The presiding Deity of the kitchen is Shri Annapurnadevi. She provides us with food. She is an Incarnation of Goddess Parvati. When a bride leaves for her in-laws place, her mother presents her with an Idol of Shri Annapurnadevi. The idea is that her daughter and her new family should never be short of food. If the daughter performs daily puja (Ritualistic worship) of that Idol with bhav (Spiritual emotion) and offers prayers and gratitude, Shri Annapurnadevi will always remain pleased.
Each Ashram of Sanatan Sanstha has an Idol of Shri Annapurnadevi in its kitchen. Puja (Ritualistic worship) and Naivedya are offered to Her daily. The food items offered to Her as Naivedya are then mixed with the rest of the food items, which are then served to the seekers. When one looks at the Idol of Shri Annapurnadevi, one perceives Her infinite love towards all living beings. She expresses Her love towards all by providing them with various types of food. This is felt even in case of Her Idol in the house of an ordinary individual.
1. Subtle characteristics of Shri Annapurnadevi
One can feel the compassion in the eyes of Shri Annapurnadevi.
2. Spiritual experiences on offering
bhav-enriched prayers to Shri Annapurnadevi
A. Enhancement of sharanagat-bhav towards Shri Annapurnadevi on offering bhav-enriched prayer : For the past few days, a seeker was not able to regularly perform actions such as praying before the meals, expressing gratitude after the meals, having a bhav that ‘the food is a Prasad (Holy sacrament) given by the Guru’ while having meals, etc. He would offer some fixed prayers in-between, but those would be in a mechanical manner. He realized his mistake after many days. He then tried offering bhav-enriched prayers and different types of prayers came to his mind. One day he prayed, ‘O’ Annapurnadevi ! His Holiness Dr Athavale (Sanatan’s source of inspiration) will use me as His medium for His Divine mission only if my mind, body and intellect are sattvik (Sattva-predominant); therefore, please purify my body, mind and intellect through the medium of this food’. From that day onwards, his bhav for Shri Annapurnadevi began to increase.
B. After offering a bhav-enriched prayer experiencing that Shri Annapurnadevi was standing on a silver plate : A seeker used to always pray to every object and experience a light after prayer. However, she would never experience anything while praying before starting to cook. She felt that her prayer was devoid of bhav. In the Year 2004, once when she offered a bhav-enriched prayer to Shri Annapurnadevi, she experienced that Shri Annapurnadevi was standing on a silver plate.