Tauk See the parallel examples in Gershevilch Only when that tradition of oral composition began to decline in India and Iran did the hymns become fixed. In the latter connection. Fa ima collected it ForHusayn and Hasan. Ephedra was valued only as jaoma additive to sauma. However, since Ruta graveolens necessarily reached India via Iran, where it appears to serve analogously to soma in certain rituals, it may be that the Sanskrit names are modeled upon Iranian terminology of ritual substitutes for Peganum harmala.
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Some descriptions of Soma are associated with tapas heat, excitement, "energy". Soma is associated with the warrior-god Indra , and appears to have been drunk before battle. For these reasons, there are stimulant amphetamine-like plants as well as entheogenic plants among the candidates that have been suggested.
Soma is also often associated with Light and Indra is the "Lord of Light" as shown in. Bring Indra to his worshippers. May Indra give thee skill, and lights of heaven, wealth to his votary. And priests who praise him: laud ye him. Several texts like the Atharva Veda extol the medicinal properties of Soma and he is regarded as the king of medicinal herbs and also of the Brahmana class. Somalata[ edit ] When the ritual of Somayajna is held today in South India, the herb which is used is the somalata Sarcostemma acidum [ citation needed ], a leafless plant that grows in rocky places all over India.
Fly-agaric Amanita muscaria. From the late s onwards, several studies attempted to establish soma as a psychotropic substance. A number of proposals were made, included an important one in by Robert Gordon Wasson , an amateur mycologist, who on Vedic evidence asserted that soma was an inebriant, and suggested fly-agaric mushroom, Amanita muscaria , as the likely candidate.
McKenna argues that effects of the Amanita muscaria mushrooms contradict the description of the properties described in the Rigveda. Amanita muscaria mushrooms have properties that are arguably more deliriant than psychedelic. Psilocybin, the active psychoactive component in Psilocybe cubensis, has a strong mind-altering effect. McKenna cites other cultures who use and venerate psychedelic plant-drugs in religious ceremonies such as at Chavin de Huantar , Peru.
Gordon Wasson, who initially suggested that the soma plant was Amanita muscaria , described Psilocybe cubensis as "easily identified and gathered" in India, and eventually hypothesized, along with McKenna, that Psilocybe cubensis was perhaps the true identity of soma. McKenna and Wasson both unsuccessfully attempted to use Amanita muscaria to achieve a state of consciousness conducive to the development of a religion.
A study by Griffiths et al. It is worth noting that the experience of death and rebirth can be brought on by psychedelic drugs, but it is also a central concept of Hinduism i. The two again paid particular attention to the hallucinogenic properties that may be interpreted from the texts, and discounted Ephedra because they could not observe Zoroastrian priests becoming intoxicated.
Flattery considered harmel to be the real haoma, with ephedra only being the secondary ingredient in the parahaoma mixture. Ephedra[ edit ] Ephedra distachya Another candidate of the non-hallucinogenic, stimulant hypothesis is a species of the genus Ephedra. Ephedrine , the agent substance in this plant, has a chemical structure similar to amphetamines , and it results in high blood-pressure; according to anecdotal reports, it has a stimulating effect more potent than that of caffeine.
In the late 19th century, the highly conservative Zoroastrians of Yazd province in Iran were found to use Ephedra genus Ephedra , which was locally known as hum or homa and which they exported to the Indian Zoroastrians. Ephedra distachya is native to southern Europe and northern Asia. Ephedra plants are shrubs, measuring between 0. There are about 30 species, mainly Eurasian. The marrow in the stems is brown-coloured in some species, reminiscent of Sanskrit babhru "greyish-brown" , used exclusively in the Vedas to describe the extract.
The different species of Ephedra are not well known, and their taxonomy is in a state of confusion. Assuming a Pontic-Caspian home of Indo-Iranian religions see Kurgan , the only likely candidate is Ephedra distachya , still used in Iranian folk medicine. In , in a highly influential text, Harry Falk pointed out that both the Flattery and Wasson arguments assumed that haoma was hallucinogenic, although the effect desired by Zoroastrian and Vedic ritual use was not.
Falk noted that, in the texts, both haoma and soma were said to enhance alertness and awareness, did not coincide with the consciousness altering effects of an entheogen , and that "there is nothing shamanistic or visionary either in early Vedic or in Old Iranian texts,"  p79 nor could the small doses administered in living Zoroastrian custom justify its consideration as an inebriant. Living custom also does not give the extract enough time to ferment.
Falk established that the effect of the alkaloid ephedrine was, in many respects, similar to adrenaline, but "its actions are less intense but more prolonged than those of adrenaline, and, most important, it prevents sleeping. Falk also asserted that the three varieties of ephedra that yield ephedrine E.
It was analysed in — by three independent teams, but they found no traces of the claimed contents. The description of Soma in the Vedic texts somewhat resembles the Sacred Lotus. Sacred Lotus is a waterlily that produces golden-red flowers on stalks. These flowers resemble portions of the ancient texts comparing Soma to an arrow and the sun.
Other Vedic hymns describe Soma as having a "ruddy radiance", reflecting the color of the flowers of the Sacred Lotus. Soma is also described in the Vedic hymns as growing "joint by joint, knot by knot", which is a good description of a plant that grows by producing procumbent shoots with nodes and internodes. In addition, benzoisoquinoline alkaloids found in the Sacred Lotus, including aporphine , proaporphine , and nuciferine , are psychoactive, producing feelings of euphoria when ingested.
The book hypothesizes that the source of both was ergot Claviceps purpurea. Bhairavdutt comes to visit the swami, bringing about a pound of the herb with him. The taste, says Swami Rama, is "a little bit bitter and sour.
Several students attempt to restrain the apparently slightly built Bhairavdutt, but are unable to do so. Meanwhile, Swami Rama develops a crippling headache, a symptom which is compatible with the effects of ephedrine overdose.
Haoma & Harmaline
Faegor Darbha-grass provided the seat of the god Agni on the fire-altar, and was used to sweep the sacrificial area, whence the numinous power of this grass cf. Anf covers history, ethnobotany, and evidence from rituals. The practice of holding twigs as the Iranian priestly insignia was undoubtably adopted from earlier Near Eastern traditions of holding tamarisk branches, as Peter Calmeyer has shown. The power of shamans is dependent on such guides. Derek marked it as to-read Oct 24, He qnd a draught of it to those who are about to become parents, after conception, and to nursing mothers. Armenian sunk does harmaaline belong here either.
ISBN 13: 9780520096271
Botanical identity of soma–haoma