A 13-Year-Old Follower of Jainism is Dead After Fasting for 68 Straight Days

Image: Friendly Atheist
Image: Friendly Atheist
While the religion of Jainism has a reputation for being non-violent and generally harmless, I can tell you from experience (former Jain here) there are serious problems with their beliefs. It’s not just the belief in supernatural ideas like reincarnation and karma, there’s also pressure to fast on the high holy days. It’s not just for a day, either. Sometimes, the fasts last more than a week. (Pre-boiled water is allowed.)

By Hemant Mehta | Friendly Atheist

My sister did that when she was in middle school — and seeing people close to me celebrating that unhealthy, dangerous decision was part of what drove me away from the faith. My mother still fasts — or eats just once a day — throughout the year, as do many of our family friends.

So while I can’t confirm this story coming out of Hyderabad, India, and while it seems absurd even by Jain standards, it’s not entirely out of left field.

A 13-year-old girl in Hyderabad died last week after fasting for 68 days as per Jain rituals during the holy period of ‘Chaumasa‘.

Aradhana, a class 8 student, was was admitted to the hospital just two days after completing her fast where she died of cardiac arrest, the family said.

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