The ultimate cure? (2nd and last part)
By Atty. Antonio P. Pekas
One of the fears from fasting is the danger of getting peptic ulcers. To be sure, get the advice of a doctor first. From what I have seen on Google there appears to be no problem about fasting among healthy individuals. It would of course be different for those with intestinal or stomach ulcer history.
For those who have been vegetarians for months already, there should be no problem. I think a soft diet causes the body to adapt with the soft diet. Thus, the digestive acids are supposed to be weaker or milder in them. So, to them, no danger of getting ulcers during fasting.
It is not really that difficult to fast for 24 hours or more if you are not into hard labor. The secret is to get hydrated by drinking a lot of water the night before.
How about the one month fasting of our brother/sister Muslims? It should not be really be that difficult because all you have to do is reverse your routine. Don’t eat at daytime and then eat all you want at night—after duck and before dawn.
Reading on fasting, I learned some new vocabulary—microbiome and microbiota—which were very exotic to me. They have something to do with the community of microbes in our gut or inside our body. What was important as far as I was concerned was, there was that statement that fasting alters our microbiome or microbiota which results in lower blood pressure. The complexity behind it, I would rather leave it to our beloved Dr. Penny.
As to the spiritual side of fasting, it is quite interesting. Everybody knows that Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days and nights in preparation for the start of his ministry and Moses also fasted that long before going up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments.
What was not emphasized to almost all Christians are the verses or passages in the Bible about fasting. There is quite a lot of them that are very interesting. Just consult Google and you can be amazed.
The Buddha, who was a former prince in India but renounced his royalty, fasted for more than 40 days, I think, until he got enlightened. As he pledged, he would sit in meditation and would not stand until he realized God. After many days of sitting cross- legged in meditation, there was a strong typhoon and, lo and behold, a big cobra came around, wrapped itself around Buddha’s body, and then bent its expanded neck over Buddha’s head, serving as an umbrella. So the whole of Buddha’s body was protected from the typhoon. Indeed, how God protects those who really believe in Him.
The founder of Ananda Marga Yoga Society was persecuted in India due to the socio-economic and political ideology he formulated. As he said, “Capitalism makes man a beggar, but Communism makes man a beast.” He was jailed due to his staunch opposition to the exploitation of the Indian masses. In jail, he was poisoned but survived due to his spiritual elevation. To not give the chance for the Indian government to poison him again, he fasted, taking in only a cup of curd water from his house each day for almost 5 years. He only broke his fast after the government that jailed him got toppled down and when he was acquitted from the trumped up charges against him.
His disciples now found all over the world are advised to fast twice a month for 24 to 36 hours without water if they could, while his monks who have dedicated their lives to the cause must fast 4X a month without liquid or water.**