Annapurna

Definition - What does Annapurna mean?

Annapurna is the Hindu goddess of food and cooking whose image is often found in Indian kitchens, dining rooms and restaurants. Her name comes from the Sanskrit, anna, meaning “food” or “grains,” and purna, meaning “perfect” or “full.” She is the symbol of nourishing care, watching over both physical nourishment and the nourishment of the soul. She further symbolizes prosperity, charity and providence.

Annapurna is considered an avatar of Shiva's wife, Parvati, and Hindu images often show Shiva with a bowl asking her to give the food that provides the shakti energy that leads to knowledge and enlightenment.

Yogapedia explains Annapurna

In Hinduism, Annapurna is a very popular deity and holds a special place because food is considered sacred. Hindus believe that when Annapurna blesses the food, it is changed into amrita, a Sanskrit word that means "the nectar of immortality." Without proper nourishment, one lacks physical health and cannot, therefore, achieve spiritual health. Those who cook are seen as providing energy that fuels the spiritual journey.

Annapurna is the goddess of the Indian city of Varanasi (Kashi), which is the location of two of the few temples dedicated to her, the most prominent of which is the Annapurna Devi Mandir Temple.

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