Soma in Vedas

Malolan Cadambi cadambi at HOTPOP.COM
Fri Sep 13 03:22:15 CDT 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jagannath Chatterjee" <jagchat01 at YAHOO.COM>
Sent: Friday, September 13, 2002 12:05 AM
Subject: Re: Soma in Vedas

We had a discussion about Soma today in one of the Sri Vaishnava forums. I
am sure the concepts surrounding Soma is a common topic to all vaidikas.
Here is an excerpt from the discussion.

"Specifically, we focus here on the anandavalli section of the Taittriya

The term valli means creeper. This term appearing in the apoUrusheya
(unknown authorship) vedam when crushed like the sacred soma creeper  (in
the context of Soma Yajna) gives rise to the Soma juice, the food of Gods,
drops of which are sought after by Vaidika Brahmins upon performance of Soma
Yaga. It must be noted that this Soma juice is not the intoxicating liquor
that is popular among the Aryans, but is the symbolic flow of Bliss of God
known as BrahmAnanda rasa. This is praised in the entire 9th mandala of the
Rg Samhita. In the Taittriya Upanishad, God is declared as Anandamaya, and
of the
nature of rasa, the flow of Bliss or Enjoyment (rasO vai sa:). Thus, the
Upanishad itself is a condensed presentation of the entire Soma mandala of
the Rg Vedam. The creeper used in Soma yajnas is named as Soma creeper.
However, since this was hard to find even in days of yore, a substitute
creeper recommended in the Kalpas was used. What is of importance is not the
physical creeper itself but its symbolic meaning. The Rg Samhita declares
"Him whom Brahmans call Soma, no one can ordinarily drink "sOmam yam
brahmaNO vidhu: na thasyAthi kaschana" . Soma is available only on mountain
tops (at great heights). Therefore, only the adventurous ones can get Him!
The Aitareya and Taittriya Brahmanas declare that "Soma flourished at the
third foot of the Lord"  (thruthIyasyAmithO dhivi soma AsIth), i.e., when
Brahma washed the Third Foot of Trivikrama, during the Vamana Avatara the
PuraNas equate Soma with Ganga and Madhu (honey) at tat Third Foot, thereby
indicating that its taste is barred to those of impure hearts. This Soma was
brought to to earth by the Holy Gayathri, the Divine Vedic metre, by the
high flying bird, the Divine Vulture, Garuda or shyEna"

Hope this helps.


Malolan Cadambi

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