Prayer before your meal: “Itadakimasu”


Ayurveda is a tradition taken over in India for over 5000 years. There is a lot to say about how we eat, and one of them is to do a prayer before your meal time. This tradition has existed in Japan, too. 


In Japan, we say “Itadakimasu” before starting our meal. It is often translated as “bon appetit” or simply “let’s eat”. Both translations are perfectly fine, but “itadakimasu” is appreciating the ingredients itself, and anyone who harvested as well as cooked. It is a word of great appreciation for many aspects of a meal. When we finish eating, we say “gochisousama deshita”. We appreciate the meal again.


If you have any mantra to chant before your meal, I highly recommend it. If not, simply close your eyes and appreciate the meal you are going to eat. This way, your attention to the meal is much more than just eating unconsciously and it enhances connection to the meal. At a glance this doesn’t really matter, but it will enhance your digestion, rather than eating a scattered mind.