Bhagavad Gita says:

Bg 17.10 — Food prepared more than three hours before being eaten, food that is tasteless, decomposed and putrid, and food consisting of remnants and untouchable things is dear to those in the mode of darkness.

Any food cooked more than three hours before it is eaten (except prasādam, food offered to the Lord) is considered to be in the mode of darkness. Because they are decomposing, such foods give a bad odor, which often attracts people in this mode but repulses those in the mode of goodness.

My question: Is it fine to consume Sattvic food prepared more than 3 hours ago or is it not permissible?

  • 1
    our elders used to put leftover cooked rice in water overnight. putting it in water can overcome the above said rule of more than 3 hours. nowadays with refrigerators, the food doesn't 'go bad', but still better to consume fresh food.
    – ram
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 23:57
  • 1
    There is a quote from Shree Gajanan maharaj in grantha "Gajanan-Vijay" that a well cooked food is good for consumption even after 1day .Will try to construct answer based on that. Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 5:58
  • @SwiftPushkar Looking forward to your answer :)
    – Just_Do_It
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 13:05
  • I think common sense will give you the answer. Scripture is needed for things that cannot be determined by pratyakSha (direct observation) and anumAna (inference).
    – RamAbloh
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 23:13

1 Answer 1



Gītātātparyanirṇayaḥ on this verse makes it clear that this is a list of types of tamasic foods. If a food meets one of these conditions such as loosing its taste (It could have been sattvic before), it is tamasic. Similarly, previously sattvic food becomes tamasic after three hours. "Sattvic food prepared more than 3 hours ago" is a contradiction: "yāmāntaritapākaṃ tu yātayāmamitīryate... yātamasya yat iti ca".

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