Soma is a drink, derived from a plant that's now unknown, that played an crucially important role in Vedic ritual; the Soma Yagna, in which Soma was offered to the gods, is extensively discussed in the Vedas and it was the chief Vedic method of worshipping the gods. The god of this drink is Chandra the moon god, and in his capacity as the god of the Soma drink he is often called Soma, Pavamana, or Indu. Here is a verse from the Ninth Mandala of the Rig Veda (often called the Soma Mandala) in praise of him:

Winning the friendship of the Deities, Indu flows in a thousand streams to make them joyful. Praised by the men after the ancient statute, he hath come nigh, for our great bliss, to Indra.

My question is, what is this "ancient statute" about praising Soma? The verses of the Rig Veda are already of timeless antiquity, having been heard by sages directly from the gods from time immemorial. So what statute is so old that it's even considered ancient by a Rig Vedic verse?

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    may be a circular reference. The ancient statute being referenced may be the Rig Veda...may be making reference to men who came after the Rig Veda... Feb 4, 2015 at 14:50
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    @SwamiVishwananda The "after" here doesn't mean "after the time". It's an archaic English usage that means "in the manner of". So what it's really saying is "praised by the men in accordance with the ancient statute". Feb 4, 2015 at 16:25
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    @KeshavSrinivasan I don't see any word in the original Sloka that translates to statue May 30, 2016 at 11:19

2 Answers 2


Griffith's version is known for its notorious mistranslation of words whose occurrence are rare. The dham pūrva maghan is transalated as *earlier domain portion (goes to Indra) * by Jamison and Brereton. Here is the translation of verse 5

IX 97 (5)

The drop, coming here to fellowship with the gods, purifies himself in a thousand streams for exhilaration. Being praised by men, he has gone along his earlier domain, to Indra for great good portion.

The domain is understood as various realms the Soma traverse from being prepared until it is consumed by the Gods.

IX.66 (2)

From those two you rule over all, self-purifying one—from the two domains [=Heaven and Earth] that stand facing (each other), o Soma.

Rigveda mentions 7 domains beside Heaven and Earth. So by earlier domain, the poet meant that Soma goes to Indra in its purest form and gives vigor to Indra which is known as the foremost recipients of the Soma sacrifice. Also, Indra and Agni are the only two Gods that rules all the domains.

  1. Don't know the actual hymn but the word "sanAtanam", if that is what is present in it, also means eternal.

2.In general, nobody and no entity is capable of calculating back to time t=0 when creation first took place, i.e, when Nirguna parabrahma first had the sankalpa to create. Therefore, no matter how far back we go, there is always something preceding it.

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    The original verse is "indurdevānāmupa sakhyamāyan sahasradhāraḥ pavate madāya | nṛbhiḥ stavāno anu dhāma pūrvamaghannindraṃ mahate saubhaghāya ||" I assume purva is the word being used for ancient. Feb 4, 2015 at 14:43
  • @keshavsrinivasan Then, point 2 applies. One of the 1000 names of Lalita is "purvaja" - one who is born before. There is no measure such as "before x".
    – user1195
    Feb 4, 2015 at 14:50
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    @moonstar2001 In what way lalita devi is related to Rigveda She is not even Addressed in one verse/hymn of Rigveda?
    – Yogi
    Mar 31, 2016 at 2:27
  • @Yogi :-) That was an attempt to explain/understand the timelessness of the Supreme, by way of example and metaphor.
    – user1195
    Mar 31, 2016 at 2:33
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    I am trying to argue that Vedas are sarvopari and no agama can override it. you can imagine whatever you want to but they are true. They cannot be overridden but puranas and agamas can be interpolated.
    – Yogi
    Mar 31, 2016 at 12:56

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