[INDOLOGY] Soma and Amanita muscaria

rainer stuhrmann r.stuhrmann at t-online.de
Sun Oct 14 09:13:28 UTC 2018

Thank you, dear Mr. Singleton and dear Mr. Clark, for this interesting 

I of course appreciate everybody who sees that in the RV Soma was a real 
hallucinogenic drug that was actually comsumed and that the Soma stanzas 
are not about felt visions etc gained through exercises like fasting, 
thirsting or sleep deprivation.

I just want to deal in short with those points that are listed under the 
header “Contra fly agaric” (12-27)

I refer to the points given in a short way and add the pages of a paper, 
where that counterarguments are dealt with in detail (Ṛgvedische 
Lichtaufnahmen: Soma botanisch, pharmakologisch, in den Augen der 
Kavis./Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies (EJVS), Vol. 13, Issue 1, 
2006, p. 1-93)/

But first I like to insert point 0:

Somahas been substituted by other plants even in the latest book (10) of 
the Rigveda (p. 41ff ).

So, whatever it was in the Brāhmaṇa or the Avesta, for the Soma of the 
Rigveda, you have to look at the Rigveda.

Now with reference to the points given:

ad 12 . While that is true, it did not hinder the Sibirians to consume 
the fly-agaric even raw, the dreaded side-effects are also mentionend in 
the Rigveda, see p. 47 ff.

Btw: different fly-agaric populations have different effects in 
different regions and also different contents of muscimol within one and 
the same population. Best thing do to: dry them and mix them up for 
concoction., see p. 29ff

ad 13. Urin: true, but an argumentum ex silentio and then also not a 
premise at all for consuming the fly-agaric. You can even eat (not 
advisable) it raw. To make a mixture with an even distributed content of 
muscimol for every one s. point 12. , best thing is to soak them and 
press them out.

ad 14. /aṃṣú/ does not mean stalk or fibre, it is the proper name of the 
plant. Nowhere in the RV it is said that the plant is pounded 
vigourously. If the poets use stonger roots like /√han/ oder 
/sam-√piṃṣ//,///that is together with useful herbs or plants 
/óṣadʰi(i)/, words that are never used for “pressing ” Soma, “the 
pressed one”, p.41f. Soaked mushrooms are actually to be dealt with like 
fruits or berries: they are pressed out by the help of stones, but also 
wooden boards, p.26, there are even hints that they were also pressed 
out by hand, p. 25f. Btw after soaking the soma plant is swelling 
/√pyaa/ viz. what dried mushrooms /(“Schwammerl”/ in South Germany and 
Austria) do, it is likened to something bellied like an udder and so on, 
it is milked from the bellies, the swollen /aṃṣú/’s are milked like the 
udders of a cow, and so forth, 27ff.

ad 15.It is not easy availabe in the plains of the Punjab, because in 
India it only grows in mycorrhizal relationship with birch tres and 
koniferes, found in the Himalayas about a height from 1300m altitude 
onwards, 38f, Soma only grows in the mountains, p.39ff

ad 16. It is nowhere said in the RV that Soma was an all day beverage, 
the amount of soma-stanzas separately collected in book 9 is due to its 
impact, but does not signify comsumption on a weekly or monthly basis.

Btw: even Indians today prefer alcohol.

ad 17. see point O.

ad 18. not true for the RV; for the interpretation ofthe “many somas” in 
the Avesta , Y.10,17, see. p.39ff

In the RV it is a single plant, from which a concoction is prepared on 
the ritual place.

Points 19 - 27 are, though still listed unter the heading “Contra 
fly-agaric”, no counterarguments at all,but only a list of the use of a 
combination of MAOI and DMT containing plants for visisonary experiences 
elsewehere and its possible usein India and elsewhere.

Best regards

Rainer Stuhrmann

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