No matter what’s on the plate, giving thanks is universal
The chanting of mantras to invoke and give thanks to God before partaking of a meal is an ancient Hindu tradition, one that has been unfortunately forgotten by many of us who have left the traditional village for the cosmopolitan city.Food is the basic necessity of life and fulfills the necessary nutrition and energy in daily life.
Express gratitude to the food in front of you for nourishing your body. To the farmers that harvested the grains to mother nature that creates the environment for the food to grow, God who is the source of it all.
Whatever food that we eat impacts the triple qualities of sattva(purity), rajas(activity)and tamas(darkness) in our bodies, which in turn impact the balance of our minds and bodies. The Bhagavadgita recognizes three kinds of food in terms of the qualities each promotes. Food that is freshly made, juicy, oil, tasty and agreeable is sattvic food. It promotes longevity, purity, strength, health, happiness and cheerfulness. Food that is bitter, sour, salty, hot and pungent is rajasic food. It causes pain, grief and disease. Food that is half cooked, rotten, stored, stale, putrid, left over, half eaten and impure is tamasic food. It promotes slothfulness, cruelty and evil nature.
In giving thanks for a meal, we may consider the natural resources that nurtured the food, the people who grew it, those who designed and operated the machines that harvested and transported it, the vendors who sold it, our gifts that enable us to earn resources to pay for it, those who prepared it, those who served it, the time to eat it, the body to enjoy and be fueled by it, the presence of all others at the table or the peaceful solitude of eating alone, and the gifts of every person involved in all those things who collaborated with God to bring about the food on the table in front of us. And in our gratitude, we hold close to us those who hunger.
Prayer Should Chant Before Eating:-
“Annadata Sukhee Bhava” means “May the Food Provider be happy”.
There are many mantras in Hinduism that you can chant before having food. The most popular one is from Bhagavad Gita, it goes like:-
Bramharpanam, bramha havi
brambhaiva tena gantyavyam,
bramha karma samadhinam.
Om shanti, shanti, shanti
Meaning:- The act of offering is God, the oblation is God
By God it is offered into the Fire of God
God is That which is to be attained by him
who performs action pertaining to God.
I personally believe that praying before eating is far better than taking pictures of food and posting it on various social media platforms.
So, Simply expressing thanks for your food can be a good start.