In the following letter, Swami Kriyananda answers questions from Ananda Village devotees about body purification through water fasting.
You’ll recall I wrote in The Path that when I was new at Mt. Washington I was talked into following the “grape cure.” The rationale given me was that once I’d purified my body I would find it easier to meditate. The “grape cure” would also, I was told, purify my consciousness.
It seemed to me a good idea. After all, anything to further my spiritual development. When Master [Paramhansa Yogananda] found out about it, however, he scolded me for what I was doing. A pure heart, he remarked scoffingly, is more important than a pure body. Emphasis on purifying the body, I’ve since found, too often takes people’s energy and attention from the real task God has placed before us: that of purifying our hearts.
Most of the professionals I’ve met in this field are sincere and also good. I’m sure they help many people. Their very emphasis on a physical approach to spirituality, however, is contrary to Master’s teachings.
People will always be fascinated with various kinds of diet and healing. Please understand that I’m not opposed to all such practices, and much good has come from some of them.
Let us remember above all, however, that Master has given us a wealth of material on healing, as on countless other subjects. As his spiritual children, let us depend more on his teachings, and less on the recommendations of others whose final legacy to devotees is often a loss of attunement with our spiritual path.
In divine friendship