Prasad is a sacred offering given from the temple to the devotee, considered to be blessed by God. The word is derived from Sanskrit and means 'the mercy of the Lord'. The practice of giving Prasad dates back to Vedic times.
Prasad can be of different forms depending on the region or deity. It may be in the form of various kinds of food, holy ash, vermillion powder (
Kumkum or saffron), flowers or sandal paste. Generally, sandal paste is special to Vishnu temples, coconuts to Ganesh, holy ash to Shiva, and saffron to goddesses.