“Prasad” Tradition at Holy Congregations in India

oil-soaked paper bag

Yesterday while returning from holy congregation I was given “Halwa Prasad” in some polythene bag. I know that polythene is not food-grade and is of a very poor quality. Naturally I never ate the Prasad. No, I don’t feel that I have committed any sin- afterall a true religion keeps us vigilant also.

I get really too much disturbed when people don’t think twice while carrying many eatables in these poor quality polythene bags which are in no way food-grade. We daily notice people buying curd, milk, sizzling Daal (cooked pulses) and cooked, hot vegetables in these “plastic bags”.

Since my childhood I have been watching that when it comes to religion, people are quite touchy thinking about the mode of distribution of Prasad. At a couple of places I find the excellent tradition of putting warm “Halwa” on the palms of devotees.

But in many places still today I find that newspaper cuttings are being used for distributing of Prasad. I know that this is a potentially harmful practice which invites a number of illnesses.

Oily, ladoo prasad

The other day my wife comes with this Prasad. You see the paper bag in which this Prasad has been given – literally it is all drenched in oils. And oils used mostly for this purpose are trans-fats. And let’s hope that even those trans-fats are of good quality, otherwise it would mean a bigger havoc with the health of masses.

And just see the colour or Ladoos –the Prasad. It is so colourful – but all synthetic colours. And for the last couple of years when I see any coloured food on sale I am quite skeptical about that. My point is that in a country like US if there are so many issues regarding the quality of food colours – I don’t think we can’t even imagine the mischief being played with colours in our country which “decorate” our food-stuffs.

Yeah, one thing I remember that sometimes the Prasad is offered in “Donas” –these have been traditionally used since ages. And these are made from big  leaves of some plants considered sacred. But the modernity has changed this also –now these Donas made of a similar colour paper are lined with a poor quality thin plastic which can damage our health.

What can we do ? –Like me, just try to accept the divine “prasad’ on your palms and more importantly just take a pinch. I am sorry if I have unintentionally bruised anybody’s religious sentiments –that was not my purpose either. However, presenting the true picture is definitely my cup of tea !


About drparveenchopra

Dr Parveen Chopra is Masters in Dental Surgery.. with 35 years of experience in dentistry. For trying his hand in health writing, he studied Communication for seven years. He is a blogger since 2007- he enjoys writing in conversational style.
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