Panchamrita (Devanagari:पञ्चामृत, from Sanskrit: pañcāmṛta), also spelled panchamirtham or panchamirtam, is a mixture of five foods used in Hindu worship and puja, usually honey, sugar, milk, yogurt, and ghee.
Pañcāmṛta is a Sanskrit compound of two words:
- Pañca, 'five'.
- Amṛta, lit. 'immortal', "nectar of immortality, ambrosia, beverage of the gods".
Appropriate quantities of Milk (only zebu cow milk), Yogurt, Honey, Sugar and Ghee are mixed together. However, there may be certain regional variations in ingredients. Most south Indians add ripe banana instead of sugar. In Palani Murugan temple, Tamil Nadu, Panchamrita is used in abisheka and distributed as prasad in huge quantity. Banana used here is Virupachi variety, specific to that location. Panchamrta is an ayurvedic preparation but has been manipulated in several places to cut costs and increase keeping value. Until 1890, bananas were not used.
- It is used as a offering during poojas.
- It is used as a libation during Abhisheka.
- It is also used as a skin cleanser.
- It was introduced into the practice of African American hoodoo folk-magic by the occult writer Henri Gamache during the 1940s.
- For definition of पञ्चामृत (IAST: pañcāmṛta ) as "the collection of five sweet things used in worshipping deities" see: Apte 1965, p. 578,
- Bryant, Edwin (2007). The Krishna Sourcebook. Oxford University Press. p. 529. ISBN 978-0-19-514891-6.
- Sarkar, Benoy Kumar (2004). The Folk Element in Hindu Culture. Kessinger Publishing. p. 236. ISBN 978-0-7661-8657-6.
- Apte notes that as the first member of a compound, the word पञ्चन् ("five") drops its final न्; nominative form is पञ्च. See: Apte, p. 578.
- Apte 1965, p. 138
- Karigoudar, Ishwaran. A populistic community and modernization in India. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
- "Palani temple to double panchamirtham production". Economic Times (Palani, India). 6 October 2009.
- Nair, K.K. Sages Through Ages, Proof of divinity given. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
- Millett, Deacon (2013). Hoodoo Honey and Sugar Spells: Sweet Love Magic in the Conjure Tradition. Lucky Mojo Curio Co. ISBN 978-0-9719612-4-1.
- Apte, Vaman Shivram (1965), The Practical Sanskrit Dictionary (Fourth revised and enlarged ed.), Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, ISBN 81-208-0567-4
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