This short podcast was made in answer to the question: “What is Amrita?”
Amrita, or “nectar”, is a famous substance in yoga, being experienced by both male and female yogis, who have been on the path for some time. It is related to inner spiritual purification and the gradual rise of ecstasy in the subtle nervous system (pranamayakosha).
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So, one of the things that I sometimes get asked is “what is amrita”? So, this is a Sanskrit term which means “Nectar”, and it also means “immortal”. It has its equivalent in Greek which is ambrosia, or the nectar of the Gods. So, this is a substance that can be produced in the human body. It’s quite a fascinating aspect of human biology and is also an aspect of the process of spiritual awakening.
I remember the first time I experienced amrita. I was in India, about 18 years ago, and I was involved in quite an intense period of spiritual practice, meditating for many hours each day. I was in south India, in Kerala, living by the sea. I was practicing yoga, and meditation and pranayama, several times each day. One day, I had just finished my morning practice session, and I was lying in shavasana, which means lying on my back. I had entered a state of ecstatic bliss during the meditation session, and this was still there as I was lying down. And then I noticed a bead of liquid, come out of the top of my head and roll towards the centre of my forehead. The bead of liquid had the consistency of honey and it was ecstatic. I could feel my body and at the same time, I could feel inside the bead of liquid, even though it was outside my body.
I remember noticing that this bead of liquid should not be moving in this way. Because I was lying on my back, liquid being pulled by gravity, should have gone down towards the bed, not upwards, towards my forehead. And the first thing I thought was “Newton got it wrong!”. So, Newton was the scientist who supposedly saw and apple falling from a tree and concluded that there must be a force which he called “gravity”. This bead of liquid felt so much like a physical liquid, that I believed it should be controlled by physical forces.
After that, another bead of liquid came and flowed along the same path. As the liquid reached the centre of my forehead, it was re-absorbed into my body. Then more beads came, one by one, and each time a bead came it had the same ecstatic sensation as the last one. Finally I got up from the bed and went about arranging breakfast.
Each time I practiced after that, the beads of liquid would come, and sometimes they would come during meditation, or during pranayama. Over time, the beads became so frequent, that they became like little streams flowing down my head. They would not only come from the crown of my, but sometimes would be produced from the centre of my forehead, and sometimes from the bindu chakra on the top back of my head. Sometimes they would flow down the sides of my head, flowing down to my throat and being re-absorbed there. Or, flowing to my heart centre, in the middle of my chest and being re-absorbed there. The streams of liquid were always ecstatic, always intoxicating.
The only physical residue that remained afterwards was a kind of oil, that would appear on my forehead. So, what I was experiencing was the production of amrita, the nectar of immortality, which is something that can be produced from the practice of yoga. Amrita is a product of the purification process of yoga, but it is also purifying. Each time a drop of amrita is produced that will have a powerful effect on the purification process of the body and mind. And when the body and mind are purified to a sufficient degree, we can see our true nature which is beyond the mortal frame and beyond death. So, this is why amrita is referred to as the nectar of immortality.
This amrita is produced at a certain stage in the practice of yoga. Certain things have to be put in place before amrita is produced. The first thing that has to be in place is that kundalini has to be awakened, and the process of purification of the chakras and nadis, has to of reached a certain level. The body and mind has to have gone through quite a long process of purification, or amrita will not be produced.
So, that is the first prerequisite for the production of amrita. The upwards flow of prana in the body must be strong. The second prerequisite is that we must not be losing sexual energy.
The production of amrita involves sexual fluids and sexual energy. When the flow of prana up through the body is strong, it creates a pull, or draw, on sexual fluids, and caused sexual fluids to be drawn up into the bladder. This is a process called natural vajroli mudra. Prana is then taken from the sexual fluids in the bladder, and mixed with other forms of prana in the manipura chakra to produce soma which is an etheric substance. The soma is then transformed into amrita in the head.
So, this is the reason that we must not be losing sexual energy if we want to experience amrita. Sexual energy is lost through ejaculation and through some kinds of orgasm. It is not lost through every kind of orgasm, but if you are not sure, then it is best to avoid all kinds of orgasm.
So, this is something that is experienced by both men and women. Both men and women have sexual fluids and both experience the rising of prana with kundalini.
There is a common myth with amrita, that it somehow involves semen going up the spine. So, that is not the case. The sexual fluids go first to the bladder, and then the prana from those fluids go to the third chakra and from there, up to the head. So, you could say, the pranas are mostly flowing through the central channel, the sushumna, up to the head.
There’s another aspect to amrita, where it can actually come down inside the skull, entering the nasal cavity,
and then it comes down the throat and into the belly. So you’ve got two different ways in which amrita can flow.
So, this is a very beautiful part of the process of yoga, and a very blissful part of the process of yoga. And so, if you experience this beginning to happen in your body, don’t be surprised. It’s a sign that good things are happening, and you can simply allow it to happen.
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