Night to the Soma-drinker come, for his enjoyment, these pure drops,
The Somas mingled with the curd.
Thou, grown at once to perfect strength, wast born to drink the Soma juice, Strong Indra, for preeminence.
O Indra, lover of the song, may these quick Somas enter thee:
May they bring bliss to thee the Sage.
— Rig Veda, HYMN V. to Indra
Agni and Soma are two primordial cosmic forces of the universe that are integral to all of life. They are deities in the Vedic tradition and consorts. Agni is the god of the sun and Soma (also known as Chandra) is the god of the moon. Soma is represented as the most powerful deity in the Vedic tradition – the healer of diseases, bestower of riches, and lord of all other gods. Soma is a nectar that exists within and also a drink that was made likened to ambrosia. Shiva and Indra are said to have drunk from this elixir.
Agni is the first word in the Rig Veda, the oldest of the Vedas or books of knowledge. It is the sacred fire which represents heat and light. Agni is the inner fire that governs transformation, alchemy, and metabolism. There are many types of agni and depending on which texts your read, they number anywhere from 3-13. Agni exists in the five primordial elements (air, fire, earth, water, space), all of the tissues of the body, and in the digestive tract. We want to think of kindling agni with care – as we would tend a fire. The goal is to have a steadily burning flame that doesn’t go out or diminish, nor does it combist or get out of control. One can support healthy agni through diet, herbs and lifestyle choices. There is said to be a type of soma for each type of agni and today we are going to focus on soma. In the summer months, times of intense heat, stress, or outward focused action – turning our awareness inward to the quiet and rejuvenative practices can be deeply therapeutic.
The word Soma comes from the root su, which means to swell, to make ready, or to prepare. The earliest mention of Soma is also traced to the Rigveda. Soma relates to water, ojas, ambrosia, the inner power of endurance, and becomes that which provides the fuel for our perceptions. Soma connects us to Ananda (bliss), peace, contentment, and love. It is the sustainer of all and when soma flows we are in a state of pure comfort or bliss.
If Agni is the fiery Kundalini force that dwells in the root or earth chakra below, Soma is the watery nectar that dwells in the crown of the head above. The oily drops of Soma nourish the central channel and provide the fuel for Agni, aiding in its upward movement. Agni is connected with the fiery kundalini shakti — as Agni rises, Soma descends. We need the nourishment of soma along the central channel before awakening kundalini. According to the Vedas, Soma flows in a thousand streams to Indra’s special place. These are the thousand currents of the sahasrara chakra or the crown where there lies the thousand-petalled lotus.
Remember, over-activity and excess stimulation of agni leads to depletion, burnout, and disease. It is vitally important to cultivate soma in order to enhance longevity.
Ways of cultivating soma flow include diet, lifestyle, herbs, pranayama, and meditation. I will share a few suggestions for each.
Spiced Milk Tonic
I adore Divya’s Kitchen and often order my Ayurvedic meals and pantry items from them. For developing soma, I highly suggest their ghee, soma salt, split mung bean soup. I am an affiliate so if you use this link to order and code Jeanette15 you’ll receive 15% off
Abhyanga warm oil massage – check out my Youtube video
Marma Chikitsa – marma point therapy
Pratyahara – turning awareness inward and cultivating steadiness and quiet
Herbs (Stanya Rasayanas):
Gotu Kola (Brahmi)
Asana and Pranayama:
Sitali and Sitkari Pranayama
Restorative, Yin and Slow Flow Yoga
Brhamari Pranayama – I have a guided practice on Insight Timer
Kechari or Shambavi mudra
We are exploring these themes all summer long in my live classes and online membership. Sign up today for just $0.99. Cancel anytime.