Annadanam – The Sacred Tradition of Offering Food
We owe our spiritual wealth not just to the sages, seers, masters, and enlightened beings who walked the path, but also to the community that nurtured them. In our tradition, serving spiritual seekers and monks has always been of utmost importance. This can be a path in itself. The most beautiful expression of this is the Annadanam– the sacred offering of food.”
At the Isha Yoga Center, Annadanam, the sacred tradition of offering food, is made twice a day to over 1000 people including residents, volunteers, sanyasis, brahmacharis, students, and all daily visitors. This vital offering sustains the work of the sadhakas who have dedicated their lives to working in the various spiritual, social, environmental and educational initiatives of Isha.
Taken in complete silence, the meal is preceded by an invocation, a powerful arrangement of sounds, which is designed to make a person more receptive to the food consumed.
Launching Isha Bhiksha on Mahalaya Amavasaya
Mahalaya Amavasya is a day set aside to honor our ancestors. On this day, individuals can make a one-time contribution of Annadanam, which will provide sustenance for spiritual seekers in the ashram for the next 21 years. Donors will receive prasadam every year on a day of their choice.
A group of residents share their experience of receiving Annadanam at the ashram every day.
We bow down….
We bow down to the hands of the farmers who tended the soil that grew the fruits and vegetables, the grains and spices. May they know how many grateful beings they nourish with their effort.
Blessed are the hands that brought it here, and those who donated it out of their love to nourish us.
We bow down to the hands that carefully cut, chopped, peeled and grated it into the softest contours, and the hands that prepared it, day and night, every day, without ever missing a meal, no matter how tired they were or how many people came.
And last but not least, bless the hands that served this food, with grace, with love, with the tenderness of mothers and the humility of devotees.
We cannot sit in this Bhiksha Hall even once without shedding tears of gratitude, not having to think, worry, trusting that every day, everyone here is offered nourishment of the best quality.