What is the significance of fasting in the month of Ramzan? – Summary of Divine Discourse on 7 July 2016
When we refer to ‘Truth’, what does it really mean? Occasionally, we understand it as being able to speak the truth. Is this the truth that the Vedas refer to? Generally, we perceive the truth as what we experience in our day-to-day lives. For instance, you may consider this as truth about yourself: “I am a girl; my name is this; I study in such-and-such class.” But, once upon a time, you were a little baby, then a girl, later you will become a youth, a woman and finally, a grandmother. This truth, which changes with time and situations is not Truth at all. The Truth that is described in Vedas is the changeless and the permanent one. Since this body changes, body cannot be the truth. Are we the mind and the emotions and the intelligence that accompany it? But when something good happens, our mind is happy, our emotions are pleasant. But if something goes wrong, we are plunged into sorrow and our emotions are also negative. It keeps on changing based on time, space and situations. Therefore, mind also cannot be called as Truth. Then what is this changeless Truth that we are seeking? The Truth that we all discuss, that I call you by, is the truth of one’s Divine Self and not the outer appearance. Many people ask Me, “How are you able to love everyone so much? The answer is very simple: I don’t see the outer appearance; I see the inner self, which is the same. Therefore, once you realise your Divine self and understand this truth behind your outer appearance, all the attachments, all the sorrows, all the pain and suffering will disappear.
Today, we are celebrating the holy day of Ramzan. What is the significance of fasting for a month before one celebrates this day? The whole effort is to get rid of one’s own impurities, being able to conquer one’s own body, senses and mind and thereby attain the purity, which will enable one to experience one’s divinity. All the year, when we are engaged in all kinds of activities, our minds become dirty and they need to be washed clean. This Ramzan gives us the opportunity to wash ourselves clean of all the impurities and attain the same state of purity with which we were sent to the world.
One who wants to realise and understand the Truth can do so only by experience. To experience this, one has to get rid of all the impurities of selfishness and self-interest. All the festivals celebrated in all religions are only trying to purify us in order to help us realise our Divine Truth. The whole idea is that if you can do it for thirty days, you can do it for 365 as well. And if you can slowly do it for the 365 days, you can do it all your life. All these festivals should help us get rid of our lower animal nature, our selfishness and self-interest and help us develop broad-mindedness to understand the truth of our Divine self.