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Panchamrita is a mixture of five foods used in puja which are usually honey, jaggery, milk , yogurt and ghee. However, is there any alternative for honey when making Panchamrita?

The reason I am reluctant to use honey is that it is made by bees to store food for winter and it seems like we, humans are stealing their food. Many scriptures themselves say ''food stolen from others should not be offered to God''.I don't think God would like us to offer stolen food. It seems very unethical and immoral to me. So is there any alternative to using honey in making Panchamrita?

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    Very good thoughts. But if you sacrifice honey in Nishkam Yajna or Hawan Bees too would get Punyas or spiritual benefits. Just use honey with huge gratitude for bees & during sacrifices, remember them & ask for their liberation. – Mr. Sigma. Jul 30 '17 at 8:05
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    There's a catch here. We are offering them to God. Even we offer silk clothes to God. Silk is made by killing worms. – The Destroyer Jul 30 '17 at 8:09
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    @SuryaKantaBoseChowdhury your thought is right. god did not ask her to offer such items compulsorily. if you are reluctant then you should not use it. it is better to find alternative or to skip that ingredient itself. – Rakesh Joshi Jul 30 '17 at 8:11
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    if you are going to use for bathing the idols or yantra then you can use plain water (shuddhodaka) ushnodaka (warm water) , kushodaka (water having kusha grass pieces) rose water or fragrant water which would suffice. – Rakesh Joshi Jul 30 '17 at 8:14
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    Actually, honey bees don't collect honey for themselves. Cycle of nature gets disturbed if humans don't use honey. Did you watch Bee? – Sarvabhouma Jul 30 '17 at 10:47
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The definition of PanchAmritam from Scriptures (took this sloka from Nitya Karma PujA Paddhati book) is:

Dadhi Dugdham Ghritainchava Sarkara Samyuktam Madhu |

PanchAmritamidam Proktam Vidhayam Sarva Karmesu ||

......

Curd ( made out of Cow's milk), Cow's milk, Ghee, Sugar (sarkarA) and honey all mixed together is what constitutes the PanchAmrita. And it is prescribed to be used in all rituals (vidhayam sarvakarmesu).

Now, if procuring honey is really an act of depriving the bees or an act of Adharma then the Scriptures will not prescribe it's use to start with.

So, your apprehensions are without any valid reasons IMO.

Also, substitutes for objects used in rituals are only prescribed when those objects are expensive, hard to procure or difficult to apply.

For example, for satiating a malefic Saturn in one's chart, the Scriptures prescribe donation of a black buffalo (which is difficult to procure for some) or donation of blue sapphire (which is expensive).

So, in such situations, it is rational to expect that there will be substitutes and there is indeed such substitute and which is nothing but offering a minimal amount of money instead.

But, in this particular case, all the ingredients of the PanchAmrita are easily available, inexpensive and easy to apply as well. They are present in almost every households.

So, i don't think there will be any substitutes prescribed in Scriptures because there is no need.

You can continue using honey without any negative thoughts.


UPDATE:

Adding a passage from the Varaha Purana, which should clear your doubts.

PREPARATION OF ‘MADHUPARK’

While describing the method of preparing Madhupark, Lord Varaha told Prithvi–“Madhupark” manifested from the right half of my body at the time when the process of creation began. This is the reason why it is so pure. Anybody who makes offering of Madhupark in the course of my worship,attains to my abode. For the preparation of Madhupark honey, curd and ghee are mixed in equal proportion. While preparing it sacred mantras in my praise should be constantly chanted. Giving some Madhupark to a dying man liberates his soul.”

So, there is nothing wrong in using honey, as the scriptures are approving it's use.

  • Why then, are hermits guided to not have honey as per the Manusmriti? – user1952500 Aug 1 '17 at 4:39
  • Ask a Q on main, as per scriptures even a brahmachari is prohibited from consuming madhu (honey or alcohol) but the same honey is prescribed in scriptures to be used in all scriptures.. Why?? coz different contexts different rules..as simple as that..@user1952500 – Rickross Aug 1 '17 at 6:55
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    @user1952500 i think Sanskrit word is madhu which could be honey or alcohol. – The Destroyer Aug 1 '17 at 7:13
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wow, that's very nice of you to say that. I never thought it that way.

Now PanchAmrit is a syrup made of 5 different things. These five different things are honey, sugar, milk , curd and ghee.

Panch in the word PanchAmrit means five and Amrita means nectar that will make you immortal. So, these five components will help you be immortal.

Now, Does consuming PanchAmrit really makes you immortal. Well, it does not make you immortal but it can make you live longer.

Now how can it make you live longer. The Milk in the panchamrit represents purity, Ghee in the panchamrit represnts nourishment of the body, Curd in the panchamrit represents prosperity and good luck, Sugar in the panchamrit represents sweeetness and bliss, honey in the panchamrit represnts unity and hardwork(as it is jointly developed by bees.)

So, can you replace honey by something in the panchamrit. Well, if what you need is a sweet taste then you can add some other artificial thing.

The reason why honey is added in the panchamrit is because it's meant to unite you, meant to make you focused during hard times and continue doing the hard work.

I don't think you can represent honey with some artificial nectar as it's purpose is not to give sweet taste in your mouth but to work like a bee.

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