For Hindus eating is a serious business because food is essentially God(Brahman) for them.

There are many rules related to the act of eating.For example,one should not eat with footwears on,while standing,while seating on bed,with one's head covered,or with the food plate kept on one's thighs & so on.

In some other faiths talking while eating seems to be a prohibited act.

We also find our elders asking us to maintain silence while consuming food.

Question-Do we have Scriptural directives regarding the same and do they give the reasons(for keeping quiet while eating) as well?


As per Hindu Shastras, one should not talk while bathing,eating and also not while one is performing a Homa(Yajna/Fire Ritual/Agnihotra).

Maharshi Veda Vyasa gives us the following reasons for the prohibitions :

Maharshi Veda Vyasa cautions:

Snaasyato Varunasshobhaam juhvatognih shriyam haret, Bhojane mrityumaapnoti tasmaanmounam trishu smritam/

Conversation while bathing is disliked Varuna Deva and in the course of Homa prakriya the God of Agni detests it just as while taking food Mrityu Deva(Or Yama) is annoyed; hence during these three acts of snaana-homa-bhojana, silence needs to be observed strictly.)

enter image description here

Source-Dharma Bindu

I have now found further verses in the Atri Smriti( one of the 18 main Smritis) which describe the merits of keeping quiet while eating.

[While passing] excreta, [holding] sexual intercourse, [making] Homa, cleansing the teeth, bathing, taking meals, and making adorations, one should always abstain from speaking at all.

316) He, who, always abstaining from speech, takes his meals for full one year, lives gloriously in the celestial region for a thousand Koti Yugas.(Atri Smriti,Chapter 1,Verses 315,316)


If one would consider Ayurveda as part of Veda or Vedic scriptures, then the question would be best dealt with by the Ayurveda itself.

According to Dr.Vasant Ladd in his book ‘Ayurveda- The science of self healing, He opines as follows:-

“It is food that nourishes the body, mind and consciousness. How you eat is very important. While eating, one should sit straight and avoid distractions such as television, conversation or reading. Focus your mind upon and be aware of the taste of the food. Chew with love and compassion and you will clearly experience the taste.

Taste does not originate in food, it originates in the experience of the one who eats. If your agni is impaired, you will not taste the food properly. The taste of food depends upon agni. Spices help to enkindle agni, as well as to cleanse the body and to enrich the taste of the food. Each mouthful should be chewed at least thirty-two times before it is swallowed. This practice allows the digestive enzymes in the mouth to do their work properly and, in addition, it gives the stomach time to prepare for the arrival of the masticated food. It is important that one eats at a moderate speed.

One should eat and drink with discipline and regularity for eating is a meditation. Eating in this way will nourish your body mind and consciousness and will also enhance longevity.”


I think the better question would be "Why is it not OK to talk during eating?"

Rickross has give two nice examples of gods being annoyed if we talk while eating or bathing. However I think the reason of their annoyance is missing? Why would Varundev be annoyed if we talk while bathing or why would Mrityu Deva be annoyed if we talk while eating. Surely there must be some vaild reason for them to be annoyed and they would definitely not be annoyed without a genuine reason.

Hinduism is a highly scientific religion and the reason gods are annoyed in the above cases lie in the understanding of science in the vedic ages. If you talk while eating your throat is trying to do two things at the same time, swallowing food inwards while eating and sending sound/air outwards in the opposite direction while talking. Since you are trying to do two things which requires the throat to function in opposite direction, you are increasing the likelihood of choking which may even lead to death. As a matter of fact food choking is the fourth largest cause of unintentional deaths in the world today.

Same with talking while bathing. Water will try to flow down the throat of an open mouth while sound waves/air will try o travel outwards in the opposite direction.

Our ancient sages/Gods were wise to realize this and hence they forbid talking while eating.

  • 1
    I did not put the question like u suggested coz even i don't know the reasons why the respective Gods are getting annoyed.I know as much as is being revealed by Veda Vyasa.In fact we all know as much as is revealed to these great saints during their deep trances of Dhyana.Also,Rishis did not employ techniques that are employed by scientists.& also there is no reason to rejoice if someone calls Vedas or our Dhrama "scientific".Because, Sanatan Dharma is before everything,its supreme.It does not need labels like scientific etc .
    – Rickross
    Oct 22 '16 at 9:11
  • 1
    @Rickross - Regardless of your acceptance or not, there is nothing that is done without a reason. If any god gets annoyed with anything there is always a very valid reason. So a complete answer always has to address both parts (1) why a certain god is annoyed and (2) why that god is annoyed. Oct 22 '16 at 9:15
  • 1
    The answer regarding the reasons u are talking about can not be given atleast by me.Because ,i know as much as is revealed to us by Maharshi Veda Vyasa.We can wait if some one else can provide us with those reasons.But they should be from valid Shastras & not based on one's personal understandings.
    – Rickross
    Oct 22 '16 at 9:17
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Oct 22 '16 at 12:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .