13 Aug 2012 No Comments
By Rudra Shivananda
One of the most hidden treasures of yogic knowledge is that of Soma or Amrita – the nectar of immortality and bliss. There are lots of misinformation and confusion on this subject and unfortunately very little in the way of clarity because of the sacredness of the knowledge. It is sacred because of its profound effect and mysterious because it cannot be experienced without the proper consciousness.
In the ancient Vedic scriptures, it appears that Soma is the substance that is offered to the gods – however its description is couched in mystery and no clear information is given on how to manufacture that Soma. This has not stopped the experiments or claims that the extract from this moon plant or other will yield the fabled nectar. Disappointment seems to follow all such claims.
There are numerous passages where Soma is associated with the word suta (meaning pressed or squeezed) and there are verses which say that the god Indra became intoxicated after drinking the Soma and was able to destroy the cosmic serpent that was wrapped around the cosmic egg. However, in the Rig Veda 10.85.3, it is also said, “Those priests may regard Soma as a creeper which is crushed for getting its juice for use in the ritual. But to the seers, Soma is not something to be drunk.” Therefore there seems to be multiple meanings for Soma even within the Vedas.
In the later mythical stories, a stronger hint is given for the manufacture of this nectar. There is the story of the churning of the great universal ocean of milk by means of the cosmic serpent wrapped around a sacred mountain – this imagery would now evoke the raising of the potential energy called Kundalini in the astral spine. We may then suspect that the nectar is something that is produced by the raising of this Kundalini energy, which is the result of certain yogic and tantric practices.
This becomes even clearer when we consult the early medieval text from the Mahayogi, Shiva-Goraksha-Babaji:
Who seal bindu by jewel of Kechari
Even embraced by heavenly damsels
Their essence does not fall to waste
Instead they immortal soma taste