Chapter 10: Fasting

Śrīla Prabhupāda Uvāca 10

Śrīla Prabhupāda's Vyasa-Puja 1973
Bhaktivedanta Manor, England

I had been a brahmacārī for two and some half years and was feeling restless. Many times, Śrīla Prabhupāda explained how one must reduce one's sleeping and eating to make spiritual advancement, so I decided to utilize the two upcoming fast days to reduce my eating. While breaking fast at midnight on Janmāṣṭamī, I ate very little. I again ate sparingly the next afternoon after Śrīla Prabhupāda's Vyasa puja celebration as I did the following day. I didn't feel hungry, so I assumed my stomach had shrunk.

The next day Śrīla Prabhupāda called me into his room.

"Your face is looking thin," Śrīla Prabhupāda stated. "You are not feeling well?" "No, Śrīla Prabhupāda, I feel fine," I explained. "I was trying to cut down on my eating."

"What is this?" Śrīla Prabhupāda said. "You have service to perform. You should not cut down on your eating. This is nonsense. You have to give massage and do so many things. Do not cut down. You should eat whatever you can digest. That is what you should eat."

Amazingly, in our first 16 months together, this was Śrīla Prabhupāda's second conversation with me regarding my prasadam intake. Finally, I decided not to worry about how much prasadam I ate.

His Divine Grace had keen powers of observation and was always looking out for our welfare. Sometimes, we were busy concocting our own means to spiritual advancement, but Śrīla Prabhupāda guided us and cared for us on every level.

Jai Śrīla Prabhupāda!