There is great ask about what should we eat? But I was always strugling how should one eat his food, sitting and thinking while eating a food. I see on my self that I don't respect food as much as I need to (want to). I sustain this body just because of the food I eat...

So my question is, how one should behave, do, think, (do every thing) while eating a food to show respect to his life?

3 Answers 3


There is a popular mantra amongst some bhaktas, that could be of information to you sir. This is an advaitic perspective.

Here is a link This is from Shrimad Bhagavad Gita by Lord Krishna.

Brahmarpanam Brahma Havir Brahmagnau Brahmana Hutam Brahmaiva Tena Ghantavyam Brahmakarma Samadhina [Bhagavad Gita 4:24]

The bramharpanam shloka in sanskrit

The act of offering is Brahman. The offering itself is Brahman. The offering is done by Brahman in the sacred fire which is Brahman. He alone attains Brahman who, in all actions, is fully absorbed in Brahman.

This means that the act of eating, the object being eaten, and the one who eats. These three are One. These three are none other than Brahman. Remembering this prayer before every meal is what some bhaktas do in order to remind them of the One Unity behind the apparent phenomenal world. All the best!!

  • I wonder who started the practice of uttering the Brahmarpanam verse before meals. (I can certainly understand the intent behind it.) I assume it's a fairly recent practice; in ancient times the main thing the verse was associated with was the Yagna described in Purusha Sukta of the Rig Veda. By the way, it's a Bhagavad Gita verse, so you should call it a shloka, not a mantra. May 18, 2015 at 4:21
  • @KeshavSrinivasan - People also use om sahanavavatu sahanobhunaktu shanti mantra before eating. Also we should not talk during eating because any form of talk generates vittis. In order to realize bramhan in food we should sit and eat without uttering a word and just remain in calmness without thinking of good or bad (just pure concious existence should be the goal.
    – Yogi
    May 18, 2015 at 5:19
  • I find my self quite often thinking obout the garbage (no existential meaning thoughts), and with this I kinda feel that I'm not respecting the food. So when I feel garbage in my mind I do some mantras like some similar mantra Hare Krisna. But still I kinda feel that I joust want to cover it... so I joust put my self in meditate state like @Creator say. But this verse of yours uff... its powerfull :D. To really feel this words while eating and to be in the calmness state should be the respect that I was looking for. Thank you!
    – user2578
    May 18, 2015 at 9:41
  • @urosjarc which verse are you talking about
    – Yogi
    May 18, 2015 at 10:09
  • Sai's translation of Brahmarpanam Brahma...
    – user2578
    May 18, 2015 at 11:09

Swami Chinmayananda text books teachings say that,

  1. If you are born as human being you cannot survive without killing even if its just vegetarian like plants, grains.
  2. Only way to avoid the karma of killing plants is through a prayer or offering to god before consuming. The "Brahmaarpanam" (Its in Gita 9th chapter) is the one prescribed in Chinmayananda books.
  • Welcome to Hinduism.SE! Answers on this site should be backed up with sources, so do you know which Chinmayananda book this information is from? Jun 26, 2015 at 15:36
  • Yes, its in the "MyPrayers" book. They have prayers when you get up in teh morning, taking shower , before food etc.
    – PraveenMak
    Jul 8, 2015 at 18:44

Here I will give an answer to your question as Vaishnavas tend to do.

First of all, a Vaishnava does not take any food just like that, just to take it and begins to eat, but he takes a food with the intention that he will offer it first to the Lord Krishna. Basically there are two main reasons for that:

1) One reason is that the Lord asks to be offered the food before we eat it. This is nicely seen from the Bhagavad gita 9.26:

"If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it."

See, Lord Krishna does not think that we should take and eat some food if we have not first offered it to Him! In fact He specifically says that we should offer food to Him with love and devotion (bhaktyā, bhakti-upahṛtam). The idea is that we offer food to Him with an attitude like that we serve some great and important exalted guest -- a guest who will accept our offering, as He says "I will accept it". It is a kind of service that we offer for His satisfaction, but it is also the way of developing a relationship with Him, giving with devotion (bhakti) -- accepting.
Then the Lord takes the food and it is considered that the food is left for us to eat it and venerate (regard with great respect; revere), as if that were food remnants that are left over after the Lord took the food. Those remnants are called the Lord's prasāda "mercy".

2) And secondly there are karmic reasons. It is said in the Bhagavad gita 3.13:

"The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin."

Here it is said that offering the food to the Lord is, like, a participation in the sacrifice, and because of this sacrifice the food is free of sin.

So, first we offer Him food in sacrifice and then partake of the remnants that are literally called His prasāda "mercy".
Thus you can meditate on all of that mentioned above when you offer the food and later when you eat the food you can appreciate and enjoy the Lord's remnants, the Lord's prasāda "mercy", and thus you can venerate.

  • "See, in this verse Lord Krishna does not think that we should take and eat some food if we have not first offered it to Him!" I don't think verse 9.26 addresses whether we should eat food that's not offered to Vishnu. Krishna is just saying that if we offer it, then he'll accept the offering. He doesn't talk about whether eating without offering is fine or not. Verse 3.13 is much more relevant. By the way, verse 3.13 reminds me of the Anna Sukta of the Taittiriya Brahmana, which I discuss in the end of my question here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/6582/36 Jul 31, 2015 at 22:16
  • @Keshav Yeah, indeed, it reminds of the sukta, good finding! -- So, we now have a confirmation in Shruti for the Gita verse 3.13. I often wondered where did Lord Krishna get all these ideas that He teaches Arjuna. It is often said that Smriti, and Gita too, derive their knowledge from Shruti. ---- Now, about my sentence above. I edited so that I deleted a part of the sentence "in this verse". I think this will be sufficient because as far as sentence reads now, it is correct. It is consistent with the teachings of the Vaishnavas. Aug 1, 2015 at 17:45
  • "I often wondered where did Lord Krishna get all these ideas that He teaches Arjuna. It is often said that Smriti, and Gita too, derive their knowledge from Shruti." That is actually a very interesting subject. the Bhagavad Gita actually originates in the Pancharatra tradition, aka Bhagavata Dharma. The wisdom contained in the Bhagavad Gita was taught earlier to the ancient kings of the solar dynasty, and Ikshvaku tried to spread these doctrines far and wide. But over time the Pancharatra tradition was lost, until Krishna revived it in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Aug 1, 2015 at 18:16
  • See this chapter of the Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata, specifically what it says about the seventh Mahakalpa: sacred-texts.com/hin/m12/m12c048.htm Now regarding your question about the Gita originating in Shruti, the Pancharatra tradition actually has its origin in Shruti, not in the Pancharatra Agamas we have today. You see, there was originally a Shakha of the Shukla Yajur Veda called the Ekayana Shakha, founded by Vishnu's incarnation sage Narayana (brother of Nara). Pancharatra philosophy originates from this Shakha, but unfortunately over time the Shakha was lost. Aug 1, 2015 at 18:55
  • But thankfully, Vishnu anticipated that the Ekayana Shakha of the Shukla Yajur Veda would be lost one day, so he also composed a series of texts we now call the Pancharatra Agamas, in order to preserve the wisdom of the Ekayana Shakha. For more details you can read Yamunacharya's work the Agama Pramanya. I've posted a bunch of questions about the Agama Pramanya here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/search?q=Pramanya By the way, the Anna Sukta of the Taittiriya Brahmana is a very important hymn, because it is used by the gods and liberated souls to praise Vishnu in his abode of Vaikuntha. Aug 1, 2015 at 19:04

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