Tomorrow is Ashadh sudi 11, according to the Hindu Calendar, and it represents the start of Chaturmas, the holiest four months in the Hindu Calendar. Starting tomorrow, and ending in late November, many Hindu’s will be fasting for the entire four months. For those unable to fast the entire four months, will fast for one month of the four months known as Shravan mas.
Types of Fasts
Amount of * will represent difficulty
*Ektana – Eat one meal a day, there are variations to this, but the perfect Ektana or Paka-Ektana allows for only one meal a day.
***Dharna-Parna – On the first day, observe a complete nirjala, waterless, or sarjala, water-fast, on the next day eat only meal, repeat this cycle every two days of Chaturmas.
***Chandrayan – Based off of the lunar calendar, you basically eat one handful/spoonful on the first day, then two on the second day, and so on until the 15th day when you have 15 handfuls/spoonfuls, and starting on the 16th day you descend to 14, and so on until on the 30th day you have one handful/spoonful again.
**Jala – Allows for any liquids, be it smoothies or shakes, you can drink anything within the restrictions of allowed ingredients.
****SarJala – Water Fasting
*******NirJala – Dry Fasting