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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Essence of Yoga
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Chapter 5: Purity and Power

If this fasting is aggressive, violent, if there is anger and destructiveness; then you miss the point. You are not purifying the body; you are in fact destroying it. And to clean a mirror is one thing and to destroy the mirror is another. To clean the mirror is totally different, because when the mirror is clean of all dust, pure, you will be able to look into it - it will reflect you. But if you destroy the mirror, then there is no possibility to look into it. If you destroy the gross body you lose all possibility of contact with the second, the subtle body. Purify it, but don’t be destructive.

And how does fasting purify? Because whenever you are on a fast the body has no more work of digestion. In that period the body can work in throwing out dead cells, toxins. It is just as one day, Sunday or Saturday, you are on a holiday and you come home and you clean the whole day. The whole week you were so engaged and so busy you couldn’t clean the house. When the body has nothing to digest, you have not eaten anything, the body starts a self cleaning. A process starts spontaneously and the body starts throwing out all that is not needed, which is like a load. Fasting is a method of purification. Once in a while, a fast is beautiful - not doing anything, not eating, just resting. Take as much liquid as possible and just rest, and the body will be cleaned.

Sometimes, if you feel that a longer fast is needed, you can do a longer fast also - but be deep in love with the body. And if you feel the fast is harming the body in any way, stop it. If the fast is helping the body, you will feel more energetic; you will feel more alive; you will feel rejuvenated, vitalized. This should be the criterion: if you start feeling that you are getting weaker, if you start feeling that a subtle trembling is coming into the body, then be aware - now the thing is no longer a purification. It has become destructive. Stop it.

But one should learn the whole science of it. In fact one should do fasting near somebody who has been fasting for long and who knows the whole path very well, who knows all the symptoms: if it becomes destructive what will start happening; if it is not destructive then what will happen. After a real, purifying fast you will feel new, younger, cleaner, weightless, happier; and the body will be functioning better because now it is unloaded. But fasting comes only if you have been eating wrongly. If you have not been eating wrongly there is no need for fasting. Fasting is needed only when you have already done the wrong with the body - and we all have been eating wrongly.

Man has lost the path. No animal eats like man; every animal has its chosen food. If you bring buffaloes in the garden and leave them, they will eat only a particular grass. They will not go on eating everything and anything - they are very choosy. They have a certain feeling about their food. Man is completely lost, has no feeling about his food. He goes on eating everything and anything. In fact you cannot find anything which is not eaten somewhere or other by man. In some places, ants are eaten. In some places, snakes are eaten. In some places, dogs are eaten. Man has eaten everything. Man is simply mad. He does not know what is in resonance with his body and what is not. He is completely confused.

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