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Annadanam – Importance of Food Donation in Hindu Religion

There is no better puja and ritual in Hindu religion than feeding a hungry living being. Annadanam is Mahadanam or the greatest donation in Hindu religion and is an essential part of Sanatana Dharma tradition.

The food donation is not limited to feeding a human being but it encompasses all living beings. There are numerous stories in Hindu scriptures that extol the glory of Annadanam – prominent being Goddess Parvati appearing as Goddess Annapoorneshwari and feeding Shiva.

Another instant is that Karna taking rebirth as he had performed all types of donation except food donation. He then performs food donation on earth to achieve moksha.

A mistake many Hindus make while performing Annadanam is to feed only priests. This is wrong. Annadanam should be offered to all living being – there should not be any consideration of position, authority, religion or caste or nationality.


In Hinduism, Annadanam is performed for redemption of sins, to attain piety, to get speedy recovery from illness and also to attain moksha. Today, many people perform it for desire fulfillment, to solve financial difficulties and to overcome horoscope troubles.

There is a Hindu belief that sins committed in previous birth follows a person in successive births – Annadanam is performed to put an end to this.

The glory of family, popularity of institution, holiness of a temple increases with each Annadanam.

Above all we become good human beings when we are willing to share our food with one who is hungry.

You give money to a person, he will wish for more. But it is only for food that a person says enough. You can never make a living being happy through material wealth but you can make a living being content through food.

Feed and give water to a living being that is hungry and thirsty. There is no better pious act than Annadanam.