The Fasting Buddha

Gautama joined a group of monks who were practicing severe fasting, until he had only skin and bone remaining. At one point, he was so weak he was left for dead on the side of the road. Yet, despite all his effort and all his suffering, it did not help. His body kept asking him for attention, and he still experienced lust and cravings. He then began to question the approach. How was one to attain liberation without any strength left? There was no need for extreme fasting. Instead, the mind should be put at rest by having just the right amount of food to satisfy the senses so that craving disappeared. This path of moderation, he called the Middle Way between pleasure (kama) and pain (mara).