Does Hindu culture allow eating hotel food? I have heard that Swaminarayan and Brahma Kumaris say not to eat food at a hotel or restaurant. Why?

  • For Garlic and Onion see Why do some Hindus, especially brahmins, not eat onion or garlic?. I don't think there are restrictions for eating hotel food.
    – The Destroyer
    May 25, 2016 at 11:28
  • 2
    Vidya (education/knowledge), vaidyam(medicine/treatment) and ahAram (food/nourishment) must not be sold according to Hinduism. Extrapolate and you get "they must not be bought either". They should be offered freely. vidya and vaidyam however must not be received without thanks and a counter-offering. Hence the concepts of guru dakshina , bhishak dakshina etc.
    – user1195
    May 25, 2016 at 15:18
  • This is not a duplicate of the other question. This subsumes the other one.
    – user1195
    May 26, 2016 at 4:43
  • I removed references to 'garlic' and 'onions' so this can be re-opened. May 26, 2016 at 23:16
  • @moonstar2001 Where did you read that?
    – The Destroyer
    Jun 7, 2016 at 9:50

2 Answers 2


Yes in Hindu dharma its allowed to eat hotel food. And no restrictions for taking food outside. Hindu dharma is quite liberal and advocates personal feelings , thoughts , interest and free will. In Hindu culture food is considered sacred and termed as " BHARAMA" itself ( अन्न ब्रहम). Since ancient times and even today their is tradition (अन्न छत्रम) of giving food to whom it is needed. A lot of temples offering such service to needy since ancient times even today and will in future . A lot of students, travellers and other peoples were and is using this service. So its allowed to eat outside when its necessary.

Since hotels ,messes are relatively new concepts, Where one pays for food and is a public place. Considering the harmful effects of eating regularly in hotels and outside due to hygiene ,quality of food. In modern Hindu dharma its said to bring ill effects to health. Otherwise their is no such barrier in Hindu Dharma.

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    You should cite sources. May 27, 2016 at 16:39
  • Why sudama was poor because food medicine and education can not be sold.but dakshina was taken.
    – prem30488
    May 28, 2016 at 9:58
  • In ancient time custom was , not to evaluate the value for service offered to people. But the will, ability of the person for it. Hence the term "dakshina". Sudama was learned Bharhmin ,although he was poor in wealth ,but not in knowladge, wisdom . Sudama spent all of his time and effort in cultural efforts so by not doing any commercial activity , he was financially poor. This included teaching religion, moral duties, and spreading spirituality through society. It is for this effort that Krishna rewards Sudama's family with wealth so that Sudama may continue his work. May 28, 2016 at 18:52

Eating food at a hotel itself is not considered a sin. However, I know that followers of the Swaminarayan Sect traditionally do eat eat hotel food as they do not know who has made the food. The Shikshapatri states that the devotees of Swaminarayan may not eat food prepared by people of the lower castes, therefore they avoid eating hotel food.

  • There is no sholk mentioned in the Shikshapatri which support your claim about food prepared by lower cast. Aug 18, 2017 at 20:07
  • Infect Swaminarayan Sect is very open towards cast system: in the matter of improving their life style and accepting equally: goo.gl/FWZVYD Aug 18, 2017 at 20:10

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