Haoma and Harmaline: The Botanical Identity of the Indo-Iranian Sacred Hallucinogen “soma” and Its Legacy in Religion, Language, and Middle-Eastern . Haoma and Harmaline: The Botanical Identity of the Indo-Iranian Sacred Hallucinogen “Soma” and Its Legacy in Religion, Language, and Middle Eastern . Haoma is a divine plant in Zoroastrianism and in later Persian culture and mythology. Haoma has its origins in Indo-Iranian religion and is the cognate of Vedic.

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According to tradition, Zoroaster received his revelation on a riverbank while preparing parahaoma for the Ab-Zohr Zatspram It may be conjectured that the reports of the consumption of bahman at Bahman]ana were based on the precedent of the consumption of isfand at Isfandagan.

Pakistan Forest Rcsoach Service Historically, sauma seems not to have been essential lo the magic of Indian priests- Sauma itself was doubtless potentially useful for such purposes, but the power attributed to sauma would presumably have been regarded as inherent haoam than due to special priestly knowledge, and access to the plant by nonpriesis, and particularly by non-Aryans and the intended victims of Vedic magic, would only have lessened the relative advantage of the Aryan priests in the conduct of magic Whether or not sauma grew in India or only at a great distance from it, access to the plant by Indians would have been the same for the priests and their enemies alike.

This Harmaoine is solemnized on the day Behman of the month Behman. Presumably several of the ten species occur- ring in Iran Riedl could serve as haoma in ritual. Apparently over many generations the shamans of South America have discovered how to induce a wide range of experiences haomx varying the additives to he Banisteriopsis drug and a parallel body of empirical lore may have developed around the preparation of harmel as a drug.

Return to Book Page. There does not seem to be any attestation of the use of Ruta graveolens as soma in Haomw rituals, which is not surprising since an extract harmalije out from Ruta graveolens is toxic. Copyrighted material Ethnobotanic Continuity of Sauma in Iran 51 Peganum harmala we must briefly consider the place of sauma in ancient Iranian society as evidenced by Zoroastrian literature.

In the present context asito may be either nominative plural of a root-stem asit- or nominative adn of the participle asita- r agreeing with drafSo.

Full text of “Haoma & Harmaline”

It will now be shown that these conclusions are fallacious. Amin amd it liked it Dec 08, Our Prophet selected it, ‘All planted it. The claims of several modern authors e. The priests, who by this time may anyway have had no need for the intoxicant plant, would have tended to stop using it.

The ascription of prevailing folk attitudes toward harmel to the founders of Islam is harmalin manifest in more official literature of Shi’a Islam, for example in the following hadfth series, which is found in the Hulyat al- mutlaqin of Muframmad Baqir Majlisi d. How the relationship of the simul- taneously recommended ingesting and burning isfand was meant to be understood by those who heard these fradiths is not immediately obvious.


Whether naoma not the words were believed to compel haoma after the manner of magical conjurations or to exert more gentle influence upon haoma an do what was asked, the motivation for reciting the Horn Yasht should not be overlooked: Because an extensive mythology associated with this apparent rationalization of the ritual presence of soma had haaoma developed, it may be supposed that the use of the intoxicating plant had vanished from the usual ceremonies long before the final fixation of the Ifksarfthita as we have it.

Harmel is the most widely used native incense plant in Iran and the only one containing known psychoactive drugs. How can this disparity be resolved?

Confusion could presumably result among such multitudinous haramline, for instance, when Zoroaslcr first beheld the divine beings Ameshaspands he thought they were demons lEpistlesofMamittihrl Peganum harmala], while others say that they used to swallow sapand mixed with fresh milk, so that Behman Amashasfand might sharpen the memory and perfect wisdom and intelligence” translated by M.

We dig you up, O Nitatni. It is not possible to precisely predict the pharmacological action of a combination of ephedrine and harmaline, but it is reasonable to expect that the action of ephedrine would diminish the tendency of harmaline to induce sleep and could thus facilitate the experience of visions. This would have been regarded as a defilement of the plant which could not be prevented.

Furthermore, anr must have been commonly known in ancient Iranian society as an intoxicating plant in order for the credibility of the sauma ceremonies, and the authority Iranian priests claimed from them, to have been maintained.

The ancient addition of Ephedra to sauma mixtures is explained by the pharmacology of harmel. In order for the Iranian priests to have adapted barasman-Zbarsom to serve the ritual and emblematic functions of the hand-held twigs, it would have been necessary for them to have replaced the original barsom plants by stouter ones, such as twigs of hxrmaline pomegranate or of Ephedra, or else by the anciently used tamarisk branches. These verses assert that the use of harmel is sanctioned by the most revered sources of religious authority in Islamic Iran.

This explains why no priority seems to be accorded to harmel among ritual plants and why the question of botanically distinguishing the primary species from its substitutes did not arise among the Zoroastrian priests.

James Darmesteterin his thesis on the mythology of the Avesta, speculating on the Parsi belief that Ephedra twigs do not decay, wrote: Harmel seeds figure also as the critical elements in numerous amulets and the capsules containing the seeds are strung together to make the panja see Figure 3 harmsline displayed in conservative Iranian households cf.


This supports Falk, who in his summary noted that “there is no need to look for a plant other than Ephedra, the one plant used to this day by the Parsis.

The Indian-Zoroastrian belief mentioned above also manifests harmalinw in the present-day Zoroastrian practice of administering a few drops of parahaoma to the new-born or dying see Ab-Zohr.

The essential place of sauma as an ingredient in the offering to Water is substantiated by Boyce ibid. On his authority we must conclude, against Henning, that the place of isfand in the Iranian tradition is not to be assigned to mere witchcraft.

Here it is said Wishtasp was given horn and mangf This was regarded as the most important single event in the 4. In fact names for Zygophyllum species occur without the formant: That when practitioners in parts of Islam talk about Haoma they refer to Peganum Harmala. Botanic identity of Soma-Haoma. The various forms from Celtic. PNG 9kb downloaded 79 time s.

It is doubtless the very predict- ability harmqline these effects that made useful the invocation of the plant in the hope of ameliorating them.

In the first stage, after some violent bodily reactions such as vomiting, diarrhea, and profuse perspiration, the person will feel like flying upward through the air toward the Milky Way. For the various views, see Brough 1 97 1 a and b] and the other articles and reviews listed in R.

Because there are few plants indigenous to the Iranian area useful for incense, sauma must have met this need whenever ii was available-‘ 1 Of the few native I, Other harmel names with specialized religious significance hzrmaline bo reflected in modern vernaculars; e,g. The prologue Chapters of harmalnie Pahlavi text says that in order to dispel doubts about the claims of the Iranian priests to religious knowledge, Wiraz. The Boar, in fact, was regarded as an haima of Vijnu, but also identified with the cosmogonic god Prajapati Taittiriya Sarithita 7,1.

There seems to be no plausible explanation for the attachment of this introduction to the Zand i Wahman Yasht except as an attempt to give to that text the appearance of having come from an Avestan source.

Haoma & Harmaline

Armenian sunk does not belong here either. In both ancient Iran and among the Amazonians the plants consumed in their respective cere- monies are thought to reveal spiritual worlds containing mythological and historical events, heaven and hell, and the precise hoama of past, present and future entities and events known in the empirical world.

Mallik it Mohair But in spite of all of its shortcomings and factual errors, the book really is worth a read. Huseyin Kazim Kadri