Now as you keep on reading the book of "The Immortals of Meluha" trust me it get's better on every single page and i really wanted to coney the message of soma rasa as been described in the book very badly on a larger perspective to the audience who have read the book. This is the second part of the soma rasa article, that i am writing, in case if you have missed it, please read the part 1 of the article here...

In our previous discussion we gave an overview of Soma Rasa Plant and now here we are going to describe the procedure of making it as discussed by the authors. In case if you have missed the previous article, please have a quick look into it : @here.

Vedic Procedure:

The Vedic treatise for extracting Soma Rasa involves collection of plant twigs enriched with acidulous milky juice, crushed between stones in mortar and the juice collected in a cowhide or plate. For better yielding, the twigs previously steeped in water and the extracts purified by passing through sieves. The juice (Soma-Rasa), as described was with characteristic sharp taste and intaken in pure or mixed form along with milk, curd, grain or honey (Macdonell and Keith, 1912). Hardly, there was any time left between the extraction and administration which rules out any possibility of fermentation. The drink recipe so prepared, was sweet smelling and neither hallucinogenic nor intoxicating; rather acting stimulant that kept the drinker awake and alert all through. Its effective stimulus at intellectual level provoked complementary thoughts to compose maxims and hymns (Kochhar, 1996).

The drinking of Soma Rasa was ritual oriented, offered to Gods and entitled not for a common man. The Soma drink praised with different adjectives in different hymns of Rig Veda, such as : 1) Ssukra RV. IV. 27.5 (gives contentment); 2) Ssubhra RV. IX. 62.5 (beautiful); 3) Madhu RV. I. 13.4 (sweet), 4) Madya RV. VIII. 92.1 (priority for consumption), 5) Gorjika RV. VII. 21.1 (free from excreta), 6) Vivakshaswa RV. VIII. 1.25 (to be praised aesthetically), 7) Maneeshinah RV. II. 19.1 (enrich cheerfulness), 8) Sudaksha RV. VIII. 92.4 (cream of the food) etc. (Acharya, 1992). Moreover, in Indian scenario, the Soma culture has influenced our day-to-day life such that, one is expected to offer Tarpana (offering of sacred water) daily to the Pitru (Manis) with the chant “Oum Somapaah Pitara Strupyantaam” (meaning : Let all the Soma drinkers’ ancestors be contented).


Sussruta Samhitaa claims that, the person who uses the Soma bears a new youthful body which is supposed to be not harmed by fire, water, poison or weapon. He enjoys the energy of a thousand elephants. He can walk unimpeded to any difficult place and bears the beauty of a Kandarpa and the lustre of a full moon. The entire Vedas with all its branches and sections become thoroughly mastered by him. He never meets failure in life and moves every where with a divine spirit. He gives pleasure to the minds of all living beings (Shastri, 1953).

The methodology of the use of Soma, after care and day to day progress of the user, is dealt widely in the epic (Chapter-IXXX) is presented systematically as follows:

1. A person desirous of using Soma (any one of the 24 species described earlier), should get a house constructed with three chambers, one inside another at a commendable site (i.e. a central chamber with 2 successive outer protected chamber / corridor (Fig shown below ) being provided with all kinds of routine paraphernalia and attendants and the author has named this house as the Intense Care Unit of the Soma Drinker (ICUSD).

mathomathis - soma rasa

Fig above gives a hypothetical Chamber for intensive Care Unit for Soma Drinker (ICUSD) developed by the authors based on principle of Vastu Ssaastra, descriptions of Sussuta Samhitaa and in consulta-tion with other referrals.

2. The particular plant should be collected according to the rites enjoyed for a sacrifice with chanting of Mantras and offered to the sacred fire in the innermost chamber of the ICUSD.

3. The Soma drinker should prick the bulb of the plant with a golden needle and collect a hand-full (Anjali) measure of milky exudate in a golden or silver vessel. This juice should be gulped in one sip without testing it and after that should throw away the remnants into water. Such instructions probably indicate the non-palatable taste of the drink.
mathomathis - soma rasa
Desmostachya bipinnata - mathomathisHe should then discipline himself by applying the principles of Yama (controlling of senses) and Niyama (routine life). The day to day progress of the Soma drinker are recorded as follows: 

1st Day: After drinking the Somarasa, with concentrated mind and holy spirit, he should confined to the innermost chamber of the ICUSD, observe silence, should sit, stand or walk; but should never sleep being attended by friends (outside). 
Santalum album - mathomathis - soma rasaSesamum indicum - mathomathis Madhuka indica - mathomathis - soma rasaThe person after his evening meal, followed by a spiritual discourse, should lie down on a bed of Kussa grass (Desmostachya bipinnata) covered with black-buck (Krushnasaara Mruga – Antilope cervicapra) skin. He may take a little cold water if thirsty or if he wants can take little milk too.

2nd Day: In the next day morning he should perform the routine and auspicious rites; should sit down as before. When the Soma juice gets digested, it causes vomiting of blood and worms. In the evening, he should take boiled cooled milk and rest as usual.

3rd Day: He would get a loose motion with worms which would make him free from impurities accumulated due to errors of his previous diet and conduct; thus making his body well cleansed. He should take milk after a bath in the evening and rests as before.

4th to 6th Day: Swelling appearance of the body and the worms come out from all parts of his body are the characteristics of the day. His bed should be on strewn over with sand covered by a silken cloth and his diet is milk as before; but enhanced to twice daily;

7th Day: The person becomes completely fatigued due to excess wastage of muscles and reduced to a skeletal appearance. However, he continues to respire due to impact of Soma as claimed. Along with milk diet his body should be sprinkled over with warm milk followed by anointing with a paste of Sesamum indicum – Rasi /Til, Madhuka indica – Mahua flower and Santalum album – Sandalwood.

8th Day: Activities are same as the 7th day like milk bath and application of pastes. He should leave the bed of sand by changing to a bed covered with silk cloth. Later his muscles resume strength, his skin gets desquamated and his teeth, hairs and nails began to shed off.

9th to 18th Day: His body should be massaged with a herbal oil (Anutaila) and a bath with decoction of Soma Valka (may be any one of the following plants: Myrica sp., Milletia pinnata, Acacia nilotica and Sapindus trifoliatus - refer Padhy et al., 2001). Thence onwards his skin becomes firm with appearance of shining and enduring new teeth towards 17th / 18th Day.

19th to 29th Day: There will be a change in his diet as he should take gruel with milk and old Shali rice. During this time shining nails and glossy fine hairs will regenerate and the skin becomes lustrous.

30th to 50th Day: A hair cut (Mundana) in made on 30th day followed by application of paste made from sesum seeds (Sesamum indicum), Sandalwood (Santalum album) and Usira (Vetiveria zizanoides) on the head and bathed with milk. With in seven days stable, glossy and curly black hairs come up.

On the 40th day he should come out of the central room to the next, remain for a moment and re-entered into the inner chamber. Afterwards some herbal rheumatic oil for massage, paste of Barley (Hordeum vulgare) and decoction of Ajakarana (Pterocarpus marsupium) for rubbing and warm milk for sprinkling over the body, followed by bath in well water soaked with Usira (Vetiveria zizanoids)roots. He should drink varieties of pulse and other soups mixed with juice of Amlaki (Emblica officinalis). Also be given black sesum seeds boiled with milk and Mahua in the curry. This will continue for the next 10 days.

51st to 60th Day: For next 10 days he should live in the middle chamber.

61st to 70th Day: These 10 days he should remain in the outermost chamber and stabilize himself getting exposed to sun and wind a little and again entered to the central chamber (for rest). During this period he should not look at himself in the mirror or water. All these days he should control his senses, thoughts, avoid anger and remain with constructive spirit. This state will continue till he is released out of the chamber.

Final Exit: On the 4th months in a full moon day after performing the auspicious rites and worshiping the Brahmanas he should come out of the chamber.

Truthfully, the difficulties and risk of taking the Soma, its after care and the day to day progress after administration of the juice, as well the process of metamorphosis as depicted, is beyond the expectations of any therapy and a modern man can not have trust and patience to undergo such rigorous treatment. But, it must be admitted that the whole process described above is no less than the quarantine treatment of modern medical science.

Read Part III - Grand Finale


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