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For the Jain community, any time is good to fast

    Mumbai (Maharashtra), August 11, 2013: The Muslim month of Ramzan dedicated to rigorous fasting just got done, the Hindus fasting month of Shravan just started, but the members of the Jain community don’t restrict their fasting to any particular month of the year. The Jains at any given point of the year are either in the middle of a fast or gearing up for one.

    Puja Shah, 21, is one such member of the community. On Friday, she completed the rigorous Masakkhsaman Tap – a month long fast – where a person has to survive only on boiled water. “Now, I will be taking a month’s break and start fasting again during the Paryushan (an eight day fast that is observed by large number of Jains every year). But since I just got done with a month-long rigorous fast, I might opt for the Beshna form of fasts, which is less severe,” said Shah, who is studying for company secretary exams.

    While Shah is in between two fasts, some members of the community have taken up other fasts such as the Siddhi Tap and Mahamrityunjay Tap. Siddhi Tap is spread over 44 days with breaks in between. A person on a Siddhi Tap, is given one meal after fasting for a day, the next meal is given after fasting for two days, the third meal is given after fasting for four days. This goes on till the person completes 44 days of fasting.

    The Mahamrityunjay Tap fast goes on for 36 days during which a person needs to survive only on boiled water. “I have been fasting for 10 years and I have currently  completed five days of the Mahamrutyunjay Tap,” said Hasmukhbhai Nagariya, who runs a power loom in Bhiwandi. – News Courtesy: DNA India

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