Soma (Sanskrit सोम sóma), or Haoma (Avestan), from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sauma-, was a ritual drink of importance among the early Indo-Iranians, and the subsequent Vedic and greater Persian cultures. It is frequently mentioned in the Rigveda, whose Soma Mandala contains 114 hymns, many praising its energizing qualities. In the Avesta, Haoma has the entire Yašt 20 and Yasna 9-11 dedicated to it.

It is described as being prepared by extracting juice from the stalks of a certain plant. In both Vedic and Zoroastrian tradition, the name of the drink and the plant are the same, and the three forming a religious or mythological unity.

The Rigveda calls the plant "God for Gods" seemingly giving him precedence above Indra and the other Gods (RV 9.42)

There has been much speculation concerning what is most likely to have been the identity of the original plant. There is no solid consensus on the question, although some Western experts outside the Vedic and Avestan religious traditions now seem to favour a species of Ephedra, perhaps Ephedra sinica.

Read more about SomaEtymology, Vedic Soma, Traditional Accounts, Avestan Haoma, Candidates For The Soma Plant, Contemporary Hinduism, Western Reception

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... Soma (Sanskrit सोम), or Haoma (Avestan), from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sauma-, was an important ritual drink for early Indo-Iranian peoples, and the later Vedic and greater Persian cultures ... In the Vedas, Soma is portrayed as sacred and divine (deva) ... In this aspect, Soma is similar to the Greek ambrosia (cognate to amrita) it is what the gods drink and what makes them deities ...
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Famous quotes containing the word soma:

    Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half your morality about in a bottle. Christianity without tears—that’s what soma is.
    Aldous Huxley (1894–1963)