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The Rgvedic Soma (Research Monograph)
The Rgvedic Soma (Research Monograph)
Description
About the Author

Dr. Waradpande is a polymath. He took his MA. Degree in Sanskrit and Philosophy in first division. He won a gold medal and the King Edward Memorial Scholarship for research in Nyaya Logic. He took his Shastri in Darshan and Kavyateertha in Poetics. His Ph.D. is in “Time Space & Motion”, a subject touching logic, physics and philosophy. At present he is the President of the Sanskrit-Bhasha Pracharini Subhead the Editor of the Sanskrit weekly Bhavitavyam. He was awarded the Sheorey prize of Rs. 11,000/-for original thought by the President of India for his book “The Aryan Invasion: a Myth”.

“The Maharashtra Government felicitated Dr. Waradpande for his services to Sanskrit with a citation and a prize of Rs. 10,000/-.” Dr. Waradpande worked as a lecturer in Sanskrit and Philosophyat different times in colleges affiliated to Nagpur and Sager Universities. He was awarded a scholarship by the government for studying Psychology at Oxford. After graduating from Oxford he worked in the Rescarchand Development Organization of the Government of lndia from here he retired as Chief Psychologist and Director of Psychological Research. As a student of Psychology and Logic Dr. Waradpande developed interest in Statistics and Boolean Algebra, His paper on the Nyaya form of Inference and Boolean Algebra, sponsored by the Sanskrit Rhasha Pracharini Sabha evoked keen interest among mathematicians. His publications listed below, cover a wide range, such as Fiction. Poetry. Philosophy, Literary Criticism and History. His books have received glowing reviews in foreign journals.

About the Book

The present paper shows that the problem of the identity of soma in the Rgveda is a pseudo-problem like the problem of the original home of the “Aryans”. This is an attempt to search a home for people who never existed. Similarly, the identity of the soma is sought to be established by assuming it to be anon-Indian vegetation with exotic properties. The paper shows that the Soma has been and is being drunk in India with an unbroken tradition. Looking for it every where excepting in India is like looking for ones fingers event here excepting on ones own body.

Preface

This research monograph started as a lecture delivered in the Sanskrit - Bhasha - Pracharini - Sabha. As a sequel to this lecture I examined all the references to the sOma in the 1gveda and found that they are very clear and if the myth of Aryan invasion and the tendency to assign a foreign origin to everything Indian had not taken possession of the scholars of the .Rgveda, nobody would have failed to notice that the much vaunted soma is nothing but what is even now current as a religious drink in India.

This finding is unwelcome not only to the Aryaninvasionists, but also to the orthodox Indians. There is an idea cur- rent that the Rgveda is primarily concerned with the spiritual and the Vedic 1shis should not be accused of such profane practices as the drinking of bhang.

Among those who vouch for the essentially spiritual nature of the Rgveda, counts such a stalwart as Shri Aravinda Ghosh. But he too gives in by saying that for some unknown reason the Vedic’s his have concealed the spiritual essence of their motif This is an admission that the spiritual content of the Rgveda is not obvious to those who do not read the .Rgveda with the avowed purpose of finding it. If one reads the 1gveda without any preconceptions, one is bound to see that the Rgveda is primarily theistic or better still deistic. It sees the universe as abounding in deities expressing themselves in the form of natural phenomena, like rains etc, or sometimes directly visible as the sun and the moon. These deities are amenable to prayer and the This ask for perfectly mundane things like brave sons and wealth. The idea of salvation is hard to find in the Rgveda.

Some people think that this account of the content of the Rgveda is demeaning. In fact Max Muller thought that the Hindus will lose respect for the .Rgveda when its mundane nature is brought to their notice.

I do not see any substance in such notions. After all what is the objective of our five-year-plans? Is it not wealth and good progeny? Why should then we feel small if our sacred scripture does the soma, Now coming to the soma, it would be instructive to draw the attention of the reader to what modem science has to say about its medical properties if we identify,’ it with the bhang. If this is borne in mind it will be clear that there is nothing to be ashamed of in the ritual of soma drinking, at least as compared to the fashion of consuming alcohol, the practice is almost harmless and even benign.

Abnormal Psychology and Modern Life by James C. Coloma discusses the effects of alcohol and hemp quite exhaustively.. This is what says:“Alcohol has lied more people, sent more victims to hospitals; generated, mare police arrests, broken up more marriages and homes, and cost industry more money than has the abuse of heroin, amphetamines; barbiturates and marijuana combined.” Marijuana is ganja. a derivative of hemp.

• The. American Medical Association exposed some misconceptions about alcohol as long ago as 1965. Sonia of these are the following: -
(1) Alcohol is a fat less dangerous drug than marijuana.
(2) Alcohol i a stimulant
(3) Alcohol is essential to the treatment of certain diseases.
(4) Impaired judgment does not occur before there are obvious symptoms of intoxication.
(5) An exceptional person can have 0.1 percent or more of alcohol in his blood-stream and still by in control of his faculties.
(6) People with strong wills need not be concerned about becoming alcoholics.
(7) Most alcoholics who have successfully completed treatment can safely resume social. Drinking.
1’hépleãsuredeiived from alcohol is due to the weakening of inhibitions. This gives a sense of care - freeness and relaxation. But this very weakening of inhibition amounts to weakening of the sense for right and wrong and leads to criminality. Moreover. in most cases the drinker does not stop when relaxation and care-free Ness is achieved...Heroes on and-gradually..The- careens and relaxation require larger and larger doses. Very seen what was taken for pleas: re has to be taken not for positive pleasure but; because not taking. it causes with drawl symptoms This leads to. Addiction.

Addiction can finally result in alcoholism. In America by the end of thesèvcnti.Cs there were eight million alcoholics. It.shouid be remembere4tliaalôoholics candonothingbut drikandhaveto be maintained at the expense of society.

In Russia a million people die of aiàohol every year. Gorbachav had introduced prohibition in Russia, and America is adopting measurers’ controlling the nienacofalehoI In comparison hemp and its derivatives cause mind ex pension lea feeling that the mind is losing its shackles They are not habit-forming and are not known to idea to criminality

The almost brambles nature of marijuana is attested by hospital figures which sewed that only three out of the 90,000 cases admitted for.doinig abuse were for marijuana, while hundreds of deaths were associated with the abuse of alcohol, barbiturates amphetamines; In 1893, the British government appointed the Indian hemp drugs commission to investigate the effects of hemp and its derivatives. A 7 volume report was published in 1894 after investigations throughout India. The findings are: -

The notion that hemp-drugs cause, dysentery, bronchitis, asthma, insanity and crime have no basis.

In view of these findings there is a move for. the legalization of these drugs. . . .. . . .:.

A pair of U.Seresearchers have recently published a paper in the Journal, of American Medical Association. recomnendjng marijuana for stimulating appetite,. Relaxation of. the. Muscle’s relieving pain Dr Lester Gnnspoon of Harvardniedical school saysl-

“There are thousands of people who are using marijuana as a medicine. We are treat iñ thee people ascttriinals:”,

Dr. Grins bib and his colleague James Baker writes that marijuana has been proved specially effective in easing the nausea re sulting from cancer treatment. :

(Washington, June 22(DPA)

It should not be supposed from the above that I am recommending the consumption of hemp - drugs. Hemp - drugs bring their own perils, in some cases even fatal heart - attaches as stated in the Rgveda itself, as shown in the present work. I only wish to emphasize that these effects are negligible as compared to those of alcohol, and hemp could be used as a substitute in the beginning for those who wish to give up alcohol. The ultimate aim however should be to keep aloof from psychoactive drugs altogether.

The Vedic rishis have shown commendable judgement in condemning alcohol and recommending a restricted use of hemp confined to the sacrificial ritual.

It seems that by the time of Sayana, the memory that soma is hemp was lost. The reason is obvious. After Buddha, the ganja as a common practice almost died Qut. Sacrifices were occasionally performed to emphasize that the Vedic mode of worship was still living. But this is far different from yajna being a common practice.

If Sayana had known that the soma is the familiar hemp he would not have been puzzled by the description of soma as Samadhi i.e kindled and as being “blown” i.e. puffed. To one who knows that soma was smoked also, these expressions would appear commonplace.

In the end I must acknowledge, the commendable help given to me by Prof. P. K. Mukerji, Head of the department of Nagpur University and Shree Striped Chital of the same department, by supplying information about the hemp-plant and its properties. I must also thank Dr. Vasudeva Naik, Prof. of Botany in the Arthavãda University for taking keen interest in the progress of the work of this monograph.

The Rgvedic Soma (Research Monograph)

Item Code:
NAD301
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
1995
Size:
8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Pages:
56
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Weight of the Book: 120 gms
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About the Author

Dr. Waradpande is a polymath. He took his MA. Degree in Sanskrit and Philosophy in first division. He won a gold medal and the King Edward Memorial Scholarship for research in Nyaya Logic. He took his Shastri in Darshan and Kavyateertha in Poetics. His Ph.D. is in “Time Space & Motion”, a subject touching logic, physics and philosophy. At present he is the President of the Sanskrit-Bhasha Pracharini Subhead the Editor of the Sanskrit weekly Bhavitavyam. He was awarded the Sheorey prize of Rs. 11,000/-for original thought by the President of India for his book “The Aryan Invasion: a Myth”.

“The Maharashtra Government felicitated Dr. Waradpande for his services to Sanskrit with a citation and a prize of Rs. 10,000/-.” Dr. Waradpande worked as a lecturer in Sanskrit and Philosophyat different times in colleges affiliated to Nagpur and Sager Universities. He was awarded a scholarship by the government for studying Psychology at Oxford. After graduating from Oxford he worked in the Rescarchand Development Organization of the Government of lndia from here he retired as Chief Psychologist and Director of Psychological Research. As a student of Psychology and Logic Dr. Waradpande developed interest in Statistics and Boolean Algebra, His paper on the Nyaya form of Inference and Boolean Algebra, sponsored by the Sanskrit Rhasha Pracharini Sabha evoked keen interest among mathematicians. His publications listed below, cover a wide range, such as Fiction. Poetry. Philosophy, Literary Criticism and History. His books have received glowing reviews in foreign journals.

About the Book

The present paper shows that the problem of the identity of soma in the Rgveda is a pseudo-problem like the problem of the original home of the “Aryans”. This is an attempt to search a home for people who never existed. Similarly, the identity of the soma is sought to be established by assuming it to be anon-Indian vegetation with exotic properties. The paper shows that the Soma has been and is being drunk in India with an unbroken tradition. Looking for it every where excepting in India is like looking for ones fingers event here excepting on ones own body.

Preface

This research monograph started as a lecture delivered in the Sanskrit - Bhasha - Pracharini - Sabha. As a sequel to this lecture I examined all the references to the sOma in the 1gveda and found that they are very clear and if the myth of Aryan invasion and the tendency to assign a foreign origin to everything Indian had not taken possession of the scholars of the .Rgveda, nobody would have failed to notice that the much vaunted soma is nothing but what is even now current as a religious drink in India.

This finding is unwelcome not only to the Aryaninvasionists, but also to the orthodox Indians. There is an idea cur- rent that the Rgveda is primarily concerned with the spiritual and the Vedic 1shis should not be accused of such profane practices as the drinking of bhang.

Among those who vouch for the essentially spiritual nature of the Rgveda, counts such a stalwart as Shri Aravinda Ghosh. But he too gives in by saying that for some unknown reason the Vedic’s his have concealed the spiritual essence of their motif This is an admission that the spiritual content of the Rgveda is not obvious to those who do not read the .Rgveda with the avowed purpose of finding it. If one reads the 1gveda without any preconceptions, one is bound to see that the Rgveda is primarily theistic or better still deistic. It sees the universe as abounding in deities expressing themselves in the form of natural phenomena, like rains etc, or sometimes directly visible as the sun and the moon. These deities are amenable to prayer and the This ask for perfectly mundane things like brave sons and wealth. The idea of salvation is hard to find in the Rgveda.

Some people think that this account of the content of the Rgveda is demeaning. In fact Max Muller thought that the Hindus will lose respect for the .Rgveda when its mundane nature is brought to their notice.

I do not see any substance in such notions. After all what is the objective of our five-year-plans? Is it not wealth and good progeny? Why should then we feel small if our sacred scripture does the soma, Now coming to the soma, it would be instructive to draw the attention of the reader to what modem science has to say about its medical properties if we identify,’ it with the bhang. If this is borne in mind it will be clear that there is nothing to be ashamed of in the ritual of soma drinking, at least as compared to the fashion of consuming alcohol, the practice is almost harmless and even benign.

Abnormal Psychology and Modern Life by James C. Coloma discusses the effects of alcohol and hemp quite exhaustively.. This is what says:“Alcohol has lied more people, sent more victims to hospitals; generated, mare police arrests, broken up more marriages and homes, and cost industry more money than has the abuse of heroin, amphetamines; barbiturates and marijuana combined.” Marijuana is ganja. a derivative of hemp.

• The. American Medical Association exposed some misconceptions about alcohol as long ago as 1965. Sonia of these are the following: -
(1) Alcohol is a fat less dangerous drug than marijuana.
(2) Alcohol i a stimulant
(3) Alcohol is essential to the treatment of certain diseases.
(4) Impaired judgment does not occur before there are obvious symptoms of intoxication.
(5) An exceptional person can have 0.1 percent or more of alcohol in his blood-stream and still by in control of his faculties.
(6) People with strong wills need not be concerned about becoming alcoholics.
(7) Most alcoholics who have successfully completed treatment can safely resume social. Drinking.
1’hépleãsuredeiived from alcohol is due to the weakening of inhibitions. This gives a sense of care - freeness and relaxation. But this very weakening of inhibition amounts to weakening of the sense for right and wrong and leads to criminality. Moreover. in most cases the drinker does not stop when relaxation and care-free Ness is achieved...Heroes on and-gradually..The- careens and relaxation require larger and larger doses. Very seen what was taken for pleas: re has to be taken not for positive pleasure but; because not taking. it causes with drawl symptoms This leads to. Addiction.

Addiction can finally result in alcoholism. In America by the end of thesèvcnti.Cs there were eight million alcoholics. It.shouid be remembere4tliaalôoholics candonothingbut drikandhaveto be maintained at the expense of society.

In Russia a million people die of aiàohol every year. Gorbachav had introduced prohibition in Russia, and America is adopting measurers’ controlling the nienacofalehoI In comparison hemp and its derivatives cause mind ex pension lea feeling that the mind is losing its shackles They are not habit-forming and are not known to idea to criminality

The almost brambles nature of marijuana is attested by hospital figures which sewed that only three out of the 90,000 cases admitted for.doinig abuse were for marijuana, while hundreds of deaths were associated with the abuse of alcohol, barbiturates amphetamines; In 1893, the British government appointed the Indian hemp drugs commission to investigate the effects of hemp and its derivatives. A 7 volume report was published in 1894 after investigations throughout India. The findings are: -

The notion that hemp-drugs cause, dysentery, bronchitis, asthma, insanity and crime have no basis.

In view of these findings there is a move for. the legalization of these drugs. . . .. . . .:.

A pair of U.Seresearchers have recently published a paper in the Journal, of American Medical Association. recomnendjng marijuana for stimulating appetite,. Relaxation of. the. Muscle’s relieving pain Dr Lester Gnnspoon of Harvardniedical school saysl-

“There are thousands of people who are using marijuana as a medicine. We are treat iñ thee people ascttriinals:”,

Dr. Grins bib and his colleague James Baker writes that marijuana has been proved specially effective in easing the nausea re sulting from cancer treatment. :

(Washington, June 22(DPA)

It should not be supposed from the above that I am recommending the consumption of hemp - drugs. Hemp - drugs bring their own perils, in some cases even fatal heart - attaches as stated in the Rgveda itself, as shown in the present work. I only wish to emphasize that these effects are negligible as compared to those of alcohol, and hemp could be used as a substitute in the beginning for those who wish to give up alcohol. The ultimate aim however should be to keep aloof from psychoactive drugs altogether.

The Vedic rishis have shown commendable judgement in condemning alcohol and recommending a restricted use of hemp confined to the sacrificial ritual.

It seems that by the time of Sayana, the memory that soma is hemp was lost. The reason is obvious. After Buddha, the ganja as a common practice almost died Qut. Sacrifices were occasionally performed to emphasize that the Vedic mode of worship was still living. But this is far different from yajna being a common practice.

If Sayana had known that the soma is the familiar hemp he would not have been puzzled by the description of soma as Samadhi i.e kindled and as being “blown” i.e. puffed. To one who knows that soma was smoked also, these expressions would appear commonplace.

In the end I must acknowledge, the commendable help given to me by Prof. P. K. Mukerji, Head of the department of Nagpur University and Shree Striped Chital of the same department, by supplying information about the hemp-plant and its properties. I must also thank Dr. Vasudeva Naik, Prof. of Botany in the Arthavãda University for taking keen interest in the progress of the work of this monograph.

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