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Importance of Prasadam or Sacrament

Importance of Prasadam or Sacrament
Prasadam or Sacrament or religious grace conferred upon humans by a deity or the almighty and/or a religious or a spiritual leader. All of those are the names attributed to the offerings; usually material substances, made for the deity and later distributed and consumed by the devotees. Prasadam has a special significance in Hinduism, Sikhism and Christianity. Christians refer to it as Eucharist or the consecrated elements of the Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper. It is a human tendency to weigh every ritual either based on religious, spiritual or logical significance or reasoning. And the ritual of Prasadam is no exception to that.

When spoken of in the religious context, Prasadam usually refers to the food offered to a deity inside a religious place or that offered to a saint and later distributed amongst the worshippers at the end of prayers or religious services like a Puja or Aarti. It is believed that offering the food to the deity elevates its status thus transforming it from a mere edible substance to a holy matter as it becomes replete with the blessings of the deity or the saint it is offered to. The worshippers accept it as a gracious gift receiving which makes their pilgrimage or the visit to a religious place meaningful. Often, separate plates or vessels are especially reserved to present the offerings to the deity or a saint. Certain sects consider it impious to eat without offering the food to their deity.

With science taking center stage, rationalism has become a habit to many. Several new breeds of believers are born as a result like, Atheists, Agnostics, Rationalists, Realists, Pragmatists, etc. They seek a logical reason or an element of truth behind every rite and ritual. In order to satisfy their curious mindsets it becomes imperative to also analyze Prasadam in the logical context.

Logically, Prasadam or an offering should be perceived as a resultant of a give and take cycle. Prasadam is what humans receive from the Mother Nature in return to what they offered. It is a reaction to their action, a consequence to their deed, or a return on their investment. A farmer considers the crops he reaps as a gift or the grace received from nature in return to what he had sown in the form of seeds.

This philosophy could be extrapolated to logically explain the Prasadam in the religious context. When worshippers make offerings there is a subtle give and take of energies happening between the offerings and the devotee and the deity. The devotee prepares and presents the offerings to their deity or a saint with lots of positivity, devotion, happiness and love and wish to receive the same in the form of blessings. There is a give and take of lots of good energy taking place in the whole process that doesn’t need a religion to experience or explain!

Thus offering Prasadam isn’t a mere tradition or a ritual, it is a process wherein the one offering makes an ethereal connect with the one to who it is offered!

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