108 Names of the Moon: Chandra Ashtottara Shatanamavali #6

Moon - a royal planet

Om sudhanidhaye namah – Salutations to the One who is the receptacle of the nectar of the Gods.


glossary
sudhā: Hin., San. f. ambrosial nectar; the nectar of the gods, amrita – the substance that bestows immortality.
sudhā: nectar SB 3.16.11, SB 8.5.10, SB 8.7.16, Madhya 1.158, Antya 16.144
sudhā: of nectar SB 4.20.25, Madhya 2.52, Madhya 12.184, Antya 1.148
sudhā: f. (-dhā) Nectar, the beverage of immortality and sustenance of the gods.
sudhā: The nectar or honey of flowers.
nidhi Hin. f. nidhi (voc. nidhe) San. m. a place for deposits, a treasury; wealth; a hidden hoard; a treasure; a person who is endowed with virtues, ‘he who is the repository of all precious things’ (V. 30); ‘the most precious one’. (V. 806) dayā-nidhe – Oh embodiment of kindness.
nidhi: A receptacle, a place of asylum or accumulation, as a treasury, a granary, a nest; also figuratively, as guṇanidhiḥ a man who contains or is endowed with all good qualities.
2 A treasure, any sum or quantity of wealth or valuables.
nidhān Hin. m. nidhāna San. n. ‘storing’ – preserving, a place for depositing anything, a vessel, container, repository, storehouse, store, abundance; a treasure, mine, hoard, treasure-chest; a place of rest; the source, ground.
nidhiḥ: treasure Antya 19.35
nidhim: the storehouse SB 5.18.28


 

Soma is one of the names of the moon. Soma is the moon, deified as the god Soma (or Indu), ruler of the mind and activator of the soma creeper. In vedic times, the juice of this creeper was said to bestow immortality and was valued for its use as an offering to the gods in sacificial rituals (yajña). Soma is a rare medicinal herb found only in the Himālayas; it was used in the Āyurvedic system of kāyā-kalpa for rejuvenation of the body and to increase longevity. Inwardly, soma is the nectar of bliss that flows from the head chakra.

Bhakthi (devotion) can flow along two paths: Saguna Bhakthi (worship of the Divine with different names and forms) and Nirguna Bhakthi (worship of the formless divine, sans namarupa). When you feel that God is far away, far higher, far beyond you and when you plead for mercy, petition for grace, and pray for boons, it is Saguna; you adore Him as Lord and Master, as Guardian and Saviour. You go through the ceremonials of praise, propitiation and prostration, submission and service. When you practise the discipline of seeing Him in all beings as the core of every cell or atom, alive and aware, and experience Unity with all Creation (for Creation is but His Body and you are also in it and of it) then it is Nirguna. The Nirguna is the contemplation on the sugar, the Saguna is the adoration of some sugar doll which has caught your fancy and attracted your love and loyalty.

Among the ceremonials we have the Yajna, the chief feature described in the Vedas. An important-rite in the Vedic Yajna is called Soma-pa. In order to grasp the inner significance of the Vedic or other ceremonials, one has to spend some thought on symbolism. For example, let us take this Soma-pa itself. Pa means ‘drinking’ and the rite is generally supposed to indicate the drinking of a juice called Soma.

No! Soma means, the Moon; and the Moon cannot be swallowed or drunk by man. It also means the ‘mind’ “the changing mind that waxes and wanes is never the same for long”. That is why the Vedas say that the mind was mothered by the moon. So drinking the moon means the process by which the mind is controlled, made defunct and harmless. That is the purpose of the Yajna, the Sacrifice of the whims of the mind for gaining the realm of the Universal Eternal Truth. With the mind left intact, no Yajna is fruitful, for it has a thousand tricks by which it can drag you into perdition.

You must become intoxicated with the nectar…

In all worldly activities, you should be careful not to offend propriety, or the canons of good nature; you should not play false to the promptings of the Inner Voice, you should be prepared at all times to respect the appropriate dictates of conscience; you should watch your steps to see whether you are in some one else’s way; you must be ever vigilant to discover the Truth, behind all this scintillating variety. This is the entire duty of mankind; your Dharma. The blazing fire of wisdom, which convinces you that all this is Brahman (Sarvam khalvidam Brahmam) will consume into ashes all traces of your egoism, and worldly attachment. You must become intoxicated with the nectar of Union with Brahmam; that is the ultimate goal of Dharma, and of karma (action) inspired by Dharma.

Om sudhanidhaye namah – Salutations to the One who is the receptacle of the nectar of the Gods.

 

 

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