What is Baitiangong fasting?
Baitiangong fasting is dry fasting for a 24-hour period that normally start from 7:00pm to 7:00pm the following day. We fast without food and water during this period.
When to fast?
We normally fast on the first (new moon) and fifteenth (full moon) of the Chinese lunar calendar. This is when our sun, moon and Earth is in an approximate alignment. The combined gravitational pull of the moon and the sun is said to be able to affect our emotions, by inducing hormonal unbalances as 70% of an adult body weight is water. This has not been proven scientifically but most people agreed that during these two days, people are easily irritable. When we fast on those days, we would be better at controlling our emotions. We are also encouraged to fast for three days during the Spiritual month of October, the month Xian Sheng received The Prayer to pray to the CREATOR on the 4 October 1976.
Who can fast?
Generally everyone can fast for a day without any problems. However, for those who are below the age of maturity, sick, under medication or pregnant, please seek your doctor’s advice before attempting to fast. There are articles on the internet that support the arguments that resting our digestive system by fasting helps our health immensely by allowing the body to heal itself from the daily abuses due to bad diet, dirty environment, unhealthy habits and etc. A few brothers and sisters with gastric issues found their problem cured after fasting.
Why is fasting beneficial on a global scale?
Politically – With great power comes great responsibility. People who hold an authoritative position in government have a responsibility to the people they serve. They will bear the sins of the suffering of citizens under their care, whether they realise it or not. So if anyone from any country dies from hunger, the sin of their death also falls on the world leaders for failing to fulfill their spiritual obligation. If the world leaders can learn from Xian Sheng and practice fasting, they will learn to govern fairly by incorporating spirituality into their decision-making.
Economical – Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations estimated the 1.3 billion tones of food wasted amounts to an annual loss of one trillion US dollars. One-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption is thrown away or lost, as well as the natural resources used for its production.1 This is a considerable loss considering that our natural resources are scarce, but the human population continually grows at an alarming rate. The Time Newsfeed published an article where scientists warned the world leaders that Earth will run out of food by 2050.2 Imagine if seven billion people can fast for just one day, the amount of food that can be use to feed the poor can last for months. And if they continually fast, Earth will never run out of food and we will not only save lives but we will also save Earth itself for our future generations.
Social – When we fast, we are entitled to donate RM4.00 to a Donation Fund set up to help the needy. In Baitiangong, we can donate only a maximum of RM4.00 for each day we fasted. The reason why we do not accept more than the agreed amount is because BUSM wants to promote social equality. Regardless of our financial status, we all donate the same amount, RM4.00 being the minimum amount a person can use to buy food and drink to sustain themselves for a day.
Cultural – We have the bad habit of ordering more food than we can consume. Sometimes, we want to impress others by ordering expensive food. When we fast, we can realise the importance of food to others that do not share in our good fortune. We endure the hunger poor people in less fortunate countries and families feel. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted yearly while there are 900 million hungry people in the world. See full report here – UN food agency urges companies and organizations to join global food waste initiative. We should therefore fast and also encourage others to fast so that we change our culture of wasting food.
Spiritually – We fast for three days during the October Spiritual month so that our consciousness can be closer to GOD’s consciousness. We want to let the CREATOR knows that by fasting for 72 hours, we know that the CREATOR created human and for the first 72 hours, human did not know how to eat or drink. After the third day, water from rainfall roll down into his mouth and he learn to drink. The smell of cooked meat from animal caught in forest fire led man to taste food for the first time.
We also want to remind the CREATOR that we are still here on Earth and for GOD’s consciousness to be closer to us. If GOD’s consciousness is with us, we will not be so evil. The Divine Law of Nature is one of GOD’s consciousness. When we want to do something bad, the Divine Law of Nature can give us good consciousness so that we would not do it.
How can fasting helps to elevate our place in Heaven?
Xian Sheng use the great distance between one star to another star in the galaxy to help illustrate how fasting can help a Baitiangong follower achieve a “higher” place in Heaven as compared to another Baitiangong follower that do not fast. As knowledge is sustenance for the mind and food is sustenance for the body, fasting is sustenance for the soul as fasting reminds us to think good, see good, hear good, speak good and do good. For those who fast frequently, our prayer is more likely to have an impact with the CREATOR too.
Why is it compulsory for a Baitiangong brothers and sisters to fast at least one day?
Perhaps one of the most difficult choices a person can voluntarily do is to fast without food and water for 24 hours. Imagine if someone asks you what you are willing to do for your belief and you happily answer that you fast 24 hours without food and water, they will have no reason to question your commitment any further. Therefore Xian Sheng made it compulsory to fast for at least one day in the Spiritual month of October. If we endure the hunger and thirst of fasting for 24 hours, then we can proudly call ourselves a Baitiangong Person.
What are the reasons we should break our fast?
I have listed many reasons why we should practice fasting consistently. Our third Spiritual Guidelines teaches us to think good, see good, hear good, speak good and do good. During fasting, we are reminded more that ever to observe them. However, there may be times when we unintentionally lose emotional control like cursing people for overtaking our car recklessly or unable to control our anger and scolding others using vulgar language. We should consider breaking our fast and starting it again when we calm down. Fasting also teaches us to refrain from undesirable habits like smoking, gambling, buying lottery and to abstain from urges like sexual intercourse just for one day. If somehow we are unable to practice them during fasting, we should just consider breaking our fast and try fasting again on another day.
- UN food agency urges companies and organisations to join global food waste initiative –http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42216&Cr=Food&Cr1
- Impending Crisis: Earth to Run Out of Food by 2050? – http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/12/07/impending-crisis-earth-to-run-out-of-food-by-2050/