignite the digestive system and help you to actually gain weight!
  • If you are a person with moderate or good stamina, you can go for any kind of fasting. However, you should ensure that your body has enough time to accomodate fasting and gain best benefits from it.
  • If you are a person with vata disease, fasting like zero food fasting can actually aggravate the disorders, as fasting increases the Vata dosha.

Fasting: Timing and Cycle

Ideally, you should make a convenient routine of fasting, instead of practicing random fasting. According to this research, Cyclic fasting has the maximum benefits. You can start with one day fast, once in a fortnight and then gradually proceed to the 3 days or 9 days continous fasting.

Seasonal Fasting

The best time to fast is the Varsha or the rainy season. The digestive system is at its worst and there are chances of more digestive problems. Fasting during rains helps to prevent severe blows to a weakened digestive system. And therefore, it also prevents the aggravation of diseases. It preserves the natural immunity.

Interestingly, most of the fasting festivals like Parivarjan Parva of Jains, Ramadan, or the Navratri fasting, all are celebrated near to the rainy season! Sharvan somvara or solah somvaar vrata (fasting for 16 Mondays during the 4 months of rainy season) is a traditional Hindu festival that is obersved during the rains. These festivals help to preserve our metabolic balance during seasonal changes.

Varsha Ritucharya

Best time for zero food fasting

Zero food Fasting should be observed during the spring as it is the season for Kapha prakop or vitiation. Kapha causes excess mucus, congestion, slow digestion, sluggishness and heaviness in the body. This is the season that invites cold and cough, seasonal flu, conjunctivitis, indigestion etc. Cyclic zero food fasting is an excellent preventive measure for this season.

Worst time for zero food fasting

The worst time to fast is the Hemant or the mid-winter season, when it is really chilly. During cold climate, body maintains the body temperature by heat produced during digestion. Digestive fire is the strongest during this time, which if left unfed, will burn down the body tissues. It is important to avoid zero food fasting or any kind of fasting during this time, unless medically advised.

Extreme summer is also not a great time to plan an intensive fasting if you are not habituated to it.

Light fasting on fruits, milk or single meal is ideal for summers. In summer, the body wants to loose heat. Therefore the digestion is slowed in order to prevent the heat production. Once you get used to it, summer is a great time for water based fasting. Infact, eating without hunger is more detrimental during summers and rains than in any other season.

There is a special mango fasting that can help you detox completely – Amrakalpa

For more details on Ritucharya (Ayurvedic protocol of different seasons), please see – Ritucharya for 6 Seasons

The Most Important Step In Ayurvedic Treatment

In this series, I would soon publish some more articles and videos. Thanks for reading.

Why there is no vaccine for common cold!!!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Cold is not exactly a separate disease. It is like a headache, which can have multiple reasons. Therefore there no fixed reason against which we can focus to work in terms of a common cold.

Besides, according to Ayurveda, the cold is not outside but inside the body. It means that the cold is not caused by the external disease-causing factors like pathogens. Pathogens come inside the body as a result of the suitable breeding environment brought about by the metabolic disturbances. Let’s take an example, anti-social elements thrive in a corrupt society. But if the society is corruption-free and law and order are upheld by responsible social forces, anti-social elements might create some nuisance but they cannot rule the social environment. Likewise, a weak body succumbs to the relevant pathogen as a result of a metabolic loophole, whereas a strong body might not show any signs of disease. Ayurveda works on the basis of the Law of Attraction in some sense.

Ayurveda and Law of Attraction-II

The approach to developing a vaccine, in this case, is self-defeating in the sense that when you do not have an opponent, in reality, there can be no vaccines as well. Therefore, according to Ayurveda, in case of diseases like cold, cough, tuberculosis, meningitis, cellulitis, etc, there can be no vaccine as they are caused primarily due to metabolic malfunctions.

And Ayurveda says that if you do not remove the cause, you cannot cure the disease permanently. As a result of the improper approach, today we see an emergence of drug-resistant microbes.

The Basic Step of Ayurvedic Treatment

Now it is time to change the outlook, discard the ineffective, and embrace new approaches like immunotherapy.

Ayurveda says “preserve the health of the healthy, and then treat whoever STILL falls sick” – so smart!

I hope that we all discover the magical healing power within ourselves.

My Dream Projects

I have a dream to set up a free residential facility for all pregnant ladies and mothers with children up to 5 years. This facility will be able to house rape victims, mothers facing domestic violence, mothers with female children (thrown out off their homes), sick or destitute mothers, mothers facing severe postpartum depression and any mother in the need of help.

This facility will ensure completely free accessibility to Ayurvedic food, lifestyle and all basic necessities. Expecting mothers will receive Nava-masa chikitsa (Ayurvedic 9-month regimen for pregnancy period). The facility will also provide vocational training to ensure financial security and independent living.

There is another amazing project on the lost science of Ayurvedic Surgery for interested people. I am looking forward to reconstruct ancient Ayurvedic instruments.

https://ritucharya.com/2020/05/07/museum-of-ayurvedic-surgical-instruments/

Looks pretty herculean task right now!!! and I have no clue how to do it. But I am floating this idea to receive some inputs. If you are already doing something like this or look forward to contributing, let me know. Thanks for reading 🙂

Museum of Ayurvedic Surgical Instruments

Do you know that ancient Ayurveda texts describe 101 types of distinct surgical instruments (probes, curates etc.) and 20 types of distinct surgical weapons (scapula, surgical needles etc)? According to Acharya Sushrut, the pioneer of Ayurvedic surgery (Shalya), the human hand is the best instrument 🙂

As a Ayurveda student , even I have not seen even a model of these instruments. It is extremely unfortunate that Indian Govt has done almost nothing for Ayurveda, compared to what Chinese Govt did for the Chinese medicine.

As therefore, I have this project in mind – to reconstruct Ayurveda surgical instruments and introduce everyone to the world of natural surgery options, where the herbal surgical threads not only dissolve in the body, but also provide antiseptic protection!

Initially, I thought that I will collect enough money and hire a goldsmith to make Ayurveda surgical instruments from noble metals as prescribed in Sushrut Samhita. However, now I feel that it is a waste of time and money in the intial stages. So I have chalked out phased development of a full-fledged Museum of Ayurvedic Surgical Instruments

Phase 1

Hire an animator and commission him to make 3 D animations of surgical instruments as described in the ancient texts.

Phase 2

Make a freely accessible online museum of Ayurvedic instruments, complemented with a detailed documentary.

The beauty of this online museum is that everyone will be able to access it anytime, anywhere from the world.

Phase 3

Hire a carpenter or a person interested in whittling the surgical instruments to make wooden replicas. Put their images and usage videos online.

Phase 4

Buy one acre land, build a well designed Museum and install the instruments. Open the museum for the Ayurveda students and general public.

Phase 5

Replace wooden instruments with gold and silver replicas

However, I need some financial aid to start the first phase. Please support the initiative on Google Pay – +91 9324484620. There is no minimum amount required. I am grateful for every single rupee that drops in.

Thanks for reading

https://ritucharya.com/2020/05/10/my-dream-project/