Hinduism's Dietary Laws

Rachel Navarrette-A block


Hindus have passion for nature and living a simple natural life. The body is supposedly made up of fire, water, earth, air. These elements are need to be well balanced for good health. Eating certain food will ensure good health within your body and mind-physically and spiritually. Hindus believe that food affects your consciousness and emotions. Food in general for Hindus, is a gift from god that should be handled with great respect.


Vegetarian- all creatures of god are worthy of respect and compassion and killing animals is bad karma which prevents the people from joining the atman and achieving Moksha, therefore avoiding meat and flesh. Although not all Hindus are vegetarian and eat meats expect beef because cow means aghnaya (“Not be killed”).

Divide food based on the food effects of the body and temperament:


leftover, spoiled, impure foods produce negative motions (greed, anger, jealousy)


strong emotional qualities (meat, eggs, fish, spices, onions, garlic, hot peppers, pickles and other pungent or spicy foods)

Sattvic: purifying to the mind (fruits, nuts, whole grains and vegetables)


  1. Refuse to accept food unless it has been offered to god first

  2. Before eating meal, sprinkle water on plate for purification

  3. Five dishes of food set of the side of the table for devta runa (divine forces) for grace and protection

  4. On a birthday, the cake with have “Happy Birthday” and “OM” and instead of candles, a lamp is lit to represent new life

Practice of Fasting

People wouldn’t eat at all, eat only once, or eat only certain foods on major holidays and festivals (holy days, new moon days). It was to let the digestive system have a break of eating so it can work correctly.


Samosa:made of boiled mashed potatoes, peas, onions, green chilies, spices and wrapped in a flour shells that is deep fried.

Lassi: a yogurt drink made with fruits or spices.

Papadum: thin, crisp disc-shaped made from a seasoned dough (black gram (urad flour)), fried or cooked with dry heat.

Chapati: unleavened flat bread.


Works Cited

"Chapati." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 July 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.

Chapati_warm_and_ready_to_be_eaten. Digital image. Wikimedia. N.p., n.d. Web.

"Food and Prasada." Heart of Hinduism:. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.

"Hindu Dietary Practices: Feeding the Body, Mind and Soul." Minority Nurse. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

"Hinduism." Faith in Food. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2014.

Papadsbangalore. Digital image. Wikimedia. N.p., n.d. Web.

"Papadum." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 July 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.

Plainlassi. Digital image. Wikimedia. N.p., n.d. Web.

"Samosa." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Aug. 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.

SamosasIndia. Digital image. Wikimedia. N.p., n.d. Web.