It’s fine to eat with your Hands



With spoons and forks replacing the usage of hands and the influence of Western culture on Indian households, eating with hands is slowly fading. Perceived as unhygienic and primitive, the practice of eating with hands seems to be perceived only as primitive. To appreciate the habit of eating with hands we must delve into our Vedic wisdom to know the reasons why it is good for us. For centuries Indians have been eating with hands as the people of yore knew the Power of the hand. The ancient Hindu teachings talk about eating food with your hands, feeds not only the body but also the mind and the spirit.

The hands are considered the most important organs of action. It is mentioned in the Vedic prayer-“Karagre Vasate Lakshmi Karamule Sarasvati Karamadhye Sada Gouri Prabhate Karadarsanam”, which means on the tip of your fingers is Goddess Lakshmi; on the base of your fingers is Goddess Sarasvati; in the middle of your fingers is Gouri Parvati. In this manner, look at your palm and while looking at the palm, thus sanctifying all the actions that will be done during the day. Thus, one prays in the morning to reinforce the attitude that all actions are performed as a service to the Lord.

This is one simple explanation through a prayer. There is also another scientific reason from the Vedic texts and Ayurveda that our hands and feet are said to be the channels of the five elements. Each finger is an extension of one of the five elements. Through the thumb - space; forefinger- air; mid-finger-fire; ring finger-water and through the little finger - earth.

While taking the food into the mouth, each finger aids in the conversion of food, before it passes on to the internal digestive system. Gathering the fingertips as they touch the food stimulates the five elements and invites Agni (fire) to bring forth the digestive juices. As well as improving digestion the person becomes more conscious of the tastes, textures and smells of the foods they are eating, which all adds to the pleasure of eating and healthy living. With the knowledge and scientific reasoning behind eating with the hands explained, let us enjoy the benefits of eating with hands with a higher awakening. Now even etiquette experts say it's acceptable to eat with your hands except that you don’t lick them in public!

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