BAPS Dietary Practices



√tmanivedi (true) devotees should not eat or drink any such thing which is not offered first to God as an offering.
(Shikshapatri-Verse 60)

The dietary practices of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha are based on Hindu scripture and prescribe a diet that expresses the concepts of purity, devotion and nonviolence. Accordingly, these practices include:

  1. Food must be offered to the images of God in a temple prior to consumption in an offering known as Thal1. This food now becomes known as prasadam and takes on a wholly spiritual component. Eating such food is an act of devotion in and of itself.
  2. No consumption and no usage of any animal product or animal-derived products (such as glycerin, binders, lecithin, coloring agents, etc.) in any form.2
  3. No consumption and no usage of onion and garlic in any form.3
  4. No consumption and no usage of asafetida in production in any form.4
  5. No consumption and no usage of alcohol in any form.5
  6. Utensils have never been touched by meat or alcohol in any form.6
  7. Cooking should only occur after ritually bathing oneself and after performing puja (prayers) every morning.7
  8. Using only garlelu water and milk for cooking (water and milk that has been purified).8
  9. Eating food products made by those people whose conduct and beliefs are known to you (either directly or indirectly).9

BAPS Shayona provides such sanctified, vegetarian cuisine prepared and offered to the divine image of God in accordance with the dietary beliefs of the Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan denomination of the Hindu religion during weekly services and special festivals at BAPS Swaminarayan Mandirs across the world. All are welcome to come and partake of this sanctified food.


1 Verse 60, Shikshapatri (Scripture explaining the code of conduct of devotees of the Swaminarayan denomination of the Hindu religion)
2 Verse 15, Shikshapatri (Scripture explaining the code of conduct of devotees of the Swaminarayan denomination of the Hindu religion)
3 Verse 186, Shikshapatri (Scripture explaining the code of conduct of devotees of the Swaminarayan denomination of the Hindu religion)
4 Satsangi Jivan (Detailed scripture explaining the code of conduct of devotees of the Swaminarayan denomination of the Hindu religion)
5 Verse 18, Shikshapatri (Scripture explaining the code of conduct of devotees of the Swaminarayan denomination of the Hindu religion)
6 Verse 15, Shikshapatri (Scripture explaining the code of conduct of devotees of the Swaminarayan denomination of the Hindu religion)
7 Verse 31, Shikshapatri (Scripture explaining the code of conduct of devotees of the Swaminarayan denomination of the Hindu religion)
8 Verse 30, Shikshapatri (Scripture explaining the code of conduct of devotees of the Swaminarayan denomination of the Hindu religion)
9 Verse 31, Shikshapatri (Scripture explaining the code of conduct of devotees of the Swaminarayan denomination of the Hindu religion)
*Note: All images of the holy Shikshapatri have been taken from the Oxford Bodleian Library's Digital Shikshapatri Project.

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