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
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