Prime Minister Narendra Modi has started his fast for nine days starting today to mark the auspicious occasion of Chaitra Navratri.
It marks the beginning of the New Year as per the Hindu luni-solar calendar. Hindus undertake nine days of fasting believed to help keep the mind and body pure.
‘Chaitri Navratri’, that starts from Gudi Padwa, is also an auspicious time to do Shakti Puja. Believers chant mantras and keep away from grain-based cooked food and spices.
During the nine-day fast, the Prime Minister eats only one selected fruit in the evening along with lime juice. He will be avoiding grains and pulses.
In September, 2014, PM Modi had observed a similar Navratri fast while on a tour of the United States. Food preferences during events were subsequently changed for the convenience of PM Modi.
The Prime Minister had also written in a blog in 2012 that he has been fasting during Navratri for 35 years.