M a n t r a
Aum Annam Brahma Raso,
Vishnu Bhokta Devo Maheshwarah,
Evam Dhyatva na Bhonkte,
Anna Dosho na Vidhyate,
Aum Sahanaavavatu sahanavbhoonaktu,
Tejas Vinaavadhi Tamastu Mavidh Vishavahay
Aum Shanti Shanti Shantihi.
M a n t r a M e a n i n g
According to Manusmriti, it is said that food is Brahman (God) and with such Understanding it (Food) should be worshipped. Always the food (or meal) should first be worshipped and eaten without making any fuss about it.
Even in Brahmavaivarta Purana also it is written that Food is Brahma, essence is vishnu and the one who eats is Maheshwar. Therefore, looking at the food with cheerful welcoming disposition, the food should be eaten with attentiveness. It is clearly stated in the Skanda Purana that to eat food without food prayer is like eating dust, insects, and sin. Therefore, just as we first wash hands and feet and wear clean clothes and only then sit to pray to God with concentrated mind observing silence and with proper procedures we perform all the ceremonies, so the same attitudes should apply when eating foods.
Now, if someone asks: Why we should take a bath (or shower) before eating? Why take out shoes? Why not seat on chairs? Why keep silent (eat in silence?) Why abstain from liquor, meat etc? Why stay away from foods cooked in hotels (restaurants) etc? Only one answer can be given to all these questions that if the purpose is only to fill the stomach then you is free like Ravan's soldiers (army); eat anywhere, anytime, anything that takes to your fancy. But the one who eats, fi.mty resolves before that I am not merely filing up my stomach but that I am performing Bhagvad Upaasanaa (God prayer-Aahutee in havan kund) and as a result all other disciplines naturally start flowing on their own. If at the beginning one cannot observe all the disciplines; still recite aloud at least one of the following mantraas or shlokaas and thereafter proceed to eat the food. Because we are only the medium that can bring or gather the food items but the production and the digestion of the food is done by someone else. That is why it is said that eat food with due respect after performing food prayer, otherwise is the food so is the mind. Hope this will not happen with you in your life, the proof we can find in the epic of Mahaabhaarata where Draupadi's clothes were being removed, at that time grandsire Bhishma could not speak anything because he was influenced by having eaten disrespectful food offered by Duryodhan which led to him losing his intellectual power of discrimination.
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