Ghee, as clarified butter is called in India, is central to Hindu mysticism and is considered an elemental substance associated with fertility, prosperity, and regeneration. The pouring of ghee onto a ritual fire—a central moment in Hindu weddings and other ceremonies—is considered in Vedic practice to symbolize the act of creation; ghee is also used as fuel for oil lamps in Hindu temples. The exalted status of butter is immortalized in Indian mythology (ghee is said to have been summoned from nothingness by the supreme creator deity himself, Prajapati), specifically in the 3,500-year-old book of Sanskrit hymns known as the Rig-Veda, where the following verses appear.

This is the secret name of Butter:
“Tongue of the gods”, “navel of immortality”.
We will proclaim the name of Butter;
We will sustain it in this sacrifice by bowing low…
These waves of Butter flow like gazelles before the hunter…
Streams of Butter caress the burning wood.
Agni, the fire, loves them and is satisfied.