Holistic health is the new age wealth. Every individual aspires to achieve health across every dimension – physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. And while there are numerous trends that we experiment with, there is one age-old practice that is gaining much momentum in recent times – FASTING.
A young Jain saint, aged just 28 years, is about to complete a record-breaking 154 fasts in 187 days on 16th March 2022. His name is Param Pavitramuni Maharaj Saheb and he is a disciple of Param Gurudev Shree Namramuni Maharaj Saheb. The fast that he is practising is called Laghu Sinhnishkreedit Mahatapp in Jain philosophy. One does not take any food, fruits, medicines or supplements during the fast. He consumes only boiled water. While it may seem very tough and challenging, his experience of this entire sadhana has been quite phenomenal.
Many believe that fasting is a process of depriving your body of food and doing injustice to it. But he explains that there is a vast difference between the two. Deprivation or starvation is when you have a desire to eat, but you don’t get anything to eat. On the other hand, fasting is an effortless state of being free from the desire to eat. It is a disciplined approach where you experiment with yourself to achieve self-command.
We may wonder, how does this impact our daily life? Apart from the obvious weight loss benefits that fasting offers, the young saint explains that fasting has a much more comprehensive and profound impact on our life. Stress, anxiety and depression are the most common lifestyle disorders today. And the root cause of these issues is unfulfilled desires, lack of self-control and weak tolerance power. A person who gradually incorporates fasting into his lifestyle starts developing self-control in every emotion and aspect of life. Fasting helps one exercise control on his mind and his five senses. His tolerance power becomes very high, making him capable of tackling every challenge in life.
From a scientific perspective, fasting decreases ‘bad’ cholesterol, boosts heart health, reduces the risk of cancer, enhances brain power, and brings speedy recovery in chronic illnesses like diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure, etc. Studies say that fasting creates a natural increase in the Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which is responsible for increased metabolism, cell growth and repair. Pavitramuni Maharaj Saheb himself experienced that his working capacity expanded tremendously during the entire period of his fast. He did not sleep for more than 4 hours at a stretch and became even more active than before.
Six years back, no one could have imagined that Akhil, a youngster born and brought up in Mumbai’s upscale Juhu locality, would perform such a tough austerity at such a young age. But it was his Guru, Param Gurudev Shree Namramuni Maharaj Saheb, who transformed his life from mere enjoyment to an effort for enhancement of inner qualities. And so, he then adopted Jain Diksha and became Param Pavitramuni Maharaj Saheb.
Param Gurudev Shree Namramuni Maharaj Saheb is a renowned Jain spiritual leader and a notable thinker. Born on 26th September 1970 in Nagpur, Maharashtra, he took renunciation at the very young age of 21. A profound visionary who is bringing a positive difference in countless lives globally, he is the founder of Parasdham - a socio-religious organisation in India with humanitarian initiatives and spiritually uplifting missions across the world. The mission has spiritual institutions named Parasdham, Pawandham and Paramdham across the country, with global centres. Two prominent initiatives of the organisation include Arham Yuva Seva Group, (a humanitarian youth wing with 55+ centres globally) and Look N Learn Jain Gyan Dham (a moral education programme having 100+ centres across the world). Param Gurudev has blessed 58 young and highly educated individuals with the vows of renunciation. His enriching and highly practical talks are sought after by Jain and non-Jain communities in India and abroad. To know more, visit www.parasdham.org.