The body experiences weakness by fasting and hunger but
that weakness is not caused by the absence of food but because the unclean
stuff is cast off. After the body is purified strength returns to the
body. It acquires freshness and agility. In this, there is no wonder.
After the foreign, unwanted substances are removed from the body, health
naturally appears in it.
Normally, in the body heat is always being produced.
hence, there is always a certain degree of heat in the body. In the Jain
terminolgy, this process may be given the, Taijas Sharir or Taijas
Namkarma. To keep this process of the production of heat continuing, fuel
is necessary. Most of the fuel is obtained from the carbohydrates and fats
in our food. But during the period of Upavas fasting when the consumption
of food has been stopped, the remaining oart of the food gets urnt and
assimilated. Hence, during Upavas (fasing period) the fats soon decreases;
and like fats the strength of the liver, the spleen and muscless also gets
reduced but the brain never grows weak and never sustains even the
slightest loss; so we get sound sleep. The thoughts become wholesome and
pure. In the begining, the foul stuff found in the body may appear on the
tongue; may come out in form of spittle; may cause giddiness etc., but
gradually, everything gets all right.
Upavas is useful in getting rid of such diseases as
fever, smallpox, measles, asthma, blood pressure, eczema etc. By means of
Upavas the children of a doctor in America by name, Edward David, were
saved from the dreadful disease of Diphtheria. In his book, The
Non-breakfast plan and Fasting Cure, the doctor has written that during
illness, it is far better to fast than to take fod or medicines because by
that means, health can be soon recovered.
Panahar (Pachchakkhan of the Evening)
In this Pachchakkhan, fasting is observed during the
previous night hours as a part of such austerities as upavas, ayambil,
Ekasan, and Biyasan etc.
Taking a vow not to take any food or drink after the
sunset till sunrise.
Taking a vow not to take any food or any other drink
except water after the sunset. Even water should be taken only upto 12