What's in a name? In the Vedic dharma, it is a lot. This book lists and comments on the one thousand names for Soma. Soma is many things. It is a deity; it is a divine force; it is a religious ceremony; it is an astronomical body; it is a plant; it is a mental state; it is an experience of religious being; it is a substance obtained, brewed, and consumed like beer. It is indeed all these, and this volume, the second volume of the series, The Secret History of the Vedas. The Vedas are written in a highly symbolic manner. The purpose of this series, The Secret History of the Vedas, is to unravel and discover the true meaning of the Vedic deities and to reveal the hidden meaning of the Vedas. While the meaning of the Vedas will perhaps be forever beyond the grasp of the humans and worshipers alike, somewhere, deeply embedded in the rcs (mantras) of the Rg Veda, those secrets are there waiting to be uncovered. This series reveals the hidden meaning of the Rg Veda, reassembled from portions of the Vedas --- the Rg Veda SamaVeda, Yajur Veda, and AtharvaVeda --- as well as the Brahmanas, Upanishads, shastras, and other Vedic and Hindu writings. This series is the key that unlocks the secrets of the Vedas. Shrouded in great, immeasurable, antiquity, the Vedas are capable of many interpretations. The Rig Veda --- and all the Vedas --- may be read as mythology, as history, as simple story-telling or simply as a book of poetry. But there is a secret, deeper, meaning. Arriving at this meaning, however, can be very problematic. Reading the Rg Veda in translation often makes little sense, especially if read from the Victorian era translations. Even when considered as simple mythological stories and when reading the Vedas in translations, one cannot help but notice patterns of themes and characters and thereby perceive an inner grandeur and depth of meaning. If the stanzas and rcs (mantras) are properly de-coded, and the proper passwords understood, the Vedas come alive and reveal a vast repository of occult knowledge concerning the nature of existence, divinity, and everything within. It is a "Secret History" not only because of the occult nature of this knowledge but because so few understand the meaning of the language and passwords of the Vedas. Armed with knowledge of the passwords used in the Vedas and with a proper interpretation, this hidden meaning, even when read in English translation, is ready to be unlocked becomes intelligible. This is the purpose of this series and of the present volume. There are three great themes in the Vedic dharma --- Existence, Bliss, and Consciousness. This volume is an examination of Soma --- Bliss.
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