The Vedas are a set of four Hindu holy texts, written about 2,500 years ago. The first and most important of the Vedas is the Rig-Veda, a set of ten books comprising hymns and mantras to and about various deities.  Veda is Sanskrit for “knowledge,” and Hindus believe the knowledge in the Vedas to be divine in origin.

In the Vedas, the same word (soma) is used for the drink, the plant, and its deity. Drinking soma produces immortality (Amrita, Rigveda 8.48.3). Indra and Agni are portrayed as consuming soma in copious quantities. The consumption of soma by human beings is well attested in Vedic ritual.

Whats is Somaa

Somaa is a great deity, cosmic power and spiritual principle in Vedic thought. It also had its counterpart in the plant kingdom. There has been a long search for the identity of the original Soma plant was and several plants have been proposed as representing it.

My view – based upon more than thirty years of study of the Vedas in the original Sanskrit, as well as related Ayurvedic literature – is that the Soma plant was not simply one plant, though there may have been one primary Somaa plant in certain times and places, but several plants, sometimes a plant mixture and more generally refers to the sacred usage of plants. Somaa is mentioned as existing in all plants (RigVeda X.97.7) and many different types of Somaa are indicated, some requiring elaborate preparations. Water itself, particularly that of the Himalayan rivers, is a kind of Soma (RigVeda VII.49.4). In Vedic thought, for every form of Agni or Fire, there is also a form of Soma. In this regard, there are Somaas throughout the universe. Agni and Somaa are the Vedic equivalents of yin and yang in Chinese thought.

In the Vedas, the word “somaa” is used for the drink, the plant, and its deity.

Drinking somaa produces immortality (Amrita, Rigveda 8.48.3). 

Indra and Agni (deities) are portrayed as consuming somaa in copious quantities. The consumption of somaa by human beings is well attested in Vedic ritual.

The Rigveda (8.48.3) :

ápāma sómam amŕ̥tā abhūma
áganma jyótir ávidāma devā́n
kíṃ nūnám asmā́n kr̥ṇavad árātiḥ
kím u dhūrtír amr̥ta mártiyasya

phase translates this as:

Som (good fruit containing vitality) apama (we drink you)
amŕtā abhūmâ (you are elixir of life) jyótir âganma (achieve physical strength / light of god)
ávidāma devân (achieve control over senses);
kíṃ nūnám asmân kṛṇavad árātiḥ (in this situation, what our internal enemy can do to me)
kím u dhūrtír amṛta mártyasya (god, what even violent people can do to me)


Western Translation


We have drunk somaa and become immortal; we have attained the light, the Gods discovered.
Now what may foeman's malice do to harm us? What, O Immortal, mortal man's deception?