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see also    Cereals,    Fruits,    Vegetables,    Dosh

Food are those things which nourish the mortal body. They can be taken by mouth or by any other means, for example when a patient is kept alive on medicines etc, that is his food.

(1) Food taken by mouth is of six types according to the way it is eaten- 

(1) Bhakshya (which is eaten by swallowing), 
(2) Bhojya, 
(3) Peya (which could be drunk, such as juices, water, milk etc). 
(4) Lehya (which could be licked, such as sauces and Chutneys), 
(5) Choshya (which is eaten by sucking, such as ), and 
(6) Khaadya (which is eaten by chewing).

(2) Food is of six types according to its taste - sweet (sugary), sour (like lemon), salty (savory - with salt), bitter (like bitter gourd), Kasailaa (tastes like Aamalaa), and pungent (hot like pepper). According to food science, all kinds of food should be eaten.
[Padm Puraan, Bhoomi Khand, p 288]

(3) Food is of two types - "Amrit" or "Vighas" food. The remaining food after offering to Devtaa and Pitar is called Amrit; and the remaining food after all have eaten is called Vighas
(Padm Puraan, Srishti Khand, p 47)

(4) When the juice flowing in nerves is divided into two Paak, it forms skin, flesh, bones, Majjaa, Med, and blood etc. Fur and flesh are formed from blood; hair and Snaayu are formed from flesh; Majaa and bones from Snaayu; and Vasaa is formed from Bones and Majjaa. Thus Ann (food) converts itself into 12 things - Paak, Ras (juice), Mal (dirt), Rakt (blood), Rom (fur), flesh, hair, Snaayu, Majjaa, bones, Vasaa and Veerya (semen).
(Padm Puraan, Bhoomi Khand, p 288)

(5) Food is classified into three groups - Saatwik, Rwajasik and Taamasik. (Vide 17th chapter of Geetaa). There are references in scriptural works on the list of foods coming under the three categories. There are three types of Dosh (afflictions) affecting the foods -

1. Jaati Dosh - Garlic, onion etc vegetables come under Jaati Dosh (species)
2. Nimitta Dosh - Nimitta Dosh is because of external impurities like dust, hairs or unsanitary handling. Nimitta Dosha can be avoided. Cleanliness removes this Dosh.
3. Aashraya Dosh - Foods cooked or handled by persons of bad character get affected because of evil psychic vibrations and this is called Aashraya Dosh. The solution is to offer the food to God before taking it and then taking it as Prasaad if it becomes unavoidable to take such food.

Some people consider that red colored vegetables or Daal like tomato, beetroot, carrot and Red lentils and foul smelling vegetables such as onion and garlic are not Saatwik but medically these vegetables and fruits have their own merits also.

Pure and Impure Food
Bhakshya Dosh
Bhakshya means worth eating means food, and Dosh means fault or defect. The term is used, not as regards the quality of food so much as the place where it is eaten, with whom it is eaten, and in whose presence it is eaten. Some consider that their food is polluted by being taken out of the Chaukaa (where the food is cooked) or that enclosed space where it is cooked and so forth.

Who eat "Chaukaa food" they draw a line from flour, or soft coke or chalk to enclose themselves and eat in that space only. while they eat in that space nobody can go in there or touch anything inside it. If they have to take any thing from outside, either they take it before entering it, or somebody has to pour it in their bowl or plate. If anything is touched anyhow, they leave the food then and there considering it impure. In fact this happens with "Kachchaa food" (Rotee or Phulkaa, Daal, rice) not with vegetables, or yogurt preparation etc.

Food Items    see also   Vegetables,     Fruits,     Cereals
There are some other food items which cannot be put under the categories of Vegetables, Fruits and Cereals, but still are food items. Those are given here -


Food Names in Hindi Food Names in English
Aataa Flour (of anything)
Besan Flour of black gram
Chaaya Tea
Cheenee Sugar
Chhaachh Buttermilk
Chivadaa Beaten Rice
Dadhi Yogurt, or Curd
Dahee Yogurt, or Curd
Doodh Milk
Dugdh Milk
Gannaa Sugarcane
Ghee Clarified Butter
Gud Jaggery
Kaafee Coffee
Kheer A sweet dish (rice cooked in milk)
Lassee Churned yogurt mixed with equal amount of water and some sugar or salt
Madhu Honey
Maidaa White Flour
Makkhan Butter
Masaalaa Spices
Matthaa Buttermilk
Paan Betel Leaf
Paneer Separated solids from milk
Pungee Phal Betel Nut 
Sattoo Flour of roasted barley and black gram
Semiyaan Vermicilli
Shahad Honey
Sharbat Sugar syrup mixed with some fragrance taken with water or mixed in milk
Shikanjbeen Lemon juice and sugar mixed in water as a cold drink
Shikanjee Lemon juice and sugar mixed in water as a cold drink
Simaee Vermicelli
Soojee Semolina
Supaaree Betel Nut
Taambool Betel Leaf
Tail or Tel Oil
Thandaayee A cold drink - juice extracted from a mixture of herbs
Til Sesame Seeds

Food is an important factor which determines the state of mind: alertness and sloth, the worry and calm, the brightness and dullness of man. When the mind is fed on Raajasik food that induces passion and emotion, activity and adventure, it gallops into the world with the plunge of desire! It brings man deeper into the morass of suffering. When it is fed on Taamasik food, which dulls and induces sloth, the mind becomes callous, inert and useless for uplifting man. Every activity of man is dependent on the energy he derives from the intake of food. The success of the Saadhanaa (spiritual exercises) that one undertakes depends upon the quantity and quality of the food taken by the Saadhak (spiritual aspirant).


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 03/01/14