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Puranic Hinduism and the concept of food as naivedya and prasad.


Once upon a time, around the 5th century CE, a new class of religious texts called the Puranas emerged in Hinduism. These texts marked a shift in focus towards personal gods and the concept of puja, or worship, became increasingly important.

The Growth of Puja:

Devotees would offer specific food items, known as bhoga or naivedya, to their chosen deity as a way to appease them. One such deity was Visnu, who was often offered ghee and milk-based foods as a form of worship. Another popular deity, Ganesha, was known for his love of sweets, particularly a type called modaka. After the food was offered to the deity, it was distributed among the devotees as prasad, which was believed to be blessed by the deity.

The Emergence of Tantricism:

During this period, a new form of religious practice called Tantricism also emerged. Unlike mainstream Brahmanical religion, Tantricism believed that meat and wine were worthy offerings to the gods and encouraged their use among devotees. The goal of Tantricism was to harness the power of forbidden substances as a path to reach the divine.

The Significance of Food in Puranic Hinduism

Puranic Hinduism is a branch of Hinduism that is based on the stories and legends found in ancient Indian texts known as the Puranas. These texts contain a wealth of information on the gods and goddesses of Hinduism, as well as on the rituals and practices that are central to the religion. One of the most important concepts in Puranic Hinduism is that of food, which is seen as both a physical and spiritual nourishment.

Naivedya and Prasada: The Concept of Food in Hinduism

Food plays a crucial role in Hinduism and is seen as a way to connect with the divine. The act of offering food to the gods is known as naivedya, and the food that is left over after the gods have taken their share is known as Prasada. These two concepts are closely related and are seen as central to the practice of Hinduism.

Naivedya: Offering Food to the Gods

Naivedya is the act of offering food to the gods as a way of showing devotion and gratitude. It is believed that the gods and goddesses in Hinduism are constantly in need of nourishment and that offering them food is a way to keep them strong and powerful. The food that is offered is typically cooked with great care and attention and is often made with the purest and freshest ingredients. It is also considered auspicious to offer food to the gods during certain times of the day, such as early in the morning or at sunset.

Prasada: Food as a Blessing from the Gods

Prasada is the food that is left over after the gods have taken their share. It is believed that this food has been blessed by the gods and that it contains a small part of their divine essence. Because of this, it is considered to be incredibly sacred and is often distributed among the devotees as a way of sharing the blessings of the gods.

The Significance of Food in Hinduism

Food is seen as a way to connect with the divine in Hinduism. It is believed that offering food to the gods is a way to show devotion and gratitude and that consuming prasada is a way to partake in the blessings of the gods.

Additionally, Food as a way to connect with the divine is also seen in Hinduism as a way to achieve a balance between the body and the mind. The act of offering food to the gods is seen as a way to purify the body and mind and achieve a sense of inner peace and harmony.

Food is also seen as a way to connect with the divine in Hinduism as a way to achieve spiritual growth. The act of offering food to the gods is seen as a way to progress on the path of spiritual growth and ultimately attain enlightenment.


Food plays an essential role in Puranic Hinduism. The concepts of Naivedya and Prasada are closely related and are seen as central to the practice of Hinduism. These concepts are not just about offering food to gods but also about purifying body and mind, achieving inner peace and harmony, and ultimately attaining enlightenment. Food is seen as a way to connect with the divine, and the act of offering food to the gods is a way to show devotion and gratitude and to receive blessings from the gods

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Classical age: The growth of trade, state, and orthodoxy.

India’s Trade Relations in the Gupta Era

During the period between the 1st and 5th century CE, India was known for its brisk trade with other South-Asian countries. The rise of strong empires, such as the Guptas, provided a further boost to trade and commerce. Today, evidence of cultural exchange via trade can still be seen in Indian cuisine.

Commodities in Trade

Spices were a major commodity of overseas trade during the Gupta period. The Gupta empire had significant trade relations with the Roman empire and later, with the Byzantine empire. Pepper, long pepper, white pepper, and cardamom were some of the spices that were traded. Iran was also a trading partner, with horses of the superior breed being exchanged for pepper.

The Dharmasastras

Another important feature of this period was the development of a class of Sanskrit texts known as the Dharmasastras. These texts contained the code of conduct and moral principles (dharma) for the Brahmanical religion. They also laid down rules concerning cooking and consumption of food, which had larger implications for notions of ritual purity and pollution within Brahmanism.

The Influence of the Dharmasastras It is difficult to determine the extent of legal authority that the Dharmasastras enjoyed. However, given the heterogeneous nature of Indian society, the dietary regulations and injunctions mentioned in the texts were perhaps not followed strictly. Despite this, they were woven into the fabric of day-to-day life and enjoyed moral and spiritual importance in society.

The Growth of Trade

During the classical age, the world saw significant growth in trade. This was facilitated by the expansion of the market economy and the growth of towns and cities. The merchants and traders of this time period were able to capitalize on the increased demand for goods and services, leading to the development of thriving trade networks across Europe.

One of the key factors that contributed to the growth of trade was the rise of the merchant class. These merchants, who were often wealthy and influential, had the resources to invest in trade ventures and the power to negotiate favorable terms with rulers and other business partners. As a result, they were able to expand their reach and build vast commercial empires.

Another factor that contributed to the growth of trade was the rise of the banking industry. Banks provided merchants with access to credit, which allowed them to finance their trade ventures and invest in new markets. This in turn helped to spur even more growth in the trade sector, as merchants were able to take advantage of new opportunities and tap into new markets.

The Growth of State As trade grew and flourished, so did the power of the state. During the classical age, the world saw the rise of powerful monarchies that were able to exert control over their territories and expand their influence through military force and diplomacy.

One of the key factors that contributed to the growth of the state was the development of centralizing institutions. Rulers of this era were able to establish centralized bureaucracies that allowed them to control and regulate trade, commerce, and other aspects of life. This gave them greater power and control over their territories and allowed them to impose their will on the population.

Another factor that contributed to the growth of the state was the rise of standing armies. With the expansion of trade and commerce, rulers were able to finance the creation of professional armies that were loyal to the state. This allowed them to defend their territories and assert their dominance over other states and territories.

The Growth of Orthodoxy

As trade and the state grew, so did the influence of orthodox religion. During the classical age, the world saw the rise of Christianity as the dominant religion in Europe and the growth of the Catholic Church as the dominant institution.

One of the key factors that contributed to the growth of orthodoxy was the spread of Christianity through the spread of the faith. The Catholic Church was able to expand its reach and influence by establishing religious orders and missions that brought the message of the gospel to new territories.

Another factor that contributed to the growth of orthodoxy was the establishment of the papacy as the central institution of the Catholic Church. The pope became a powerful spiritual and political figure, with the power to make decisions that affected the lives of millions of people. This gave the Catholic Church great influence over the lives of people, and helped to further solidify the power of the state.


The classical age was a period of great growth and prosperity, marked by the rise of trade, state, and orthodox religion. These forces shaped the development of society and had a profound impact on the lives of people, creating a legacy that would last for centuries to come. Today, we can still see the echoes of this era in the world around us, and the lessons we can learn from this time period continue to influence our world in countless ways. SEO Keywords: classical age, growth of trade, state, orthodox religion, medieval world, a market economy, merchant class, banking industry, centralizing institutions

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The Role of Food in the Spiritual Journey of Ancient India

The Second Urbanisation: Growth of Urban Centres in the Gangetic Valley

The period between the 6th and the 3rd century BCE in India is known as the second urbanization and saw the growth of several urban centers in the Gangetic valley of India. This period was marked by an intellectual ferment that gave rise to some of the major religious and philosophical schools of the Indian subcontinent, such as Jainism and Buddhism. One of the most striking aspects of this intellectual ferment was the reflection on the nature of the self and the universe, and its implications on culinary trends in the region.

Intellectual Ferment: Reflections on the Nature of the Self and the Universe

Food was considered as the life-giving source of living beings and hence was equated with the being itself. In the complex cycle of life in the universe, a being becomes the food of another, which again is food for the third, and the chain goes on. This cosmic principle of food was a central concern for many of the intellectual traditions that emerged during this period.

Food as a Cosmic Principle: The Legend of Sujata and the Buddha

A popular legend in Buddhism recounts the tale of a devout lady named Sujata, who offered a bowl of boiled rice and milk to an emaciated Buddha during his phase of severe penance. It is believed that Buddha was able to obtain enlightenment only after being revived by this food. This incident is said to have encouraged him to abandon the principle of extreme penance for the Middle Path.

Encouragement of Vegetarianism: The Ideal of Ahimsa in Buddhism and Jainism

Both Buddhism and Jainism stressed the ideal of ahimsa or non-injury to living beings. Scholars argue that this encouraged vegetarianism among the common people.

Influence on Hinduism: Food in the Timeless Epics of the Ramayana and Mahabharata

Hinduism was also influenced by such ideals. The timeless epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata were composed between the latter half of the 2nd millennium and the first half of the 1st millennium BCE. Bhima, one of the Pandavas and a principal character of the Mahabharata, is known to have had a voracious appetite and exceptional physical strength.


The period between the 6th and the 3rd century BCE in India saw a significant intellectual ferment that had a profound impact on the way food was perceived and consumed. The cosmic principle of food, as reflected in religious and philosophical traditions, continues to influence culinary trends in the region to this day. This era also witnessed the rise of Indian philosophy, vegetarianism, and ahimsa principles in India.

In this article, we examined the Intellectual Moorings of food as a cosmic principle during the period between the 6th and the 3rd century BCE in India. This era is known as the second urbanization and saw the growth of several urban centers in the Gangetic valley of India. The intellectual ferment that emerged during this period had a profound impact on the way food was perceived and consumed. The cosmic principle of food, as reflected in religious and philosophical traditions, continues to influence culinary trends in the region to this day. The idea of ahimsa and vegetarianism also gain its popularity in the same era. Additionally, we explored how the ideals of ahimsa and vegetarianism were embraced by Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism, and how they continue to shape Indian cuisine today.

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Evolution of Indian Gastronomy: A Tale of Fusion

Indian cuisine is a reflection of the country’s rich cultural heritage and history. It is a melting pot of various flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques that have evolved over the centuries. The evolution of Indian gastronomy is a fascinating tale of fusion, one that has been shaped by the influence of various cultures and religions. In this article, we will delve into the history of Indian cuisine and explore the various factors that have contributed to its evolution.

Prehistoric Beginnings: The Emergence of Agriculture

The story of Indian gastronomy begins with the emergence of agriculture in the Indian subcontinent. Archaeological evidence found in northern Rajasthan suggests that forests were cleared, and crops were grown in this region as early as 8000 BCE. One of the most important prehistoric sites that are significant in terms of the development of agriculture is Mehrgarh in Baluchistan. Here, wheat and barley were grown as early as 6500 BCE. By around the 3rd millennium BCE, settlements also came up in river valleys of the Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri, in the southern part of the subcontinent.

Indus Valley: Cities and Surplus

The Indus Valley Civilization (3000-2000 BCE) or Harappan Civilization, emerged along the fertile river valleys of the Punjab and Sindh. It is one of the earliest known urban civilizations of the world. The urban cities of this civilization were supported by surplus food production in the outlying areas. The number and variety of crops cultivated greatly diversified during this period. Archaeological evidence suggests that wheat, barley, lentils, peas, and sesame were some of the principal crops grown. The evidence also suggests that fish formed a part of the diet and that the people of this civilization were skilled in farming and agriculture.

Vedic Period: The Influence of Society and Religion

During the Vedic period, significant developments in society influenced the growth of specific culinary habits. It was during this period that stratification based on caste or birth was introduced in society, which also brought in the notion of purity and pollution associated with food. The religion of the Vedas was centered on the performance of sacrifices. The sacrifices involved offering cooked food to gods by a householder on the domestic hearth, elaborate public sacrifices, and the drinking of Soma (an intoxicating liquid). The cow was central to the society, economy, and polity of the Vedic age, which naturally entailed the wide prevalence of dairy products in the culinary repertoire of this period.

Ancient India: The Beginning of Fusion Cuisine

The history of Indian gastronomy can be traced back to ancient times. The Indus Valley Civilization, which existed around 2500 BCE, was known for its sophisticated system of agriculture and advanced knowledge of farming. The people of this civilization were skilled in cultivating a variety of crops, including wheat, barley, peas, and lentils. This abundance of agricultural produce laid the foundation for the diverse and flavorful cuisine that we know today.

Medieval India: The Influence of Mughals

The medieval period saw the introduction of new flavors and cooking techniques to Indian cuisine, thanks to the Mughal Empire. The Mughals, who were of Central Asian and Persian descent, brought with them an array of spices and ingredients that were previously unknown to the Indian palate. They also introduced new cooking methods, such as grilling and roasting, which greatly influenced the way Indian food was prepared. Some of the famous dishes that originated during the Mughal era include biryanis and kebabs.

Colonial India: The Impact of British Rule

The British rule in India had a significant impact on the country’s gastronomy. The British introduced new ingredients and cooking techniques, such as baking and roasting, which became an integral part of Indian cuisine. They also popularized the use of tea and coffee, which have now become an essential part of Indian culture. One of the most famous dishes that originated during the colonial era is fish and chips, which was adapted to Indian taste and is known as “Fish Fry” in India.

Modern India: The Fusion of Global Flavors

In recent years, Indian cuisine has undergone a revolution, with the fusion of global flavors and cooking techniques. Indian chefs have been experimenting with new ingredients and techniques, creating a unique blend of traditional and modern flavors. Indian fusion cuisine has become increasingly popular, and Indian restaurants are now found all over the world. Some of the most popular fusion dishes include Indian-Chinese dishes like “Hakka Noodles” and “Gobi Manchurian” and Indian-Mexican dishes like “Taco Samosa” and “Paneer Tikka Quesadilla”.


The evolution of Indian gastronomy is a fascinating story of fusion and adaptation. From the prehistoric beginnings of agriculture to the Indus Valley Civilization, and the Vedic period, each historical layer has left an indelible impact on the country’s rich culinary heritage. Indian cuisine is known for its diversity and complexity, and it continues to evolve and adapt to new trends and flavors. Food lovers all around the world can enjoy the true culinary delights of India.

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Italy: A Fascinating Destination Filled with Art, Food, and Natural Wonders

Italy is a country with a rich history and culture that dates back to ancient times. From the Roman Empire to the Renaissance, Italy has played a significant role in shaping Western civilization.

As you explore Italy, you’ll discover the country’s rich history and culture through its art, architecture, food, and people.

Discovering the Roman Empire: The Colosseum

One of the most iconic symbols of Italy’s rich history is the Colosseum in Rome. This ancient amphitheater was built in the first century AD and was once used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. Today, it stands as a testament to the power and engineering prowess of the Roman Empire.

Exploring Italy’s Architectural Achievements: The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Another must-see historical site in Italy is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This iconic bell tower, built in the 12th century, has been slowly tilting since its construction due to the soft ground on which it was built. Despite its lean, the tower is still a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of Italy’s architectural achievements.

Artistic Masterpieces in Florence

When it comes to art, Italy is home to some of the world’s most famous masterpieces. The art lover’s paradise and major tourist destination is Florence, home to works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael. The Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest and most famous art museums in the world, and it’s home to some of the most famous works of art.

Tasting Italy’s Delicious Cuisine

In addition to its historical and artistic achievements, Italy is also renowned for its food and wine. Italian cuisine is characterized by its use of fresh, local ingredients and simple preparation methods. Pizza and pasta are two of the most popular Italian dishes, but there’s a wide variety of regional specialties to try as well.

Wine Tasting in Italy’s Famous Regions

Italy is also home to some of the world’s most famous wine regions, including Tuscany, Piedmont, and Veneto. These regions produce some of the world’s most sought-after wines, such as Barolo, Chianti, and Prosecco.

Italian Fashion: Elegance and Style

Italian culture is also known for its fashion, which is famous all over the world. Italian fashion is characterized by its elegance, high quality, and attention to detail. Italian designers such as Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Prada, Versace, and many more are known for their style, creativity, and innovation.

Experiencing the Passion of the Italian People

Lastly, the Italian people are known for their passion and enthusiasm for life. Whether you’re chatting with a local shopkeeper, sharing a meal with a family, or listening to a street performer, you’ll find that Italians are warm and welcoming, and they’re always happy to share their culture with visitors.

Conclusion: A Rich History and Culture Awaits

In conclusion, Italy is a country with a rich history and culture that’s waiting to be discovered. From ancient Roman ruins to world-renowned art, delicious food, and wine, and fashionable clothes to the friendly locals, there’s something for everyone in Italy.

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Discover the Rich History and Culture of India

As one of the oldest civilizations in the world, India boasts a kaleidoscope of culture and heritage. For thousands of years, it has been a melting pot of traditions, religions, and customs, making it an endlessly fascinating place to explore. As the 7th largest country in the world, India’s geography is equally diverse, stretching from the snow-capped Himalayas in the north to the tropical rainforests in the south.

When India gained independence in 1947, it set out on a journey of socio-economic progress that led to it becoming a self-sufficient agricultural producer and a top industrialized nation. This progress is evident in Tier I and Tier II cities, where you’ll find world-class airports, hotels, shopping malls, and restaurants alongside the traditional streets and alleyways filled with little shops and street food vendors.

As you travel through India, you’ll discover a vast array of tourism options. From the diverse landscapes and natural beauty to the different people, tribes, cuisines, and religions, there truly is something for everyone. You’ll find an abundance of adventure and sports, spiritual practices and historical sites, dance forms, music, and arts and crafts, all unique to each state.

One of the most fascinating aspects of India is the contrast between the old and the new. In the same city, you can experience the luxury of modern amenities and then take a step back in time as you delve into the crowded streets and alleyways, filled with the hustle and bustle of daily life. The ever-changing landscape of India is a testament to the country’s rich history and cultural heritage, making it an unforgettable destination for any traveler.


India, a land of diversity, is a country steeped in rich history and culture. From the ancient Indus Valley Civilization to the British Raj, India’s past is as varied and colorful as the country itself. The Indian subcontinent has been a melting pot of cultures, religions, and traditions for thousands of years, making it one of the most fascinating places to explore.

Ancient History
One of the earliest civilizations in India was the Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished around 2500 BCE. The Indus Valley people were skilled in agriculture, metalworking, and town planning, and their cities were among the largest and most advanced in the world at that time. The remains of the Indus Valley Civilization can still be seen today in the form of ruins and artifacts, such as the ancient city of Mohenjo-Daro.
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Medieval History
India’s history is also closely tied to its religion. Hinduism, one of the oldest religions in the world, originated in India and has had a significant impact on the country’s culture and society. The religion’s sacred texts, the Vedas, are some of the oldest written documents in the world and continue to be an important part of Hinduism today.

Buddhism, another major religion in India, also has deep roots in the country. It was founded by the Indian prince, Siddhartha Gautama, who later became known as the Buddha. The teachings of the Buddha, which emphasized the importance of compassion and the elimination of suffering, spread quickly throughout India and eventually to other parts of Asia.

The Mughal Empire, which ruled India from the 16th to the 19th century, also left a lasting impact on Indian culture. The Mughals were great patrons of art and architecture, and their legacy can be seen in the many beautiful monuments and buildings they built, such as the Taj Mahal. The Mughals also made significant contributions to Indian cuisine, introducing new dishes and culinary techniques that are still popular today.

The British Raj, which lasted from 1858 to 1947, also had a significant impact on India’s history and culture. During this time, the British introduced Western education, law, and government to India, which had a profound effect on the country’s society and economy. The British Raj also led to the development of the Indian independence movement, which ultimately resulted in India’s independence in 1947.

India’s rich history and culture can be experienced through its many festivals and celebrations. Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the most popular and widely celebrated festivals in India. The festival marks the victory of good over evil and is celebrated with lights, fireworks, and delicious food. Holi, the festival of colors, is another popular festival that marks the arrival of spring and is celebrated with music, dancing, and the throwing of colored powder.

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Freedom Struggle
For centuries, people from all over the world have been drawn to the vibrant culture and rich history of India. From the Persians and Iranians to the Parsis, immigrants settled in India and made it their home. The Moghuls, too, found a permanent home in India, however, not all invaders came with peaceful intentions. Chengis Khan, the Mongolian, repeatedly invaded and looted India. Alexander the Great even came to conquer India, but after a fierce battle with King Porus, he retreated and went back.

But not all visitors were conquerors, some came in pursuit of knowledge and to explore the ancient Indian universities of Nalanda and Takshila, like the Chinese monk He-en Tsang. Even Christopher Columbus had plans to come to India but ended up discovering America instead. Portugal’s Vasco da Gama came to trade goods with India in exchange for spices. The French also established colonies in India.

However, it was the British who had the most significant impact on India’s history. In 1757, the British won the Battle of Plassey and gained political power in India. Their authority was solidified under the leadership of Lord Dalhousie, who became Governor-General in 1848. He annexed regions like Punjab, Peshawar, and the Pathan tribes in the northwest of India. By 1856, the British had established their rule firmly.

But as the British power grew in the middle of the 19th century, the discontent among the local rulers, the peasantry, the intellectuals, and the common people grew. This discontent soon erupted into a rebellion, known as the 1857 Mutiny. This was fueled by the unemployment caused by the disbanding of the armies of various states that were annexed by the British. The 1857 Mutiny marked the beginning of the Indian freedom struggle which eventually led to India’s independence.

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Facts about India

  •  When many cultures were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5000 years ago, Indians established Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley (Indus Valley Civilization)
  •  The name ‘India’ is derived from the River Indus, the valleys around which were the home of the early settlers. The Aryan worshippers referred to the river Indus as the Sindhu.
  •  Chess was invented in India.
  •  Algebra, Trigonometry, and Calculus are studied, which originated in India.
  •  The ‘Place Value System’ and the ‘Decimal System’ were developed in India in 100 B.C.
  •  India is the largest democracy in the world, the 7th largest Country in the world, and one of the most ancient civilizations.
  •  Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to mankind. The Father of Medicine, Charaka, consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago.
  •  The oldest European church and synagogue in India are in the city of Cochin. They were built in 1503 and 1568 respectively.
  •  Varanasi, also known as Benaras, was called “the Ancient City” when Lord Buddha visited it in 500 B.C. and is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world today.
  •  Yoga has its origins in India and has existed for over 5,000 years.

In conclusion, India’s history and culture are as diverse and fascinating as the country itself. From the ancient Indus Valley Civilization to the British Raj, India’s past is full of rich stories and traditions that continue to shape the country today. With its many festivals, monuments, and delicious cuisine, India is a destination that offers something for everyone.

Some of the trending keywords include Indus Valley Civilization, ancient India, Hinduism, Buddhism, Mughal Empire, British Raj, Indian independence movement, Diwali, Holi, Indian festivals, Indian culture and history, Indian monuments, and Indian cuisine.

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