Lavish Offering to Deity

-Sana Kochar

Indian festivals are incomplete without some awesome and royal preparation of sweets and savoury; festival basically means taking blessing from almighty, parents and enjoy with good food and lots of sweets.The Next day of Diwali falls “Goverdhan Puja” referred as “Annakut”- a Hindu festival, occurs on the first lunar day of bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha).

‘Annakut’ means heap of grain, a huge mountain of food which consisted of fruits, salads, pulses, sweets and juices. “This together is offered to the almighty and then distributed as ‘prasadam’ among everyone.

Any ‘FOOD’ offered to the GOD, It becomes ‘Prasad’ and when ‘Fifty Six Meals” are offered to the God it is called “CHAPPAN BHOG”.

Lord Krishna in adolescent, used to have meal eight times a day. When Lord Krishna raised the Govardhan mountain with his little finger to save village and people from the asperity of Lord Indra (God of Rain), he did not consume food for seven consecutive days. Out of gratitude, at the end of the seventh day, everyone made Krishna ji “Mahaprasad”, total of 56 dishes (eight multiplied by seven). This Mahaprasad is of two types, Sankuni includes various kind of rice, dal, vegetables, Kheer etc. and Sukhila includes array of dry sweets.

In variations, some people offer 16 kinds of namkeen, 20 kinds of sweets and 20 kinds of dry fruits. Some common items in the “Annakut” or “Chappan Bhog” are made of milk, ghee and yoghurt such as Kheer, makhan mishri, rasgulla, jalebi,ladoo, rabri, malpua, ghewar, moong dal halwa, mohanbhog, murabah, chutney, mathri, saag, dahi (curd), rice, dal, kadi, chila, papad, pakoda, khichadi, poori, badam milk, tikkis, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, almonds, elachi etc among others. This Mahabhog is traditionally arranged in a sequence, starting with milk items, moving on the besan treats, salty food items ending with sweets, dry fruits and cardamom.

It is also said that Human’s five fingers have five rasas: sweet, savoury, salty, sour and spicy. When cooking with hands, these five rasas transmit to the food. (The above picture rightly seems the manifestation of the five rasas, Isn’t it?). Annakut is prepared with all these beliefs and emotions to worship deity. It is believed that once “Chappan Bhog” is accepted by deity it becomes more sacred and only then it is been distributed among devotees.