In all native cultures where modernity has not touched, having meal is considered sacred ritual. Place where people eat, family eat is considered and maintained like a temple.
There is specific serving method. Food needs to be observed before eating it.
For practicing Hindu, food is very sacred part of life. From growing food to consuming it to offering it to Deva. Subtly rich ways to consume food. We pay highest attention to not only food, how we eat, where we eat, who serve the food and all!
Before we eat, we offer food to Deva. नैवेद्य निवेदित!
Following is very common practice:
कर्मकांड के स्तर की पद्धति : बाएं हाथ का अंगूठा बाईं आंखपर व बाएं हाथ की अनामिका दाईं आंखपर रखकर आंखें मूंद लें और ‘ॐ प्राणाय स्वाहा । ॐ अपानाय स्वाहा । ॐ व्यानाय स्वाहा । ॐ उदानाय स्वाहा । ॐ समानाय स्वाहा । ॐ ब्रह्मणे स्वाहा ।।’, पंचप्राणों से संबंधित इस मंत्र का उच्चारण करते हुए नैवेद्य की सुगंध को दाहिने हाथ की पांचों उंगलियों के सिरों से देवता की ओर दिशा दें ।
उसके उपरांत ‘नैवेद्यमध्येपानीयं समर्पयामि ।’ बोलते हुए दाहिने हाथ से ताम्रपात्र में थोडा जल छोडें व पुन: ‘ॐ प्राणाय…’, पंचप्राणों से संबंधित इस मंत्र का उच्चारण करें । उसके उपरांत ‘नैवेद्यम् समर्पयामि, उत्तरापोशनम् समर्पयामि, हस्तप्रक्षालनम् समर्पयामि, मुखप्रक्षालनम् समर्पयामि’ बोलते हुए दाहिने हाथ से ताम्रपात्र में जल छोडें ।
*Modern Research: Eating with your eyes: Virtual reality can alter taste. “When we eat, we perceive not only just the taste and aroma of foods, we get sensory input from our surroundings – our eyes, ears, even our memories about surroundings,”*
Food’s taste is enhanced by virtual reality! We offer food to deva (senses) first! Don’t we?
“When we eat, we perceive not only just the taste and aroma of foods, we get sensory input from our surroundings – our eyes, ears, even our memories about surroundings,” said Robin Dando, associate professor of food science and senior author of the study.
Eating is very sensitive interaction among our bodies, environment and food. Seduction by foreign food and drinks is biggest insult to healthy cultural legacy of ancestors and serious apathy towards environment. We are what our ancestors ate, and also what they had to regurgitate (vomit) i.e. what to eat and what not to eat. If seduced for foreign food and drinks, life will be pathetic. Not only yours, but of all upcoming confused generations who will not pay attention to environment and cultural food legacy.
Food nourishes life, refilling the prana. Eating was also considered meditation for Sanatani hindu. It was no ordinary time of the day.The loftier aspect of meditation is the principle of Vaishvanara Vidya.
The food that we take every day is a holy oblation to the All-pervading Vital Fire. This meditation is Prana-agnihotra. Agnihotra is the consecrated offering into the sacred Fire.
Result? Diabetes, blood pressure, cancer and many unimagined life style diseases.
Read this research to realize the wrong with our modern ways of eating food.
Before we read research, read this excerpt from the book वैश्वानर विद्या
Eating,Ritualistically or exoterically conceived, this means the daily performance of the yajna, or sacrifice, by a householder. The Upanishad makes out that this agnihotra is perpetually taking place in our own bodies, of which we have to be conscious in our meditation. The external sacrifice ceases to be external any more. Viewing everything from the point of view of the All-inclusive Vaishvanara, the externality of an action ceases forever. There is no such thing as external action, because everything that we regard as external is internal to the Vaishvanara.
The food that we eat is digested by the action of the pranas. We have five pranas, and so, when taking food, religious people utter mantras saying, “This is to the prana, this is to the apana,” etc. This is not merely a ritual unconsciously performed as a routine, but a religious worship. It is a meditation, and we are supposed to be conscious of what we are doing when we consume food. The process of Pranaagnihotra mentioned here is the act of introducing a universal significance into what are apparently individual functions. The three fires are inside the Universal Being, Vaishvanara. And, again, to repeat, this threefold fire is in us as inseparable from the Vaishvanara. So, when we take a morsel of food what are we to contemplate?
Read more about how different prana invocation work: here
Rituals have subtly effect. Now, when you read below research, you will realize the value sacred meal rituals followed in Hindu families and how it helps them grow spiritually while maintaining healthy body and mind.
Eating with your eyes: Virtual reality can alter taste
Eating is a multimodal experience. When we eat, we perceive not just the taste and aroma of foods, but also their visual, auditory, and tactile properties, as well as sensory input from our surroundings. Foods are commonly tested within a sensory booth, designed specifically to limit such input. Foods are not commonly experienced in such isolation, but alongside this context, which can alter how a food is perceived. In this study, we show that the sensory properties of food can be altered by changing the environment it is consumed in, using virtual reality (VR) to provide an immersive, dynamic context to the eating experience. The purpose of this project was to develop an affordable and easy‐to‐implement methodology for adapting VR technology to sensory evaluation, without prohibitive amounts of expensive equipment or specialized programming knowledge. Virtual environments were formed by processing custom‐recorded 360 degree videos and overlaying audio, text, sensory scales, and images to simulate a typical sensory evaluation ballot within the VR headset. In a pilot test, participants were asked to taste 3 identical blue cheese samples in 3 virtual contexts–a sensory booth, a park bench, and a cow barn. Respondents rated their liking of the sample, as well as its saltiness, and pungency, attributes either reflective of one context (pungency in the barn), or presumably unrelated (saltiness). Panelists duly rated the sample’s flavor as being more pungent when consumed in the barn context. These results provide proof of concept for VR in applied sensory studies, providing an immersive context to a sensory test while remaining in place.
We consume foods in environments that can “spill over” into our perceptions of the food. Thus, we consider some foods “unsuitable” for certain settings, with others deemed more suitable for this locale. This has been studied for many years as sensory “context,” with written descriptions, pictures, or videos of such contexts. We present a method generating virtual reality contexts without any specist programming knowledge, for a few hundred dollars. In an accompanying pilot test, perception of a sample was significantly influenced by the VR context in which it was delivered.