II) Vedic mythology: Amrita

In the mythology of Ancient India, the nectar conferring immortality on the gods is called Amrita, the name of which literally signifies ‘non-dead’2494. The many and various versions of the myth tell of the fierce confrontation between the Asuras and the Devas to come into possession of the sacred beverage2495. The myth recounts the temporary alliance of the two opposing forces to activate the cosmic pestle which churned the milk sea, from where a series of creations, notably Amrita, popped up. Then, the Devas seized the sacred beverage - subsequently confided to Vishnu - which procured for them eternal supremacy over the Asuras. Amrita is therefore the Vedic counterpart of the Greek Nectar or Ambrosia.


Cotterell, 1997, p. 66.


Lenoir & Tardan-Masquelier, 2000, p. 1447. For versions of the myth of the churning of the sea, see Rãmãyana, I, XLV or Mahãbhãrata, I, XVIII, etc.