Amrita Terms

In India, the Amrita was the nectar of immortality. At the time of creation it was associated with Lakshmi (Sarasvati) and Dhanvantari. The amrita was then stolen, in one version of the story by Rahu, in another version by the asuras. The efforts of Durga, and a combination of Vishnu and Shiva as a combined force called HariHara was needed to recapture the amrita. In some accounts the theft of the amrita is the cause why the original creation was needed. Amrita as nectar of immortality is closely linked etymologically with Rita, the laws of right practices which were codified in the Vedas. The amrita also becomes associated with Soma and with wine. In Sanskrit, the word surya, means sun, wine and holy verse (cf. Arabic sura) as in the Vedas. Hence the divine nectar is more than a drink. It is at once container and contents, literal and metaphorical. What became the quest for the holy grail, began as a quest for immortality through imbibling right practice. Possible identities spirituous liquor L. ; Emblica Officinalis , Terminalia Citrina Roxb. , Cocculus Cordifolius , Piper Longum , Ocymum Sanctum.