Amrita or Amrit (Sanskrit: अमृत; IAST: amṛta) is a Sanskrit word that literally means "immortality", and is often referred to in texts as nectar. The word's earliest occurrence is in the Rigveda where it is one of several synonyms of soma, the drink which confers immortality upon the gods. While it is unrelated etymologically to the Greek ambrosia, it carries the same meaning. It has various significances in different Dharmic Traditions.
Amrita is repeatedly referred to as the drink of the gods, which grants them immortality.
Amrita features in the "ocean-churning" (Sanskrit: Samudra manthan) legend. It describes how the gods, because of a curse from the sage Durvasa, begin to lose their immortality. Assisted by their mortal enemies the asuras, they churn the ocean (which was made of milk in those days) and create (among other wonderful things) amrita, the nectar of immortality.
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".
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.
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