Fasting Leads to Spiritualism

Upvas or fasting has been a customary religious practice observed to purify body, mind and soul. More than it being a religious or spiritual practice, these days we see only water diets, or only fruits diets in fashion. Many dieticians sell these diets calling them miracle diets and so on. This is because research has proved fasting to show numerous benefits.

Being born in a Jain family, I have been privileged to experience and be part of multiple types of Jain upvas. We are taught not only to fast i.e. commit to not eating any food (sometimes no water), but we are also taught to commit to non- violence, non- stealing, non-attachment and truth which goes together with fasting. Committing to these vows brings one to achieve self- control which is the primary reason to fast, it is self-control with primacy of the soul over the mind and body.

Here are a few more benefits of fasting:

  1. Timed periods of fasting can be beneficial when you let your body understand your fast routine, so it can prepare itself accordingly. It allows your body to focus on other important biological functions than digesting, more energy can be diverted to those crucial body functions.
  2. Fasting increases insulin sensitivity of the body, body gains tolerance towards carbohydrates, insulin can effectively direct the cells to absorb more glucose from the blood. Since the digestive system is at rest, your body can speed up metabolism and burn down fat. Regulates digestion and promotes healthy bowel function.

  1. Improves brain functions because fasting promotes growth and development of new brain cells which is linked to higher brain performance and better memory. Fasting reduces inflammation, one feels healthier, more active and reduces risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia and diabetes.
  2. Enhances the immune system since toxins and impurities in our blood and tissues are eliminated and our system becomes rejuvenated. It is a rare man who dies from under-eating; however, most of all today's terminal illnesses are rooted in over-consumption.
  3. Energy can be directed to repair work in the body, and process of healing happens automatically without the need of any medicines.
  4. Fasting gives emotional strength during times of anxiety and fear, gives you a peace of mind. Fasting makes one feel closer to god, helps you introspect and gives a clarity of thoughts.

Thus, fasting or upvas has both spiritual as well as health benefits and should be made a part of routine practice. A lot of people fast weekly or monthly depending on their lifestyles and have seen positive results.


Hishma Shah


Graduated from Cardiff University UK, Hishma is passionate about writing, from college application essays to a variety of articles on subjects ranging from food, travel to construction and politics. Providing digital marketing solutions mainly in terms of content writing.