the body of an organism as contrasted with its germ cells.[1830-40; < NL < Gk sôma body]soma2/soh"meuh/, n.haoma (def. 1).[1820-30; < Skt]
* * *In ancient Indian religion, an unidentified plant, the juice of which was an offering of the Vedic sacrifices.Its stalks were pressed, and its juice, filtered through wool, was mixed with water and milk. After being offered as a libation to the gods, the remainder of the soma was consumed by the priests and the sacrificer. It was highly valued for its exhilarating, probably hallucinogenic, effect. The plant was believed to have been delivered to the earth from heaven by an eagle. The personified deity Soma was the master of plants, healer of disease, and bestower of riches. See also Vedic religion.
* * *▪ Hinduismin ancient Indian cult worship, an unidentified plant, the juice of which was a fundamental offering of the Vedic (Vedic religion) sacrifices. The stalks of the plant were pressed between stones, and the juice was filtered through sheep's wool and then mixed with water and milk. After first being offered as a libation to the gods, the remainder of the soma was consumed by the priests and the sacrificer. It was highly valued for its exhilarating, probably hallucinogenic, effect. The personified deity Soma was the “master of plants,” the healer of disease, and the bestower of riches.The soma cult exhibits a number of similarities to the corresponding haoma cult of the ancient Iranians and is suggestive of shared beliefs among the ancient Indo-Europeans in a kind of elixir of the gods. Like haoma, the soma plant grows in the mountains, but its true origin is believed to be heaven, whence it was brought to earth by an eagle. The pressing of soma was associated with the fertilizing rain, which makes possible all life and growth. In the post-Vedic classical period, soma is identified with the moon, which wanes when soma is drunk by the gods but which is periodically reborn.▪ cellin biology, all the living matter of an animal or a plant except the reproductive, or germ, cells. The distinction between the soma and the germ cells was propounded by the 19th-century German biologist August Weismann in the “germ plasm” theory that emphasized the role of the immortal, heredity-carrying genes and chromosomes, which are transmitted through successive generations of each species and determine the character of each individual in the propagative chain.
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