- Series: Ethno-Mycological Studies (Book 1)
- Paperback: 381 pages
- Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1972)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0156838001
- ISBN-13: 978-0156838009
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #596,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality, (Ethno-Mycological Studies) Paperback – 1972
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Top Customer Reviews
The earlier views are the subject of a substantial section of this thick volume, a survey of the nineteenth and twentieth century literature by Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty, who is now writing as Wendy Doniger. In later writings, Doniger has supported more strongly Wasson's conclusion that Soma was originally a fungus, although admitting to some uncertainty as to which fungus, and to whether the sacred species might have shifted with time and availability. This survey is in itself a useful reference, and Doniger's translations of the some of the Rig-Veda Soma Hymns in her selection from "The Rig-Veda" for the Penguin Classics is a helpful companion as well.
(For the full set of such hymns, I know of only one English version, R.T.H. Griffith's aging complete translation of the Rig Veda -- second edition 1896 -- which, among other problems, accepted Max Mueller's identification of Soma with the Ephedra plant. The theory would make more sense if the species Mueller named was in fact the pharmacologically active Ma Huang variety, instead of just a relative.Read more ›
This book principally discusses the role of the hallucinogenic mushroom in the writings of the earliest Indo-Europeans (Aryans), in the Rg Veda (as Soma) and the Zend Avesta (of the Zoroastrians, as Haoma). This book also discusses the role of the fly agaric in Europe, Eurasia, and Siberia among the shamans there. The book is divided into three parts, "Soma: The Divine Mushroom of Immortality" which outlines the role of the fly agaric as Soma in primitive Indo-European religion, "The Post-Vedic History of the Soma Plant" written by Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty which explains various theories concerning the origins of soma in the Rg Veda, and "Northern Eurasia and the Fly-Agaric" which explains the role of the fly agaric among shamans in Siberia as well as in Northern Europe.Read more ›
It is worth the price for Part Two - The Post-Vedic History of the Soma Plant, by Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty.
What is the Soma of the Vedas? It is one of the world's great mysteries. This book is a detective story. It is very academic and well researched, but it is not boring. A great read.
One of the fundamental works of ethnobotany and ethnomycology... Robert Gordon Wasson is the best
One of the holy grails of the studies of entheobotany,... Grab it if you see it...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My son ordered this book for a class he was taking. He sold the book after his report.Published 18 months ago by LK