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Food Mythology

Garlic the Taboo Food

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Garlic is one flavor, found in all cuisines around the world.  Apart from being an essential ingredient garlic has many mysteries surrounding it. Garlic in the European culture and popular films it is known to ward off vampires, werewolves, evil eye. As per some versions, Egyptians also used garlic as currency,  one could buy slaves with garlic. Whereas in India Garlic as a certain warding off reputation. It is considered Taboo, a negative ingredient for numerous reasons.  

 
Food of Love
The smell of garlic is actually unbearable. Garlic has one of the most repulsive breaths. Eating raw garlic can certainly make your partner turn on the other side of the bed. The other side of Garlic is that it can heat up intimacy. Garlic has a long history of being an aphrodisiac. Garlic is high in heat and also containing Allicin, a compound to increase blood flow to sexual organs. Due to being a strong aphrodisiac Hindu, Jains, and Buddhist prohibit the consumption of garlic and consider it as taboo. It is harmful to monks and celibates trying to practice renunciation or devotional service. The Hindu’s label it as Tamasic food, or food causing a diversion from the devotional service. There are some texts such as Padma Purana, Manu Samhita, Garuda Puran who strongly condemn and prohibit Consumption of garlic. Certain texts also name consumption of garlic as sin. 
Garlic eating is eating cow

Beef is a great taboo according to Hindu Believes. The cow is considered very sacred and worthy of worship. However, in the Vedic times, cows were often used in a sacrifice called “Gomedha Yagya”. One such Yagya led to the birth of the taboo Ingredient “garlic”. Once, in Satya Yuga, some Sages were performing Gomedha sacrifices. For which a cow would be offered into the sacrificial fire and then be resurrected through certain Vedic mantras. It was this times that wife of the Sage leading the Yagya was pregnant. She had a strong craving to eat the meat of a cow. It was a belief that if you curb the cravings during pregnancy then it will impact the child in the womb. The wife of Sage grabbed one piece of meat of the cow’s body that was offered in sacrifice and hid it. She was making plans to eat it soon. The Sage was finishing the sacrifice and a new cow was resurrected, he noticed that there was a little part missing from her left side. He went into meditation and realized that his wife had taken away a piece of meat during the sacrifice. Now his wife in fear threw the meat she had far away. Due to the effect of the mantras uttered by Sage to resurrect the cow, there was life in this piece of meat. Then the blood of this meat became red lentils, the bones became garlic and the meat became onions. Eating of Garlic became as sinful as eating the meat of a cow.

 Born of demon’s blood

 This is a story from Kamba Ramayana, Yuddha khanda. It is during the Samudra Manthan when Gods headed by Indra and demons headed by king Bali churned the ocean. The last Divine item to appear from the Ocean was Amrita or Nectar held by Dhanvantri. The gods and demons both chased Dhanvantri for nectar. To solve this problem Lord Vishnu took the form of Mohini- Murti and infatuated everybody. Mohini- Murti tricked the demons and started to feed the nectar to Gods. Rahu, the Senapati of Asuras disguised as Devta was awaiting his share of nectar. While he was getting his share of nectar Surya and Chandra caught him, Lord Vishnu then immediately with his Sudarshana chakra severed the head of Rahu. As Rahu drank some portions of Nectar he could not be killed, his head and body both remained alive as Rahu and Ketu. Some blood had dropped to the ground while Rahu’s head was severed. This blood then became red onion and garlic. Therefore, Onion and Garlic are considered demonic food. 

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