By : Lalji bhagat
The day of fasting is mainly for two purposes. 1. To be free from luxurious pleasures related to worldly objects. 2. To cultivate higher level of virtues useful in the path of self-realisation and God-realisation. The other purpose of fasting is to make your self awaken. If you are awaken within your self then no unwanted wrong thought, other than God can enter your consciousness. So it is the process of becoming conscious through out the day.
Main fasting day is that of EKADASHI (EK means one and DASH means ten, thus 1+10=11), means the 11th day of bright half and dark half of each Hindu month. While fasting one has to consume lesser food and avoid cooked and heavy food which may cause drowsiness, which leads one away from the path of Concentration. Your belly should be light. Two cycles of fasting every month keeps your body and mind fresh, healthy and toxin-free.
In reality on fasting days of Ekadashi, the aspirant should not entertain the food to ten Senses and eleventh Mind. So, to listen worldly subjects is the food of our ear, it should be made to listen the holy narrations of God and other God-related things. Like wise the eyes should see the Moorti and the objects related with God. Thus the leg, hand, taste organ each of these senses should be withdrawn from their relative objects of pleasure and they should be channelized to God and the mind should ponder on the thoughts of enlightenment and meditation. Thus these 11 should be channelized to God. This is called real fasting of Ekadashi.
On such fasting days light food except normal cooked food is advised for the intake so that one may not be drowsy and ever fresh for concentration and introspection within the self.
The nap on such days destroys the merits of the fasting, because by sleeping during the day time will lead one to Tamas i.e. the state of dullness in your mind. The goal of fasting is to remain aware so that no trace of illusory, alluring thought may enter your consciousness. So that there may not be breach in the practice of meditation. This is the root cause behind avoiding nap on such days.