Prasāda (Sanskrit pronunciation: [pɽɐsaːdɐ], Sanskrit: प्रसाद), variantly spelled as Prasādam, Prasād and Prasāda, is a material substance that is a religious offering in both Hinduism and Sikhism. Most often prasada is vegetarian food consumed by worshippers after worship. Mahaprasāda (also called Bhandārā) in Hinduism, similar to the langar in Sikhism, is the consecrated food offered to the deity in a Hindu temple which is then shared and eaten by the masses without discrimination. Sometimes this vegetarian offering will exclude the prohibited items such as garlic, onion, etc.
Prasāda is derived from the verb prasād which consists of the verb सद् (sad - to sit, dwell) which is prefixed with प्र (pra - before, afore, in front) and used as finite verb प्रसीदति (prasīdati - dwells, presides, pleases or favours etc). It denotes anything, typically food, that is first offered to a deity or saint and then distributed in His or Her name to their followers or others as a good sign.
In its material sense, prasāda is created by a process of giving and receiving between a human devotee and the god. For example, a devotee makes an offering of a material substance such as flowers, fruits, or sweets. The deity then 'enjoys' or tastes a bit of the offering. This now-divinely invested substance is called prasāda and is received by the devotee to be ingested, worn, etc. It may be the same material that was originally offered or material offered by others and then re-distributed to other devotees. In many temples, several kinds of prasāda (e.g., nuts, sweets) are distributed to the devotees.
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