Sunday, November 30, 2014


The misunderstanding around the hymns pertaining to Soma and so many other forces in the Vedas arises due to half baked knowledge of many commentators – Indian and Foreign. They do not read complete Suktas and do not refer to the drift of hymns upstream and downstream. And they add their own Abrahamic condisioning and Victorian sense of morality to the Vedic hymns.      
Soma’s distortion and asinine commentaries is a prime example of this. It does not matter whether people aeons ago drank something intoxicating or not. What’s key is that in the Vedas,while Soma has attributes like that of an intoxicating drink, it is about the eternal, blissful,self realizing forces. In a way Soma is deathlessness. I will walk you through a bunch of verses to substantiate my point.
These hymns talk about Soma (the wine). You will see that while the superficial meaning will alllude to a beverage, the deeper philosophical meaning points to the bliss of immortality after knowing the ONE. Even Swami Vivekananda got it wrong when he said that the ancestors drank Soma – the wine. This is a pretty lengthy post..can’t help it…
Rig Veda/Mandala 9/Hymn 86/ 1 -7

1. Thy gladdening draughts, O Pavamana, urged by song flow swiftly of themselves like sons of fleet-foot mares.The drops of Soma juice, those eagles of the heavens, most cheering, rich in meath, rest in the reservoir.
2. As rapid chariot-steeds, so turned in several ways have thine exhilarating juices darted forth, Soma-drops rich in meath, waves, to the Thunder-armed, to Indra, like milch-kine who seek their calf with milk.
3. Like a steed urged to battle, finder of the light; speed onward to the cloud-born reservoir of heaven, A Steer that o’er the woolly surface seeks the sieve, Soma while purified for Indra’s nourishment.
4. Fleet as swift steeds, thy drops, divine, thought-swift, have been, O Pavamana, poured with milk into the vat. The Rsis have poured in continuous Soma drops, ordainers who adorn thee, Friend whom Rsis love.
5. O thou who seest all things, Sovran as thou art and passing strong, thy rays encompass all abodes. Pervading with thy natural powers thou flowest on, and as the whole world’s Lord, O Soma, thou art King.
6. The beams of Pavamana, sent from earth and heaven, his ensigns who is ever steadfast, travel round. When on the sieve the Golden-hued is cleansed, he rests within the vats as one who seats him in his place.
7. Served with fair rites he flows, ensign of sacrifice: Soma advances to the special place of Gods. He speeds with thousand currents to the reservoir, and passes through the filter bellowing as a bull.
Now,please watch for the “obvious” meaning. Who are the fleet footed mares that drop the Soma juice? Indra seems to be consuming the juice & then Indra gets nourished.The Rishis have poured this juice into a jar. And then Soma travels to the Abode of God’s heavens. Can you make any sense out of this?
Let us deep dive to understand the true meaning.
Fleet footed mares – Aswinis, the nervous energies. This thought is based on the consistent theme of Aswinis being “fleet footed” all through the Rig Veda
Soma / Pavamana – wine of immortality
Indra is always likened to the thunderbolt.
If one reads the entire mandala#9,it beomes clear that the Soma juice is squeezed out of Indra’s weapons, a pressing stone, connected to Indra’s thunderbolt.After this the wine(delight of immortality)is “purified”through a “strainer” & then the wine is saved in a jar or kalasa. Th Soma juice is used as an external symbol for ritualistic rite in hymn #7 but Soma advancing towards Gods pertains to the purified mental & emotional conciousness rushing towards immortality as the human intellect attains God’s abode.The Rishis that poured the Soma drops is an allegorical reference to the seers that discovered immortality or the eternal bliss.
The Vedic hyms are veiled, unveiled & filled with intrigue. The positive proof of who Soma is,comes, only towards the end of the 9th Mandala (Hymn 113/7 – 10).
7.O Pavarnana, place me in that deathless, undecaying world Wherein the light of heaven is set, and everlasting lustre shines. Flow, Indu, flow for Indra’s sake.
8.Make me immortal in that realm where dwells the King, Vivasvan’s Son,Where is the secret shrine of heaven,where are those waters young and fresh. Flow, Indu, flow for Indra’s sake.
9. Make me immortal in that realm where they move even as they list, In the third sphere of inmost heaven where lucid worlds are full of light. Flow, Indu, flow for Indra’s sake.
10. Make me immortal in that realm of eager wish and strong desire,The region of the radiant Moon, where food and full delight are found. Flow, Indu, flow for Indra’s sake:
11. Make me immortal in that realm where happiness and transports, where Joys and felicities combine, and longing wishes are fulfilled. Flow, Indu, flow for Indra’s sake.
We started with Soma being an alcoholic beverage but we ended up with Soma being the ambrosia of immortality.
The key take away is that there are deeper meanings in these hymns than just ritualistic streaks & without reading the Mandalas & Suktas end to end, any assumptions,like Soma wine being an alcoholic beverage, leads to the most asinine interpretations.

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