Terms

Vasu 8. Soma

The eighth Vasu is the Moon in the form of Soma. The moon as Soma was symbolically the original beaker or vessel of the soma elixir, ruling over tides, plants, animals & sexual energy When the moon is full the vessel is full. As the vessel is emptied the moon wanes. On earth, soma (qv) was also an hallucinogenic drink which was asoociated with wine and later became a dimension of the grail quest.
 
Cologne Sanskrit Dictionary: soma 1 m. (fr. 3. {su}) juice , extract , (esp.) the juice of the Soma plant , (also) the Soma plant itself (said to be the climbing plant Sarcostema Viminalis or Asclepias Acida , the stalks [{aMzu}] of which were pressed between stones [{adri}] by the priests , then sprinkled with water , and purified in a strainer [{pavitra}] ; whence the acid juice trinkled into jars [{kalaza}] or larger vessels [{droNa}] ; after which it was mixed with clarified butter , flour &c. , made to ferment , and then offered in libations to the gods [in this respect corresponding with the ritual of the Iranian Avesta] or was drunk by the Brahmans , by both of whom its exhilarating effect was supposed to be prized ; it was collected by moonlight on certain mountains [in RV. x , 34 , 1 , the mountain Muja-vat is mentioned] ; it is sometimes described as having been brought from the sky by a falcon [{zyena}] and guarded by the Gandharvas ; it is personified as one of the most important of Vedic gods , to whose praise all the 114 hymns of the 9th book of the RV. besides 6 in other books and the whole SV. are dedicated ; in post-Vedic mythology and even in a few of the latest hymns of the RV. [although not in the whole of the 9th book] as well as sometimes in the AV. and in the Br. , Soma is identified with the moon [as the receptacle of the other beverage of the gods called Amrita , or as the lord of plants cf. {indu} , {Sadi-pati}] and with the god of the moon , as well as with Vishnu , Siva , Yama , and Kubera ; he is called {rAjan} , and appears among the 8 Vasus and the 8 Loka-palas [Mn. v , 96] , and is the reputed author of RV. x , 124 , 1 , 5-9 , of a lawbook &c. ; cf. below) RV. &c. &c. the moon or moon-god (see above) a Soma sacrifice AitAr. ; a day destined for extracting the Soma-juice AsvSr. Monday (= {soma-vAra}) Inscr. nectar camphor air , wind water drug of supposed magical properties a partic. mountain or mountainous range (accord. to some the mountains of the moon) a partic. class of Pitris (prob. for {soma-pA}) ib. N. of various authors (also with {paNDita} , {bhaTTa} , {zarman} &c. ; cf. above) Cat. ; = {somacandra} , or {somendu} HParis. N. of a monkey-chief {A}) f. the Soma plant N. of an Apsaras of a river MarkP. of a queen Inscr. ; ({I}) f. g. {gaurAdi} {am}) n. rice-water , rice-gruel heaven , sky , ether mfn. relating to Soma (prob. w.r. for {sauma}) Kath.
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