Food is Supposed to Enhance a Person's Physical HealthAccording to Hinduism food is considered to be one of the most vital things which are said to be a part of God. Food is supposed to enhance not only a person's physical health but also the mental and emotional factors of an individual. Food is trusted to be a gift from God and hence it should be given due respect. The more conservative Hindus follow certain principles of reciting mantras and performing few rites before and after each meal or food they have. Even today many orthodox people still follow certain ancient practices like sprinkling water on food and reciting mantras before they start eating.
The Hindus traditionally follow the custom of Sprinkling Water-Eating is not only catering food to our taste buds but instead it is a sacrifice to those deities namely the Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana, and Samana where the former symbolizes the breath of life for he occupies the heart and the lungs and organizes the operation of circulation and respiration. It is a very common sight among the Hindus who traditionally follow the custom of sprinkling water on the food before eating their meal and it is believed to be an act of purification. Mostly eating of food is done only with right hands which are washed before sitting to eat the food. Once the plantain leaf is spread, water is sprinkled on the leaf and it is wiped across the right hand which is even now done when food is served on a leaf.
Practice of Sprinkling Water Around the Food
-This practice of sprinkling water around the food is a very ancient practice started by the sages and rishis who mainly spent most of their life in the forest areas. They sprinkled water around the food as a matter of safeguarding it against the intrusion of ants and other vermin which will be found in abundance in such places.
But as civilization grew to its current modernity this custom of sprinkling water on the food is slowly losing its meaning. The different forces of our body is supervised and controlled by several Gods and the preliminary rites are mainly performed before taking our food signifying the sacrifice offered to these deities in gratitude for the benefits conferred and in anticipation of those in store.
Plantain Leaf is Purified by the Sprinkling of Water-Once the food placed on the plantain leaf is purified by the sprinkling of water and then mantras are recited mentally which says, "Salutation to the Supreme being who pervades earth, air and heaven! We meditate on the adorable light of the Divine source of life. May He stimulate our understanding."
Then water is sprinkled round the food and the Lord is implored to bless the food and endow it with the essence of life.
" Oh Lord, thou source of all life, impart thy impulse."