Science underlying the achars to be followed while having a meal

In Hindu Dharma, the karma (An act) of eating food,meaning, the achar of eating food is termed Yadnyakarma. AYadnyakarma can only be performed on the strength of Tej(Absolute Fire Principle) enriched thoughts. If the process of digestion is to be accomplished on the strength of Tej, at the level of awakening the Suryanadi (Sun channel), every achar associated with food must be performed appropriately and the activity-based thought process related to karma should be followed. Let us understand the science behind the achars, such as eating with right hand, to be followed while having a meal.

1. Why should the food not
be eaten with the left hand ?

A. Due to the waves emitted while eating with the left hand,waves associated with Ichha-shakti (Energy of will) of superior Deities in the universe are attracted towards the individual. Thus, Ichha-shakti of the individual also gets activated.

B. Eating with the left hand activates the Chandranadi(The Moon channel) of the individual. Activity of the upa-pranas (Subordinate vitalenergies) gets enhanced in the body due to the Karya-shakti(Functional energy) of the nadi (Energy channel). Due to the enhanced activity of the upa-pranas, digestion of food is not adequate.

C.The right channel is active and is considered to be are presentative of the maraktattva (Destroyer Principle). Therefore, it has been assigned an important position in an auspicious task. Considering the functional aspect, the right channel is Shiv-form.The left hand is a symbol of inauspicious tasks.

D. Amount of Tejtattva in the activities performed with the left hand is less when compared with that performed by the right hand; hence, tasks performed with the left hand are considered inauspicious. Consequently, there is greater likelihood of interference from negative energies in such activities.


2. Why should we eat with the right hand ?

A. Eating with the right hand activates the Suryanadi. Consequently, Kriya-shakti (Energy of action) waves of superior Deities in the universe get attracted towards the individual.Panchaprana (Five vital energies) near the navel region get activated due to these waves. Activation of the Panchaprana help increase the vital energy & consequently, there is better digestion of the food at the subtle-level.

B.Upon eating with the right hand, the individual gets the benefit of the Tej tattva vibrations activated through the Suryanadi. Contact with the Tej emitted by the fingers destroys the Raja-Tama enriched vibrations in the morsel of food. Thus, the morsel of food becomes spiritually pure before entering the stomach.


 3. Why is it recommended that
all the fingers be used while eating ?

A. Importance of eating with the fingers

When fingers are used for eating, the Shakti (Divine Energy) that is active in the fingers enters the stomach through the food.

B. Better digestion of food

Fingers are an effective medium of emission of the Panchatattva from the universe. Hence, making use of all the fingers while taking a morsel of food imparts the benefit of Panchatattva at the same time. The dissipation of the Panchatattva in the body helps activate the main pranas associated with the respective tattva (Principle). Activation of Panchaprana leads to better digestion of food and consequently, it helps the individual get the benefit of Chaitanya(Divine consciousness) at the level of Panchatattva.


4. Importance of eating with the hand
instead of eating with a fork and spoon

 Eating food with a fork and spoon is unnatural;whereas, eating with the hand is a symbol of being in sahajbhav and a natural state.Artificial actions lack sahajbhav and hence, Chaitanya too.

A. Shape of the fork attracts
tamasik (Tama-predominant) vibrations

When the fork strikes the plate, the vibrations generated congregate & are transferred to the body.Thus, an individual holding the fork gets charged with the Raja-Tama components.

B. Reasons for getting affected by
negative energies upon using a fork and spoon

  • The act of eating with a fork and spoon is unnatural and hence, the extent of interference by negative energies in such an act is greater.
  • The left hand, which symbolizes impurity, is required while eating with a fork and spoon. Consequently, the entire process of eating becomes Raja-Tama-predominant.
  • While eating with a fork & spoon, food is cut with tip of the fork that is directed towards Patal (Hell region), and when it strikes the plate in the downward direction, distressing waves from Patal are easily imbibed in the fork through its tip.
  • While eating with a fork, the morsel has to be torn into pieces by putting pressure on it. This amounts to deformation of food and acquiring of a distressing shape. Consequently, distressing waves in the environment immediately congregate in such food.

Upon entering the body, such food charges the entire body with Raja-Tama components.

C. Effects of eating with the hand

  • When collected as a morsel with the hand, food remains whole and there is no unnecessary tearing into pieces. It helps in congregation of sattvik
  • Eating food with the hand is a process devoid of any striking on the plate and hence, does not create any distressing sound in the environment.
  • Having a morsel of food with all the fingers provides the benefit of all the Panchatattvas emitting from the five fingers as per the need to the individual. While eating with the hand, waves of Panchatattva emitting from the fingers collectively fight the distressing waves from Patal.
  • When an individual eats with the hand, its energy due to awakened bhav (Spiritual emotion) towards the Deity is emitted into the food through the hand and this increases the ability of the food to imbibe and retain the Deity Principle. Hence, eating with the hand is beneficial from the perspective of imbibing Deity’s Chaitanya to the maximum extent.

D. Subtle effects of eating with a spoon





5. In what sequence should the food be eaten ?

 A. Why is it necessary to start a meal with dal and rice ?

  • A mixture of dal and rice with ghee is very sattvik. The subtle gases emitted by this mixture have the ability to purify the environment.
  • First pray and then start eating dal and rice. Eating dal and rice activates the subtle sattvik juices in the void of the pinda (Subtle-body) and they get ready for digestion of the food.

B. What should be the sequence of
eating the rest of the food items in the plate ?

Before beginning to eat, pitta (Bile) is dominant. To neutralize pitta, eat food which is oily, sweet, cold and solid. By the end of the meal, kapha (Phlegm) is dominant; hence, eat pungent and bitter food items then. In the middle of the meal, eat sour and salty food items.


6. Why should a morsel of
food be chewed many times ?

A. It is believed that if food is chewed completely, then 30% of the food gets digested in the mouth itself.

B. Since we have 32 teeth, it is said that we should chew every morsel 32 times, thereby implying that every morsel of food should be chewed appropriately to turn it into a fine paste. By chewing the food for a longer time, Apatattva (Absolute Water Principle) from the saliva in the void of the mouth congregates appropriately in thefood. Hence, for the food to liquefy within a short period and subsequently nourish every cell of the body each morsel should be chewed 32 times – an act that is complementary for good health.


7. Why is it said that taking food
items with the left hand while eating
imparts them the status of leftovers ?

Actions performed with the left hand are more prone to negative energy attacks than those performed with the right hand, because the dominance of Tejtattva is less in the left hand.Therefore, it is said that food taken with the left hand is akin to taking Raja-Tama waves from the left-over food.

If for some reason we have to take food with our left hand,we should chant and/or pray. When some food item is taken with the left hand while chanting and/or praying, it is because of the sattvik vibrations, that interference from negative energies is less.Such food is then considered to be pure and does not come in the category of leftovers.


8. Leaving or not leaving some
food (in the plate) at the end of a meal

 A. Unless there is some specific
reason, food should not be left in the plate

  • Leftovers in the plate amount to disrespecting the divinity in food.
  • Desire-oriented waves of the individual are emitted into the environment by the leftovers. Subtle-bodies that have unfulfilled desire for food get attracted to the premises due to this subtle emission. Hence, we should not leave any food in the plate.

B. Only if there is some specific
objective, leave some food aside after a meal

Objective 1 : Feed other living beings such as insects :After our meals, we Hindus leave some food aside in our plate.The sole objective is to feed insects, etc. Even if the objective to feed the insects is good, in today’s Kaliyug, there is greater likelihood of negative energies attacking us through the medium of leftovers. Hence, if at all you have to leave food, do it after praying.

Objective 2 : To satisfy dissatisfied ancestor’s souls,negative energies, etc.

Reference : Sanatan’s Holy Text “Conducts during and after meals”