About MSP

  • MSP-II Graha Devata has two parts to it as explained in the syllabus Part-A is to be taught through webinars in April 2020-21. Admission is open to all. Fees to be paid online $1008 Part-B is to be taught through contact classes in Sep 2021. Admission is restricted to 60 members for people who can make a commitment to travel to India/Bengal. Others can avail the recordings by joining the course after the course is completed. Recommended dakṣina for contact course $700 International Members The MSP-II Part-A fees of $1008 can be paid in full to join the course anytime. Once you have paid and joined the website, please also join the TelegramGroup for constant contact. Alternatively, subscribe for MSP-II at a nominally higher cost USD 1200 [$300 x 4 months] India Residents The MSP-II Part-A fees of ₹ 70,000 can be paid in full to join the course anytime. Once you have paid and joined the website, please also join the TelegramGroup for constant contact. Alternatively, subscribe for MSP-II at a nominally higher cost ₹ 72,000 which will give you all the access during and after the course [₹18,000x 4 months] Student Subsidy You will need prior approval for using this option. Please contact Sarbani Rath WhatsApp 9810449850 and get an approval before using this option. Do not request for subsidy unless you are in real need. This option allows you to pay about 70% of the cost. A scholarship course fee rate of $600 shall be extended to deserving PJC, JSP and other students with limited financial means [5 max]. Pay Subsidy in 12 installments of $70 each India residents can pay ₹ 45,000/- (INR Fourty-Five Thousand) [15 max] India residents can pay ₹ 50,000/- (₹ 10,000 X5 installments) Full 100% Subsidy Full fee waiver can be considered in some very deserving cases. Get in touch for any subsidy Fees and Costs Rules This fee covers tuition and web access costs for all courses associated with MSP-II in 2020-21. It allows continued access for two years beyond the course end date. It does not cover your stay, travel, puja and other incidentals associated with hotels, temples and travel means. Course Fees, once paid, are not refundable either in part or full after admission and access to the website and course materials.

  • Please read carefully. The syllabus for MSP-II is to be taught in two parts – Part-A is to be taught through webinars in April 2020-21. Admission is open to all. Fees to be paid online $1008 Part-B is to be taught through contact classes in Sep 2021. Admission is no longer restricted for people who can make a commitment to travel to India/Bengal. Others can avail the recordings by joining the course after the course is completed.   Jyotiṣa Principles Navagraha: devatā; propitiation of planets including yajna, devatā-mantra, idol specifications, drawings on silk, worship method and homa process [Ch.86 BPHS] Kendra Rules: riṣṭa and ariṣṭa i.e. riṣṭa bhaṅga Exaltations: Viṣṇu (sattva-purity) avatāra Mūlatrikoṇa or Svakṣetra: Tattva devatā, pañcāyatana pujā; Pañca Brahma (Śiva) Debilitation: Śaktī (tamas-ignorance) and Vidyā (Kālī) as remover of tamas Digbala: Karma Yoga, devatā Rāśi: Dvādaśa Āditya Curses and their alleviation Types of curses [BPHS-Ch.85] Bhāva afflictions, curse functioning and timing Propitiation, remedy Birth Affliction Evils at birth [BPHS-Ch.87] Negative indications Propitiation Tri-tārā doṣa – trimūrti or tridevī doṣa [BPHS-Ch.97] Abnormal births [BPHS-Ch.98] Pañcāṅga Doṣa Tithi doṣa Amāvāsya doṣa [BPHS-Ch.88] Kṛṣṇa Chaturdaśī doṣa [BPHS-Ch.89] Sun-Moon combination in rāśi/varga; remedy; duryoga or rājayoga? Yoga doṣa Some Inauspicious Yoga [BPHS-Ch.90] Propitiation of duryoga Nakṣatra doṣa Eka-nakṣatra doṣa [BPHS-Ch.91] Vāra doṣa Saṅkrānti doṣa [BPHS-Ch.92] Gaṇḍānta [BPHS-Ch.94] Tithi gaṇḍānta Nakṣatra gaṇḍānta of Moon, Lagna and other graha Gaṇḍānta effects – pada doṣa; abhukta (e.g. Mūla nakṣatra) or bhukta (e.g. Jyeṣṭha nakṣatra); propitiation Eclipse Effect of eclipses at birth Remedial measures to be adopted

  • The name of the course is “Mantra Śāstra II” with subtitle “Graha Devatā” Objective We aim to study the ten variables – navagraha (and lagna) of jyotiṣa and remedies associated with them. The study is restricted to devatā associated with the rāśi chakra. The devatā associated with the varga and other levels are not to be studied in this course unless they are specifically taught by Maharṣi Parāśara. This can be viewed as an extension of Parāśara Jyotiṣa Course and members of PJC are welcome to join. Requirements Working knowledge of jyotiṣa: The lessons will have examples of jyotiṣa charts and discussions will be jyotiṣa-centric. Unless you have some working knowledge of jyotiṣa, this will be difficult to grasp. Rāśi chart is the focus, so just basic level of Parāśara Jyotiṣa is adequate. Some ability or interest to read devanāgarī script: Some of the mantras and slokas are in devanāgarī script and you must have the ability to read this script. Some ability or interestto recite simple Sanskrit phrases: You must recite mantras properly. We have arranged with Ms. Bihani Sarkar Ph.D to school you if you think you are inadequately prepared for this. Capable of sitting cross-legged in sukhāsana, padmāsana or other haṭha yoga postures: This is not compulsory but definitely an advantage when doing sadhana. Respect for Vedic knowledge and customs Course Books Bṛhat Parāśara Horā Śāstra: Parts associated with Vedic Remedy Sāmba Purāṇa Reference Books Garuḍa Purāṇa Ṛk Veda

  • The Himalaya Class is to include Shivaratri Puja (optional) but is strongly recommended. Jageshwar Journey:We plan to land in Neelesh Inn, Bhim Tal a day earlier on 3rd March 2019 (Sunday). Others may prefer a day earlier and lots of water to overcome the jet-lag. We will be traveling in shared cabs in groups of 3-5 people (small/big car) to Jageshwar, Himalayas to perform Shiva Puja at the Nageswara jyotirlinga site. The starting time is 4am and we aim to be there by 7.30-8.00 am. It is a 100km journey in the mountains that takes about 3½ hours. The puja begins at 9am. Dress Code: All men have to be in white clothes or white/off-white silk dhoti. A loose kurta-shirt and a comfortable white pant or pyjama can be worn. Please wear some warm clothes also as it is going to be quite cold (especially for Indians). Women can wear any dress that is not revealing. Do not wear garish and shiny clothes but plain or mild colours are advised. If you can, do wear a Sari for the puja. Other dresses have to be below knee length. Westerners can contact SatSiri Khalsa for any help and advice. Light refreshments will be served after the pujā. We return the same day and should be back by 4.00 pm. You are required to carry your rudrākṣa rosary and bag for chanting the mantras. The priest and assistant shall help conduct this puja. Also do carry a bottle of drinking water. Don’t eat anything until the puja is completed. Those who have to take medicines and are required to take something in the morning, should inform Neelesh Gunwant so that their special dietary needs are met. The cost of travel from BhimTal to Jageshwar and back and the cost of the puja shall be equally shared among the participants. This is going to be about $150-200 Tuesday, 5th March 2019 being the Amāvāsya of Kāli is given as a holiday for quiet time to recover and chant the mantras of the mother. Wednesday, 6th March 2019 we start with informal discussions and explanation of the method of learning, the class timings, the rules and regulations; the traditions. MSP-01 Himalaya Class is for eleven days, from 7-16 March 2016, both inclusive with a day off on Wednesday (13 March). We have Mantra Shastra in the AM and Jyotiṣa in the PM. A more comprehensive timetable shall be included soon

  • Overview Devaguru Bṛhaspati Center announces its new program titled “Mantra Śāstra Program”, hereinafter ‘MSP’ to be taught both online and through contact classes in the Himalayas over a period of a few years to attain higher levels of knowledge of Mantra Śāstra and its application in Vedic Remedial in Astrology. The Mantra Śāstra course is to be taught in the tradition of Puri, India and includes learning the various tools and processes that go into the formation and working of mantra as used in Vedic remedies. Sādhanā (penance) is a compulsory part of the course and will include the worship of various Vedic deities including Gaṇeśa, Guru, Śiva, Sūrya, Viṣṇu and/or Devī. The course also includes (1) Yantra (plane and three-dimensional diagrams), (2) jyotiṣa gemstones for remedial purposes and in yantra, (3) kavacha (talisman) of various types as well as (4) some mantra (magical formulae) which will give a very broad-based perspective of Vedic remedies in astrology besides making the practitioner adept in prescribing remedies in addition to personal spiritual impetus. The five-year program is to be taught online at https://msp2.srath.in and every level will have its own tests, puja and sadhana leading to certification. The first year MSP Year-1 is to be taught in 2018-20. One MSP academic year could be longer than a calendar year. The online course begins from Ganesha Chaturthi …Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 Principal Texts Sāradā Tilakaṁ Mantra Mahodadhiḥ Bṛhat Parāśara Horā Śāstra Prerequisites and Qualifications Sanskrit Students enrolling for these classes will have to know the devanāgarī script used in Sanskrit literature even though the entre teaching and reading material will be in English language with transliterations and translations wherever needed. Students with a prior knowledge of devanāgarī alphabets and Sanskrit words will have a priority weight of 40 percent points. Vedic Astrology Working knowledge of Vedic astrology will prove to be an added asset. Students of Parāśara Jyotiṣa Program (PJC) or Jaimini Scholar Program (JSP) or any other recognised jyotiṣa school will have a priority weight of 30 percent points. Spiritual Path Many students enrolling for this course would have prior dīkṣa (spiritual direction) from a parama guru. Please mention your dīkṣa guru and/or any organisation you are affiliated with for this will give you an additional advantage of 30 percent points. Contact Course The contact course will be held annually at two venues – Himalaya Classes: Venue: Neelesh Inn, Bhim Tal, Uttarakhand, India; Period: 10 days around Shiva Ratri (about Feb/Mar). Limited seating: 40 Seats Delhi-NCR Classes: Venue: to be announced; Period 10 days around Ganesha Chaturthi (about Aug/Sep). All students must attend the Contact Class in one of the two locations. If you cannot travel to India during either of the two periods, then please do not apply for this program.


  • अथ खेटा रविश्चन्द्रो मङ्गलश्च बुधस्तथा। गुरुः शुक्रः शनी राहुः केतुश्चैते यथाक्रमम्‌॥ १०॥ atha kheṭā raviścandro maṅgalaśca budhastathā | guruḥ śukraḥ śanī rāhuḥ ketuścaite yathākramam || 10|| Translation: The kheṭa [graha, planets] are ravi [Sun], chandra [Moon], maṅgala [Mars] budha [Mercury], guru [Jupiter], śukra [Venus], śani [Saturn], rāhu [north node] and ketu [south node], in order. The Order The order being referred to is the order of Agni the lord of bhū-loka. In this order the first place is given to the Sun which is the source of all agni. By implication there should be at least four other order of planets for the other four tattva – jala, vāyu, pṛthvi and ākāśa. But the most important is always the agni order since agni rules bhū-loka. This is pronounced in the mantras – ॐ भूर्-अग्नये नमः om bhūr-agnaye namaḥ This mantra extolls Agni-deva as the lord of bhū-loka. ॐ भुवोर्सूर्याय नमः om bhuvorsūryāya namaḥ This mantra extolls Sūrya-deva as the lord of bhuva-loka ॐ स्वरिन्द्राय नमः om svarindrāya namaḥ This mantra extolls Indra-deva as the lord of Svarga-loka Our external (visible) body is divided into three parts. Agni-MAṆḌALA The lower part below the hip (from hip-thigh joint) to the bottom of the feet, is the agni maṇḍala with Agni as the lord. It maps to bhū-loka which is the earth-moon plane. Mars is the significator of Agni and is also the king of the maṇḍala. The Sanskrit word used is kāraka implying the power of god to act. The chief graha functioning directly in this plane is the Moon, which becomes the populator or kāraka. All souls enter and exit bhū-loka only at the discretion of the Moon. The Moon has two doorways – the north door called Rāhu and the south door called Ketu. These two doors are listed after the seven weekday planets thereby making the ‘navagraha’ order. Sūrya Maṇḍala The torso from the hip region to the neck, is the sūrya maṇḍala with Sūrya as the lord. This maps to bhuva-loka and antarikṣa. The karaka for this sūrya maṇḍala is Sūrya. Bhuva loka indicates the solar system and includes all the navagraha. However, we must exclude the three that are in bhū-loka namely Moon, Rāhu, Ketu. The remaining visible planets are Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The word visible means visibility for naked eye. Of the six remaining, the Sun and ‘inner planets’ Mercury and Venus are assigned to bhuva-loka. The Sun creates the twelve-sign zodiac at the center at the navel for the graha to be assigned karma. He ties the rope (umbilicus) for the soul to sit in the boat (body) and arrive on earth. Soma Maṇḍala The head from the neck to the tip and above, is the soma maṇḍala. Soma is the elixir of the gods, the nectar of immortality which keeps the devatā alive. This maṇḍala maps to svarga loka with Indra as the devatā controlling all live experience through the ten-indriya working in the body and thoughts moving in the ten-directions. Venus is the king of svarga loka which offers great comfort and pleasure activities. The remaining three are the outer planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn which are assigned to the svarga loka. Agni Tattva Agni tattva manifests as heat and light based on the solar source. Heat is signified by Mars and manifests within us as strength, anger and in various other ways; light is signified by the Sun and manifests within us as insight, leaning and knowledge. The ability to tame fire is what made man the king of this planet, else by all counts we should have been slaves to lions and tigers or pushed around by the elephants. Webinar We learn more about all this in the webinar for this lesson …stay tuned

  • A day on earth is but a 360° rotation of the earth around its axis bringing forth the phenomena of day and night. The Sun ruling the daytime, divides the day into twelve parts calling each a ‘rāśi’. Each rāśi measures 30° (=360° ÷ 12) and the reckoning starts from the opposite (pakṣa means opposite or 180°), the mid-point of Chitrā nakṣatra. This is the zero-degree of the zodiac. The ayanāṁśa which fixes this zodiac relative to the stars is called ‘Chitrā-pakṣa ayanāṁśa’. If this ayanāṁśa is not used, the zodiac seems to rotate relative to the stars taking about 25,800 years to return to its original position. This is the precession of the zodiac, the parikrama (circumambulation) of the entire solar system around ‘Hari’ – the Viṣṇu nābhi. This other zodiac is called the tropical zodiac or sāyana-chakra (Viṣṇu Chakra) while the sidereal zodiac is called the nirayana-chakra (Nārāyaṇa chakra). Why do we use the sidereal nirayana chakra instead of the tropical sāyana chakra? The sāyana chakra gives us the seasons and changes in weather phenomena as the Sun transits between the tropics – hence the western name ‘tropical’. It follows the ayanāṁśa and does not bother about the nakṣatra (stars of the night sky). Typical of the Sun as these nakṣatra are invisible in the say time, it ignores all the nocturnal phenomena. In jyotiṣa we give a high importance to the manas, the mind of all creatures signified by the Moon and these nakṣatra cannot be ignored altogether. Yet we nee to have a zodiac that obeys the Sun but accounts for these stars. The result is the sideral zodiac which accepts the Sun as one among the many stars, although it is the most important star. It is like a soli-lunar system which accounts for both the Sun and the Moon – the day and night. This is the basis of Horā Śāstra. Mystery of the Birth MonthPt. Ramesh Chandra Bhattacharyya Vedic Astrology is the science of study of time and space and its effect on the entire life and activities of earth which revolves the two principle luminaries viz., the Sun and the Moon. This ancient study of vedic astrology known as “Jyotish”. When transliterated, it is known as the study of Jyoti meaning light which comes naturally from the Sun.  This ancient science of Jyotish comprises of three major branches viz, (i) Hora Shastra – the study of time.  The word “Hora” has been derived from two words – “Aho” meaning day and “Ratra” meaning night; (ii) Ganita Shastra – the study of mathematical part of astrology and astronomy; and (iii) Gola Shastra – the study of astronomy, which included observation and analysis of stellar effects and the effects of the motion of planets in the solar system. The Sun Signs called āditya are carved by the joint transit of the Sun and Moon. They dance in the heavens and meet every 30 days. During this time the Sun travels 30°. The complete transit of the Sun around the sidereal zodiac of 360° brings forth twelve such conjunctions resulting in twelve soli-lunar signs called māsa (Vedic month). However, to fix this in solar space, we divide the zodiac into twelve parts of 30° each resulting in the twelve vedic Sun signs or rāśi. The solar ingress into any sign is called a saṅkrānti and there are twelve saṅkrānti in a year. Of these the one that occurs when the Sun enters Capricorn (Makara rāśi) is of paramount importance as the Sun is simultaneously transiting the Abhijit nakṣatra (intercalary nakṣatra in Uttara Āsāḍha) and Hari is going to awaken. No. Symbol Long. Latin name English Sanskrit 1 ♈ 0° Aries Ram Meṣa (मेष) 2 ♉ 30° Taurus Bull Vṛṣabha (वृषभ) 3 ♊ 60° Gemini Twins Mithuna (मिथुन) 4 ♋ 90° Cancer Crab Karka (कर्क) 5 ♌ 120° Leo Lion Siṃha (सिंह) 6 ♍ 150° Virgo Maiden Kanyā (कन्या) 7 ♎ 180° Libra Scales Tulā (तुला) 8 ♏ 210° Scorpio Scorpion Vṛścika (वृश्चिक) 9 ♐ 240° Sagittarius Archer Dhanuṣa (धनुष) 10 ♑ 270° Capricorn Mountain Goat Makara (मकर) 11 ♒ 300° Aquarius Water-Bearer Kumbha (कुंभ) 12 ♓ 330° Pisces 2 Fishes Mīna (मीन)

  • Vikas Mann ja10607553@gmail Dear sir /madam I am a beginner pjc 2020 student, i want to pursue astrology professionally ,so is it very important to join MSP course. If so which course should i join. I havent done any MSP course before.Do guide Thank you MSP-2 is different and independent from MSP-1 They are different books and you can do MSP-1 after MSP-2 once we have announced to do it again MSP-1 is the theory of Mantra Śāstra which is Sharada Tilakam MSP-2 is Parāśara Remedies of Jyotiṣa In fact in MSP-II you will learn how to see problems and to systematically give remedies. Sometimes the problems seem overwhelming, but you have to progress in a systematic steady manner to see real life changes. If you are already learning jyotish, then this course is for you. Ensure that you are learning jyotish, and keep learning throughout your life. Adi Sankara says that a life is not enough to finish a debate in jyotish. So this is the ocean of Vedic Knowledge and it will give you deep insight into spirituality of the Vedic people. It will alter your life fore all time to come. Keep singing this beautiful prayer and keep walking the path … जय जय शंकर हर हर शंकर jaya jaya śaṁkara hara hara śaṁkara

  • God has decorated the heavens with constellations like pearls on dark steed. The light of the Sun hides them in the day, and all knowledge of them is divined in the darkens of the night (Maharṣi Parāśara Rig-Veda 1.68.4) Of the various lights in the sky, the mobile lights are the graha while the stationary ones are the stars of the nakṣatra maṇḍala. The nakṣatra maṇḍala is visible in the night sky and is therefore, lorded by the Moon, the queen of the night. The day is lorded by the Sun for when He shines, all others little lights of the graha and nakṣatra go into hiding. His mighty presence outshines all and hence, he is the overlord of the bhā-chakra (zodiac and all jyotiṣa). The word intercalary means (of a day or a month) inserted in the calendar to harmonize it with the solar year or lunar month.”Rather than counting the innumerable stars of the night sky, the eighteen ancient sages were wise to divide the circular space of 360° into 27 parts each measuring 13°20’ and called a nakṣatra. They arrived at this number 27 by rounding off the average revolution of the Moon 27.32 days (a sidereal month). Other times they took the decimal part 0.32 and converted that into an intercalary nakṣatra called Abhijit. They gave the 27 nakṣatra to the beings on earth while the short span 28th Abhijit was reserved for the mighty Hari (Viṣṇu) who was the source of the energy for the Sun. It’s transit through the lunar mansions was observed both in shape formed by stars within the constellation as well as in relation to the natural phenomena by the Vedic seers for determining their names, characteristics and identifying the form and mood of God. This became the basis of the nomenclature of the asterisms and the natural phenomena became the basis of symbolizing the mood of God. The word नक्षत्र (nakṣatra) is from नक् nak, meaning Ved. night; [probably fr. rt. 2. naś. 1. nakta, 2. niś, niśā.] and क्षेत्र kṣetra meaning area [Outer a.: अङ्गनम्: v. Yard. Inner a. प्रकोष्ठः। In geo. फलम्, a. of a circle वृत्तक्षेत्रफलम्; a. of a triangle त्रिभुजफलम्, Li.] or farm [Lit. क्षेत्रम्, owner of a farm: क्षेत्र–पतिः, H.]. This is a royal or feudal lord indicated by the Moon that produces food from farm-lands giving it a royal status – क्षत्र kṣatra referring to power, Kṣatriya class or caste, wealth, governing body, Crape Jasmine, supremacy, might, warrior, authority of the second caste, military or reigning order, water, body. No. Constellation Degrees Meaning Deity Shape/Symbol 1 Aśvinī 00 – 13:20 Aries the horsemen Dasra (Asvini Kumar) horses head 2 Bharaṇī 13:20 – 26:40 Aries the bearers Yama female sexual organ 3 Kṛttikā 26:40 Aries – 10:00 Taurus razor/cutter Agni dagger/razor 4 Rohiṇī 10:00 – 23:20 Taurus ruddy cow, red, growing Pitamaha (Brahma) chariot 5 Mṛgāśirā 23:20 Taurus – 6:40 Gemini dear or antelope’s head Chandra (Moon God) head or a deer 6 Ārdrā 6:40 – 20:00 Gemini the moist Isa (Rudra or Shiva) tear drop, gem 7 Punarvasu 20:00 Gemini – 3:20 Cancer return of the light and goods, Aditi quiver/ house, bow 8 Puṣya 3:20 – 16:40 Cancer nourisher, flower, the best Jéva (Brihaspati) teat of cow, arrow, flower 9 Aśleṣā 16:40 – 30:00 Cancer entwine, embrace, intimate connection Ahi (Sarpa devata) wheel, serpent 10 Magha 00 – 13:20 Leo beneficent, mighty Pitri (Manes) throne, palanquin, royal court 11 Pūrva Phālguṇī 13:20 – 26:40 Leo previous red one Bhaga legs of a cot, stage 12 Uttara Phālguṇī 26:40 Leo – 10:00 Virgo later red one Aryama bed, legs of a cot 13 Hasta 10:00 – 23:20 Virgo hand Arka/Savitur closed hand 14 Chitrā 23:20 Virgo – 6:40 Libra brilliant, distinguished Tvasta or Visvakarma pearl 15 Svātī 6:40 – 20:00 Libra independent, sword Marut (Storm God – a form of Vayu) coral, sapphire 16 Viśākhā 20:00 Libra – 3:20 Scorpio branched, forked branches Indra-agni leaf decked triumphal gate, potters wheel 17 Anurādhā 3:20 – 16:40 Scorpio subsequent success, following Radha Mitra bali (heap of rice), umbrella 18 Jyeṣṭhā 16:40 – 30:00 Scorpio the eldest Vasavah (Indra) ear ring, umbrella, talisman 19 Mūla 00 – 13:20 Sagittarius root, commencement Nirriti (Räkñasa) tail of lion, crouching line 20 Pūrva Āsāḍha 13:20 – 26:40 Sagittarius earlier victory Jala (Varuna) hand fan, winnowing basket, tusk, square 21 Uttara Āsāḍha 26:40 Sagittarius – 10:00 Capricorn later victory Viçvadeva elephant tusk, square 22 Śravaṇa 10:00 – 23:20 Capricorn famous, hearing Govinda three footprints, arrow 23 Dhaniṣṭhā 23:20 Capricorn – 6:40 Aquarius very rich, very swift Vasu mridanga (drum) 24 Śatabhiṣaj 6:40 – 20:00 Aquarius 100 medicines or doctors Varuëa circle, flower 25 Pūrva Bhādrapada 20:00 Aquarius – 3:20 Pisces earlier auspicious one Ajaikapada double faced man, stage, machan, legs of a cot 26 Uttara Bhādrapada 3:20 – 16:40 Pisces later auspicious one Ahirbudhanya last bed, legs of a cot two joined men 27 Revatī 16:40 – 30:00 Pisces rich, wealthy Püshan mridanga (drum), fish

  • Intermittent Fasting refers to the fasting done weekly or monthly or for any other vedic remedy which has been taught by us for many decades now. Recently Pranav Gupta forwarded this article from Harvard. Harvard study shows how intermittent fasting may lead to a longer, healthier life by Tina Fey When it comes to living a healthy life, I’m sure you’ve heard enough about vitamin supplements and fad diets for one lifetime. But if you’re looking for a science-backed strategy that you can start doing today, then you’ll love this new finding. Harvard scientists have published a research study in the journal Cell Metabolism that reveals the effect intermittent fasting has on the aging process. Before we get into those incredible findings, let’s discuss what intermittent fasting means. What is intermittent fasting? Intermittent fasting is a way of eating. It is comprised of eating within a given window and not eating in a given window. Typically, people fast for several hours a day, up to 16 hours a day in some cases. This is usually done by skipping breakfast in the morning after eating the final meal of the day on the previous day. There is also a pattern of intermittent fasting that involves going 24 hours without food up to two times per week. Why would someone participate in fasting? While fasting might seem extreme to people who eat on a strict schedule, such as 3 meals a day plus 3 snacks a day, the truth is that fasting has been a part of cultures all over the world for as long as anyone can remember. Why? Because it was used in religious practices as a mode of penitence as well as a golden opportunity for reflection and introspection. But recently, intermittent fasting has caught the attention of scientists. Several studies have found that intermittent fasting changes the functions of cells, genes and hormones in a positive way. And now, a new Harvard study has found something rather interesting in regards to aging. What did Harvard Scientists find? The study conducted by Harvard scientists found that when food was restricted from worm’s diets, their mitochondria seemed to resist breaking down longer than those worms who were fed regularly. The mitochondria are parts of the cell that provide energy to the cell in which they are housed. As we age, these mitochondria lose their ability to produce that energy and our bodies break down. But scientists were able to keep the mitochondrial networks in a “youthful state” According to associate professor of genetic and complex diseases at Harvard and author of the study, this is a great step in understanding the benefits of fasting: “Although previous work has shown how intermittent fasting can slow aging, we are only beginning to understand the underlying biology..our work shows how crucial the plasticity of mitochondria networks is for the benefits of fasting. If we lock mitochondria in one state, we completely block the effects of fasting or dietary restriction on longevity.” This comes on the back of plenty of other findings This isn’t the first time scientific studies have found benefits to intermittent fasting. Scientists conclude that several things happen in your body when you don’t eat for a while. For example, your body initiates important cellular repair process and changes hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible. This helps people lose weight, reduce insulin resistance and inflammation in the body. In fact, studies have found that intermittent fasting may also be beneficial for heart health, and may help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. Other benefits of intermittent fasting include helping to reduce brain fog. Have you ever felt light-headed or dizzy after a big meal? Besides wanting to unbutton your pants after eating so much, fasting can help your body burn more calories and fat, which can help you think clearer. Because you are not fixated on food or your next meal, you might find that you are better able to concentrate on tasks at hand. It’s amazing how much food consumes our lives. Not just the food we eat, but the food we are exposed to on a daily basis, how much our social lives revolve around food, and how much we think about food. What are the risks of intermittent fasting? When done properly, the risks of intermittent fasting are few and far between. It’s important to keep an eye on energy levels as you are fasting and be sure to drink plenty of water. If you get dehydrated, you might find yourself making friends with an IV at a hospital. The human body can go for a long time without food – despite the pain we feel when we are “starving.” Most of us don’t really know what starving feels like, and the truth is that most of us would last a really long time before “starving” to death. But we do need water. And plenty of it. So if you are going to engage in fasting, be sure to get plenty of fluids in during the hours you are not eating solid food. Water won’t just keep you healthy; it will help to fight off some of that hunger you might feel.

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