Folk Beliefs
Rituals, festivals, holidays

How Do We Digest Food?

In the Hindu religion, prayers are an extremely integral aspect to daily life. Hindu people attribute every organic substance as an embodiment of God, and as such, we should give thanks as much as we can. The informant, D, asked his religious father, M, about a set of prayers he remembers having to memorize as a child but since then has forgotten. These three prayers are some of the most central to the daily prayers a devout Hindu can practice, called the Trikal Sandhya. These three prayers seek to answer why we wake up in the morning, how we digest food, and how we sleep at night.

 

This particular entry seeks to answer how we digest food:

 

Original:

Yagna shishtha shinah santo, muchyante sarva kilbishaihi. Bhunjate te tvagam papa, ye pachantyatma kernat.

Yat koroshi yadashnashi, yaj juhoshi dadasi yat. Yat tapasyasi Kaunteya, tat kurushva madarpanam.

Aham vaishvanaro bhutva, praninam deham ashritah prana pana samayukta, pachamy annam chaturvidham

Om saha navavatu, saha nau bhunaktu. Saha viryam karvavahai, tejasvi navadim astu ma vidvisha vahai, Om shantih, shantih shantih

 

Translated:

The devotees of God are freed from all sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice, Others who prepare or cook food for their personal enjoyment only, truly eat sin

O! Kaunteya (Arjuna); whatever you do, whatever you eat, offer as a sacrifice. Whatever austerity you perform, do it as an offering to me.

Lord Krishna said in Bhagvad Geeta: “I am the fire of digestion in every living body. I am the sir of life, out going and incoming, by which I digest four kinds of food.

Om, Oh! Lord, protech and defend both of us together. We should stay together and do God’s work together. Let our knowledge shine and become divine in the world. We should never fight with each other, never get envious of each other and stay united forever.

 

My thoughts: While I am not especially religious anymore, I can appreciate the mindset behind these prayers. Hindus see that obtaining nutrition from food is essential to life, and due to that, it is easily attributable to God.

 

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