Soma and its Effects Essay

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Soma and its Effects Throughout India's long and colorful history, there have been a considerable variety of groups who have left their mark on the land and its people. One of the most influential, however, were the Aryans. In fact, some of the Aryan customs still remain in modern-day India, such as cattle demanding great respect, which stems from the Aryan tradition of using such animals as currency (Chamberlain). The Aryans were mainly pastoral, relying on agriculture to survive (Bentley and Ziegler 94). They did not have any sort of writing system; instead, what is known about them is rooted in oral traditions.. This raises the question of religion. The Aryans believed in various gods and, accordingly, had songs, praises, hymns, and …show more content…
(The Rig Veda).
This demonstrates the helpful benefits of Soma. According to this passage, among others contained in the Rig Veda, Soma gives its users feelings of great freedom and a general sense of expansiveness. After ingesting the drug, the user is also said to “know no limits” (Rig 238). This can help promote a healthy mindset as it relieves feelings of stress. Additionally, even gods are depicted in the Rig Veda as having been helped by the effects of Soma. One of the traditional stories about Soma concerns Indra, the “Aryan war god and military hero...who ravaged citadels, smashed dams, and destroyed forts...” (Bentley and Ziegler 94). One significant feat, however, deals with Indra's defeat of a dragon who “lived in the sky and hoarded water in the clouds” (Bentley and Ziegler 87). Prior to the defeat, Indra satisfies his thirst by ingesting copious amounts of Soma. According to the story, after doing this, Indra goes into battle with the dragon and defeats it by throwing thunderbolts at it. The dragon, then, releases its storage of rain, which “fill seven rivers that flow through northern India and [bring] life-giving waters to the inhabitants of the region” (Bentley and Ziegler 87). As a pastoral people, the Aryans most likely tell this oral story to
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