Soma as inner essence

By | January 10, 2019
Soma in Yoga of Vamadeva

Today as most of us are living longer, we must be concerned about the quality of our lives. Longevity is not a simple matter of having more chronological years, but should include physical, mental and spiritual well-being. It is not merely the quantity of our lifespan that matters but the joy, freedom, love and awareness that we can experience along the way. Curiously, in spite of a greater physical longevity overall today, we seem to be suffering from more psychological malaise, depression, unhappiness, and sorrow. Greater longevity is certainly possible but to really benefit us, it must be linked with life of greater meaning, creativity and consciousness. This requires an ability to connect with the immortal essence of our being.

The pursuit of longevity should be part of an inner quest for eternal truth and bliss. Seeking to live longer physically should be connected with an endeavor to grow and evolve in intelligence and awareness. Our lives must become a spiritual search, not simply a running after sensory enjoyments and worldly possessions that change from moment to moment. Certainly the spiritual life – particularly the yogic life of meditation – can improve our health and longevity as well as our emotional state….

The key to physical, psychological and spiritual well-being lies in our Soma, which can perhaps best be defined as the essence of bliss or Ananda arising from the core of our being. This is not an outer Soma only, but an ‘inner Soma’ or ‘nectar of immortality’ in our own deeper awareness. We must access this inner Soma if we wish to discover lasting happiness and joy….

Khechari mudra, explained in detail in Yoga texts like the Hatha Yoga Pradipika is a special Yoga practice placing the tongue back and up on the roof of the mouth.

This placement of the tongue allows the Soma or nectar from the head and crown chakra to flow down and for one to drink it with the tongue. Khechari mudra is a great aid to pratyahara and meditation. It is an important practice to perform during pranayama, particularly on inhalation…
It is also beneficial to practice it throughout the day and helps us control our appetite and need for stimulating beverages like coffee or alcohol….
It is enough to place tongue at the top of the mouth. If one curls the tongue back to the top of the mouth, the practice has yet more power.
Holding the tongue at the roof of the mouth aids in the control of speech, in the development of Mantra Shakti, sublimation of our desires, and the arousing of the Kundalini. It is helpful not only for pranayama, but for pratyahara (control of the senses) and concentration (dharana). It aids in longevity and keeps our Soma from dispersing through the emotions, mind and senses. Khechari mudra is usually accompanied with fixing the gaze at the third eye, though other sites can also be used, notably the top of the head. Khechari mudra literally means ‘moving in space’. Besides the outer method of moving the tongue, it also requires an upward orientation of our sense of taste and seeking of enjoyment in life, which implies devotion and inner search…
 
Pandit Vamadeva Shastri (David Frawley) “Soma in Yoga and Ayurveda: The Power of Rejuvenation and Immortality”, Lotus Press, first edition – 2012

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