Importance of Food (anna) in Hinduism (Bhagavad Gita)

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अन्न / ಅನ್ನ / anna (Food) is the most essential item for humans after वायु / ವಾಯು / vāyu (Air) and जल / ಜಲ / jala (Water).

In Hinduism अन्न / ಅನ್ನ / anna (Food) has a great importance and it is called as “परब्रह्म स्वरूप / ಪರಬ್ರಹ್ಮ ಸ್ವರೂಪ / parabrahma svarūpa”, that is, in food directly Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is present in more than one form.

For Bhagavan Sri Vishnu food is kept as ‘नैवेद्य / ನೈವೇದ್ಯ / naivēdya’ (Divine food), for Pitrus (ancestors) food is given as ‘पिंड / ಪಿಂಡ / piṇḍa’ etc.

Thus this type of auspicious food should never be wasted. If food is wasted in any form, in this life itself or in the next life (lives), such kind of people may have to suffer with hunger and starvation.

(We can easily see this type of situation in today’s world. People may have lots and lots of money, but what’s the use?.)

(They won’t be able to eat the food which they like very much. They would have diseases like diabetes, B.P., stomach illness etc.) 

Especially in the functions like marriage etc. people tend to waste food. Such kind of people have to think hundred times before wasting even a food grain.

Thus we need to ask for food how much ever we want for our stomach and not more.

If we waste and insult food, then we are directly accepting the curse from non-other then Sri Annapurneshwari Devi and Bhagavan Sri Vishnu.

Likewise, people who waste and insult food, at their old age and at the time of death, such person will definitely won’t get food to eat. Such kind of family will become a wretch and pauper family.

In the most divine Bhagavad Gita chapter 4 and shloka 24 Bhagavan Sri Krishna says: 

ब्रह्मार्पणं ब्रह्म हविर्ब्रह्माग्नौ ब्रह्मणा हुतम् | ब्रह्मैव तेन गन्तव्यं ब्रह्मकर्मसमाधिना || 4-24 ||

ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಾರ್ಪಣಂ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮ ಹವಿರ್ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಾಗ್ನೌ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಣಾ ಹುತಮ್ | ಬ್ರಹ್ಮೈವ ತೇನ ಗಂತವ್ಯಂ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಕರ್ಮಸಮಾಧಿನಾ || 4-24 ||

brahmārpaṇaṁ brahma havirbrahmāgnau brahmaṇā hutam | brahmaiva tēna gantavyaṁ brahmakarmasamādhinā || 4-24 ||

Meaning: brahma = Bhagavan Sri Vishnu / Brahman; arpaṇaṁ = The offerings; brahma = Bhagavan Sri Vishnu / Brahman;

haviḥ = The oblation (Food); brahma = Bhagavan Sri Vishnu / Brahman; agnau = In the sacrificial fire;

brahmaṇā = by that person; hutam = Offered; brahma = Bhagavan Sri Vishnu / Brahman; eva = Definitely; tēna = By that; gantavyaṁ = To be attained;

brahma = Bhagavan Sri Vishnu / Brahman; karma = Offering; samādhinā = Those completely involved in Bhagavan Sri Vishnu consciousness.

Translation: For those who are completely involved in Bhagavan Sri Vishnu consciousness (Like chanting his names, learning about him, etc.), the one who is present inside oblation (Food) is Bhagavan Sri Vishnu / Brahman,

the one who is present inside ladle (दर्वी / ಸೌಟು) through which the food is served is Bhagavan Sri Vishnu / Brahman,  the act of offering food is Bhagavan Sri Vishnu / Brahman, and the one who is present inside the sacrificial fire is also Bhagavan Sri Vishnu / Brahman.

Such persons, who view Bhagavan Sri Vishnu / Brahman in everything will definitely and easily attain Bhagavan Sri Vishnu / Brahman, that is, such people will get the most divine Vaikuntha.

In another shloka of Bhagavad Gita, that is, in chapter 9-27, Bhagavan Sri Krishna says:

यत्करोषि यदश्नासि यज्जुहोषि ददासि यत् | यत्तपस्यसि कौन्तेय तत्कुरुष्व मदर्पणम् || 9-27||

ಯತ್ಕರೋಷಿ ಯದಶ್ನಾಸಿ ಯಜ್ಜುಹೋಷಿ ದದಾಸಿ ಯತ್ | ಯತ್ತಪಸ್ಯಸಿ ಕೌಂತೇಯ ತತ್ಕುರುಷ್ವ ಮದರ್ಪಣಮ್ || 9-27 ||

yatkarōṣi yadaśnāsi yajjuhōṣi dadāsi yat | yattapasyasi kauntēya tatkuruṣva madarpaṇam || 9-27 ||

Meaning: yat = Whatever; karōṣi = You do; yat = Whatever; aśhnāsi = You eat; yat = Whatever; juhōṣi = Offered to the sacred fire; dadāsi = Bestow as a gift; yat = Whatever;

yat = Whatever; tapasyasi = Austerities you perform; kauntēya = O Arjuna (Son of Kunti Devi); tat = them; kuruṣva = Do; madarpaṇam = As an offering to Me (Bhagavan Sri Krishna)

Translation: O Kunti’s son (Arjuna), whatever you do, whatever you eat (Food), whatever you offer into the fire, whatever you give, whatever austerities you practice, dedicate the same as an offering (Divine food / Naivedya) to Me (Bhagavan Sri Krishna).

(Here it should be always kept in mind that, with this we should have a clear mindset that you are not at all an independent authority and that all acts are prompted by Bhagavan Sri Vishnu / Krishna and thus, everything has to be offered to Bhagavan Sri Krishna.)

Bhagavan Sri Vishnu’s roopas (forms) in cooking utensils and it’s Abhimani Devata (Controlling Demigod):

(Read as per the given colors:)

Cooking devices / itemsAbhimani Devata (Controlling Demigod)Bhagavan Sri Vishnu roopa

1. Wooden sticks, coal etc. (Nowadays LPG gas, Kerosene etc.) used for cookingVasantaBhargava

2. Device(s) used for cooking: E.g., Gas stove, Kerosene stove etc.Agneya (Agni Deva) – Bhargava

3. Plantain leaf used during eating – DurgaSatya

4. Ghee utensil – SaubaraniDatta

5. Utensils used for cookingVaruniAnanta

Devatas (Demigods) who make food ready for the ‘Nitya Trupta’ (Eternally satisfied), that is, for Bhagavan Sri Vishnu:

(Our Shastras / Hindu Divine books says that Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is the provider of food to one and all, and also it says that Bhagavan Sri Vishnu doesn’t need any food.)

(But still everyday in Vainkuntha food is prepared. This is just like a baby trying to satisfy his own grand father by preparing food)

Names of Devatas making food for Bhagavan Sri Vishnu:

1. Tovve (A kind of divine dish) – Sri Mahalakshmi Devi

2. Anna (Rice) – Sri Sarasvati Devi

3. Vegetables – Sri Chandra Deva

4. Parama Anna – Sri Bharati devi (Sri Vayu Deva’s consort)

5. Bhakshya (A type of divine food) – Sri Brahma Deva 

6. Making food – Sri Mahalakshmi Devi is the main chef in preparing all the foods. Bhagavan Sri Vishnu named Vishvambara is present inside her (Sri Mahalakshmi Devi).

7. Mandala (A square board) preparation – Using water this is made on the floor and on top of the Mandala, a clean plantain leaf is kept and then later Naivedya (Divine food prepared for Bhagavan Sri Vishnu) items are served.

In the mandala Sri Bhudevi (Mother earth) is present. Sri Bhoodevi’s husband Sri BhuVaraha (Varaha Swamy) is present within Sri Bhudevi.

8. A Devata (Demigod) named Pushkara (He is a karma Abhimani Devata) does the ‘shuddhi’ (Divine cleaning) of all the ‘naivedya’ items.

9. Lord Ganesha and Sanath Kumar is present in the cloth which is put on top of the ‘naivedya’ items.

10. Sri Mahalakshmi Devi is present in Tulasi which is put on the ‘neivedya’ items.

11. While serving the ‘naivedya’, Lord Ganesha as Lord Vighneshwara will be present in the screen.

Inside Lord Vighneshwara, Bhagavan Sri Vishnu’s another form called ‘Purusha’ will be present inside Vighneshwara.

Bhagavan Sri Vishnu roopas (forms) along with Abhimani Devatas in Naivedya food items:

Food itemAbhimani DevataBhagavan Sri Vishnu roopa

1. GheeSri Maha Lakshmi DeviGovinda

2. Mandige (Wheat based food item) – Sri Brahma DeviMadhusudhana

3. MilkSri Saraswati DeviVishnu

4. ButterSri Vayu DevaTrivikrama

5. Parama AnnaSri Bharati DeviNarayana

6. VegetablesSri Shesha DevaPadmanabha

7. DalSri Garuda DevaSridhara

8. SambharSri Rudra DevaSankarshana

9. Amla (Sour)Sri Parvati DeviDamodara

10. Jaggery / SugarSri Indra DevaVasudeva

11. Cumin / Jeera, Asafoetida, Cardomom, mustard seeds, KesariSri Kama DevaPurushottama

12. Bhakshya (Sweet Dish)Sri Surya DevaMadhava

13. Green leavesMitra (Another Sri Surya Deva)Hrishikesha

14. CurdsSri Soma Deva, Sri Varuna DevaVamana

15. Anna (Rice item) – Sri Chandra DevaKeshava

16. Condiments (E.g., Chatni, Seasoning, flavor)Guru / Sri BruhaspatiPradyumna

17. Pungent (Bitter items)Sri Yama DevaAniruddha

18. Fried itemsSri JayantaAdhokshaja

19. Sesame, PumpkinSri DakshaNarasimha

20. Items made using BlackgramSri Swayambhuva ManuAchyuta

21. SaltNirrutiJanardhana

22. Fruits and it’s juicesAhankaraka PranaUpendra

23. Betel leafSri Ganga DeviHari

24. Molasses, Syrup etc.Sri Budha DevaSri Krishna

Bhagavan Sri Vishnu roopas (forms) in Naivedya food items (Shortened)

1. Anna (Rice) – Vasudeva

2. Thicktarasa (Bitter) – Vasudeva

3. Eatables (Savories, Sweet etc.) – Sankarshana

4. Sarvatra (In all items) – Narayana

Bhagavan Sri Vishnu different forms seeing different people while having food (Bhojana Yagna)

1. Bharghava named Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is in the mouth.

2. Hayagriva named Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is in the speech

3. Narahari named Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is in the nose smelling food.

4. Kapila named Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is seeing a person eating food.

5. Aniruddha-Narayana named Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is present & gives protection to food.

6. Matsya named Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is in the tongue for tasting food

7. In Anandamaya kosha, Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is present as Lakshmipati Narayana 5125 forms.

8. Hamsa named Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is in the teeth.

9. In VignyAyamaya kosha, Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is present as Mayapati Vasudea in 4374 forms.

10. Sankarshana Pradhyumna form of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu gives the strength to swallow food.

11. In Manomaya kosha, Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is present as Jayapati Shankarshana in 5, 62,107 forms.

12. Sri Vasudeva gives some breathing space to stomach after eating food.

13. In Pranamaya kosha, Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is present as Kritipati Pradhyumna in 5543 forms.

14. In Annamaya kosha, Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is present as Shantipati Aniruddha in 8251 forms.

While eating food which Bhagavan Sri Vishnu names should be chanted:

Food item – Bhagavan Sri Vishnu form

1. Butter, Ghee – Shantipati Aniruddha, Tandava Sri Krishna

2. Parama Anna – Kritipati Pradhyumna

3. Anna – Mayapati Vasudeva

4. For every bite of food – Always chant Govinda Govinda Govinda

5. Curds – Srinivasa

6. Fried dishes, oil – Vaikuntapati Sri Venkatesha

7. While drinking water – Vishnu

8. Vegetables – Vamana, Dhanvanthari

9. Different Bakshas – Jayapati Sankarshana

10. Fruits – Balakrishna

11. Tovve (Dal), sour food etc. – Garudarudha Narayana

More information will be added to this. Please visit after some time.

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