Everyone Cannot Fast On Nirjala Ekadashi or Doing Fast Without Taking Water
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Posted: Saturday, June 11, 2011
by Dr K K Aggarwal
Heart Care Foundation of India
Nirjala Ekadashi falls on Sunday, 12th June and as per Hindu tradition, a large number of people undertake complete food and water fast on this day. It is said that if one has to do a single fast in a year, it should be on the day of Nirjala Ekadashi. It is the most difficult fast to undertake amongst the various Hindu fasts.
Every person is not fit to observe this fast, said Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India. Patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, uncontrolled blood pressure, kidney diseases, liver diseases, heart diseases should not observe this fast. The elderly, very young children and pregnant ladies also should not undertake this fast.
It is said that a person can live for three minutes without air, three days without water and three weeks without food.
In Nirjala Ekadashi or a complete fast containing both food and water, healthy persons should be able to do it without any problem. It is considered good spiritually as it detoxifies mind body and soul. The fast is done three days before the full moon on the 11th days of Hindu Calendar to stabilize the mood changes which are said to occur on the full moon day. Water deprivation for 24 hours only leads to mild dehydration which can be corrected by taking enough fluids after the fast is over. During this period, a person will pass less urine as kidney concentrates urine to consume water inside the body.
Being in the summer month, the fast is often difficult as there is a normal requirement of 500 ml of extra fluid during summer season. Therefore, only fit people should be allowed to do this fast.
On the day of Ekadashi, for those who are following partial fast, one is not supposed to eat rice. In Hindu mythology, it is said that the people who eat rice on this day get worms in their stomach. Medically, the answer is that if a person has worms in the GI tract, they ( worms) also get dehydrated during fast and as the person takes carbohydrate based foods in meal like rice, it makes the worms jump towards the food and that may cause round worms related GI obstructions of the gall bladder, appendix and or intestine.
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