Frequently asked questions
As you continue your practice, if you have any questions, email them and I’ll post them (with answers) here, so that everyone can benefit.
What exactly triggers the production of Soma? Is it the meditation on Sahasrara or Soma chakra? Or the mantra, “Soma”?
There are multiple ways to trigger the production of Soma, but for our purposes, there are three main ways:
- Transcending. Every time you transcend, Soma is produced, because Soma is the chemistry of higher consciousness. So when you experience the 4th state, transcendental consciousness, Soma gets spontaneously produced.
- Evoking Soma by thinking “Soma.” There is a relationship between word and form; when you meditate on the word, it evokes the form. The more subtle and powerful your awareness, the more effective this is.
- Reading the Soma Mandala of the Rig Veda. This is similar to #2, but will deliver a more nuanced experience of Soma, because of the detailed descriptions of Soma in the Veda. Actually, reading the 9th Mandala will greatly enhance the effectiveness of #2, because you will have the conscious and subconscious imprinting of the various dimensions of Soma. So this is really essential. Likewise, listening to Vedic hymns, especially Sama Veda, will gradually ripen your system to produce Soma.
In the Deep chakra course, upward cycle (muladhara to sahasrara) involves respective Bija mantras. The Soma pouring is traditionally visualized flowing downward. Is this related to kundalini reaching sahasrara in the upward cycle to produce Soma?
Any time we transcend, we create Soma to some degree. In terms of the energetic or pranic body, what is transcending? It is Kundalini Shakti rising up to the Sahasrara and merging there with Shiva resulting in the production of Amrita, the nectar of immortality, or Soma. Now, how clearly we transcend will be related to our purity of koshas (sheaths) and this will impact the quality and amount of Soma that gets produced. Typically, for beginning meditators, only a trickle of shakti rises, and the experience of transcendence is dim, and the production of Soma is minute and of a poor quality. As our koshas are purified, more shakti rises, transcendence is clearer, and the production of Soma is greater and of a higher quality.
Now, what causes transcendence? Is it only when we meditate on the chakras with our awareness moving upwards? Not at all. We can transcend without any visualization of chakras, for instance, just using a mantra. We can transcend by focusing on the sahasrara or the muladhara or any chakra in between. We can transcend doing pranayama. We can transcend lying in shavasana doing nothing. So, you get the idea. But no matter how we transcend, on the level of the pranamayakosha, some shakti is rising to the sahasrara and to some degree is stimulating the production of Soma, which takes place there.
There is a specific Soma chakra. Wouldn’t meditation on this chakra be the primary means for producing Soma?
Great question! The Soma chakra is actually said to be within Sahasrara, so this is where Soma is produced during transcendence. Therefore, you would think that meditating on the Soma chakra would indeed be a highly efficient way of producing Soma. So why focus on the other chakras, or do anything else? Because of the interrelationship of the entire mind/body complex. Meditating on the Soma chakra won’t do much without purifying all layers of the panchakoshas. The whole system needs to be clear and refined, and as we do that, we will have clearer and clearer transcending and spontaneously produce more and higher quality Soma. So opening and clearing all the chakras is foundational for the abundant production of high-quality Soma in your system.
If Soma is produced by transcendence, why not just use a simple mantra and transcend, and forget all the chakra meditations and rest?
There is a principle that “what you put your attention on grows stronger.” This principle shows that attention has power. So, when we do all the techniques in these advanced courses, we are applying attention in various specific ways to facilitate that opening and purifying of our whole system. In other words, yes, a simple mantra meditation that efficiently brings you to transcendence will create a minute trickle of Soma and gradually purify the panchakoshas. Very, very, very gradually, over many lifetimes. The techniques in these advanced courses ultimately train you to apply attention from a subtle, “atomic-powered” level of consciousness to vastly accelerate the purification of the panchakoshas.
This is why, in the various traditions that conceive of Enlightenment, it is said that Enlightenment ordinarily takes many, many lifetimes to achieve. Yet, those same traditions offer certain Tantric (not referring to sexuality, but consciousness/energy, aka in some systems referred to as Shiva/Shakti) practices that are said to make it possible to achieve Enlightenment in one lifetime. If you can find a true teacher of such a tradition, they will typically dribble out those teachings over decades. And you will spend a great deal of time on preliminary and basic practices. In these courses, you have ready access to highly advanced techniques, and those who are ready will practice them and receive the benefits to the degree of their ripeness and dedication. You now have everything you need to achieve Enlightenment in one lifetime. It is up to you and your dedication.