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Fasting and Phases of the Moon

Ananda Marga (Path of Bliss) is a global spiritual organization, founded in 1955, with a

mission of self-realization/individual emancipation, among other things, and this take

on fasting is part of their teaching.  Their adherants fast one day at a time, two to four times a month for the purpose of mental purification and spiritual development (with longevity and physical health, acknowledged benefits).  They prescribe fasting on the 11th day of the waxing and waning moon.  At these times, "the dual effect of the solar and lunar attractive forces leads to an imbalance among the fundamental factors of the body, causing mental disturbance.  The liquid and gaseous factors are drawn upward, clogging the brain.  Fasting prevents these imbalances, thereby facilitating mental equilibrium and deep meditation."  The principle is that fasting helps keep a balanced mind in spite of the attraction of the moon on the fluids of your body. 


(Moon terminology: A lunar month is approximately 29 days, it is the time between two full moons.  A full moon is one that is 100% visible.  A new moon is one that is 0% visible.  Waning refers to the time between a full (100%) and new (0%) moon.  Waxing refers to the time between a new (0%) and full (100%) moon.)


The Ananda Marga fasting system is, consequently, timed in relation to the moon.  The

11th day after the full and new moons is a time her  attraction is very strong.  If you

fast during this period, the emptiness of the stomach pulls down liquids that would

otherwise rise up in the body under the attraction of the moon.  (Fasting is from sunrise to sunrise.)  For more intense rewards, it is advised to fast on full and new moon days as well.


{The moon affects that 70% of the body weight which is water.  Just as the tides

reach their zenith on the night of the full moon, there is generally a high tide in

the emotional lives of people.  When the tides reach their lowest ebb, with the    

coming of the 'darkest night'/new moon, human emotional power is at its weakest.

This is due to the fact that the sun rules the day, and the moon the night.  An  example, in a different context, of the moon's influence comes from Svar (Swara) (Breath) Yoga, "The hu man organism is continually seeking to draw from the  environment what it needs to maintain an ideal condition of balance or homeostasis.  Thus a person's need for lunar

energy increases as the moon wanes and decreases as the moon waxes.  The greater

need for lunar energy is satisfied by breathing predominantly through the left (lunar)

nostril, and the diminished need by breathing through the right (solar) nostril."  In ad-

dition, Tantra teaches that there are three currents in the body, two being solar and

lunar.  They are situated on the right and left side of the spine, respectively.  They

begin at the base of the spine, travel up the spine to the brain, and terminate in the

solar nadi  (pingala) in the right nostril, and the lunar nadi (ida) in the left nostril.}





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