ANNA DAAN in Death Rituals in Hindu Religion-Importance and tradition

'Nature is full of works on principle of "As you give, so shall you receive", or simply put "good for good, bad for bad". The puraanas (scriptures) and epics hail the glory of Anna Daan. A yajna is considered incomplete without Anna Daan. The primary survival kit for humans comprises three basic necessities 'Food, Shelter and Clothing', and food is considered vital among them.

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‘Anna’ meaning food (grain) and ‘Daan’ meaning donation/charity. Giving food to the needy is one of the greatest charities and is observed in Indian temples and monasteries to please the deities.

During Anna Daan, food is served on a plantain leaf or plate which is accepted by the person receiving Anna Daan. If the recipient does not take the plantain leaf or plate in which the food is served, it is considered to be harmful to the person donating the food. However in case of an ascetic or guests, the reverse holds good. Also, the host is supposed to remove crumbs / leftovers after the food is served.

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Today, starvation is one of the key worries of the world. Mitigating starvation is a holy act. Our ancestors always advised giving food to the poor or beggars, instead of giving MONEY.

In obedience to nature’s principle “As you give, so shall you receive”, charity by giving money would get you money, but charity by giving food shall get you more money which covers the cost of food, as well as for buying shelter and clothing too.

Hence, Anna Daan is an important act of charity.

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