Faith and Fact: Why do we avoid grains during Navaratri

Navratri thali
Navratri thali

Out of many festivals of India Navaratri has its own significance. It is associated with worshiping the nine incarnations of Goddess Durga and each deity signifies a unique power. The festival is celebrated all over India, especially in Northern part of India with full zeal and enthusiasm. Navaratri begins with a strict fasting schedule of 9 days. Some people fast on first and the last day and completely prohibit alcohol consumption, onion, garlic, grains and non-vegetarian food items. Normal table salt is replaced with rock salt and so on.

Many of us keep our logic aside while fasting. So, we got some really convincing scientific facts that shall put some light on why we should change our food menu during Navaratri.

Reason for Fasting

Fasting is for paying gratitude to goddess Durga for the blessings she has always showered on us. A lot of cultures, like in mountainous regions believe that fasting is a method of spiritual purification. Many people go for a nirjala vrat, which is a no food and water fast. People think that this practice shall bring them closer to god but it is more or less considered as the spring cleaning of the soul.

In Sanskrit, fasting is called Upavaas. Where Upa means near + vaas means to stay, therefore, upavaas means close mental immediacy with the holy soul.

Science and religion are partners? Yes

The answer and logics for fasting is there in Ayurveda, with which the world agrees. Our body is a machine which needs periodic servicing. Our digestive organs need rest. During fasting our body rests as we don’t have to do heavy preparations for food and light food soothes the stomach.

Our body is composed of 80% of liquid and 20% of solid and just like earth, the gravitational force of the moon affects the fluid of the body which makes some people tense, irritating and also causes emotional imbalance.

Fruit salad
Fruit salad

Fasting reduces the acidic proportion and neutralizes the body which ultimately helps to retain sanity. During fasting, when our body is simple, free of any sort of junk stuff, we gain control over our senses and mind.

The whole idea circles around to stay away from processed food and therefore, unprocessed rock salt (sendha namak) is preferred over iodized salt.

Health experts suggests that fast food such as tapioca pearls (Sabudana), buckwheat (Kuttu atta) meet complete nutritional requirement of body and are also light for stomach. These foods are tastier than your regular food. Navaratri is the festival which comes during the season switch, the time where the body’s immunity is recorded at the lowest and a need to detox the same is need of the time.

We hope that with all the science crystal clear, Navaratri shall be more joyous and exciting.