[INDOLOGY] Soma and Amanita muscaria

George Thompson gthomgt at gmail.com
Tue Oct 9 18:05:46 EDT 2018


Dear Georges-Jean,

In my paper published in the Staal memorial volume I also assert that the
original name of the Soma plant was aMSu, but I did not offer an etymology
of this term.  And I don't believe that the plant was an ephedra.

Best wishes,

George



On Tue, Oct 9, 2018 at 5:40 PM Georges PINAULT via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

>
>
> Dear All,  The list of references provided by Jarod is excellent and
> nearly complete. I may add a little contribution of mine, that may escape
> notice: in "Further links between the Indo-Iranian substratum and the BMAC
> language", in B. Tikkanen & H. Hettrich, Themes and tasks in Old and Middle
> Indo-Aryan linguistics, Delhi, 2006, p. 167-196. I have devoted some
> argument (184-189) about the name RV aMSu-, which I consider as the genuine
> name of the plant, because soma- was actually the name of the juice. My
> etymology of aMSu- takes it as a colour name borrowed from a language of
> Central Asia, and referring  to the rusty red (brown) colour of the
> internal part of its stalk. All other colours attributed to th soma- in the
> RV are based on metaphors. This would support the identification as
> ephedra.
>
>
>
> This is a modest contribution to the debate. Best wishes,   Georges-Jean
> Pinault
>
>
>
>
>
> > Message du 09/10/18 18:14
> > De : "Whitaker, Jarrod L. via INDOLOGY" <indology at list.indology.info>
> > A : indology at list.indology.info
> > Copie à :
> > Objet : Re: [INDOLOGY] Soma and Amanita muscaria
> >
> > I would recommend the following sources on Soma's identity (taken from
> my article “Rig Veda.” Oxford Bibliographies — Hinduism:
> http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/obo/page/hinduism. August 30, 2016):
> Falk, Harry. “Soma I and II.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and
> African Studies, University of London 52.1 (1989): 77–90. Falk pays close
> attention to the descriptions of sóma in the Rgveda and Avesta, and argues
> strongly for a type of ephedra for the identity and stimulant effects of
> the plant. Flattery, David S., and Martin Schwartz. Haoma and Harmaline.
> Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989. Argues for the identity of
> the sóma and Avestan haoma as wild rue (Peganum harmala). Houben, Jan E. M.
> “The Soma-Haoma Problem: Introductory Overview and Observations on the
> discussion.” Edited by Jan E. M Houben. Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies
> 9.1 (2003). In the most comprehensive study of its kind, Houben provides a
> detailed summary of past theories on the identity of the sóma and its
> Avestan counterpart haoma and concludes that a type of ephedra is the best
> candidate for the plant. Nicholson, Philip T. “The Soma Code, Parts I–III.”
> Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies 8.3 (2002): 1–64. Nicholson is
> concerned with the imagery of light and ecstatic visions in relation to
> drinking the substance. Nyberg, Harri. “The Problem of the Aryans and the
> Soma: The Botanical Evidence.” In The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia:
> Language, Material Culture and Ethnicity. Edited by George Erdosy, 382–406.
> Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1995. Nyberg examines the botanical evidence for
> Central Asia, the Hindukush region, and northwest Pakistan/India, and
> concludes that ephedra-based plants are the best candidates for sóma.
> Staal, Frits. “How a Psychoactive Substance Becomes a Ritual: The Case of
> Soma.” Social Research: Altered States of Consciousness 68.3 (2001):
> 745–778. Staal argues for a hallucinogenic/psychedelic effect for sóma
> since it plays a substantial role in generating visions for poets in the
> Rgveda. Stuhrman, Rainer. “Rgvedische Lichtaufnahmen: Soma botanisch,
> pharmakolisch, in den Augen der Kavis.” Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies
> 13.1 (2006): 1–93. Given the prevalence of light imagery in the text,
> Stuhrman argues for a hallucinogenic effect of sóma. Thompson, George.
> “Soma and Ecstasy in the Rgveda.” Edited by Jan E. M. Houben. Electronic
> Journal of Vedic Studies 9.1 (2003). Thompson argues for a
> hallucinogenic/psychedelic effect for sóma, particularly given its role in
> visions and out-of-body experiences, which may be attested in several
> Rgvedic hymns. Wasson, R. Gordon. Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality. New
> York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1968. Perhaps the most famous view on the
> identity of the plant, Wasson argues that sóma was the hallucinogenic fly
> agaric mushroom Amanita muscaria. Wasson’s conclusion, while still
> perpetuated by some academics and the wider media, is no longer thought to
> be credible by the vast majority of Vedic scholars. JW -- Jarrod Whitaker,
> Ph.D. Associate Professor, Graduate Program Director, Department for the
> Study of Religions. Wake Forest University P.O. Box 7212 Winston-Salem, NC
> 27109 whitakjl at wfu.edu p 336.758.4162
> _______________________________________________ INDOLOGY mailing list
> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info indology-owner at list.indology.info (messages
> to the list's managing committee) http://listinfo.indology.info (where
> you can change your list options or unsubscribe)
>
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
> indology-owner at list.indology.info (messages to the list's managing
> committee)
> http://listinfo.indology.info (where you can change your list options or
> unsubscribe)
>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://list.indology.info/pipermail/indology_list.indology.info/attachments/20181009/1599959f/attachment.html>


More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list