Just the other night I was talking with a friend – he has come just a few days before, very new. He believes in fasting, and when I was talking to him… Fasting can be dangerous and you should not go on your own, you should ask an expert. And if you listen to me, I’m not for fasting at all, because fasting is a sort of suppression. The body is real. The body’s hunger is real; the body’s need is real. Don’t eat too much, because that too is against the body and a sort of suppression. And don’t go on a fast, because that too is unreal and that too is suppressing. That too is not in accord with nature. That’s why I call it unreal.
Somebody is obsessed with eating food – he is mad; and somebody is obsessed with not eating food – he is also mad. Both are destroying their bodies – enemies – and the fasting has been used as a trick.
Whenever you go on a fast your energy becomes low, has to become, because food is needed to keep it constantly flowing. After three or four days of fasting, your energy is so low that the mind cannot get any quota out of it, because mind is a luxury. When the body has too much, then it gives to the mind. Mind is a later, very late arrival in the world. Body is basic and primary. First, body-needs should be fulfilled – only then mind.
It is just like when you are hungry, you cannot support a philosopher in the town. When you are hungry the philosopher has to move from there; he cannot live there. Philosophy comes only when the society is affluent, rich. Religion comes only when the society is rich, when the basic needs are fulfilled. And the same is the economy in the body: first the body, second comes the mind. If the body is in trouble and is not getting the necessary quota for it, then the quota for the mind will be immediately cut.
And this is the trick that people have been playing with their own bodies: when the quota for the mind is cut, the mind cannot think because thinking needs energy. People think they have become meditative because the mind has no more thoughts. It is not true. Give them food and thoughts will come back. When the energy is not flowing, the mind becomes like a summer riverbed – the river is not flowing but the banks are there, everything is ready. Whenever there will again be rain, the river will flow. Whenever there will again be energy, the serpent will raise its head. The serpent is not dead – simply in a coma because the energy is not being supplied.
Fasting is a trick to create a false meditative state. And fasting is also a trick to create a bogus brahmacharya, celibacy, because when you fast energy is not high and the sex center cannot get energy.
There is again a question of economy: the individual lives through food, the society lives through sex, the race lives through sex. You are here because your parents loved each other, moved into sex. Your children will be here, you will be gone, if you move into sex. If you don’t move into sex, then no more future. You don’t help the race to be here. If everybody becomes a brahmachari, a celibate, then the society will disappear.