There is a common tradition of Hindus to offer food or “Naivedya” to the God. Some of us follow this tradition knowing the reason behind it. Others follow it as a practice taught to us by our elders. But do you know why we should offer food to God before eating? If you know the importance of it, you will follow it surely.
Hindus offer food to God during puja or religious worship. It is called as prasad or God’s gift. For devout Hindus, offering food to God is a rite of purification and liberation.
Some may see it as just a ritual, while others may see it as superstitious. But in reality, this act free us from selfish sin. According to the Bhagavad Gita, if the food is not distributed during the yajna then it (renunciation) becomes Tamasika in nature. This is a justification for Hindus offering oblations to God. Many people do it without knowing the reason. As a family tradition many people followed the same. But one has to make an offering honestly.
Why should we offer food to God?
We offer food to God to express gratitude and to repay our debt to God. Thus, the negative energies in karma and food become neutral. The Bhagavad Gita says that those who eat food without offering it to God eat sin. When one eats food without giving it to others, it is an act of selfishness that invites bad karma. Therefore, one should always feed others.
While cooking food people may have through positive or negative thoughts in their mind. Then their emotion can influence the people who consume it. Such impurities cannot be removed from the food using common measures. However, when we offer it to the Lord, we can neutralize impurities and purify and purify food. It becomes the food of sacrifice. That is why Hinduism encourages this practice. Expressing gratitude to God is another important reason. The Gods help us perform our physical functions.
Importance of offering food to God:
The food we produce is the gift of the Gods. It is produced by collective effort. So, it is our responsibility to share it with others.
The Upanishads assert that the whole world is the gift of God. Anything found in creation can be an offering to God. According to the Bhagavad Gita, to get rid of the impurities of karma and rebirth and to attain moksha or mukti then one’s every action, perception and bliss should be offered as an offering to God.
According to the Bhagavad Gita, from food living beings come into existence, food is created by rain, rain is created, rain is produced by sacrifice. In this way, what is produced by sacrifice is returned to sacrifice through sacrifice.
We cannot directly thank God for giving us food to eat. It is for this reason that we offer food to God before eating it and then eat it.