adhiṣavaṇa

(‘to press out’)

The Vedic sages were fond of performing sacrifices to propitiate the various deities like Indra through whom they could fulfil their wishes. In one group of such sacrifices called Somayāgas, the libation of the juice of the soma creeper was the most important ceremony. The act of pressing out the juice from the creeper was no less important and even that had a ritualistic bearing. The word ‘adhiṣavaṇa’ is used to indicate both this act of pressing the soma creeper and the wooden contrivance used in the process. More often, the latter which is in the form of a pair of semicircular wooden boards, is called ‘adhiṣavaṇa-phalaka.’