Somayag (Devanagri सोमयाग) or Somayajna (Devanagri सोमयज्ञ) is a spiritual Vedic yajna ritual performed for appeasing the celestial entities in the Vedic culture. It is primarily performed to promote the wellbeing of all humanity. The ritual is based on methods prescribed in the Vedas. Soma juice is used as the main oblation in this yajna, hence the name Somayag. The Soma plant, the king of medicinal herbs, is said to be relished by the celestials.
In a Somayag there is a full complement of priests, with each of them being assisted by three others. In all sixteen priests participate in the Somayag. There are a total of seven types of Somayag:
- Agnistoma - This is the first and main type, referred to as the ‘Prakriti’ (archetype) while the other six are its ‘Vikriti’
- Atya Agnistoma
Somayag has unparalleled importance in the yajna culture. This special yajna is said to provide an extra powerful boost of healing energy for those who participate and also to the whole world. Performance of a Somayag is intended to cleanse the atmosphere so that it becomes medicinal, nutritious and disease-free, yielding a qualitative and quantitative improvement in the psyche. The benefits of Somayag for the public are similar to those of the other Shrauta yajnas, e.g. cleansing of the environment of toxins and harmful pollutants. The performance of a Somayag has some prerequisites apart from the knowledge of Yajurveda in full together with the auxiliary sutras e.g. Srauta grihya-dharma-kalpa pertaining to the particular recension of the Veda.
In 2015, an Atya Agnistoma Somayag was performed by Dharma Vardhiny Sabha in Basar (Telangana, India), which is where the Gnana Saraswati Temple is located and is one of the important places of pilgrimage in the Vedic culture. This is the first ever recorded performance of a Somayag in Basar. The yajna was performed over six days at the Naimisharanyam Yagashala from 27 July 2015 to 1 August 2015.