Just a few days ago on 15th April 2010, in the Hindu Calendar, Vikram Samvat Year 2066, the holy month called Adhik commenced. But why is it holy? Well, this month isn’t usually part of the standard Hindu Calendar, however this year it has been added due to the different transitions of the Sun relative to the earth. I don’t know the exact in’s and out’s of it but all I know is that based on the lunar calendar principles, sort of similar to how the western calendar has 29th February every 4 years. Nevertheless this month is very auspicious and my mother is a great believer that this month is a very important month therefore she has decided that this month she is going to fast.
Hindu’s can fast in various different ways, this is mainly based upon the vast amount of different traditions and cultures that have been developed in India over many thousands of years. The way that we fast in my house is such that we are limited to only eating fruit, milk and water when we like and we are only allowed that one meal in the day. This one meal has to be done in one go whilst sitting down and then finishing your food before getting up (even if nature calls). I personally believe people fast to control their senses and discipline themselves on food helping themselves focus their minds on the important things or for helping themselves in terms of health (bit like dieting). Well, people do say it is to focus your mind however it’s not very practical for myself because my stomach distracts me otherwise by hurting and making noise. I guess with practice it is something one, like myself would be able to control.
Currently, I am a non-vegetarian and I have been bought up that way and unfortunately having done the calculations, it would not be very practical in the household to change way I eat however this month that my mother is fasting means that no meat products can not be cooked in the house. Is this fair on the other 3 people who live in the house or should the other 3 people show respect to the mother as she takes on a bigger challenge? With my exams coming around the corner some people say it is good to fast or at least be vegetarian to focus the mind on studies and not the luxuries such as sweet food such as cakes and meats however practically I find it easier to get all my nutrients such as protein from non-vegetarian foods as vegetarian food takes that bit more effort with me having to eat more and it not tasting as good as the non-veg foods do. Also, eggs are seen as a non-vegetarian food in my house.
Anyway, to be fair, the one meal my mum has is always something nice and will definitely fill anybody up, however a person like me would need some sort of constant source of food and all the meals in the day as I am still a “growing lad” and I should also be putting on 3100kcals which is 1100kcal over the guideline for the average person.
So I guess the point that I am trying to get at is whether I should: fast with my mother; be vegetarian during this holy month; go out and eat meat; or make meat at home?
A deeper point I might be trying to get at is whether I should: worry about my religion; or worry about my nutrition.
Or even deeper point: is this really required part of my religion; or does free-will give us the choice to make this decision without any negative consequences.
I’ll let you decide!
Anyway, I am not an expert on this subject and I am sure many of you knowledgeable people will have your own reasoning, research and opinions and I would be more than happy to hear them out however I can see how this can also been seen as me being an ‘Ignorant Hindu’ as I might have missed the point in some points as I have gaps in my knowledge. However I am using this tool to fill in those gaps in my knowledge and also teach those who know nothing about this subject or who are also growing up in a similar culture!