Spiritual benefits of eating with the hands

shishmanidov35's picture

Average: 4 (27 votes)

Indian people eat with their bare hands, actually with the right hand (left hand is considered unclean as it is used for wiping the bottom etc.)

This may sound barbaric and uncivilized to non-Indians, especially westerners, but when you shed all the prejudices and biases, you realize that it actually provides significant benefits besides being a cultural custom.

The most common benefit heard is that when eating with your hands, you are able to verify the temperature of the food before putting it into your mouth and in this way to avoid the burning of your mouth in case the food is too hot.

But there is another benefit, an energetic one:

When the food passes your hand before it enters your body, it undergoes an energetic cleansing, similar to the one some do before eating by placing their palms above the food.

Energetic cleansing of food is highly important. As with any other material, food absorbs the energies of the people through which it passed: the seller in the market, the cooks, the waiters, and so on. Naturally, all these people carry their own accumulated mental charge, negative and positive, expressed energetically in pains, feelings, emotions, impressions, thoughts, reactive patterns and conditionings. Energetic cleansing of the food assures that most of these energies will not infiltrate your body with the food and make their effects from the inside.

I found out this cleansing effect of eating with the hands by chance. During my trip in India, I noticed that in the rare occasions when I did not eat with my hands but with a knife and a fork, certain sublime feelings and thoughts arose in me, the kind of feelings and thoughts I was not familiar with and that seemed foreign to me, similar to the feelings and thoughts sensitive people witness in themselves when are in a crowd of people. These feelings and thoughts originating from others through proximity, intense connection or physical contact, were not present when I was eating with my hands.

So feel free to eat with your hands and be conscious in real time of the cleansing effect when touching the food.

If you know of other benefits of eating with the hands, please share.

sisi's picture


double wow, I never thought about it this way. Remarkable.

I'm curious to read what Indians have to say about this.

sisi | Thu, 10/08/2009 - 15:08
johnd's picture

I second

I'm also curious to know...

When I'm in India I'm always eating with the left hand. Amused to see the looks and then touch the people. Stupid custom.

johnd | Fri, 10/09/2009 - 16:45
tiru's picture

Indians are ashamed of themselves

A known secret: Indians are not commenting on that because unfortunately they are ashamed about eating with their hands or about anything which is not like the west. Especially the intellectuals.

tiru | Thu, 10/15/2009 - 14:49
mbnarayana's picture

A good analysis that too by

A good analysis that too by a non indian.Indians will now onwards(at least) inculcate the habit of eating with hands.They are in the habit of accepting every thing when it is remarked by a foreigner.food when taken with hands is more tastier than taken with spoons and knives.We use aspade and crowbar for digging and levelling soil.Knife or fork or spoon made by iron(stainless steel is none other than iron)remind me none other than spade and shovel.Annam para bramha swaroopam.Food is god.So let us take it with our clean hands.

mbnarayana | Fri, 10/09/2009 - 04:58
phantom being's picture

Eating with one's fingers

Indians like to believe that what ever they do has spiritual benefits and so eating with their fingers too is somehow spiritually the right thing to do. I personally like eating with my hands and I don't think there is anything really wrong in doing so because we who are over a billion people do it and a billion people can't be wrong. Eating with cutlery is good for those who use it. When I am in a restaurant I use cutlery too. At home I use my fingers or sometimes a fork or spoon which ever is convenient. The point I want to make is that there is nothing barbaric about using one's fingers or spiritual either. We grow up with certain customs and most of them have climatic and other factors for having developed in different regions of the world. The Chinese use chop sticks and I am sure they have their reasons for using them from a cultural and regional stand point. Even in India more and more people think it is cool to use cutlery. We live in a free world so let us not be critical of people who use their fingers.

phantom being

phantom being | Sat, 12/05/2009 - 14:14
meg's picture

Proud of eating with hands

Indians are proud of eating with hands because most of the customs which later become traditions are based on scientific and rational grounds since thousand years.

The food in India is considered next to God because it gives you life. And thus praying before one starts eating, touching the food with hands to transfer the warmth of your body to the food, feeling the texture and temperature of food creates closeness and a bond with your food.
This respect and closeness with food helps digest it better and gives mental satisfaction as well.
Last but not the least, at the end of the meal, Indians follow the custom of thanking the cook who cooked and served them food and the God for giving them senses to enjoy the food.

meg | Wed, 08/17/2011 - 03:42
limpa's picture

Eating with hand is very

Eating with hand is very beneficial. People talking here (negative) should get few points cleared up. First, Indians eat only with right hand. Infact, it i totally unhygienic for them to touch food with left hand. 2nd, it is their custom to wash the right hand before and after eating (and also same for rituals, etc). 3rd, according to hinduism (which is a typical example of real science), eating with hand has med benefits. Each finger you touch the food with has importance (either by yoga rules or by science). One finger to increase metabolism, one to taste it better, one for digestion and to avoid get ulceration, etc. Food is considered auspicious in India so they love to feed people by themselves. To make fun of the rituals only shows how raw u r at heart.
Another things. Indians are very welcoming, so they also love western culture but not at cost of their own. It is nothing like that they like everything western. they are just welcoming and broad minded, thats all. That is the reason, they eat pizza with friends, but cook nice Indian food when friends come home for food. That is the reason, they wear revealing dress to parties, but wear nice saree when sitting for rituals with family. I find that amazing.
One simple advice, if you have comments, post it. If you have weird ideas, post it. But, if you have no knowledge or sense, avoid showing that in public as you will only a mockery to yourself.
FYI: I am an India, a scientist in USA.

limpa | Tue, 01/17/2012 - 16:57
Gjyanandam's picture

Very good information. I do

Very good information. I do eat only with my bare hand. Some how i don't enjoy eating with a spoon.

I have encountered people who said me its not manners to eat with bare hands in a star hotel or a party. But I use to explain them why we should eat with hands and also its our culture and tradition. We need to carry it forward and make the upcoming generation understand the importance of holding to our culture and tradition.

With Love

Gjyanandam | Thu, 11/08/2012 - 05:47