Panchamrit is a holy mixture of five foods that is offered to God in various worshipping ceremonies and poojas in Hindu culture. Panch means five and amrit means nectar in Samskrit. It is known in different names in different parts of India and is called Panchamrut in Maharashtra, Panchamrit or Charnamrit in North India and Panchamrutham in South India.
It is the important Prasad given to devotees on the Maha Shivaratri Day. On Maha Shivratri days , the holy drink Panchamrit is made and offered to Lord Shiva during poojas.
The five traditional ingredients that is used to prepare this Prasad are milk, liquid jaggery, honey, yogurt and ghee.
As the five ingredients of Panchamrit carry certain qualities, it is considered as a sacred drink. Mythologically, these foods have symbolic meanings of positivity and each represents
Milk – Purity and piouness
Yogurt - Prosperity
Ghee - Strength and Victory
Jaggery - Happiness
Honey - Sweetness in speech and Unity
How to Make Panchamrit
It is a very quick and easy recipe and there is no cooking required to make this.
Milk - 1 cup
Yogurt - ½ cup
Liquid Jaggery - ¼ cup
Ghee - ¼ tablespoon
Honey - 3 - 4 drops
Take all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them well.
In winter, it has a longer shelf life and can be kept outside for about twelve hours. But in summer, Panchamrit goes bad in few hours.
Panchamrit is offered to God in poojas as naivedyam or Prasad and given to the devotees after the pooja. When it is offered to God, often, thulsi (holy basil) leaves are added to it.
Traditionally liquid jaggery is used to make Panchamrit. Many different recipes of Panchamrit are available with regional variations and you can see preparations using refined sugar. Since sugar is not a natural element like jaggery and is refined with bone charcoal, which makes it inappropriate for poojas, usage of sugar in preparing this holy drink is not acceptable by all. Most south Indians add ripe bananas, in addition to the five basic ingredients. Some add crushed nuts and raisins to it.
Panchamrit is very beneficial for health and you can make and have it even if you don’t have any poojas at your home. According to Ayurveda Sasthra, these five foods, combined in the right proportion is extremely nourishing and beneficial to the body.
Happy Maha Shivaratri to all!
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