God in His Bhagavad Gita has broadly indicated that for true service,
purity of food is necessary. As is the food, so is the mind. The food we
eat should be regulated. How much food we consume and not what food we
take, is more important. It should be in right measure and should be
clean. Food dear to (wo)men of pure heart enhances longevity of life, a
cheerful spirit, strength, health, happiness and delight.
A true devotee will refuse to accept any food that is not offered to God.
Eatables which are offered to God are warmly accepted as His grace by
devotees, in as much as they, being blessed by God, is holy. When the
heart is made pure, perennial contemplation is possible. One of the steps
adopted even today by many families is to place daily food preparations
before the deities they worship and recite shlokas, the belief being that
God is pleased with the dedication displayed
Before we partake daily meals we first sprinkle water around the plate as
an act of purification. Five morsels of food are placed on the side of the
table acknowledging the debt owed by us to the :
Divine forces (devta runa) for their benign grace and protection. Our
ancestors (pitru runa) for giving us their lineage and the family culture.
The sages (rishi runa) as our religion and culture have been "realised"
maintained and handed down to us by them. Our fellow beings (manushya
runa) who constitute society without the support of which we could not
live as we do and Other living beings (bhuta runa) for serving us
There after the Lord, the life force, who is also within us as the five
life - giving physiological functions, is offered the food. The five
life-giving functions are praanaaya (respiratory), apaanaaya (extretory),
vyaanaaya (circulatory), udaanaaya (reversal) and samaanaaya (digestive).
After offering the food thus, it is eaten as prasad - blessed food