By Swami Harshananda
Sadāvrata literally means ‘the religious vow of always giving food’.
Vratas or religious rites with certain vows attached to it are a part of popular religion. Sadāvrata is also called as Annadānamāhātmya. It is one of them. Giving food to hungry persons is highly eulogized even in the Upaniṣads. There are no fixed days and times for this gift of food. Interesting stories in the purāṇas describe the evil effects of not feeding hungry souls when they come to one’s house. The free kitchens in places of pilgrimage are also called by this name.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore