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In many families, they ask women to take bath before preparing food.

Is there any scriptural reference that women should take bath before preparing the food?

Note: This is regarding morning food and not other meals like dinner.

  • just think for 1 second - if you are in habit of eating at restaurants, and the chef did not take bath before cooking, would you like it ? the body secretes lot of wastes at night through 9 openings in body, which need to be cleared. also, think if any congress between husband and wife at night, can you imagine cooking before bathing in morning? the bed is constant 'anaachaar' (vizhuppu in tamil), we are not even supposed to touch the bed after bathing until we retire for the night. – ram Dec 8 '18 at 15:00
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From Vyasa Smriti's Chapter 2:

A wife should quit her bed before her lord, cleanse (wash) her person, fold up the beds, and make her house clean and tidy. (20)

Then having entered the chamber of Homa (sacrificial fire) she should (first) wash and plaster its floor, and; then the yard of her house, and after that, wash with warm water the vessels of oils, clarified butter, etc., which are used in connection with Agnikaryayas, and keep them in their proper places. (21)

Thus having performed her morning (house-hold) duties, arrd pondered over the dishes of different {flavours (to be prepared, that day), and allotment of

work to different workers, and the daily expenditure of the household, she should make obeisance to her elders and superiors. (24)

Then she should decorate her person with the ornaments given to her by her father-in-law, husband, father, mother, maternal uncle, or relations. (25)

Pure in her thought, speech and action, and obedient to the dictates of her lord, she should follow him (in life) like his own shadow, seek his good like a trusted friend, and minister /to his desires like a servant. 26 27)

Then having finished cooking, she should report of it to her husband saying, " the rice is cooked." The husband having made offerings therewith to the Vishvadevas, she should first feed the children, and ithen serve out the morning meal to her lord. (28)

Now, bathing is a Nitya Karma which is mandatory for everyone. Before eating anything in the morning one must bath first. So, it is obvious that the wife must have bathed once already before she entered the Homa chamber.

From this answer we get some relevant verses regarding the importance of bathing in the morning:

A person who is not bathed but eats food, that food is as bad as excretion,

or,

Perpetual impurity is spoken of for all of them, who,- without bathing, offering oblations to the Fire and making gifts, partake of [their] meals'.

(Daksha Smriti, Chapter 6)

And, thereafter, at some time, she does the cooking. But it is not mentioned in the text that she should bath again before cooking. Now, if it was required then it would have been specifically mentioned.

So, the conclusion is that the one bath she has taken in the morning is enough. No more baths are needed.

Clarification:

My answer is not suggesting that before you eat each time one needs to take bath and that's just absurd and never prescribed in scriptures.

In Hinduism the three acts - attending nature's calls, brushing teeth, bathing (in that order) - are collectively called PrAtakritya.

And, Hindu scriptures prescribe that after waking up from bed one should complete Pratakritya first before consuming anything (food or water).

So, the wife, if she is following Dharmic instructions, must have already taken bath once in the early morning. And, if she had, there is no need for her to bath again before cooking.

  • from your answer it seems before eating food one should bath but before preparing food? what if one prepare food and then bath and then eat? – Lakhi Dec 8 '18 at 15:20
  • Not before eating meal each time .. that's wrong.. one can not bath more than 2 times/day for normal people. You may be taking 3/4 meals/day but tht does not mean u hv to bath 3/4 times too.. before taking the first food in the day one shd hv completed bathing .. that's wht is meant.. tht is at the morning itself. @Lakhi .. and thr is no need to bath before cooking food bcoz the wife must hv already bathed once in the morning.. if she wishes to take bath again then tht shd be done in the evening. – Rickross Dec 8 '18 at 16:24
  • my question is related to morning food only and not other meals like dinner... – Lakhi Dec 8 '18 at 17:05
  • See the rule is "before u start the day and eat anything take bath" and the rule is not "before u cook take bath" .. but if the rule is followed thn it automatically implies tht the wife would be in a bathed condition before cooking.. @Lakhi So, she need not bath again. – Rickross Dec 9 '18 at 6:16
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    @Lakhi is not asking about bathing 'again', nor asking about eating before bathing. She is specifically asking about bathing in the morning before cooking i.e. in this order - 1.rise. 2.cook. 3.bathe 4.eat - and the answer is no, not allowed. even cooking must be done after bathing only. – ram Dec 10 '18 at 4:23

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