Fasting is a Torture
Religions have been telling people, “Fast and that will purify you.” If that is true, then the starving millions of the world will be the most pure people. Then don’t help them! Don’t make them impure! Let them starve and die; they are the most virtuous people in the world. But it has no relationship.
To destroy evil, all kinds of idiotic things have been suggested. They have to be idiotic because there is no evil in the first place, so whatever you suggest is going to be meaningless, irrelevant.
You need not torture yourself, because by torturing you cannot transform yourself. You need not stand on your head and do Yoga postures, distorting your body this way and that way. If you are preparing for a circus, that is another thing, but if all these Yoga practitioners reach heaven, then God must be surrounded by a continuous circus — all over paradise people are doing strange and distorting things.
Yoga cannot purify you. It may give you better health. I am in absolute support of Yoga as being part of gymnasiums, but not as part of temples. In the gymnasium it has a contribution to make. It can give you better health, longer life; it can prevent many possible diseases; it can cure many diseases that are already with you. But it cannot transform that which is not-good into good, because it cannot give you awareness.
Yoga does not believe in torturing the body, it is not a masochistic affair, but it believes in purifying it. And, sometimes, purifying it and torturing it may look alike. A distinction has to be made.