Amrita or Amrit (Sanskrit: अमृत) is a Sanskrit word that literally means "that which is immortal", and is often referred to in texts as nectar. Corresponding to ambrosia, it has different significances in different Indian religions.
Amrit is repeatedly referred to as the drink of the gods, which grants them immortality.
Amrit features in the Samudra manthan, where the gods, because of a curse from the sage Durvasa, begin to lose their immortality. With the help of the asuras (demons), they churned the sea in order to find the nectar of immortality, amrit. After drinking it, the gods regained their immortality and defeated the demons.
In yogic philosophy (see yoga, Hindu philosophy) amrita is a fluid that can flow from the pituitary gland down the throat in deep states of meditation. It is considered quite a boon: some yogic texts say that one drop is enough to conquer death and achieve immortality.
"Amrit" is also a common Hindu first name for men; the feminine is "Amritā".
A more positive interpretation is found in south Indian tradition, where amrita can mean "She who provides the nectar of life to those who thirst." Amrita is thus considered an excellent name for a potential female companion. Only the most beautiful and intelligent women were considered to have grown to fit their name.
Amrit (Punjabi: ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ) is the name of the holy water used in the baptism ceremony (known as Amrit Sanskar or Amrit Chhakhna by the Sikhs). This ceremony is observed to initiate the Sikhs into the Khalsa brotherhood. The ceremony requires the drinking of the Amrit. This water is created by mixing a number of soluble ingredients, including sugar, and is then rolled with a khanda (a type of knife) with the accompaniment of scriptural recitation of five sacred Banis (chants). This Amrit is also referred to God's name as a nectar which is obtained through Guru's word, as in the following example of page 119 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Chanting God's name during Amrit Sanskar or Amrit Chakna uplifts a persons' physical and spiritual consciousness to a state of immortality.
ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸਬਦੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਹਰਿ ਬਾਣੀ ॥ अम्रित सबदु अम्रित हरि बाणी ॥ Amriṯ sabaḏ amriṯ har baṇī. The Shabad is Amrit; the Lord's Bani is Amrit.
ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਸੇਵਿਐ ਰਿਦੈ ਸਮਾਣੀ ॥ सतिगुरि सेविऐ रिदै समाणी ॥ Saṯgur sevi▫ai riḏai samāṇī. Serving the True Guru, it permeates the heart.
ਨਾਨਕ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖਦਾਤਾ ਪੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸਭ ਭੁਖ ਲਹਿ ਜਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੮॥੧੫॥੧੬॥ नानक अम्रित नामु सदा सुखदाता पी अम्रितु सभ भुख लहि जावणिआ ॥८॥१५॥१६॥ Nānak amriṯ nām saḏā sukẖ▫ḏāṯa pī amriṯ sabẖ bẖukẖ lėh jāvaṇi▫ā. ||8||15||16|| O Nanak, the Ambrosial Naam is forever the Giver of peace; drinking in this Amrit, all hunger is satisfied. ||8||15||16||
Amrita, under its Tibetan name of dutsi, also features in Tibetan Buddhist mythology, where it is linked to the killing of the monster Rahu by Vajrapani, whose blood dripped onto the surface of this earth, causing all kinds of medicinal plants to grow.
Dutsi also refers to a herbal medicine made during ceremonies involving many high lamas in Tibetan Buddhism, known as drubchens. It usually takes the form of small, dark-brown grains that are taken with water, or dissolved in very weak solutions of alcohol, and is said to improve physical and spiritual well-being.
Chinese Buddhism describes Amrita as blessed water, food, or other consumable objects often produced through merits of chanting mantras.
|Look up Amrita in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Template:Lookfrom, for other pages using the name "Amrit" or "Amrita"
- Dallapiccola, Anna L. Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend. ISBN 0-500-51088-1
- Dutsi, A Brief Description of the Benefits of the Sacred Ambrosial Medicine, The Unsurpassable, Supreme Samaya Substance that Liberates Through Taste.
- Ayurvedic Rasayana - Amrit
- Immortal Boons of Amrit and Five Kakars
- Depictions in stone at Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom (Cambodia) of how the gods dredged amrita from the bottom of the ocean
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