But fasting is important. It should be done very carefully; one should understand the functioning of the annamay kosh – only then. And it should be done under proper guidance, of one who has moved through all the phases of his annamay kosh. Not only that, one who has gone beyond it and who can look at the annamay kosh as a witness. Otherwise fasting can be dangerous…then, just the right amount of food and the right quality of food has to be practiced; fasting is not needed.
But this is important because this is your first body and, more or less, people cling to their first body; they never move to the second. Millions of people are not even aware that they have a second body, a deeper body, hidden behind the first sheath. The first covering is very gross.
The second body Patanjali calls pranamay kosh – energy body, electric body. The second consists of electric fields. That’s what acupuncture is all about. This second body is more subtle than the first, and people who start moving from the first body to the second become fields of energy, tremendously attractive, magnetic, hypnotic. If you go near them, you will feel vitalized, charged.
If you go near a man who lives only in his food body, you will be depleted – he will suck you. Many times you come across people and you feel that they suck you. After they have left, you feel depleted, dissipated, as if somebody has exploited your energy. The first body is a sucker, and the first body is very gross. So if you live too much with first body-oriented people, you will feel always burdened, tense, bored, sleepy, with no energy, always at the point of the lowest rung of your energy; and you will not have any amount of energy which can be used for higher growth.
This type, the first type, the annamay-kosh oriented person lives for food. He eats and eats and eats, and that’s his whole life. He remains in a way childish. The first thing that the child does in the world is to suck air, and then to suck milk. The first thing the child has to do in the world is to help the food body, and if a person remains food addicted, he remains childish; his growth suffers.
The second body, pranamay kosh, gives you a new freedom, gives you more space. The second body is bigger than the first; it is not confined to your physical body. It is inside the physical body and it is outside the physical body; it surrounds you like a subtle climate, an aura of energy. Now in Russia they have discovered that photographs can be taken of this energy body. They call it “bioplasma,” but it exactly means prana – the energy, elan vital, or what Taoists call chi. It can be photographed now; now it has become almost scientific.
And one very great discovery has been done in Russia, and that is that before your physical body suffers some illness the energy body suffers it – six months before – then it happens to the physical body. If you are going to have tuberculosis, or cancer, or any illness, your energy body starts showing indications of it six months before. No examination, no testing of the physical body shows anything, but the electric body starts showing it. First it appears in the pranamay kosh, then it enters into the annamay kosh.