What is Soma Rasa?

There are many misconceptions about Soma, some consider it to be an alcoholic drink, some consider it to be Bhang, or some other intoxicating substance. Let’s see what Soma actually means.
Soma means something that calms down mind, inspires, pacifies etc.
Rigveda 1.91.22 uses Soma for Ishwar-
त्वमिमा ओषधीः सोम विश्वास्त्वमपो अजनयस्त्वं गाः । त्वमा ततन्थोर्वन्तरिक्षं त्वं ज्योतिषा वि तमो ववर्थ
Soma is also used for moon, nectar, wind etc.
Shatpath Brahman 1,9,2,9 says रेतो वै सोमः it means result of Brahmcharya tapa is called Soma,
Jaminiya Brahman 3.191 and Shatpath Brahman says क्षत्रं वै सोमः
Jaminiya brahman 3.191 also says प्रजननं वै सोमः
Hence it is clear that word Soma can mean many things in different contexts, but what is Soma Rasa?
Rigveda 1.5.5 says सुतपाव्ने सुता इमे शुचयो यन्ति वीतये । सोमासो दध्याशिरः
Here it talks about Soma Rasa mixed with Curd.
Rigveda 1.30.2 says शतं वा य: शुचीनां सहस्रं वा समाशिराम्। एदुनिम्नं न रीयते
Here it talks about Soma rasa mixed with milk
It is clear that its not an alcoholic drink as alcoholic drinks are not mixed with curd or milk
Furthermore, Intoxicating drinks are prohibited in Vedas
पीतासो युध्यन्ते दुर्मदासो न सुरायाम् hence Soma Rasa is not intoxicating drink.

Soma Rasa is not one particular drink but rather used for different herbal drinks
Rigveda says अस्य पीत्वा मदानां देवो देवस्यौजसा विश्वाभि भुवना भुवति

This means after drinking Soma a person attains internal strength (Oja).
Soma Rasa as a drink refers to herbal drinks which strengthens body and calms down our mind,
Veda mantras are also called Soma Rasa in Brahmanas.
Rigveda 10,85,3 says, normal people know the “herbal medicine” (Aushadhi) Soma Rasa but knowledgeable know the ultimate Soma (Ishwar)
In conclusion Soma Rasa do not refer to any Intoxicating Drink but Rather it refers to herbal drinks, Bliss of Ishwar etc.
नमो नारायणाय
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