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Mani's Lunch Home, Matunga-400019, Mumbai

022-24021112

Food Thoughts

banana_leaf

अन्नम परब्रःम्म श्र्वरूपम्

(ANNAM PARABRAHMA SWAROOPAM)
Food is Brahman. Everything that lives was born from Food lives on Food
and in the end, shall merge into Food! Food is verily the greatest amongst all Creation!”
अहमन्नम अहमन्नम अहमन्नम्
अहम अन्नदोहम अन्नदोहम अन्नदः
AhamAnnamAhamAnnamAhamAnnam!
Aham Annadoham Annadoham Annadah!
I am the food! I am the food! I am the food!
I am the eater of the food, I am the eater of the food,
I am the eater of the food
ब्रह्मार्पणं ब्रह्मा हविः ब्रह्माग्नौ ब्रह्मणा हुतम्
ब्रह्मैव तेन गन्तव्यं ब्रह्मा कर्म समाधिना
brahmaarpaNam brahma haviH brahmaagnau brahmaNaa hutam h
brshmaiva tena grantavyaM brahma karma samadhinaa (4/24)
(Bhagavad-Gita chapter -4, verse 24.)

In Hinduism, food is so vitally important, that considered being actual part of God. Hindus before having their food make an offering to Lord and later partake of it as Prasada (blessed food) a holy gift from the Lord. According to Hinduism, what we receive in life as food is really of Lords alone. Hindu concept is that You are what you eat. Pranan is annam and Sareeram is the one that consumes annam. Sareeram resides on Pranan. Prananan resides in Sareeram. Then annam resides in annam. When one eats food, the food is Brahman (God), it is offered to Brahman (God) then the process is; he is eating himself because food and he are one in the same.

अन्नं न निन्द्यत. तदव्रतम, प्राणो वा अन्नंम, सरीरमअन्नदम.
प्राणे सरीरं प्रतिष्टितम सरिरे प्राणः प्रतिष्टित: , तदेतदन्नमन्ने प्रतिस्थितम
सा य एतदन्नमन्ने प्रतिष्टितं वेद प्रतितिष्टति , अन्नवानन्नादो भवति

Annam na nindyat. Tad vratam, Prano va annam, sariram annadam. Prane sariram pratisthitam, sarire pranah pratisthitah, tadetadannamanne pratisthitam.Sa ya etadannamanne pratisthitam veda pratitisthati, annavanannado bhavati

Annam (Food) na (not) nindyat (speak ill of) Tadvratam (vow) Prano (life) va (Verily) annam (food) sariram (the body) annadam (eater of food) prane (in life) sariram (body) pratisthitam (is established) sarire (in the body) pranah (life) pratisthitah (is established) tadetadannamanne tad (therefore) etad (this) annam (food) anne (in food) pratisthitam (established) Sa (he) etadannamanne tad (therefore) etad (this) annam (food) anne (in food) pratisthitam (established) veda (knows) pratitisthati (is established) annavananado bhavanti (he becomes happy, rich in food and great by fame)

Not speak ill of food: that is the vow. Prana (the God that reside with in us) is food: in prana the body is established. And again in the body, Prana is maintained and resides; so thus food is established in food (Annamresides onAnnam). He who realizes this that food thus rests in food reaches rich in food and becomes eater of food and attain great by fame.

अन्नं वै प्राणः
Annam vai pranah:
All life forces comes from food

अन्नं बहु कुर्वीतः
Annambahu kurveet:
Let food be produced in plenty

अन्नम ना निन्ध्यतः
Annamna nindhyath:
Do not abuse food

अन्नम ना परिचक्षीतः
Annambahu kurveeta:
Grow food in abundance

ॐ अन्नाद्वै प्रजा प्रजायन्ते यः कश्च पृथिवीं स्रिथः
अथो अन्ने-नैव जीवन्ति अथैन-दपियन-यान्त-तथः
अन्न नगुं हि भूतानां ज्येष्टं………………….
अन्नद भूतानि जायन्ते जतन अन्नेन वर्दन्ते……….

“annAdvai prajA prajAyantE
yAh kAscha pruthiveem srithAh
athO annae- naiva jeevanti
athaina-dapiyan-yant-tathah:
anna-nagum hi bhUtAnAm jyEshtam…
annAd bhUtAni jAyntaE
jAtAn annEna vardantE….”

(Taittiriya Upanishad: “Anandavalli”)
In Taittiya Upanishad Varuna gives advices to his son Bhrigu
(Chapter 3 Bhriguvalli)

The great epic Mahabharata Book-13: Anusasana parva part-2 Section 63 read as

The Giver of Food is said to be Giver of Life

There has never been, nor be any gift that is equal to the gifts of food. A man, by making gifts of food in this world, is sure toattain to an excellent place hereafter. He, who makes gifts of sweetmeat and all food that is sweet, attains to a residence in heaven where he is honored by all the deities and other denizens. A gift of food is visibly and immediately productive of the happiness of both the giver and the receiver. All other gifts produce fruits that are unseen.

According to Hinduism, what we eat determines our mental as well as physical state. On Srimad Bhagavad Gita (chapter 17-7) Lord Krishna advices, Arjuna, the descendent of Bharata that, food which is dear to every one impacts the triple qualities; say Sattva, Rajas and Tamas in our bodies, which in turn reflects on the balance of mind in terms of qualities.

Food that is freshly made, sweaty, juicy, fatty and tasty is Sattvic Food. It promotes happiness, cheerfulness, purity and strength are dear to one who is in the quality of goodness.

Foods which are bitter, sour, salty, excessively hot, dry and burning is Rajastic Food. It causes pain, grief, sufferings and disease are liked by one in the quality of passion.

The food that is half cooked, decayed, stored, left over, half eaten and impure is Tasmic Food. It promotes cruelty and evil nature and is dear to one in the quality of ignorance.

The Hindus are particular in choosing the food they eat and are also cautious about the source from which the food comes.

Anna Danam, in Hinduism is considered extremly dedicated, pious and effectuate because it is the only Dana in which the recipient pronounce fullness saying “enough” and “not any more” with blessings from inner soul ‘Anna Data Sukeebhava’ (May the donor of food remain happy for ever). Annadanam is Mahadanam, the greatest donation. There is no better puja and ritual in Hindu religion than feeding a hungry living being.

Gaja turaga Sahasram Gokulam koti danam        

  Kanaka Rajatha patram Methini sagarantham

Upaya kula vishuttam Koti kanya pradanam

 Nahi nahi bahu danam Annadanam samanam

Donating 1000 elephants and horses, 10 milliion cows, any number of vessels of gold and silver, the entire land till sea, offering the entire services of the clan, helping in the marriage of 10 million women, all this never equal to Annadanam.

There are numerous vedic stories and scriptures that adore the glory of Annadanam. Prominent being Goddess Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva appearing as Mother Annapurneshwari and offering food to Lord Shiva.

Annapurna Devi is the Hindu Goddess of Food of the city of Kashi. In this Swaroop Mother Goddess Parvathy holds a small vessel containing food and ladle signifying that the worshipers are assured of food through out their lifetime.

It is believed that wherever the Mother Annapurna Devi idol is kept in the pooja place, those places will never suffer shortage of food.

lord_shiva

Mother Annapurneshwari offering food to Lord Shiva.