A couple of years ago, I gave a detailed slide presentation in our temple on the scientific basis of vedic rituals, under “Wisdom of Ancient India Series”. This is a short recollection from that presentation of the the scientific rationale behind periodic fasting on Ekadasi 11th day..
In recent times, the health benefits of fasting have been extolled widely in modern western health literature and I need not expand on them in this brief article.But
it is well-known fact that Vedas recommend fasting on Ekadasi day. It is an age-old custom of cleansing the body physically and spiritually
Each lunar month has two Ekadasis: one during Shukla paksha (the bright phase and another during Krishna paksha (dark phase of the Moon). Each of these 24 Ekadasi days in the lunar year have names with special religious significance.
Here is the summary of the scientific basis:
Did you know the Moon affects the ocean? On Full Moon Day the tidal waves are higher. Nearly 60% of our body is made up of water, and it has saline content, like the ocean. So the Moon has an influence on the body and anything that influences the body influences the mind as well. This the reason people feel good in Moonlight. And this is the reason, our ancestors created the custom of fasting on Ekadashi.:
1. Fasting has a purifying effect on the body. When the stomach is
kept empty, the toxins in the body get
cleared. So if you fast three days before Full Moon, on Full Moon or New Moon day you will not have
any problems – this is the belief.
(It is not necessary that you must fast on every Ekadashi but it is good if you do for at least two to three days in a year.)
2.Air pressure on earth varies to extreme limits on New Moon and Full Moon days due to orbital path of Sun, Moon and Earth, combining increasing magnetic force between Earth and Moon, causing Tidal waves.
•It takes 3-4 days for food consumed to reach brain.
•Eating light or fasting on 11th day, brain responds by the 15th day.
•On both 15th and 30th day, Earth’s magnetic force to Moon is maximum, causing imbalance in everything including thought process.
•If the input to brain is minimum, chances of weird actions are also minimised resulting in more equanimous state.
•Earth’s magnetic force is lowest on 11th day. So it is the best time to cleanse body. Any other day, might not be that good.