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Soma

According to Hinduism, every part of the cosmos is seen as being a manifestation of an underlying divinity. Time is conceived as the endless repetition of the same long cycle where gods, demons, and heroes repeat their mythological actions. In Hindu mythology, Soma represents the god of the Moon.

He is depicted riding through the sky in a chariot drawn by white horses. Soma was also the name of the elixir of immortality that only the gods can drink. The Moon was thought to be the divine storehouse of the elixir. Since the elixir was an intoxicating drink, the god Soma was also associated with drunkenness.

When the gods drink soma, it is said that the Moon wanes because the gods are consuming its immortal properties. Some people think that the Moon is inhabited by a hare. That is why all hares are viewed as incarnations of Soma.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF