By Swami Harshananda
Ghṛta literally means 'ghee, clarified butter'.
Ghṛta has been held in high esteem right from the Ṛgvedic times. Libation of ghṛta into a duly consecrated fire is a part of many rituals. Lighting a lamp in front of a deity using ghṛta instead of oil has been considered as a meritorious act.
- The Suśruta Samhitā attributes many medicinal qualities to ghee such as curing of diseases like insanity, epilepsy, colic and fever.
- ‘Kumbhaghṛta’, ghee matured in a pitcher for eleven to a hundred years, will possess mystic potencies which are capable of warding off monsters.
- Ghṛta, cooked a hundred times in succession with a quantity of vacā (an aromatic root) and taken every day extends one’s life to five centuries.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore