Fasting is one of the best ways of controlling our minds and senses. Shastras say that fasting can be used to subdue our anger, passion and lust. It allows us to withdraw our senses from the outside world and become refocused on our own divine nature. During this period of sadhana, austerity and restraint one realises that one is truly the master of one’s body.
Fasting is a time in which our bodies become light, a time in which our vital energy is not being dissipated through the process of consumption and digestion, a time in which we are free from the heaviness and lethargy resulting from over indulgence. However, fasting is not meant to be merely abstaining from eating. It is a time during which all our organs are purified, a time during which every sense is turned towards the divine. Fasting is also the time during which we observe as much silence as possible, as we lose much of our vital energy in speech, and through the speech, our focus becomes diverted outward.
During fasting we should try to quiet our mind as much as possible. To do this we should try to keep our mind entirely focused on God during fasting. So the day of fasting should be a day for us to be with God. Our Shastras therefore says, fasting should be done to purify our bodies, minds and souls and to bring every cell of our body in connection with the divine energy.
— Paramapujya Srimajjagadguru Shankhara Charya Sri Sri Swayamprakasha Sachidananda Saraswathi Mahaswamiji