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Article XXXV: Soma and Shiva Ratri

Pscychotropic substances are not entirely foreign to Hinduism. In the Vedas proper (Samhitas), particularly in the Rig Veda, there are many hymns and rituals devoted to the preparation, consumption, and worship of Soma. Soma is known as the Vedic god of bliss, which is present within a particular plant and preparations derived from that plant. Throughout time different substances have been substituted for the Soma plant, and there have been many speculations on what the Soma plant truly is. However, whatever that Soma plant originally was, it was certainly used to make intoxicating beverages for Vedic rituals. In addition to the use of Soma in Vedic rituals, some Hindus were also known to occasionally drink large amounts of alcohol as a part of other rituals and festivals like Shiva Ratri.

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