A Guide to Religions, Religious Information and Help in Search for God


Fasting has been practiced by many (including the Assiniboine Indians of the Great Plains) to help induce spiritual visions or hallucinations. Jesus Christ of Nazareth fasted for 40 days and nights (as written in Matthew 4:2 of the New Testament of the Holy Bible). In the Early Christian Church (as written in the Didache), Wednesdays were chosen for fasting.

Fasting is also practiced in a number of other religions including Judaism and Islam. Fasting is mentioned in Leviticus 16:29-34, Nehemiah 9:1 and other books of the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament of the Holy Bible. The people were required to not eat and drink for one day a year, from sunrise to sunset on the Day of Atonement.


True fasting is not just abstinence from food (or the sense of taste), but abstinence from all of the human senses. In the yoga terminology, this is called "pratyahara". (For more info, see Yoga Nidra.)


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