--> Skip to main content

Bhoga in Hinduism – Offering of Food to Deity

Bhoga in Hinduism is the ritual food offering to a deity. This is an important part of any puja (worship) in Hinduism. This offering of food is known as naivedyam or Amshi in South India. It is also commonly referred as Prasada. In Puri Jagannath temple, the food offered is referred as Maha Prasada. Bhoga here denotes Bhojana (eating) and it pleases a deity.

Bhoga, which primarily denotes eating (bhojana) and consuming, and secondarily enjoyment, happiness, sufferings, wealth or dhana (Rig Veda III.34.9), pleases a deity, hence the worshipper performs this in order to obtain supreme bliss at the end of worship.

Worship (or puja) is incomplete and fruitless if Bhoga is not offered.

The food items usually offered are fruits, cooked rice, sweet made in various shapes, milk and flour. In homes, it is usually a fruit or a simple sweet.

Bhoga in most tradition is first offered to Ganesha and is then offered to the main murti worshipped. But in Bengali Vaishnava tradition the food is first offered to Vishnu.

In temple, when bhoga is offered the doors of the sanctum sanctorum are closed.

The food is usually prepared near the sanctum sanctorum. Majority of times the food is prepared in an adjacent room.

The food is usually prepared by the priests.

Majority of the food is distributed as Prasad to the devotees.

The food is offered two or three or six times daily. In majority of the temples the food is offered two times.

All food that is severed in the temple to devotees are first offered to the main murti worshipped in the temple.

What food is offered depends on the deity. In majority of the temples sattvic food is offered (vegetarian). But there are also temples in which nonvegetarian food and liquor are offered.