Is there a specific injunction in vaiShNava Agama-s or purANa-s to the effect that food should be consumed only after it is offered to viShNu?

As far as brAhmaNa-s are concerned, it is clear from the sUtra-s that they should consume only food

  • offered to agni and shrotriya in case of gRhasthAshrama

  • guru or his representative or agni in case of brahmacharya.

Such a rule would explain the sectarian practice of offering vaishvadeva only from food first offered to viShNu.

PS:‌nityakarma texts by shrI rAmAnuja (भगवद्भाष्यकारैर्-विरचित-नित्यग्रन्थे भगवदाराधनान्तर्गत-भोज्यासनविधौ २१३-तम खण्डे "अर्हणपूर्वकं हविर् निवेदयेत्" इति सूचितम् अस्ति।) and madhva clearly specify such rules.


Yes this practice arises from the verse in Vishnu Purana which discusses the quality of food, once it is 'eaten'(?) by the Lord. The practice therefore has carried on since millennia.

naivedyam jagadisasya
anna-panadikam ca yat
bhaksyabhaksya-vicaras ca
nasti tad-bhaksane dvijah

brahmavan-nirvikaram hi
yatha visnus tathaiva tat
vikaram ye prakurvanti
bhaksane tad dvijatayah

nirayam yanti te vipras
tasman navartate punah

"O brahmanas, in the eating of food such as rice and water, etc., which has been tasted by the Lord of the universe [Vishnu obviously, since this is Vishnu Purana] there is no consideration of whether it is edible in inedible. Just as Lord Vishnu is spiritual and is not subject to mundane transformation, so in the same way His prasada is spiritual and eternal. Those brahmanas, who consider that in the eating of Vishnu-prasada there is some mundane transformation of its spiritual qualities and thus it can become contaminated by contact with someone's mouth or hands, become afflicted with leprosy, become bereft of their sons and wife, and go to hell, never again to return from that place."

This is supported by Srimad Bhagavatam, which is said to be one the greatest book for the Vaishnavas, especially Gaudiya Vaishnavas who consider it even higher than Vishnu Purana, only second to Bhagavad Gita.

shadbhir masopavasais tu
yat phalam parikirtitam
vishnor naivedya-sikthannam
bhunjatam tat kalau yuge

"In Kali-yuga they who eat Lord Vishnu's prasadam attain the same result said to be gained by fasting for six months."

  • The answer which my acharyadeva mentioned to me is that the practice of taking prasadam comes from these two sources. I have no other information, besides this. – user9072 Jul 7 '18 at 16:52
  • @vishvAsvAsuki What made you change the comment? – user9072 Jul 7 '18 at 16:55
  • I reread the question and realized that your answer was appropriate (but had not seen your reply). Hence I changed the comment. – vishvAs vAsuki Jul 7 '18 at 21:00

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