Page views

Ananda Marga Forum

All the letters on this blog are directly related with the teachings of Shrii Shrii Anandamurti ji Baba.To communicate with the editors of this forum or receive postings of this blog, email us at:



Just a reminder to be sure to subscribe to our two new blogsites:

For latest news click here Ananda Marga Universal

For latest news click here Ananda Marga News Bulletin

Or email us at:

And we will be sure to add you to the list.

In Him,


Upavasa: Why & How to Prepare & Break - Part 1


This entire email is composed of 3 parts:

(1) Posting: Upavasa: Why & How to Prepare & Break - Part 1
(3) Trailer Quote: Children Learn Deception In The Home
(3) Prabhat Samgiita #801;

Each section is demarcated by asterisks (***).


~ Part 1 ~

As we all know, fasting is one of the significant and important gifts which Baba has graciously bestowed upon us for maintaining human health and leading a spiritual life. This entire letter discusses numerous aspects of the practice of fasting - including the all-important point & practical method of how to break fast.

Here following are many of the topics contained in this entire subject:

Universal and Natural Law ~ Animal Existence vs Human Life ~ Nature's Perfect Remedy: Fasting ~ Animals follow Natural Law, Human Eat Mostly out of Greed ~ Fasting for Health: A Purification Process ~ AM's Approach to fasting ~ Fasting and Longevity ~ Humans Know How to Break ~ System of Breaking ~ Wrong Breaking Invites Harm ~ Water Needed for Digestion & Whole Body System ~ Work of the Small and Large Intestine ~ Proper Cleaning Necessary ~ Use of Lemon Water ~ 'Rounds' for Breaking ~ Individual Needs ~ Gentle Process ~ Maintain Prama when Breaking ~ Warning and Guidelines ~ Stages of Cleaning ~ What and When to Eat ~ Taking Banana ~ Baba's Special Blessing ~ Baba's Complete System ~ Proper Interest and Care Needed ~ Optimal Health ~ Suggestions from Others ~ Healthy and Happy in All the Realms.


Parama Purusa has created this world in a well-balanced way. And within this creation there is both animal existence and human life, with a unique difference separating the two.

Animals are fully bound by natural law. They have no option but to strictly adhere to the rules of prakrti; whereas human beings have been given freedom or dominion to make choices and exercise their will, within a certain degree.

Yet nature itself has been devised in such a perfect way that animals always advance and benefit from following natural law. In that sense, animals are comparatively more fit and healthy than common human beings because animals are forced to follow nature's ways, while humans have some scope to go against natural law, should they desire. And this whole equation, with regards to animal life and human life, is especially true with regards to food and fasting.


For example, when an animal gets sick, in their natural way they refrain from taking food until they regain their health. Refraining from ingesting food - i.e. fasting - is the very tool by which animals heal themselves and recover from their sickness. So animals do not eat food for taste per se, but as a means of survival and recovery according to the dictates or laws of nature.

So Parama Purusa has created this beautiful universe in such a way that everything goes on according to natural law. Within this, fasting is a special method for curing oneself if the body is not functioning properly.


Sometimes humans disobey natural law, and in this materialistic era especially, some persons eat food excessively out of greed. When they see food, they desire to eat it - whether it suits them or not.

Those human beings - who are sensitive and follow the codes of yogic life - develop an inner sense of when to take food and when not. When the body is sick then they do not like to eat food. And that is the natural system to cleanse the body, enhance its functioning and make it perfect and pure. For thousands of years yogis have been following this approach.

Through fasting, toxins and waste are removed; and the body is given opportunity to recover and ultimately reach to a higher state of functioning and wellness.


Hence in our Ananda Marga yogic style of living, Baba has given the system of fasting (upava'sa) whereby He directs us to observe ekadashii as a fasting day. Some also fast on purnima and amavasya. In both cases, whether 2 or 4 times per month, fasting brings about a beneficial effect on the entire body.

By following this system of regular fasting the body becomes conditioned such that directly before the next ekadashii arrives one can internally feel that another fasting is needed.

Those who do not fast are deprived of the unique health benefits; their health breaks down, diseases crop up, and their health problems linger, and ultimately get multiplied.

In the end, they have no choice but to surrender themselves to a local doctor and begin the process of taking medicine on a regular basis.

Baba has given fasting as part of Sixteen Points and Baba has also said that by following 16 Points one will extend the length - and enhance the quality - of their life. So there is a vast difference between those who follow Sixteen Points and those who do not. Those strictly following points like fasting will get an extra 15, 20, or even 30 years of quality living. Thus, for optimal health fasting is a must.


In their own ways, both animals and proper human beings fast. But some vast differences exist between the two.

(a) Animals fast when the body is sick, but humans fast during sickness, as well as on amavasya, purnima and ekadashii in order to cleanse the body. As a matter of regimen, a person should not eat when sick or when not hungry.

(b) Animals do not know how to properly break their fast, whereas humans have been given the technique.

And it is by breaking fast properly that the body is able to maximize the benefits of the fast. Unfortunately some are not aware how to break fast.


~ System of Breaking ~ Wrong Breaking Invites Harm ~ Water Needed for Digestion & Whole Body System ~ Work of the Small and Large Intestine ~ Proper Cleaning Necessary ~ Use of Lemon / Lime Water ~ 'Rounds' for Breaking ~ Individual Needs ~ Gentle Process ~ Maintain Prama when Breaking ~ Warning and Guidelines ~ Stages of Cleaning ~ What and When to Eat ~ Taking Banana ~ Baba's Special Blessing ~ Baba's Complete System ~ Proper Interest and Care Needed ~  Optimal Health ~ Suggestions from Others ~ Healthy and Happy in All the Realms.

Indeed, fasting is one special process for achieving and maintaining optimum health. As Ananda Margiis, we have all realised the various positive effects of fasting, such as ridding the body of toxins, increased longevity, and enhanced quality of life etc.

Certainly then fasting is a unique purification process and one most significant aspect of this practice is the approach to breaking the fast.


By doing a 24 hour dry fast - i.e. without water - and going 32 hrs without food, the body obviously becomes dehydrated. Hence the body is in a very delicate and sensitive state. In that case, if one breaks the fast in an abrasive or hasty manner then not only will they be unable to derive the many benefits of the fast but it will create harm to the body.


If you are planning to fast the next day then eat a little less quantity for dinner / evening meal. If this approach is followed then cleaning will go more smoothly on breaking fast day.

Other preparations include:
1. Be sure to have 2 - 3 hours of time in order to complete the whole process
2. be sure to have a lemon or lime available for breaking fast
3. be sure to have salt available for breaking fast
4. Be sure to have a few (2 - 3) ripe bananas available.


Before getting into the specifics of breaking fast, it should be mentioned that one, two, or even three glasses of water is not nearly enough for the breaking process. In their naivety, some people might drink 1 - 2 glasses of water and then immediately start eating varieties of foods etc, but that way of doing is off base and should never be done.

Rather on breaking fast morning first the digestive system should be cleaned thoroughly - from top to bottom - with water. And when that has been done completely, then solid food can be taken, but not beforehand.


1. Squeeze ¼ or ½ of a lemon or lime into a bowl (ceramic, wooden or glass or BPA-free plastic or anything thing - but not metal.

(The size of the bowl should be least 1 liter. Be sure that the individual cells of the lemon or lime are broken to maximize the juice. That will help bring more juice.)

2. Add 2 teaspoons (flat not heaping) of salt to the lemon / lime juice and mix.

3. Add 1 liter of warm water. (If you add hot water then leave room to add cold water from the sink.)

4. The lemon salt water mixture should be distinctly salty to taste - but not overly salty. If your mixture is not sufficiently salty then little by little more can be added. And if really it is already too salty then simply dilute your mixture by adding more warm water.

(Please be aware: Too much salt will invite nausea and even vomiting – you will be able to recognize this immediately by the taste; too little salt will not allow you to break the fast properly: The lemon-salt water mixture will be misdirected to the urethra, instead of cleansing the colon. Those with high blood pressure should be careful about the use of salt; for those in proper health, kindly know that this salt solution will be eliminated from the body in the next hour or two, so there will not be much of a lingering effect of all this sodium-chloride.)

5. Drink the lemon salt water mixture. Not in one gulp per se, but in a series of comfortable sips and swallows over the course of a few minutes or less, without bloating the stomach. Be careful not to take too much time.

6. After finishing this initial round of salty lemon water, walk around for a few minutes - either in the fresh air or indoors. Do not remain in a seated position. Either stand up or walk.

7. You may gently stretch the upper body by raising the arms on the inhale and then exhaling and gently bending to the side. And repeat by bending to the opposite direction. This gently helps to hasten the cleansing process. If you wish and it is comfortable you can bend fwd and back a little bit, but do not go extreme.

Do not sit down and remain still as that will severely hinder the process of clearing. Do not create pressure when you bend forward and back as the belly is full of water.

8. As soon as you feel ready drink the next round of lemon salt water: ¼ or ½ lemon or lime with 2 flat teaspoons of salt, mix, then add 1 liter of warm water.

(Note: It is important not to wait too long between rounds. As soon as the stomach feels comfortable one should again drink. Do not wait more than 10 minutes or so –  if you can start drinking the next round before then that is fine.)

9. After the second round, be sure to walk around and bend the torso side to side – or a little front to back. Remember, do not sit down or remain still as that will severely hinder the process of digestion and clearing.

10. If you do not have a strong urge to go to the bathroom immediately, continue to walk and drink warm water with a lesser amount of salt. Lemon is not needed. (1 or 2 liters can be taken.)

11. By this process of drinking & walking, a strong urge will come to go to the toilet-- within 1/2 hour to one hour, if you have not eaten too much on the eve of fasting (too much of normal food and or normal of "rich" (high protein and fat).


Note: If the salt water mixture was misdirected to the urethra instead of cleansing the colon, it means that not a sufficient amount of salt was used or you ate too much rich food before the night before fasting. But really for most people 2 teaspoons of salt per liter of water for the first two rounds should work fine.

12. Initially, a very strong smelling brown waste matter will be released from the colon. Thereafter, more and more solids and liquids will be released via the. This will also be brown at the beginning. But do not worry thinking you have been stricken with a severe case of diarrhea. This is the initial stage of cleaning out the digestive track.

13. Once this process of clearing the digestive tract has begun, switch over from drinking a lightly salted mixture and begin taking pure fresh water without any salt. This fresh water will help hydrate the body and aid in the cleansing process. Drinking 1 or 2 liters is quite helpful – both for clearing and re-hydrating.

14. In this process of cleansing one might visit the toilet between 3-5 times, or more. Or you may go less frequently but sit for longer periods. Do not suppress the urge, when the impulse comes go straight to the toilet.

15. The waste material will turn from brown and somewhat solid to yellowish and liquidy until finally being a completely clear liquid. Once completely clear liquid comes, be assured the entire digestive tract is clean - including the intestines, colon, and stomach etc.

16. By this entire process of cleansing a very light and healthy feeling will consume the body. One will feel very happy, fresh, and energetic.

17. Within ten to fifteen minutes a slight feeling of hunger will come. At that point, you should eat 1 - 2 very ripe bananas - or 3 if they are very small. The bananas should be soft and ripe - not green and hard. Chew them slowly and thoroughly to generate and mix with the saliva.  

18. After taking a few bananas - be careful not to overeat or fill the stomach - wait until the onset of a a strong feeling of thirst. Then drink a little bit of water, and when a strong feeling of thirst returns, drink a little more water. This will help in digesting the bananas.

19. After strong hunger comes, take some easily digestible food such as cooked rice etc. Here are a few other options as well.

(a) If one chooses to take fruit then only eat fruit - not grain or vegetables - and avoid taking citrus fruit.

(b) If one chooses hydrated rice and vegetables (kichuri) do not mix fruit with that rice dish.

(c) Avoid heavily spiced, oily food, or processed food. Avoid eating too much dry food like bread, or acidic food like pasta. Aim for more simple food: like soups and kichuri.

(d) Later on in the day, after your second round of food is digested, then it is ok to take some citrus fruit if you wish.

20. Throughout the day, care should be taken to continue to drink plenty of fresh water in small amounts, but not at the same time as eating. This will help ensure the solid food gets digested properly and it will also keep the body hydrated.


One should also keep in mind that breaking fast is a highly individualized thing. And one should be gentle and listen to one's own body when undergoing this entire process.

So altogether, this is one very important and a delicate subject; it needs personal interest and proper care to see what is good and working well for you.


Baba has included upava'sa (fasting) as its own exclusive point in Sixteen Points.

"Observe fast as prescribed." (1)

And in His supreme 'Secrets for a Long Life', Baba lists upava'sa (fasting) as its own entry.

"upava'sa (fasting) at Intervals." (2')

And furthermore in Yogic Treatment pointedly remarks how upava'sa (fasting) helps restore the body to it balanced and natural condition.

"During upava'sa (fasting) the body's organs get a good rest, and the healing process is more rapid." (3)


Here below Baba colorfully describes how we are to spend our fasting days.

"'Upa' means proximity. And va'sa means to live, to reside. So the upava'sa word means to live near the Lord.  In these days of fasting, what the aspirants are to do? Mentally they should live near their Lord. On all other days there remains a balance between external objective adjustment, and subjective approach. An adjustment between objective adjustment and subjective approach. But on these fasting, or upava'sa, the aspirant remains more in proximity to the Lord than in other mundane duties. That's why these days are known as "upava'sa". The word 'fasting' doesn't carry the proper sense or the proper spirit of the term 'upava'sa'. To go without food, for this the proper word is anasan. 'An' means not, 'asan' means eating. And not upava'sa. So these ekadashii, amava'sya, and purnima they are, upava'sa. Do you follow?" (4)

And Baba's next guideline further details how fasting days are perfect for an enhanced spiritual routine.

"These fixed [fasting] days are called upavasa since during these days people keeping their minds engaged in spiritual matters 'live closer' to God, and any possibility of mental degradation is averted: their humanity is not endangered by the lengthening shadows of annihilation." (5)

By all this we an understand that on upavasa days one can enjoy heightened spiritual awareness and thus deepen their devotional link with Parama Purusa - Baba.

In Ananda Marga, sometimes we may use the term 'fasting', but in reality one means upavasa. It is just that due to the lack of a proper English term that we may say 'fasting'.


I can never forget how in one general darshan, Baba has given the guideline that although animals know how to fast, only humans know how to break their fast properly. Those not aware about this technique should be taught at the earliest. That is Baba's guideline.


"When you are in a mood of pleasure, you should distribute it throughout the universe-- let all the hearts of the entire created universe dance in ecstasy. This is the goal of the day: you are for all, you are for the Neo-Humanistic progress of the entire universe."  (6)

In Him,
Prabhu Deva


In a follow-up email some further points about this important topic of upavasa, healthy, and wellness will be sent. At the same time others should also share their insights and experiences


We know that our Ananda Marga system of fasting is based upon the cycle or phases of the moon. Yet Baba also guides us that when human beings move to other planets then accordingly the system of fasting will be based on that planetary system etc.

1. Point no. 8 of 16 Points
2. Caryacarya, Point no. 5, 'Secrets Long Life"
3. Yogic Treatments, p.95
4. Ananda Vacanamrtam - 6, Upavása
5. Namah Shivaya Shantaya, p.188
6. A Few Problems Solve - 5

The section below demarcated by asterisks is an entirely different topic,
completely unrelated to the above material. It stands on its own as a point of interest.

Children Learn Deception In The Home

"Parents deceive their children in many ways. By calling sweet things bitter and pleasant things unpleasant, they prevent their children from enjoying them. But by disregarding parental injunctions and prying inquisitively, as is the wont of human nature, children discover the truth. Then they realize that their parents have been deceiving them. As a result they start deceiving not only their parents, but their friends and classmates as well. So it is abundantly clear that children are taught the first lessons in the arts of lying and deception by their own parents at home." (Human Society - 1, Education)


Prabjat Samgiita

"Tumi a'ma'y bha'lo besechile, a'mi toma'r pa'ne ta'ka'i ni..." (PS 801)


O' Parama Purusa, You have loved me and showered me in Your divine blessing, but I did not look towards You. I did not care or pay heed to Your love. Baba, You have graciously bestowed everything upon me. But I did not give You anything in return. Drowned in my own selfishness, I did not surrender at Your alter. In spite of that You love me. Baba, You are do gracious.

O' Parama Purusa, in those deep, black foggy days of my life, when I was feeling helpless, isolated, and lonely, then You gently held my hand and consoled me and You lovingly kept me along with You. In bleak those foggy days, You got wounded on the thorny path, but I did not apply any ointment to ease the pain. I was so selfish.

O' Divine Entity, You are so gracious, You always help me in each and every circumstance. In my sorrowful days, when in danger, and when my heart is broken, always You console me by filling my entire being with Your sweet nectar. Even then, in the grand universal arena of Your divine liila, I could not become useful in any work. Due to my own lethargy, my existence could not be utilised. Uselessly, I wasted my time. In spite of this, still You love me.

Baba, O' my Dearest; You are my own; You are my everything; You have showered Your causeless grace and made me Yours...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment here

Policy on Comments

Spam and unparliamentary language not to be used.

folders: Ananda Marga related articles on hundreds of niche issues


To receive postings of this blog, email us at:

Baba nam kevalam