I am trying to find the literal translation of a word from Book 9, Hymn 42 of the Vedas. I'm wondering whether the pronoun used for "Soma" is singular or plural.

In the Hebrew bible, the word for "God" is "Elohim" which actual translates as "Gods". Therefore I'm wondering if the pronoun for "Soma" is similar. (I've highlighted the words below).

  1. ENGENDERING the Sun in floods, engendering heaven's lights, green-hued, Robed in the waters and the milk,
  2. According to primeval plan this Soma, with his stream, effused Flows purely on, a God for Gods.
  3. For him victorious, waxen great, the juices with a thousand powers Are purified for winning spoil.
  4. Shedding the ancient fluid he is poured into the cleansing sieve: He, thundering, hath produced the Gods.
  5. Soma, while purifying, sends hither all things to be desired, He sends the Gods who strengthen Law.
  6. Soma, effused, pour on us wealth in kine, in heroes, steeds, and spoil, Send us abundant store of food.

Rig Veda Book 9 Hymn 42

जनयन रोचना दिवो जनयन्नप्सु सूर्यम | वसानो गा अपोहरिः || एष परत्नेन मन्मना देवो देवेभ्यस परि | धारया पवते सुतः || वाव्र्धानाय तूर्वये पवन्ते वाजसातये | सोमाः सहस्रपाजसः || दुहानः परत्नमित पयः पवित्रे परि षिच्यते | करन्दन देवानजीजनत || अभि विश्वानि वार्याभि देवान रताव्र्धः | सोमः पुनानोर्षति || गोमन नः सोम वीरवदश्वावद वाजवत सुतः | पवस्व बर्हतीरिषः ||

janayan rocanā divo janayannapsu sūryam | vasāno ghā apohariḥ || eṣa pratnena manmanā devo devebhyas pari | dhārayā pavate sutaḥ || vāvṛdhānāya tūrvaye pavante vājasātaye | somāḥ sahasrapājasaḥ || duhānaḥ pratnamit payaḥ pavitre pari ṣicyate | krandan devānajījanat || abhi viśvāni vāryābhi devān ṛtāvṛdhaḥ | somaḥ punānoarṣati || ghoman naḥ soma vīravadaśvāvad vājavat sutaḥ | pavasva bṛhatīriṣaḥ ||


2 Answers 2


It is singular. According to Sanskrit dictionary - 'it is personified as one of the most important of Vedic gods, to whose praise all the 114 hymns of the 9th book of the Rg Veda besides 6 in other books...."

Reference - http://sanskritdictionary.com - do a search on सोम

  • Thanks to everyone. From the Sanskrit dictionary: सोम m. a particular mountain or mountainous range (according to to some the mountains of the moon). The "mountains of the moon" would be plural.
    – cisz
    Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 9:35

In the transliteration you provided there are six lines. Following forms of soma appear:

 1. Line 3 has somāḥ 
 2. Line 5 has somaḥ 
 3. Line 6 has soma

The word soma is the root word and two meanings that are used in the translation you supplied are juice and a person soma (moon). In sanskrit both of these are masculine nouns.

1. Line 1 somāḥ is bahuvacana(plural) prathama(sanskrit has singular dual and plural) meaning juices. Used as a subject in a sentence. 2. Line 5 somaḥ which is ekavacana (singular) prathama. Meaning Moon god Soma, Used as a subject in a sentence. 3. Line 6 soma. This is sambodhana singular. Meaning Moon god Soma. It is used when addressing some body.

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