In the days of yore the gods such as Brahma, etc created a kind of Arnrita ambrosia) which is known by the epithet of Soma, for the prevention of death † and decay of the body. We shall now deal with the mode of using this ambrosia). 2.
The one and the same divine Soma plant nay be classified into twenty-four species according to the difference of their habitats, structures, epithets and potencies. They are as follows: - Ams'umán, Munjaván, Chandra-máh, Rajataprabha, Durvá Soma, Kaniyan, S'vetáksha, Kanaka prabha,Pratánaván, Tála vrinta, Karavira, Am-s'aván, Svayam-prabha, Mahá-soma, Garudáhrita, Gáya trya, Traishtubha, Pámkta, Jágata, S'ámkara, Agni-shtoma, Raivata, Yathokta and Udupati. All these kinds of Soma secure for the user a mastery of the Gáyatri (and hence in the Vedas), and are known by the above auspicious names mentioned in the Vedas ‡
* These are decrepitude, death, hunger, thirst, sleep, etc. † Here death may mean, accordirg to some authorities, the death of tissues as well.
‡ The whole of the hymns in the 9th Book of the Rig-veda, besides a few in other places, are dedicated to the honour of Soma, but these twenly-four names do not occur there. The plant is there represented as a god, and his worship must at one time have attained a remarkable popularity. The extraordinary properties of the exhihraling juice of the Soma are frequently mentioned in the Rig-veda and the language throughout in which it is behymned could not be more eulogistic. As an instance of Their virtues and methods of using them are identical with each other and are described below. 3 4.
A room or an inner chamber (Agára) in a commendable site protected with three walls on each side and provided with all kinds of accessories and attendants, should be first secured before taking (the expressed juice of) any of the aforesaid Soma plants. Then at an auspicious hour on an auspicious day marked by favourable astral combinations and lunar phase, the person desirous of using the Soma should enter the inner or central Chamber after having had his system cleansed (with the proper emetics, purgatives, etc ) and having had his diet in the proper order (of Peyá, etc.). A (whole) plant of the Ams'umán (or of any other kind of) Soma should be procured in the manner to be observed at the time of collecting the Soma for an (Agni-shtoma) sacrifice and (all) the (preliminary) rites of Homa should be performed (in the usual orthodox way). After that the bulb (of the Soma plant) should be pricked with a golden needle and a quantity of the secreted milky exudation should be collected in a golden vessel. The patient (with the auspicious rites of protection, this we might refer to Rig-veda VIII. 48.3 which has been metrically translated by Muir as follows: -
We've quaffed the Soma bright,
And are immortal grown;
We've entered into light,
And all the gods have known.
What mortal now can harm,
Or foeman vex us more?
Through thee, beyond alarm, etc. done unto him) should drink off an Anjali (Kudava) measure of the secreted juice at a draught without tasting it, and the remainder, if any, should be cast into water. He should then wash and rinse his mouth with water in the manner of Achamana. Then having controlled his mind and speech with the vows of Yama (paramount duties, * and Niyama (minor duties) † should stay in the protected inner chamber surrounded by his friends. 5.
Immortal god, we soar. It should be mentioned, however, that as far as our knowledge goes, this Soma is now-a-days not within our reach, - Ed.
After having drunk the Rasáyana (Elixir) one should reside in a windless (prescribed) chamber, spend his time in perfect control over his senses, sitting, standing or walking about in his chamber in a holy spirit and by no means indulging in sleep (which is injurious under the circumstances). 6.
Or the patient may, after taking his meal in the evening and hearing the benedictory words, lie down on a mattress of Kus'a-grass covered with black-deer skin and thus pass the night among his friends and may take cold water when thirsty. Then having got out of his bed in the morning he should hear the benedictory words recited and have the benedictoiy rites performed unto him. He should then touch the body of a cow and sit down in the same manner (in his chamber). Vomitings mark the digestion of the Soma-juice and after vomiting the blood-streaked worm-infested matter, Being).
*Patanjali, the propounder of the Yoga system of Philosophy, enumerates the Yamas as follows: - ' (harmlessness),
(truthfulness), (abstinence from stealing),(continence) and(non-acceptance of offerings except in prescribed cases).