On Soma

On Soma

Soma or Amrita is a subject I’ve noted here a number of times. On a discussion elsewhere on refinement, the topic came up and I was asked to describe it. I thought the comments were useful to share here, edited slightly for context.

Soma is a rather large subject. From an Ayurvedic perspective, digestion (mental, emotional and physical) goes through a series of 8 progressive refinements. The finest product of digestion, assuming there is sufficient refinement to support it, is ojas. Ojas helps refine the body, especially the skin. It also helps support soma.

Soma is produced by a subtle non-physical gland in the head. We’re most likely to first experience it as a sweet taste in the back of the throat. Soma massively enhances the refinement process, the smoothing of the physiology to better reflect finer values of existence.

A key detail about soma is that it’s also called Amrita. Amrita means nectar of the gods. The basic idea is that soma massively increases the support you get from nature and the environment. We offer a bonus incentive. It’s presence attracts more powerful beings to support our life and growth. This doesn’t mean we avoid the unfolding karma but the way is made more smooth. The “life is a struggle” thing falls away.

The famed “fountain of youth” that was sought in days of yore is not a physical place. It’s inside you. The above is the mechanism by which people lived a great deal longer in higher ages, smoothing the edges off life experiences.

There is a great deal of old writing on the subject, including an entire mandala of the Rig Veda (the 9th is also called the “soma mandala”). But it’s so badly misunderstood today that there are large academic texts trying to prove it was a hallucinogenic mushroom and the Vedic sages were on acid trips rather than exploring subtle realities.

What triggers the production of soma? Transcendence aka connection with pure consciousness. More specifically, contact with the bliss body which we get to just before consciousness. This is also the layer people refer to as pranava or The Word or Om (more correctly Aum). It’s also called ritam bhara pragya, that consciousness which accepts only truth.

Thus techniques that trigger transcendence and connection to source will trigger soma. But this is only if enough purification has already occurred for that process to flow. And the technique is effortless and skilled enough that it doesn’t take us into the mud in the process.

With more purification and refinement, soma itself becomes more obvious and refinement accelerates. But diet, lifestyle and other factors may support or hinder it.

Someone who is awake produces it all the time to some degree, which is another aspect of why development speeds up and the divine is able to come through.

The enlivenment of the bliss body of course brings happiness for no reason. Lively divinity. When the body is refined enough to handle it, it becomes ongoing. Then, as development progresses, it periodically steps up a notch. Sometimes, this can come on in an almost overwhelming blast or rapture. But then it quickly becomes the new normal. Until the next one. The Upanishads describe each step as 100x the prior.

Out of bliss beings are born,
In bliss they are sustained,
And to bliss they go and merge again.
— Taittiriya Upanishad 3.6.1

The astonishing thing then becomes – human suffering. How is it possible when our very life is literally the flow of limitless happiness? The answer comes down to where we are. Earth means density, descending into the thick of things. And then bringing consciousness into that so we can raise it up.

Last Updated on September 12, 2018 by Davidya

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  1. Jim Flanegin

    this brought up a funny memory of when I used to do TM in a group, on work/study for my sidhis course. I recall mentioning to the TM teacher that after meditating I often got a sweet taste in the back of my mouth, around my salivary glands beneath the tongue. Back then, 1979, it was ascribed to “something good is happening”.

  2. Hi Michael
    On a recent retreat it was noted that, due to the connection with bliss, when you’re experiencing bliss (happy for no reason), you’re also producing some quality of soma.

    Back of the throat is the most obvious directly though. Some notice its effect in the gut too but that usually requires more refined perception.

  3. Michael Jaksch

    Oh and it is not the roof of my mouth it is through the soft spot behind it. And it seems that Every drop increases the joy’ bliss and peace……and today is the funeral of my grandma……i hope i can contain myself.

  4. Right, Michael. The soft area at the back of the throat, behind the roof of the mouth is where it drips down.

    Yes, it can be awkward when the bliss is great and the social conventions suggest we be unhappy. But death should be celebrated, the completion of a journey and a remembrance. Certainly it’s natural to feel some grief also but placed in a larger context, it is a transition not an ending.

    And yes, what you put your attention on grows stronger. Things like this illustrate it.

    Just keep in mind this is an experience. It will end subjectively for various reasons, including stronger purification. But it has blessed your physiology and the nature around you.

    1. Yes, but no it’s unrelated. Some drugs mimic natural chemicals and can trigger some fancy experiences. But such experiences tend to come with a cost, like energetic sludge and fog. They also elicit altered states that are inherently distorted.

      Soma is in quite a different catagory and has quite different effects. For example, a drug trip is temporary but soma brings permanent effects.

  5. Jeff

    I experience soma running through my body. It feels like my fingers running across velvet. For me, it is especially present when listening to the 7:00am until 10:00am Gandharva Veda , and of course sama Veda. Amrita reveals herself to me, as personified divine beauty, when I do my primordial sound technique.

    1. Hi Jeff
      Yes, I’ve written about this in various ways. We are essentially immersed in a sea of soma, an ocean of milk. However, this is in it’s raw form. The devas can’t use that. The soma has to be flowed through the filter (us/our brain)(also portrayed as churning) where it drips down at the back of the throat behind the pallet, then is swallowed into the digesting tract. There is is picked up and distributed throughout the body.

      If you’re experiencing bliss, you’re producing soma. And thus you are massively increasing support of nature – both in supporting your laws and in attracting new ones.

      Some do relate to it more as the finest product of digestion but I suspect the variation is in what part of the process is being experienced.

      Each of us will resonate with certain things more that may enhance this or may simply by a place where we’re more conscious of what is already going on. (I like Rain Melody best. Sama is wonderful)

    1. Hi Ishtar
      Since writing this article, I’ve realized soma isn’t “produced by a gland” but rather pre-exists as a subtle ocean in raw form. When we transcend, the head (it’s not quite localized) filters and refines that soma so it shifts into a form our laws of nature can use. That is then channeled down into the gland at the back of the throat, etc as above.

      My understanding is that soma and amrita are 2 words for the same thing. I could be mistaken. Ojas is a distinct subtle chemical that’s related to soma, but I’m not sure if it’s a direct by-product. We can get the glow of ojas from some things that seem unrelated but I may not have seen the connection.

      Some describe soma being produced by the digestion, but I think that’s confusing it with ojas or missing steps. I can’t say I’ve seen the entire process but gradually, it gets clearer.

      Yummy, whatever the details. 🙂

    2. I received an offline note on my comment:
      “I experience Amirita as the Goddess of Immortality. To me, she is the pinnacle of divine beauty. She is a close aspect of Mother Divine. Amirita rests at the basis of creation.
      I experience soma in a more localized form. In my experience, soma flows while enlivening the divine.”

      Ah yes, that rings true. Amrita is the embodied form. To me, in this context, soma is like Mother’s milk, the Divine nectar, an ocean of milk (mentioned in the Puranas). The compliment. Soma becomes local when it “flows through the filter” into the physiology.

      Another example to explain: we have the observer value of consciousness. And we have Shiva as the embodied form of that. Impersonal and personal.

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