Do Hindu Gods eat food?

Do Hindu Gods eat food?

My friend, Mohamed Ashiq Naseeruddin from Birmingham, UK told me: “Your gods might be getting indigestion! Millions of people offer them food every day….”

I initially thought it was a harmless joke. Neither our gods won’t get angry or insecure on jokes on them, nor do real Hindus get hurt on innocent jokes. I laughed. “Yeah, especially with those loads of chemicals in the food now‐a‐ days”

“Seriously Uday Sir, I see Hindus offer food to idols and believe that gods can eat! I am not a religious hater. But isn’t this foolish and nonsense? ”

“Yes, Hindus do offer food to god. What we offer to God is Naivedyam. When it comes back to us, it becomes Prasadam. I also do that at home, celebrations and in temples.”

“See…even an educated journalist like you too… Don’t you know God won’t eat this food? Idol can’t open its mouth. God won’t eat or talk the way we human do. Offering food to god is very materialistic thinking. There is no spirituality in that. You people are so superstitious and Idiotic…”


“In fact God doesn’t need anything from you. But you need everything from god. So, all we should do is, pray to god…That’s what 21st century’s modern, cultured, educated people do…”

“So, god will hear your prayer…”

“Yes. He can hear the prayer. Not only food – but God doesn’t want anything. He is perfect and complete. Everything in this universe happens as per God’s will and wish…”Ashiq said.

“Ashiq, you mean to say, god (or idols in question here) doesn’t eat food, it doesn’t even open its mouth. It won’t talk. You said God will hear your prayer. So, according to you, we only have to pray and worship him. Everything in this universe happens only by his wish and will. God doesn’t need anything from us. He is perfect and complete. This is what you say as modern and scientific. Am I correct?”

“Exactly” he beamed. “Yes sir. I know you are very open and you can understand fast… Crystal clear. So you will stop pre‐historic tradition of offering food to God…”

“No Ashiq.”

“Why?” he was surprised.

“I am not convinced about what you said. You said, your God doesn’t eat, he doesn’t speak or behave as humans do, right?” I paused.

“Yes…yes…” “Then how can he hear to what we humans say? The very concept of delivering prayers through words (in any language) brings God to possess hearing capability as we humans…If god doesn’t eat and talk, how can he hear?”

“That…but God can hear, right?”

“God can’t talk or eat. But he can hear what kind of logic is that? Does it mean that God has only selective few sensory organs? Who told you that? Did God tell you that?”

“No, he talks through Prophets…All religions have prophets…”

“Is it so? Then, what prevents him from eating food through his people?”

“It’s not right. Everything happens as per God’s will and wish.”

“Ashiq, will and wish are related of human thinking. You are saying that God also thinks as we humans do. And he has will and wish! God’s will or God understanding our wish is proof of material relation of God. Theoretically, how is it different from materialistic offering food to god?”

“It’s not like that. We can just pray….God will listen to us…all the Holy books say we have to pray for it…”

“But you just said he doesn’t need anything from us. Then why did your God order in Holy books to worship him and pray to him?”

“Prayer is for us…God knows everything” Ashiq said.

“You are contradicting again. If your God is powerful enough to know about everything why should you tell anything to God? God knows what is happening and what will happen. Then why ask for anything to God when God already knows what is going to happen to us? Or is he so egoistic that he wants you to plead? Does he enjoy such ego? And if God is perfect and complete, then anything offered to him (including “Namaz” or “Prayers”) which if accepted by him, would prove to fill up some void. It makes God incomplete. So as per your own arguments based on Holy books, rendering of prayers itself binds God…”

He didn’t talk for a moment. We were talking over WhatsApp. I sent him a question mark. He replied: “I am thinking for answers…”

“You won’t get. Ashiq, before ridiculing other’s beliefs, we have to check if our path is right. When it comes to irrational beliefs, no religion is better…”I told him.

Then he asked: “Seriously, why are you people offering food to God? What’s the rationale behind it?”

“Why do you offer flowers to your girlfriend? To express your love. Offering food is a symbolic gesture of love. It is a way of thanking God for the food provided. It’s an act of gratitude. We prepare Naivedyam with utmost devotion, dedication with purity of mind and body. Then offer the sacred food (Bhagwan Bhog) to god. We know god won’t eat directly. It’s just symbolic. After rituals we distribute the prasadam to everyone around us for blessings. The idol won’t eat. God eats through us. Because we are the integral part of god.”

-When we offer food and flowers to god, we say ‘Samarpayaamee’ means it is yours and you have the first right on it. We seek God’s blessings (Prasad), we believe god has blessed (Prasad) the food; we distribute the Prasad (blessings) of god with devotion. And we accept and eat the Prasad (blessings) of God with utmost devotion. It also believed that offering ‘Prasad’ daily to Gods showers food and prosperity on the house.

– We offer food to god at prayer room in home and in the temple. We also celebrate festivals (like Pongal, Makarasankrathi, Diwali) when we make and share the food. In every temple in India, it is customary to make a small offering of sweets or other food, as a mark of our devotion and gratefulness towards the God or Goddess.

“Is this mentioned in any of your scriptures?”

“All the scriptures talk about offerings to god. Bhagavad‐Gita says, ‘all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me (Me=Brahmam, cosmos)’. So offering food to God before eating is an integral part of our culture to make the food blessed…”


– Our ancestors found that food is the source of human body and mind. It should be eaten for the survival and strength of the body, with a humble attitude, to practice austerities and gain awareness, and not just for pleasure.

– All disease – related to body and mind – derives from food. Prevention is always better than cure. Hence, they have scientifically developed a traditional medicinal system, Ayurveda that highlights the Viruddha Ahara (incompatible foods) and pathyam or parhes (dietary restrictions). According to Ayurveda scriptures, if you follow this concept you can live up to 120 years without any major pain and miseries. So, food is considered as divine.

– Since their economic system was based on the temple, they have charted out the list of Naivedyas in temple for each month based on seasonal and environmental relevance and its impact on human body. If a person follows the similar diet strictly, you won’t have any physical problems… They wanted us eat sattvik food with gratitude and devotion. They wished that their descendant should follow this great system. So they have mixed it up beliefs and temple, so that people would earnestly follow it. I don’t know if modern concrete business centres in the name of temples and those religious crooks that are behind this would follow this tradition. Modern priests won’t even know about this divine food system.

“I am really sorry – I didn’t know the significance of prasadam and divinity of food…” he said.

“But Ashiq, it is a lost art in India. I wouldn’t be surprised if modern temples offer you Pizzas, Chicken Biriyani and Mutton pulav as prasadams, instead of pure Sattvik food. Given the trend among fraud priests and the brain‐ washed zombie Hindu communities, instead of Milk Abhisheka (bathing a deity in milk), an alcohol Abhisheka may also be expected.”

~ Udaylal Pai, Freelance Journalist, Writer and Researcher



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  • Actually offering of food (bhoga) is not symbolic. God eats if you offer with love and affection. The sastra says, yasyedryiya sakalendriya vritti manti, His one sense can do the function of all the senses. God can eat simply by seeing. And he can eat just like humans eat also. There are many examples. But His eating and our eating are not one and the same. Even though He eats it all, He gives back everything as His remnants. Supreme Lord is akshara purusha. Needs a little understanding though.

    bhaktera naivedya prabhu kadi kadi khaya
    abhaktera vastu prabbhu ulati na caya

    The naivedya in the hands of his pure devotee, who has developed such pure alloyed love, is taken by Lord even forcefully. But the same food in the hands of a non devotee, the Lord does not even look back.

    • hindus have to read their bible BHAGAVAT GITA.,and read the book of the Spiritual master SHRILA PRABHUPAD, almost from all relgion has accepted the bhagvat gita even muslims , Their are many interesting and secretsare hidden in the VEDAS,PEOPLE should read ,rather than to blame criticize, origin remain origin.

  • What a fantastic article. Well articulated. Wonderful piece for next generation Indians in US. Thanks for making it interesting as well as fun to read.

  • Good article until the last paragraph.. Why r u assuming that temples offer non veg food ?? Even if the temple offered vegetarian Pizza as prasad what is wrong with it ? That last paragraph was totally uncalled for and should be removed

  • Dear Sir one of my friends had a heated argument about offering milk abhishekam to Shiv Linga as per him was a wastage than offering the same to a begger sitting outside the temple.what is your reply for this argument.


  • All of the article was good..except the last paragraph..it was trying please all people..rather than just stating the point…it was not needed …

  • God is living in every thing in the universe.It is the moral duty of every human being to offer food to all the living things.By feeding the God you get the satisfaction of offerring food to all the living beings. Though the idol is not the real God which is the omnipresent power feels and enjoys the kind and generosity from the action of the devotee. This is my opinion .

  • Hi All,

    The process of offering food to God, is completely changed now. The actual way of offering food to god is in broad day sunlight, you place all the food in front of the god. Let it soak in Sunlight for sometime and then consume it as Prasadam. The reason behind it is that if there are some small insects/Ants, due to the exposure to the sunlight would fall out of food and leave it clean and be able to consume.

  • Offering food to God is nothing but securing nutritional quality of food for the family indirectly. Age old tradition has got some wisdom and meaning, which needs to be properly understood.

  • What about padayal for people who have left us? Would love get an explanation.I am Christian married to a Hindu. I strongly belief in allowing my wife to continue with her faith and the things she does as an Hindu.Now and than my Christian relatives have asked this question.

  • In bhagwad gita in chapter 3, shlok no. 13 gives the best answer to this question…. Which is

    The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.

    And also you have also given the answer in a very beautiful way.. Really liked it very much…

  • The problem with so called intellectuals is that they think they know everything in the world and criticising Hinduism, because they know Hindu’s are tolerant and no guts to criticising other religions as they know what will happen to them.

  • Ohh, what a great logic to identify God. U(the Hindu guy) out witted the Muslim guy. That’s how at least one God ceased to exist. Great job.
    Actually, u ve dismissed the logic of formless God with the qualities of God. As per your logic, God (s) posses all Humanly senses. Here, my little brain fails to understand, where do all the Gods and Goddesses go to extricate after eating all these stuff ( one more humanly quality)

  • Everything is accepted except those last few lines. Yes, my maid comes from lower caste Hindu family and she does offer non-veg to Hindu gods as per her belief. What makes you think you offering purest vegetarian naivedyam is superior? Her piety and devotion are far and above mine. First stop being such a hypocrite. Are you scoring off the Dalits and other lower castes of India with your so-called know-all spiritual knowledge? Theirs is the purest form of devotion. Have you ever been to rural and village temples where the priest may not be a brahmin? Ashiq can be excused because he is a musalman, he is free to believe whatever.

  • Why have you not published my comment? Are you ashamed to admit the truth? Visit Devi temples in rural Tamil Nadu and see for yourself what the lower castes of Hindus are offering as food for God. The true enemies of Hinduism are mis-interpreters like you. By the way even arrack is offered sometimes and for the village deity Muneeswaran, rolled beedis are offered. Hinduism lives as much in the dalits and poorest castes of India as in you.

  • Best of Nature’s products like flowers, milk, coconut etc along with cooked food is offered as Naivedyam to the Deity who sanctifies the same and is returned as Prasad to the devotees. He is the giver of food through rain.Further, it is believed that the functioning of Gods’ five karmendriyas are not fixed to the respective indriyas, sense organs. Lastly, the same currency notes deposited by the applicant vide Money Order or RTGS is not delivered to the beneficiary, but its equivalent amount. So, the devotee offers food first to the Deity with a feeling of total surrender.

  • in reference to your reply to your friend, i believe in kashmir pandits offer alcohol and meat as parasadh. i am pretty sure of meat but certainly alcohol,considering the weather in winter over there, i think it is only right that they offer this before consuming it.and as for hindus offering food to god and gods suffering indigestion.i am wondering with all their 5 times parayer,their gods must be suffering from head ache with all their noisy calling and their prayers.he/she must be swearing under their breath,can,t this fellows leave me alone.
    besides the body is cased with soul and a super soul.this is a big concept.if your friend understands that it is easy for him to find an answer to his queries,where all the food and the prayer is going.

  • Udailal pal… salute. A superb rationalization. Good to have great mind and soul (as both need each other to exist). Reminds me of Ranakrishna Paramahansa and his life….

  • at first i think ahiq is not muslim as he listened much not argueing irrelevantly n diverting the discussion..it’s fake….