Food should be consumed merely to Live

यज्ञशिष्टाशिनः सन्तो मुच्यन्ते सर्वकिल्बिषैः ।
भुञ्जते ते त्वघं पापा ये पचन्त्यात्मकारणात्‌ ॥
– श्रीमदभगवद्गीता (३:१३)

Yadnyashishtashinah santo muchyante sarvakilbishayeeh
Bhunjate te tvagham papa ye pachantyaatmkaaranaat
– Shrimad Bhagvad Gita (3: 13)
The righteous, who eat of the remnants of the sacrifice, are freed from all sins; but those sinful ones who cook food (only) for their own sake, verily eat sin.

Essence of Gita :
In Vedic culture, food used to be consumed only after offering it to the deities in the Yadnya (sacrificial fire). It was said that we consume food merely to live. But today, people have started to live to eat. In other words, today we eat food to gratify the taste-buds. Men used to accept Prasada (holy partake) only after doing Sandhya (ritualstic worship performed by all those who wore sacred thread) and daily Yadnya. In Vedic culture, kitchen was akin to the abode of Annapoorna (goddess of food). Menstruating women would never enter a kitchen, or cook food. On other days too, they would not enter kitchen without taking a bath. In houses where servants cooked the food, even they used to follow all these rules of purity. Food used to be consumed only after offering Naivedya (oblation) to the deities. Hotel culture or eating out culture did not exist here. Cooking food and consuming it, both were a Yadnya Karma(action similar to sacrificial fire) and food considered as Poorna Brahma (Absolute Brahma). There is a popular saying, “one’s mind behaves according to the food one eats”. Hence, special attention was paid to the purity of food.
In the entire process from the production of food to consuming it, several religious rites were performed upon the grains first and then the cooked food, hence both the body and the mind remained pure and food was nutritious for doing Sadhana. After a death, or birth of a child, special rules were followed with regards to cooking and eating in the household. However, in the blind imitation of the satanic western culture, food has been reduced to a medium of gratifying the taste of the tongue, or for nourishing the body whereas all the prescribed Samskars (Hindu ceremonial rituals) have degenerated. Hence, consumption of the polluted food makes us ill with a host of diseases. In Kaliyug, chanting should follow preparation of the food as well as a prayer before eating it .

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