I was fasting since from 3 Years, But today one of my friend said that while taking dinner, I should start fast after the sunrise .

Is it true?

So, I want to know at what time one should start a fast ?

  • 1
    Ideally fasting should start before sunrise.It ends usually the next day after sunrise.But some people fast only till sunset ie half day fast. – Rickross Sep 17 '16 at 12:57
  • BTw,for all those 3 years when u used to start ur fasting?Fasting should always start with sunrise(ideally before that time).For example one can't eat the wholeday and begin fasting from sunset haha ;) – Rickross Sep 19 '16 at 5:07
  • In last 3 years I m doing it at 12am to 12 pm – N J Sep 19 '16 at 5:10
  • Sorry mistake happened 12 am to 11.59 pm :) – N J Sep 19 '16 at 5:16
  • From 12 amm at nite till sunrise u must be sleeping.So that's not a fast. You are actually fasting from sunrise till midnite. – Rickross Sep 19 '16 at 5:22

Hindu fasting is from sunrise till sunrise the next day on which the fast is supposed to be broken.That day is called the Parana day.Breaking a fast for a hindu is as important as doing the fast.(For example not breaking an Ekadashi fast within the prescribed parana time is considered an offence)

But fasting from dawn to dusk(sunset) is also prescribed in Scriptures.

I'll be quoting from the Essence of Narada Purana:

As regards Dashami Tithi, Chaitra Shukla is stated to be a day which Dharma Raja is fond of and after fasting till the evening, worship of the Deity with flowers, fruits, ‘Gandha’ etc. should be observed and at the end of the Vrata, bhojan and dakshina is to be provided to fourteen Brahmanas.

Bhadrapada Shukla Dashami is to observe Dashavatara Vrata to worship the Ten Incarnations of Vishnu viz. Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Nrisimha, Trivikrama /Vamana, Parashu Rama, Rama, Krishna, Buddha and Kalki by day-long fasting and Brahmana Bhojana etc

Ekadashi has a special significance among all the Tithis as the Shukla and Krishna Paksha Ekadashis are invariably observed with Upavaasa, Japa, Homa, Pradakshina, Stotra Paatha, Dandavat- Pranama and Ratri-Jaagaranas followed by Dwadashi’s Brahmana Bhojanas and dakshinas. Chaitra Shukla Ekadashi is called ‘Kamada’ or the Fullfiller of Purusharthas and Sin-destroyer. Vaishakha Shula Ekadashi is known as ‘Mohini’and Krishna Ekadashi is known as ‘Varuthini’ when Purushottama and Madhusudhana are worshipped. Jyeshtha Krishna Ekadashi is called ‘Apara’ to worship Trivikrama, whereas the Jyeshtha Shukla is ‘Nirjala’ which is observed with fasting without water from dawn to dusk, and thereafter treat Brahmanas with Bhojan. Ashadha Krishna Ekadashi is called ‘Yogini’and is observed with day-night fast / puja and bhojan to Brahmanas on the following Dwadashi.

So,as one can see, fasting can be both from dawn to dusk and the whole day/night as well.But fasting should always begin with the Sunrise on that day.

Allowed foods on fasting days are milk,fruits,water(in Nirjala upvasa, however, even water is not consumed).

Prohibited foods are salt,pulses etc.

Sleeping during day time,cutting nails,hair,having sexual intercourse are some prohibited actions on a fasting day.

Hope this helps you.


According to ancient Hinduism tradition, one should fast once in a week with remaining empty stomach until afternoon. One is allowed to drink water until that time. In the afternoon one should have fruit juice or one or two fruits (This privilege is given because remaining empty stomach for long time can increase acidity and lower blood sugar and blood pressure. In addition to that some people need to do hard labor throughout the day. In such situation, it is very hard to remain empty stomach for the whole day. Some people even fall sick and faint at times if they do not eat anything throughout the day). One should break the fast in the evening after sunset. Timing for fast is from sunrise to sunset or else 12 a.m. to 12 a.m. next night i.e. 24 hours.

While breaking the fast, you should eat some rice first. Eating non-vegetarian food is not allowed on the day of fasting (Non-veg food is hard to digest. If you eat non-veg on the day of fasting, it is useless to fast. Plus, killing someone on the day when you are doing fast for God is bad).


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