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"Soma : The Divine Hallucinogen" - by Spess, David

A recent theory by David Spess proposes that the Soma plant is Nymphaea (water lilies and the lotus plant) deserves attention. Spess begins with the fact that India has the largest variety of water lily and lotus plants in the world, and that some of these were known as Soma and called so in Sanskrit texts. The psychoactivity of these plants is discussed. Certain indigenous varieties of the plants are known to be visionary and auditory entheogens when properly processed. In particular, the flowers of Nymphaea induce ecstatic states as well.

Interestingly, the Rig Veda indicates that the deity Indra is initially stimulated, and then sent into entheogenic states by different preparations of Soma, which is a well known property of libations created from both water lily and lotus plants. Another aspect of the evidence provided is the medicinal properties of the plants, which is a key component in the description of Soma found in the Rig Veda. As described earlier, the hymns in the Rig Veda specifically speak of Soma's incredible rejuvenating and healing powers.


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