Science Of Fasting
Rishimukh|October 2020
Science Of Fasting
Why do people observe fasting? Why is it included in religion - Is it a penance or does it have any benefits?
Dr. Bijaya Kumar Mishra

Fasting is voluntary abstention of food (and drinks) for spiritual or health or other reasons. This practice has been a part of different religions and cultures from the beginning of human civilization. Religions and philosophies that practice fasting include Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Taoism, Jainism, Bahai etc. Even within a religion, there are different denominations or sects which fast differently or at different times and with variations in durations of fasting also.

In Hinduism, people fast on Shivaratri, Navaratri, Ekadashi and on many other days in a week or month or year, depending on their personal commitments. Ramadan is a common month-long fasting of the Islamic religion in which people fast from the sunrise to sunset. Christianity also speaks of the different types of fasting, of which the 40-day Lent is significant.

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October 2020