What was Amrit? Is it for making someone immortal?
The concept of Amrit is quite popular among the Hindu culture. According to Hindu texts Amrit was the nectar of immortality. It came out from the churning of the ocean. If was mainly to provide immortality to the Devas. However, there is a other side to it as well. So let’s take a look what actually was Amrita. Happy reading!!
Hindu texts: The word Amrit means immortality. It is often referred to as a nectar. Amrta is entomologically related to the Greek ambrosia. It has the same meaning. It was first mentioned in the Rig Veda where it’s a synonym for Soma that is the drink for the Devas. Amrit or Amrita has various significances in the Hindu religion. It’s a common name for Sikhs and Hindus. However, the nectar does not offer true immortality. It provides the Devas higher knowledge and power. The Devas lost all their wealth and powers due to the curse of Sage Durbasa. Thus the event of Maha Sagar Manthan took place. The Devas and the Asuras together churn the ocean and finally Amrit comes out. It is sometimes also called to magically flow from the statues of Gods. It is consumed by the worshippers and tastes like honey. It was the last of the fourteen treasures that came out of the ocean. It emerged in a pot borne by Dhanwantari who was the physician of the Gods. According to legends, the Asuras were also entitled to the Amrit but as it would break the balance of the universe, Lord Vishnu took Mohini avatar and tricked the Asuras. He captivated them with his charm and served them water and Amrit to the Devas.
Sikhism: According to Sikh texts a holy water symbolises Amrit. It is used in the ceremony of Amrit Sanchar that is baptism. This ritual takes place for the Sikhs to initiate into the Khalsa group by drinking Amrit. This is created by mixing edible ingredients like sugar. Then it’s rolled with a Khanda along with the recitation of five sacred verses. God’s name can also be referred as a nectar metaphorically. Serving the Guru is also called Amrit in the Sikh texts.
Buddhism: According to the Buddhist texts in Thanissaro Bhikkhu death means the ignorance of mind. Immortality suggests deathless dimensions of mind which can be attained permanently by salvation. Buddha in Amata Sutta mentions to the monks to be always on the path of righteousness so that their Amrit is not lost. It is the mindfulness occupied with the body. In the Vajrayana Buddhism Amrit is a divine drink which is consumed at the start of all important occasion like Abhishek, Ganachakra and Homa. In the Tibetan tradition Drutsi is made of Drubchens which is a lengthy ceremony involving many high Lamas. Small dark brown grains are formed which are diluted in water or very mild solutions of alcohol. It’s said to foster physical and spiritual well being. The origin of the four tantras of medicine in Tibetan Culture is known as The heart of Amrita. In the Tibetan version that is the Immaculate crystal garland the legend of Samudra Manthan is given a different look. In this Buddhist version, Amrit is stolen by Rahu the monster. However, he is blasted by Vajrapani’s thunderbolt. Since Rahu already consumed Amrit, he could not die. His blood dropped to various parts of the world causing medicinal plants to grow. On request by all the Buddhas, Vajrapani made Rahu the protector of Buddhism. This thought has been put up by the Nyigma school of Tibetan Buddhism. According to Chinese Buddhism, inner offering is the most important Amrit. It consists of a Inner offering nectar pill which is a secret medicine of the Tibetan Buddhism. It’s for higher ranking monks. It’s made from five Amrita and Five Meat, which represents five buddha, and five elements respectively. A ceremony is held for getting this nectar. It is arranged in four directions namely yellow excrement in the east, green bone marrow in the north, white semen in the west and red blood in the south, blue urine is placed in the centre. These nectars come from wise monks and is blessed by a pious woman during her first menstruation. The Five Meats are arranged similarly, meat of black bull in the southeast, the meat of the blue dog in the southwest, the meat of the white elephant in the northwest, the meat of the green horse in the northeast, and the meat of a red human corpse in the centre. These ingredients transform into one single elixir after the procedure. It is symbolic of bliss, vitality, wisdom and immortality. It is taken with alcohol. However, the nectars are derived from medicinal plants.
Nectar of power: Amrit provides power and strength to fight every disease. It basically makes the consumer free from all diseases thus increasing the life expectancy. For instance Indra also consumed Amrit but still he got injured or could be killed by the Tri Devas or Goddess Adishakti. Amrit can be modified in modern science as well. The medicines and advanced technologies which increases the life of humans can be the other form of Amrit. Besides, Amrit was nothing but a medicinal herb which had the power to cure many deadly diseases. Amrit can also be referred to the inner knowledge and self realisation by which a person can break earthly ties and attain salvation.
Thus Amrit can be obtained by all of us if we banish the inner evils. Hopefully in the near future Ayurveda science gets hold of such medicines. Stay connected with us. We will be back with such unknown facts for you. Take care and never stop digging for wisdom.