Taken from True Stories About a Holy Monk:
Generally speaking, nectar can be divided into two categories. Ordinarily, Rinpoches and Dharma Teachers make pills which they call nectar by using Chinese herbal medicine or water together with such things as sharira and then empower such material by reciting certain mantras. It can be said that this is false nectar.
What is true nectar? True nectar is precious food which is bestowed by the Buddhas from the land of the Buddhas. It is not a food which exists in this earthly world. There is a Buddha or Bodhisattva Master on the level of a Dharma King who ascends to the Dharma King platform and practices the dharma. Due to this Master’s state of realization, he is able to successfully invite the Buddhas to arrive in the sky and bestow nectar. When descending into the dharma bowl, the nectar may turn into light or it may descend in its normal form. This precious food is something which emanates from nothing.
When the Master conducts the nectar dharma ceremony, there must be a space in between the Master and his disciples. The distance between them is about fifteen yards to over one hundred yards. The Master cannot come close to the disciples. He can only sit on the dharma platform and is not allowed to leave his seat. At a place far away from the Master, a disciple will in front of other disciples use pure water to wash and wipe dry the dharma bowl (this dharma bowl is an ancient dharma bowl made of pure copper and gold which has been handed down through a lineage of Dharma Kings). That disciple will place the dharma bowl in front of himself and in sight of other disciples who will stare at the dharma bowl, never losing sight of it for a moment.
Then, the Master who is a far distance away on the dharma platform will practice the dharma. From the land of the Buddhas, the Buddhas will bestow nectar which falls from the sky. It may turn into red light, blue light, or a colorful rainbow as it enters the dharma bowl which is being guarded by the disciples. It is incomparably wonderful. The Master will then order the disciples to open the lid of the bowl to exhibit the nectar. At this time, the disciples are pleasantly astounded to see that inside the dharma bowl which is in front of them is incredibly marvelous nectar which has come from the land of the Buddhas. Its form is definitely unlike any form which can be found in this human world. Only after the disciples have confirmed the arrival of nectar does the Master have the right to step down from the dharma platform to view the nectar and empower the disciples by giving them nectar to eat. If one has just one taste of this nectar, one’s life span will increase to over one hundred and twenty years. This nectar can cure all ailments, such as malignant sores. After one applies a bit of nectar on the sore, it will be totally cured and will disappear without trace within two to three minutes.
Since nectar is such a priceless treasure, it is definitely not something of which ordinary people can partake. An emperor of China who lived in ancient times, Chin Sher Huang, wanted to taste the nectar of long life. He ordered Hsu Fu to take five hundred young boys and girls and travel to what is now known as the islands of Japan. But Hsu Fu was unable to find nectar. He dare not return to Chin Sher Huang. The present day people of Japan are the decedents of Hsu Fu and the young boys and girls he took with him.
In Tibet, many people want to taste nectar. There are those who make their way to Lhasa by kowtowing at every step. Their legs and hands are cut open. Some of their bodies have even been cut up by rocks. They may spend four or five years to make their way to Lhasa. For the most part, after they arrive in Lhasa, the Dharma King still does not empower them with nectar since their merit is insufficient. Some people practice arduously their entire lives in order to taste nectar, yet at the time they are about to pass away, they have never seen what nectar looks like.
What type of person is able to taste nectar? There are three conditions. First, that person must definitely be a devout Buddhist. Second, that person’s infinite roots of kindness must extend back into many past lives and throughout eons of time. Third, that person must have karmic conditions which cause him to meet up with a Great Dharma King who is truly able to practice the nectar dharma. Otherwise, even if the person is a king, general or minister, he still is not qualified to taste true nectar bestowed by the Buddhas.
Daoists believe that the most difficult and highest state to attain is where one refines one’s essence into vital energy, refines one’s vital energy into spirit, refines one’s spirit to return to emptiness and through internal alchemy one comes up with the immortal substance so that the five vital energies are like the rising sun and all of one’s sprits come together. Yet, using true nectar which has been bestowed by the Buddhas to accomplish such a state is truly an easy thing. If one rubs a bit of this nectar on oneself, within twenty-four hours one can enter the state of purity and spontaneity where all of one’s spirits come together. If one uses this nectar in the formal Buddha dharma initiation ceremony, then the results will be even much more wonderful. This is a matter of tremendous significance.
One can thus see how magnificent nectar is! Therefore, one who is able to partake of nectar must be totally devout, must tremendously cherish the opportunity and must strictly practice the Nectar Protection Longevity Mantra. In this way, one will be able to ensure one’s longevity, avoid disasters, deepen one’s state of realization and attain great accomplishment.