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BHOJANAM - TAKING MEALS.

When eating one should not be dressed in a single garment or have the head covered.
Before eating one must wash hands and feet and perform åcamanam.
Clean the spot in front with a little water and on this place a banana leaf which has been
washed well.
A water vessel is placed to the right.
Food should never be taken facing West.
The wife or some other person serves the food with the curries first and afterwards the rice.

 Salute the food saying;
asmåkam nityam astvetat — may we always have food.

 Sprinkle the food saying;
oµ bhûr bhuvas suva¿ |

 Mentally offer the food to your tutelary deity [if eating in the house of another].
oµ antaryåmine nama¿ | — Salutations to the Indweller.

 Take water in the right palm and allowing the water to trickle through the fingers, circle
the platter twice in a clockwise direction. The water should not fall on any vessel. The
mantra repeated is;
oµ bhûr bhuvas suva¿ | satyaµ tvartena parisiñcåmi.
I encircle Thou who art the Truth with the Cosmic Law.

 at night say;
oµ bhûr bhuvas suva¿ | ®tam två satyena parisiñcåmi.
I encircle Thou who art the Cosmic Law with the Truth.

 Take a little water in the right hand and sip it from the Brahma-tîrtham;
am®to'pastara±am-asi. — Thou art the bed of ambrosia.

Prå±åhuti;
 Holding the leaf on the edge with the first three fingers of the left hand take a small
quantity of rice with the thumb, middle and ring finger of the right hand and place it in the
mouth with the recitation of each mantra. While placing it in the mouth it should not touch
the teeth and it should be swallowed whole.

oµ prå±åya svåhå | oµ apå±åya svåhå | oµ vyånåya svåhå | udånåya svåhå |
oµ samånåya svåhå || oµ brahma±e svåhå | çrî govindåya nama¿ ||

 The server then pours water over your left hand which was holding the leaf, now proceed
to eat.

 During the meal you may converse with those sitting on either side of you, but you should
avoid listening to the conversation of women in their period or of Sudras.
 When sitting in a line-of-diners (pankti) it is considered very ill-mannered to rise before
anyone else. If one is obliged to rise then the diners on each side are to be connected with
a stream of water or a bunch of darbha grass.

 From the water vessel one should only drink once, if one wishes to drink again from the
same vessel then a small quantity of water should be spilt on the floor before drinking.

 After swallowing each mouthfull of food the name of Govinda should be repeated.

 After eating to satisfaction one takes another hand full of water and does uttarapoßa±am
without sipping all the water.

oµ am®tåpidhånam asi. — Thou art the covering of ambrosia.

 The remainder is poured on the left side of the leaf;

raurave apu±ya nilaye padmårbuda nivåsinåm |
arthinåm udakaµ dattaµ akßayyam upati߆hatu ||
This water is offered to them who long for salvation while confined in the Raurava hell, the
abode of sinners, for many millions of years. May this offering please them.

 After performing uttara-poßanam the leaf should not be touched. Wash your hands and rinse
the mouth and then do åcamanam.

 Sit down and touch your chest while saying

prå±ånåµ granthir asi rudro må viçåntaka¿ tenånena åpyåyasva |

O Ego that is in my heart, you are inseparable from my life-breath. May your
presiding deity Rudra being a destroyer of misery enter into my body, may the food
taken by me nourish my body.

 Pour a little water onto your right big toe saying;

angu߆ha måtra¿ purußo 'ºgu߆haµ ca samåçrita¿ |
îçå¿ sarvasya jagata¿ prabhu¿ prî±åti viçvabhuk ||

The Supreme Self the size of the thumb dwells within the space of the heart.
He is the Ruler of the Universe, He is the Controller, may He be pleased by this food.

 Offers a libation to the Sun with the Viß±u Gåyatri;

oµ nåråya±åya vidmahe våsudevåya dhîmahi | tan no viß±u¿ pracodayåt ||