Fasting, or doing an Ekādaśī, or Janmāṣṭamī, or for Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure, under bona fide guidance of a spiritual master, this can be accepted as a means of learning to control the mind and senses, so austerity is something very productive.
If we don’t practice austerity than the mind becomes sometimes too powerful. It tends to drag us away. When the mind says do this, or do that, we don’t have the willpower to resist. But a little austerity gives us more capacity to control the mind, which gives the mind more capacity to control the senses. So this austerity is actually important for self realization.
HH JAYAPATAKA SWAMI
Monday, April 28, 1986
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia