This upcoming Monday, 21st August 2017 will mark the occurrence of one of the biggest astronomical events. The great American solar eclipse will cause a blackout in the entire country after 99 years. “Having a total solar eclipse move across the entire United States is quite rare. The last time it happened was in 1918,”notes an AFP report. Solar eclipse is the outcome of a situation where the Moon moves between the Earth and the Sun.
In India, the eclipse is estimated to last between 9.15pm to 2.34 am. Since the eclipse will occur during the night hours in India, experts believe it not to have any significant astrological impact.
Why is food avoided during an eclipse?
The Hindu mythology sees solar eclipse as the engulfing of life-giving, energy providing Sun by an evil force; it is therefore seen as an omen. The period for which the eclipse lasts is believed to see an increase in harmful agents, bacteria and germs as a result of the absence of Sun rays and light. Many therefore abstain from eating anything during the eclipse and also discard food items prepared before the eclipse.
On his website yog and spiritual guru Shri Sadhguru explains, “Certain things happen in the planet where anything that has moved away from its natural condition will deteriorate very fast. This is why there is a distinct change in the way cooked food is before and after the eclipse. What was nourishing food turns into poison. Cooked food will go through the phases of its deterioration much more rapidly in a subtle way than it does on a normal day.”
If Shri Sadhguru’s logic is to be believed, even raw or uncooked food items, when consumed in a situation dominated by an eclipse, will turn semi-cooked inside the body having similar impact as cooked food consumption would have. Therefore, many people refrain from eating anything during an eclipse. “When the body is in a confused state, the best thing is to keep it as empty as possible, and as conscious as possible. One of the simplest ways to be conscious is to not eat,” notes Shri Sadhguru.
“Sun affects our body, its processes and our health. In yogic practice one is advised to increase the quantity of food with the rise in Sun and reduce the quantity of food in meals with the setting of the Sun. It is best to avoid eating anything during a solar eclipse, as this eclipse will occur during nighttime in India, it doesn’t really affect the people here,” notes Yoga expert, Yogi Anoop of the Chaitanya Foundation.
Dinesh Kashikar, Trustee, Vaidic Dharma Samsthan, The Art of Living, believes an eclipse to be one of the best times to meditate. “I would tell you a different logic, since an eclipse is a great time to meditate and meditation is best done on an empty stomach, one should refrain from eating anything during the period of an eclipse,” he notes. A full stomach induces higher metabolism which isn’t desirable for a meditative practice. “An eclipse affects the human body as the Sun, the Moon and the Earth come in a straight line. It is like the ebb and fall of tides, it affects our bodies in a similar fashion,” reasoned Mr. Kashikar.
What to eat this solar eclipse?
Although the eclipse isn’t visible in India, experts suggest utilizing this time for spiritual awakening and meditative purposes. “The yogic practice doesn’t allow any food consumption beyond sunset, so if you are following a balanced diet, you will anyway not be eating anything after 8pm,” noted Yogi Anoop.
“You may like to maintain a light, Satvic diet this solar eclipse. Have plenty of water, fluids and foods that are easy to digest. Juices, soups, salads and fresh fruits and vegetables are what I am talking about. Ideally, anything that will keep you light and active to take up meditation during the eclipse period,” concluded Mr. Kashikar