Thom Knoles on soma, ojas and sexuality - Part 2
Continuing on Thom Knoles and I’s discussion about the moon…
(Read Part 1 of this interview)
Laura: Does the moon have a physical place in the body?
Thom: Yes it does. Right inside the third-eye or Ajna chakra. It sits there like a big beaming body of light, right behind the third eye.
Laura: And it produces soma.
Thom: Yep it produces soma within the body starting at the third eye. But soma is very difficult for us to detect in our head. The first place we notice it is in the throat. You know when you lift your tongue, there’s that piece of flesh that keeps the tongue rooted to the base of your mouth? So in India, there are yogis who cover that piece of flesh in turmeric and honey, then get a razor sharp blade and snip a little bit into it (to free the tongue) then they let it heal, then they snip it again and so on over a few days, till eventually the whole thing is removed and the tongue is free. They do this, so they can take their tongue and stick it up into the cavity that is behind the nostrils (this is known as Khecarī Mudrā).
When you do this, the tip of the tongue is right up the back of the cavity and if you breathe, you can feel the air on the base of your tongue. In the roof of that nasal cavity area is a tube or shrota and that tube leads straight to the place where the third eye and soma gland have their factory. The product of that factory (soma) drips down the shrota (tube) and comes through a hole at the top of the nasal cavity. So the yogis who are the extremists, learn how to get their tongue up there, so when the soma comes out of that place, it gets on the tip of their tongue and creates a physiological sensation of ecstasy that is beyond anything.
Laura: And soma production occurs through transcendence…
Thom: It occurs through transcendence to start with, and then it occurs through being in tune with the laws of nature… being in activity and doing whatever nature wants you to be doing. It becomes an eyes open experience. If you were Arjuna on the battlefield (in the Bhagavad Gita) you could be getting soma from putting arrows through people’s throats! Or you could be getting it from sitting in a cave in the Himalaya (transcending). For beginners, transcendence causes soma flow.
Laura: And if you don’t want to cut your tongue and perform Khecarī Mudrā…
Thom: It doesn’t make a difference.
Laura: It still drips down the back of your throat.
Thom: Yep it drips down and enters your digestive system.
Laura: Does it have a taste?
Thom: It tastes like the sweetest sugar water. It’s super super sweet. Almost so sweet it tastes like saccharin. Borderline bitter but incredibly sweet. And if it dilutes with the saliva, then when you swallow that saliva, it’s like someone has squirted some sugar water in your mouth.
Laura: And even if you’re not tasting the soma, it’s still happening.
Thom: You can only taste soma if it comes in contact with your tongue. And it tends to drip down the back of your throat. It comes down to the uvula, that little tongue that hangs in the back of the throat, drops of it will get on the tip of that, and then it drops down from there. Like water dripping of a stalactite in a cave. And then it drips down into the digestive system.
Once the soma is in the digestive system, it begins sharpening the sensory perception. When you move from cosmic consciousness into god consciousness, lots of soma production occurs. It maximises its production! And it happens just from eating. You could eat anything and your body would convert it into soma. Digestion becomes super efficient and the highest product of that super refined digestion is soma.
Laura: And this is known as ojas.
Thom: Correct. If you think of soma as being the soul, and ojas as the body… ojas is the most expressed product of soma.
Laura: And what about bindu?
Thom: Bindu is in between the two in subtly. It goes soma, bindu, ojas. And all these things have a relationship with ‘shukra’ (pronounced shook-rah), which is Sanskrit for semen in men and vaginal fluids in women. Because of the relationship of soma to fertility, you have a relationship of soma and sexuality. Shukra is considered to be the most manifest (least subtle) of the soma related products in the body. Therefore lots of shukra means there’s lots of soma production happening in the body.
Quick note: There’s a common mispronunciation of the Sanskrit word ‘chakra’ as shark-kra. The proper pronunciation should be chak-ra ('ch' as in chair). Sharkra actually has a relationship to shukra and means ‘dead seminal fluid or sexual fluids gone wrong.’ Not something we want to be saying when referring to the chakra energy centres within the body!
Laura: So if you’re having fertility problems, is this due to a lack of soma?
Thom: You could go one step further and say that it comes from a lack of transcending. Too much individual agenda, and not enough universality. It’s theft really… Stealing your individuality away from the universe and making it separate to the universe. Then that spins into not much soma production, which spins into bad digestion as well, and that spins into lack of fertility… basically the body can’t really see a purpose in its function. So it stops working. It doesn’t really know what it’s here for. And it can become quasi-suicidal. Too much I, me, mine… my life, my body, my feelings… and nature is separate from me. It’s that whole mentality that needs to be defeated.
Laura: Are there rituals in the Vedic tradition for communing with the moon and creating a greater flow of soma within the body?
Thom: Yes in that same way we give praise to anything… which would start with a sentence like ‘Soma Chandra Namo Namah’ (I bow down and surrender infinitely to you Soma Chandra, the flow of consciousness). And then you can start adding all the other stuff. If you really want to give it personification and acknowledge its personality then go out there and commune with it. But say its name 'Soma Chandra'. And then feel it inside you because its not just ‘out there’… it’s inside. Full moon means full potential for soma production within the body. Which should then last you for a good month! (laughs) So on full moon night the flood gates of soma are open.
It’s also a very good time for Sama Veda. Sama Veda on full moon enhances both of their effects hundreds of times over. And if you can listen to Sama Veda while bathing in the full moonlight then that is absolutely ideal.
Read the final part of this interview here.