There is a practice in India for many centuries, it is an ancient practice, of fasting on the day of Ekadashi. Ekadashi means “eleven”, and it is the eleventh day in each phase of the lunar cycle, the bright fortnight and the dark fortnight of the moon, every twenty eight days, every month.  It is a very auspicous day for the Lord Krishna.  It is imperative to be spiritual than ritual.  But the higher principle is to keep all the rules and regulations intact and follow the foot steps of the Lord.

 So they say that on this day one should fast, have very light food. At least definitely not have any grains or beans, but some people just have some fruits, juices, some people only have water. And they say that it is a beautiful day, a very good day to do prayer, meditation, any spiritual practices. Now this has a lot of scientific knowledge behind it as well. Because if you see from the eleventh day of the fortnight, the sun, moon and the earth come into one line, and this has a great effect on the nature also. As we know the moon and the planets have an effect on the earth. Like with the moon, the tides change, and as many might know, during the full moon diseases become more prominent.

 On the physical level diseases aggravate. For people in the hospital, usually during this time, it becomes worse. On the mental level also, if you see in mental asylums, during the full moon people are much more ‘crazy’, that is why they used to call them lunatics, as the word ‘luna’ means ‘moon’. Because the moon is connected to the mind. In the Vedic knowledge they say that the mind was created from the moon, and the moon from the mind, they are connected. So with the full moon it has an effect on the mind also, and when the moon, the sun, and the earth come into one line it has an effect on the gravity also, the air pressure, so what happens is that it has an effect on the body as well. 

Our body is 70% water, and if the moon has such an effect on the oceans, on the water, then would it not have on our body, and the fluids in our body? In Ayurveda they say that if your digestion is proper, you will be healthy. But this has an effect on our digestion, because of the juices which are secreted. And in Ayurveda they also say that the effect of any food you eat on the mind stays for three days. So when we know that during the full moon and even the new moon time also, toxins may increase in the body, and any problems may aggravate, it is a wise thing to detox the body, purify the body and the digestive system, by fasting, by praying, by doing our spiritual practices, so that three days later on the new or full moon day, the body is clean, the digestive system is clean, and there are minimal toxins in the body, so the effect it has on our body and mind is minimalized. 

So it is beautiful to see these ancient practices are not just very beneficial, they are very scientific and there are many angles to look at it. The position of the moon and the sun is very good for sadhana, any spiritual practice. So they say that this is a great time to do your practices, your japa, your chanting, your meditation, your pujas. So it is a beautiful practice anybody can follow. Just for one day having some light food, some juices, fruits, maybe some vegetables. You will see that even for your health it is a great thing to do. Twice a month have one day of fasting, give your digestive system a break and let it become cleansed. Your health will improve and your state of mind will be much much better, and your meditation will be deeper. 

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