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In Vedic philosophy, Soma is the cosmic lunar, cool, calm and rejuvenating principle that balances the Agni, the principle of light, fire, heat and transformation. They can be thought of as Prakriti and Purusha or Shiva and Shakti, the feminine and masculine aspects of Brahman (the universal consciousness).

The balance of the two creates life, but in today’s society much of the balance has been tipped towards the Agni. The emphasis is on striving, achieving, competition and over-exertion which causes stress and anxiety. Most of us could benefit from a flood of Soma; the calming, mothering and nurturing energy, to restore balance.

Soma is described in the Vedas as both a mystical plant of immortality found in the Himalayas, as well as a divine nectar that flows downwards as divine grace descending from above. It meets the Kundalini, the fiery transformative Agni force that moves upwards. The power of aspiration rises in the form of Agni, ascending upwards and meeting the watery nectar of the Soma that dwells in the crown chakra and descends down. The oily drops of Soma are fuel for the fire, and balanced Agni creates Ojas, which is pure Soma.

From the perspective of yogic paths, Agni represents Jnana Yoga (the yoga of knowledge), which can create heat coming from the effort of self-inquiry. Soma represents Bhakti Yoga (the yoga of devotion), which comes through the flow of surrender.

Soma represents all that is gentle, beautiful, delicate, sweet, patient and lunar. We can build Soma in our lives through connecting with the beauty of nature, especially water and the moon; restorative practices that calm the nervous system, such as Yoga Nidra and meditation; Sattvic, Ojas-building foods such as ghee, dates and milk; Bhakti or devotional practices such as japa and kirtan; and creating art, music or poetry. When we are receiving a beautiful sunset, inspiration, or the sound of a mantra, we step into the feminine, receptive mode and are more easily able to open to receiving Grace. It comes through surrender.

A saumya is a moon-like person, someone full of inner beauty and light. It is considered a deeply auspicious and graceful concept. When you look at a saumya, it feels like looking at the moon. When allowing the flow of Soma to naturally flow in our lives we can overflow these qualities into the world with just our presence.

Source : David Frawley: Soma in Yoga and Ayurveda

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