Celibacy/Abstinence/Mitahara and Fasting


Beloved Dhananjay,

I follow mitahara as best I can.  I am sure to snack between meals.  I'm not hungry when I do.  I just want to keep my 'digestive fire' rolling, as I should according to quoted yogis of the past.

Sometimes I skip the snack between meals though.  I feel that I should wait until I'm hungry to eat.  I feel that I'm just eating to eat, fulfilling some desire.  In other words, I'm afraid I may not be taming my passions enough.

I'm sure you've read all the scriptures that include fasting.  Medical opinion shines light that fasting is healthy too.  I know that I have an 8-12 hour fasting period every night, so I'm skeptical about the need to lessen my food intake.

Should I continue with my current diet, lessen the size of meals, remove snacks, eat snacks instead of meals, etc?  I know you've advised on the subject PLENTY, and I've read the posts to absorb the essence.  I'm insecure (or petrified).  I want to eat less but I want to eat enough (perfectly).  I could be a dedicated ascetic.

When do our bodies enter 'starvation mode' where our digestive system decides to devour precious soma we've accumulated over months?

Peace and well-being,

1. One should eat when hungry, at the designated hours, and not randomly.

2. To the Yogi who practices 'Mitahara', separate fasting is unnecessary, unless specifically required for a particular reason. Unnecessary fasting drains Ojas, causing weakness.

3. To him who does his Sadhana right with unbroken Brahmacharya and meditation, the how much and when to eat will be revealed by itself.

ॐ तत् सत्
(That Supreme being is the absolute truth)  


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Questions concerning the practice of 'Brahmacharya' to know the self, & the means required are dealt with here.


The term 'Yoga' is a derivative of the Samskruth verb 'Yuj' which refers to union. 'Yoga', also called 'Brahma vidy‚' is the eternal dissolution of the individual 'Aham' (Ego) into the Atman (self) for 'Mukti' (liberation). Mere indulgence in '¬sana' or physical postures is not Yoga. ¬sana is only one limb or 'Anga' of Yoga. The eight limbs viz. Yama, Niyama, ¬sana, Pr‚n‚y‚ma, Praty‚h‚ra, Dh‚rana, Dhy‚na and Sam‚dhi are the means to Yoga. Brahmacharya or spiritually based continence is one of the important components of 'Yama'. 'Brahmacharya':- "Brahmani charyathey ithi" - "To surrender one's Ego and go with the will of the Almighty."

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