Do You Know Why Hindus Consider Chappan Bhog, Or 56 Varieties Of Food In A Single Platter, Auspicious?

10:00 am 13 Aug, 2017


If you have been brought up in a Hindu household, you must be acquainted with the importance of chappan bhog or 56 types of food in a single platter, which is generally offered to the gods and goddesses. You have probably seen grandmothers and mothers offering the same to the deities on every special occasion, but have you ever wondered the importance of 56 in the case – not a single more or one less?

Lord Krishna lifting Govardhan Parvat to save people from the wrath of Lord Indra ISKCON Desire Tree

 

As per Hindu beliefs, Lord Krishna used to have eight meals in a day. Now, as we all know, once Lord Krishna had to lift an entire mountain – the Govardhan Parvat – to save the common people from the wrath of Lord Indra. He had to stay in that condition for seven long days until Lord Indra realized his mistake and gave up. This is when the indebted villages, trying to showcase their love and respect for Krishna, as well as compensate for what he had missed, offered 8 x 7 = 56 food items.

Celebrated a day after Diwali, Govardhandhari is the day when Lord Krishna emerged victorious over Lord Indra, the king of heaven. As per legends, the wrath of Indra fell on the villagers after Lord Krishna had convinced the villagers not to offer exorbitant items in return of a little rain. Krishna believed that such practices prove to be too harsh on the poor farmers, who toil extremely hard to earn one square meal for themselves.

Chappan Bhog offered to Lord Jagannath at the ISKCON temple in Juhu. ISKCON Mumbai

 

Although this day marks Lord Krishna’s stand against rituals, customs and rituals are so deep-rooted within us that we still offer a platter consisting of 56 food items at all auspicious occasions.

What are the delicacies offered as a part of chappan bhog? While there are numerous things that can be offered as a part of chappan bhog (basically depending on the region the devotee resides), a general platter consists of:


7 types of cereals
7 types of fruits
7 types of dry fruits
7 vegetables
7 sweets
7 drinks
7 namkeen
7 sauces or pickles

Alternatively, one may also offer:

16 kinds of namkeen
20 kinds of sweets
20 kinds of dry fruit

In most of the temples across India, these items are generally prepared as a part of chappan bhog:

1) Saag( Spinach)
2) Dahi (curd)
3) Kheer ( sweet rice and milk)
4) Chawal (rice)
5) Rasgulla
6) Rabri
7) Mathi
8) Daal
9) Chutney
10) Kadi
11) Malpuda
12) Murabba
13) Shakkarpaara
14) Ghewar
15) Chila
16) Jalebi
17) Papad
18) Dalia
19) Laddoo
20) Ghee
21) Honey
22) Mohanbhog
23) Mathha
24) Lassi
25) Butter
26) Malai
27) Moong Dal ka Halwa
28) Khichadi
29) Pakode
30) Brinjal
31) Lauki
32) Coconut chutney
33) Poori
34) Kachori
35) Roti
36) Badam Milk
37) Coconut water
38) Mango
39) Banana
40) Shikanjvi
41) Grapes
42) Apple
43) Plum
44) Cashew nuts
45) Almonds
46) Raisins
47) Pistachios
48) Channa
49) Tikki
50) Sweet Rice
51) Bhujia
52) Pudina Chutney
53) Saunf
54) Paan
55) Supaari
56) Illaichi

 

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