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The Theft of The Soma

by Sulaiman Razvi

Soma was a drink prepared from plant. The plant was pressed in between stones and the juice was poured out. The word Soma is derived from the root “Su” in Sanskrit which means “To Press.” Soma was very popular in the Vedic period and has now gone extinct or it may be that it was a mythical plant. This article has two parts, the first part deals with the theft of Soma by Indra and the second part deals with the theft of Soma by a falcon on the command of Vedic deities.

THEFT BY INDRA

Rig Veda states that Indra stole Soma from Twashtar after defeating him,
Rig Veda 3.48.3 “Fierce, rapid in assault, of overpowering strength, he made his form obedient to his will: having overcome Twashtri by his innate (vigour), and carried off the Soma juice, he drank it (deposited) in the ladles.” Tr. H.H. Wilson

It is mentioned in the Vedas that Indra assumed the form of a ram (goat) and then came to Medhatithi/Medhayithi. Brahmanas elaborates this story wherein it is stated that Indra used to steal Soma Ras.

Rig Veda 8.2.40 “Shaped as a Ram, Stone-hurler I once thou camest hither to the son Of Kaṇva, wise Medhyātithi.” Tr. Ralph T.H. Griffith

This story has two versions and I am quoting the Jaiminiya Brahmana version which is elucidated as,

Jaiminiya Brahmana 3.233-234 “The inhabitants of Vibhinduka performed a sacrificial session with Medhatithi as their ‘Householder’ (grhapati). Their Udgatr was Drdhacyut, the son of Agasti, their Prastotr was Gauriviti, their Pratihartr wqas Acutacyut, their Hotr was Vasuksaya, their two Adhvaryus were Sanaka and Navaka. Medhatithi undertook the sacrifice, wishing to obtain cattle; Sanaka and Navaka, wishing to obtain women; the others, each with his special wish. Formerly, forsooth, they used to perform a sacrificial session, each with his own special wish and, having succeeded in their desires and obtained them, they arose (finished the sattra). Of these (Vibhindukiyas) Indra, having assumed the shape of Medhatithi’s ram, repeatedly drank the soma. Each time they drove him away, saying: ‘Medhatithi’s ram is drinking our soma.’ Thereupon, he used to drink their soma, having assumed his own shape (as Indra). Since that time, they invocate him: ‘O Ram of Medhatithi!” Tr. W. Caland

Indra drank their Soma each time after returning to his original shape or he may have eventually revealed his original form.

Jaiminiya Brahmana 2.79 “Thou ram of Medhatithi! he says, Indeed, having become the ram of Medhatithi, (Indra) drank [his] soma.” Tr. Danielle Feller

So the Vedic god Indra according to Jaiminiya Brahmana used to steal Soma by taking up the form of a ram. Indra is called “ram” in Rig Veda 1.15.1; 1.52.2 and Satapatha Brahmana 3.3.4.18.

 

 

THEFT BY FALCON

 

There’s a story mentioned in the Rig Veda about a falcon carrying off Soma from heaven and bringing it down on earth. The Sanskrit word used for falcon is Shyen/Shyena (spelt Syena) which designates a bird of prey (hawk, falcon or eagle). It is similar to the Persian word Shaheen which has the same meaning. The Soma plant didn’t exist on earth or it may be that it was not available in the region inhabited by the Aryans. Soma plant was in the possession of Gandharvas guarded by an archer named Krishanu who was probably a king. The falcon (Shyen) is named Suparna and he was given the charge to steal Soma, he was the son of a falcon and originally a Gayatri metre who had assumed the form of a falcon for the purpose of stealing the Soma plant. He flew up to the third heaven and stole the Soma plant with its feet as per Rig Veda 8.82.9. Though it can’t be called a theft since it did not happen in secrecy or in a stealth way, you can call it loot or abduction since it was carried away from the sight of its guardian. Rig Veda states that Soma was kept in iron fort well-guarded. The number of people guarding it is not mentioned as there’s mention of only one archer named Krishanu who shot an arrow at the falcon Suparna whose feather fell down and became Parna tree(s). Later texts like Brahmanas and Taittriya Samhita states that Soma was with the Gandharvas and the Devas through the falcon looted it which was in turn stolen by another Gandharva named Visvavasu. The Devas were worried about how to bring it, then they got the idea that since the Gandharvas were fond of women so they thought of bartering a woman for Soma. The word ‘Barter’ is not actually the right word to describe this but I don’t want to stoop down by using abusive words that are perfect to describe the “barter” of a woman for Soma by the Devas. The Vac (Goddess of Speech/Knowledge) assumed the form of a woman and was traded for the Soma Ras. Vac (pronounced Vach) is associated with Saraswati and we also find mention of this exchange of Saraswati in the Brahma Purana which I have mentioned in the article Hinduism and Lust under the category Prostitution.

It was clearly a case of loot but words like theft and loot are nowhere mentioned in the Vedas pertaining to this story, but we can find the word like “stole” in later texts in connection with the Gandharva Visvavasu “stealing” Soma while the falcon Suparna was bringing it down. This story from the Rig Veda exposes the incompetency of the Vedic Devas. If Soma was in heaven then why didn’t the heaven-dwelling Devas bring it down on earth? Were they expelled from heaven or is it that they didn’t deserve to reside in heaven? Didn’t they have access to heaven? Why couldn’t they get Soma by themselves that they had to seek the help of a falcon? Was the archer Krishanu more powerful than Vedic deities that they failed to snatch Soma from him? Were they afraid of him? This story not only exposes the incompetence of Vedic deities but this story is filled with contradictions which shall be discussed. Danielle Feller’s book “The Sanskrit Epics” has been very helpful on this topic.

 

 

THE STORY

The following verse states that the falcon forcefully brought Soma,
Rig Veda 1.93.6 “Agni and Soma, the wind brought one of you from heaven; a hawk carried off the other, by force, from the summit of the mountain…” Tr. H.H. Wilson

This is elaborated in the Aitareya Brahmana, Satapatha Brahmana, and Taittriya Samhita also known as Black Yajur Veda,

Aitareya Brahmana III.25 “Soma the king was in yonder world, on him the gods and the seers reflected ‘How shall Soma the king come to us?’ They said to the metres ‘Do ye fetch for us this Soma the king.’ ‘Be it so’ (they replied). Having become birds they flew up. In that having become birds they flew up, that (tale) those who know stories call the Sauparna; thus the metres went towards Soma, the king…” Tr. Arthur Berriedale Keith

In Martin Haug’s translation, you can find these verses in Book 3, Chapter 3 and Para 25. Rig Veda states that Vedic gods accompanied that falcon or helped him through recitation as mentioned in Aitareya Brahmana,

Rig Veda 4.26.6 “The straight-flying hawk, conveying the Soma plant from afar; the bird, attended by the gods, brought, resolute of purpose, the adorable, exhilarating Soma, having taken it from that lofty heaven.” Tr. H.H. Wilson

Aitareya Brahmana III.26 “The gods said to the Gayatri ‘Do thou fetch the Soma, the king, for us.’ ‘Be it so,’ she replied, ‘do ye accompany me with the recitation of the whole (formula for a) safe passage.’ ‘Be it so’ (they said). She flew up; her the gods accompanied with the recitation of the whole (formula for a) safe passage…She, having flown and having terrified the guardians of the Soma, grasped with foot and mouth Soma the king, and also grasped the syllables which the other two metred had dropped. Having shot at her, Krcanu, a Soma guardian, cut off the nail of her left foot; that became a porcupine; therefore is it like a nail. The fat the flowed became a barren cow…” Tr. Arthur Berriedale Keith

Aitareya Brahmana I.27 “Soma the king was among the Gandharvas; the gods and the seers meditated on him, ‘How shall Soma the king come hither to us?’ Speech said, ‘The Gandharvas love women; with me as a woman do ye barter it.’ ‘No,’ replied the gods, ‘how could we be without you?’ She replied, ‘Still do ye buy; when ye will have need of me, then shall I return to you.’ ‘Be it so’ (they replied). With her as a great naked one they brought Soma the king….” Tr. Arthur Berriedale Keith

Satapatha Brahmana 1:7:1:1. “He (the Adhvaryu) drives the calves away (from the cows) with a parna branch. The reason why he drives the calves away with a parna branch is this. When the Gâyatrî flew towards Soma (the moon), a footless archer aiming at her while she was carrying him off, severed one of the feathers (parna) either of the Gâyatrî or of king Soma; and on falling down it became a parna (palâsa) tree; whence its name parna…” Tr. Julius Eggeling

Satapatha Brahmana 1:8:2:10. “In the first place he makes offering to the Barhis (sacrificial-grass covering). Though the smallest metre, the gâyatrî is yoked first of the metres; and this on account of its strength, since, having become a falcon, it carried off the Soma from heaven. They consider it unseemly, however, that the gâyatrî, being the smallest metre, should be yoked first of the metres; and the gods accordingly arranged the metres here, at the after-offerings, so as it ought to be, ‘lest there should be a confusion.” Tr. Julius Eggeling
Satapatha Brahmana 3:2:4:1-2 Now Soma was in the sky, and the gods were here on earth. The gods desired,–‘Would that Soma came to us: we might sacrifice with him, when come.’ They created those two illusions, Suparnî and Kadrû. In the chapter on the hearths (dhishnya) it is set forth how that affair of Suparnî and Kadrû came to pass. Gâyatrî flew up to Soma for them. While she was carrying him off, the Gandharva Visvâvasu stole him from her. The gods were aware of this,–‘Soma has indeed been removed from yonder (sky), but he comes not to us, for the Gandharvas have stolen him.” Tr. Julius Eggeling

Satapatha Brahmana 11:7:2:8 “Madhuka Paiṅgya once said, ‘Some perform the animal sacrifice without Soma, and others do so with Soma. Now, Soma was in the heavens, and Gâyatrî, having become a bird, fetched him; and inasmuch as one of his leaves (parna) was cut off, that was how the Parna-tree arose…” Tr. Julius Eggeling

Black Yajur Veda (Taittriya Samhita) 3.5.7.1 “…Soma was in the third sky from hence; the Gayatri fetched it, a leaf of it was cut off, that became the Parna, that is why the Parna is so called. He whose ladle is made of Parna wood…” Tr. Arthur Berriedale Keith

Black Yajur Veda 6.1.6 “Kadru and Suparni had a dispute (for the stake of) each other’s form. Kadru defeated Suparni. She said, ‘In the third heaven from here is the Soma; fetch it, and by it buy your release.’ Kadru is this (earth), Suparni yonder (heaven), the descendants of Suparni the metres. She said, ‘For this do parents rear children; “in the third heaven from here is the Soma; fetch it, and by it buy your release” [1], so has Kadru said to me.’ The Jagati flew up, of fourteen syllables, but returned without obtaining it; it lost two syllables, but returned with the (sacrificial) animals and consecration. Therefore the Jagati is the richest in cattle of the metres, and consecration waits upon a man who is rich in cattle. The Tristubh flew up, of thirteen syllables, but returned without obtaining it; it lost two syllables, but returned with the (sacrificial) gifts [2] and penance. Therefore in the world of the Tristubh, the midday oblation, the gifts are brought. ‘That in truth is penance’, they say, ‘if a man gives his wealth.’ The Gayatri flew up, of four syllables, together with a female goat with light. Then the goat won (Soma) for her, and so the goat has the name. The Gayatri brought back the Soma and the four syllables, and so became of eight syllables. The theologians say [3], ‘For what reason is it that the Gayatri, the smallest of the metres, holds the forefront of the sacrifice?’ Because it brought down the Soma, it held the forefront of the sacrifice; therefore it is the most glorious (of the metres). By the feet it grasped two of the oblations, and by the mouth one. The one it grasped by the mouth it sucked; therefore two oblations are made of the pure Soma, the morning and midday oblations; therefore at the third oblation they pour out the dregs of the Soma; for they regard it as sucked as it were [4]. He removes any admixture so that it may be pure; verily also he makes ready it (the rjisa). When the Soma was being borne away, the Gandharva Viçvavasu stole it. It was for three nights stolen; therefore after purchase the Soma is kept for three nights. The gods said, ‘The Gandharvas love women; let us redeem it with a woman.’ They made speech unto a woman of one year old, and with her redeemed it. She adopted the form of a deer and ran away from the Gandharvas [5] that was the origin of the deer. The gods said, ‘She has run from you; she comes not to us; let us both summon her.’ The Gandharvas uttered a spell, the gods sang, she went to the gods as they sang. Therefore women love one who sings; enamoured are women of him who thus knows. So if there is in a family one person who knows thus, men give their daughters in wedlock to that family, even if there be other (wooers) in plenty [6]. He buys Soma with a (cow) one year old; verily he buys it with the whole of speech. Therefore men utter speech when one year old. He buys with a cow which has no horns, small ears, is not one-eyed or lame, and has not seven hooves; verily he buys it with all. If he were to buy it with a white cow, the sacrificer would become leprous. If he were to buy with a black one, it would be a funeral cow, and the sacrificer would be likely to die. If with one of both colours, it would be one sacred to Vrtrahan, and he would either overcome his foe or his foe him. He buys with a ruddy, yellow-eyed one. This is the form of Soma; verily he buys it with its own deity.” Tr. Arthur Berriedale Keith

Maitrayani Samhita 3:7:3 (77, 16-17) “The Gandharvas desire women. Having prepared Speech as a young woman of undiminishing youth [would be, so she was prepared] with her let us barter him out.” Tr. Catherine Ludvik

 

 

SUPARNA THE FALCON

Rig Veda also mentions the name of the eagle,

Rig Veda 10.144.3-4 “May the brilliant (Indra), who is a benefactor amongst these his own (people), for the sake of Suparna, the offerer of the oblation, bestow light upon our progeny. The Soma whom Suparna, the son of the falcon, brought from afar, the bestower of many boons, who is the stimulator of Ahi.” Tr. H.H. Wilson

Rig Veda 10.144.3-4 states that Suparna was a son of an eagle; Rig Veda 10.28.10-11 (H.H. Wilson and Acharya Shri Ram Sharma’s translations), Taittriya Samhita and Brahmanas state that Gayatri after assuming the form of the eagle had brought the Soma. Following verse states that Suparna had brought the Soma which was guarded in an iron fort,

Rig Veda 8.100.8 “Suparna, rushing swift as thought, passed through the iron city: then having gone to heaven he brought the Soma to the thunderer.” Tr. H.H. Wilson

This verse appears in Mandal 8, Hymn 89, verse 8 of Ralph T.H. Griffith’s translation.

 

KRISHANU

Soma was under the protection of Krishanu. Following verse states that the guardian of Soma namely Krishanu shot an arrow at the falcon carrying off Soma which injured the falcon,

Rig Veda 4.27.3-4 “When the hawk screamed (with exultation) on his descent from heaven, and (the guardians of the Soma) perceived that the Soma was (carried away) by it, then, the archer Krisanu, pursuing with the speed of thought, and stringing his bow, let fly an arrow against it. The straight-flying hawk carried off the Soma from above the vast heaven, as (the Asvins carried off) Bhujyu from the region of Indra, and a falling feather from the middle of the bird dropped from him wounded in the conflict.” Tr. H.H. Wilson

Following verse shows that the eagle Suparna was aware of the man Krishanu guarding it and was very much afraid of the archer,

Rig Veda 9.77.2 “That ancient (Soma) flows, which the hawk, despatched (for the purpose), brought down from heaven passing through the (third) world; he detaches the sweet-flavoured (Soma) flying downwards, with mind full of fear of the archer Krisanu.” Tr. H.H. Wilson

Krishanu was a Gandharva as per Taittriya Aranyaka 1.9.3 & Rig Veda 10.64.8 as per the translations of H.H. Wilson, Pandit Ram Govind Trivedi, and Acharya Sri Ram Sharma. Aitareya Brahmana III.26-27 states that Soma was with the Gandharvas with Krishanu as Soma guardian.

The following verse indicates that Krisanu was not always hostile towards the Aryans, formerly he may have sought the help of the Aryans in a battle. This verse also indicates that Krisanu was not a guard of the Soma Ras but a guardian of the Soma Ras. For had he been a mere guard protecting the Soma he would not have fought a battle and wouldn’t have found specific mention in the Veda instead of the king,

Rig Veda 1.112.21 “With those aids by which you defended Krisanu, in battle; with which you succoured the horse of the young Purukutsa in speed; and by which you deliver the pleasant honey to the bees; with them, Aswins, come, willingly, hither.” Tr. H.H. Wilson
Another verse states that Krishanu was invoked to protect during the Yajna,
Rig Veda 10.64.8 “We invoke for protection the thrice seven flowing rivers, (their) great waters, the trees, the mountains, Agni, Krisanu, the archers, and Tishya, to the assembly: (we invoke) Rudra, worthy of the praise of the Rudras, for the good of the praisers.” Tr. H.H. Wilson

We can also find mention of Krishanu in the Zoroastrian text. His story is mentioned in the chapter Haoma (Soma) Yasht of Yasna which states that King Keresani (Krishanu) was dethroned by Haoma (Soma) due to intolerance and his lust for power.

Yasna, Homa Yasht 9.24-25 “Homa deposed Keresani from his sovereignty, whose lust of power had so increased that he said: No athrava’s (fire-priest’s) repetition of the apam aiwishtish (‘approach of the waters’) shall be tolerated in my empire, to make it prosper; (and) he would annihilate all that are prosperous, (and) put down all that are prosperous by destroying them. Hail to thee who art of absolute authority through thy own strenght, O Homa! hail to thee…” Tr. Martin Haug

Martin Haug writes in the footnotes,

“It is evident, from the context that Keresani is the name of some enemy of the Athrava religion, and there can be little doubt that he is the Krishanu of the Vedic books, who appears as the guardian of the Soma in heaven (Aitareya Brahm. iii.26); he is representated as an archer (Rigveda ix.77.2; x.64, 8; iv, 27, 3)…”

Both the Zoroastrian and Aryans were hostile towards Krishanu who possessed the Som Ras. As earlier quoted, Krishanu was a Gandharva and Gandharvas used to live in present-day Afghanistan. Both the Zoroastrian and Aryans vying for Soma/Haoma suggests that Soma grew in the mountains of Afghanistan (if it really existed and not merely a mythological story).

 

CONTRADICTIONS

WHERE WAS SOMA PLANT?

Soma was in Mountain(s)
The following verses state that Soma grows and dwells in the mountain (Parvata).
Rig Veda 9.62.4 “The mountain-born Soma flows for exhilaration, mighty in the (Vasativari) waters: he alights like a falcon on his own place.” Tr. H.H. Wilson

Rig Veda 9.46.1-2 “Like able coursers they have been sent forth to be the feast of Gods, joying in mountains, flowing on. To Vāyu flow the Soma-streams…” Tr. Ralph T.H. Griffith
Another translation of this verse,

Rig Veda 9.46.1 “Begotten by the stones the flowing (Soma juices) are effused for the banquet of the gods like active horses.” Tr. H.H. Wilson

H.H. Wilson wrote in the footnotes of the above verse, Or “growing on the mountain slopes.”

Rig Veda 5.43.4 “The ten expressers of the juice, (the fingers), and the two arms of the priest, which are the dextrous immolators of the Soma, take hold of the stone: the exulting, skilful-fingered (priest) milks the mountain-born juice of the sweet Soma, and that Soma (yields its) pure juice.” Tr. H.H. Wilson

Atharva Veda 3.3.3 “From the waters king Varuna shall call thee, Soma shall call thee from the mountains…” Tr. Maurice Bloomfield

Rig Veda 9.18.1 may also be stating that Soma dwells in the mountain. Following verse states that Vedic deity Varuna had placed Soma plant in the mountains,

Rig Veda 5.85.1-2 “…Varuna, who has spread the firmament as a bed for the sun, as the immolator (spreads) the skin of the victim. He has extended the firmament over the tops of the trees, has given strength to horses, milk to cows, determination to the heart: he has placed fire in the waters, the sun in heaven, the Soma-plant in the mountain.” Tr. H.H. Wilson

Same is repeated in Black Yajur Veda (Taittriya Samhita),

Black Yajur Veda 1.2.8.1 “Varuna hath set skill in the heart, Agni in dwellings, The sun in the sky, the Soma on the hill.” Tr. Arthur Berriedale Keith

Rig Veda more specifically states that Soma grows in a mountain named Maujvat or it may be stated that best Soma grows in this mountain,

Rig Veda 10.34.1 “The large rattling dice exhilarate me as torrents borne on a precipice flowing in a desert: the exciting dice animate me as the taste of the Soma of Maujavat (delights the gods).” Tr. H.H. Wilson

Soma was in heaven

Rig Veda 9.77.2 “That ancient (Soma) flows, which the hawk, despatched (for the purpose), brought down from heaven passing through the (third) world; he detaches the sweet-flavoured (Soma) flying downwards, with mind full of fear of the archer Krisanu.” Tr. H.H. Wilson

Rig Veda 8.100.8 “Suparna, rushing swift as thought, passed through the iron city: then having gone to heaven he brought the Soma to the thunderer.” Tr. H.H. Wilson

Rig Veda 9.67.33 “Soma, who art celestial, well-winged, thou lookest down from heaven, pouring forth thy streams by the pious rite at the sacrifice…” Tr. H.H. Wilson

Soma looking down from heaven suggests that it was in heaven moreover Hindi translations also translate it as “Soma living in heaven” and “Soma born in heaven.”



Heaven and Mountain distinguished
Now one may get the notion that Soma plant used to grow in the mountains of heaven, but that’s not the case since Rig Veda distinguishes mountain from heaven and clearly states that a falcon had by force brought the Soma from the mountain which contradicts above two verses Rig Veda 9.77.2; 8.100.8,

Rig Veda 1.93.6 “Agni and Soma, the wind brought one of you from heaven; a hawk carried off the other, by force, from the summit of the mountain…” Tr. H.H. Wilson

Sanskrit word mentioned here is “Adreh (Adrih)” which means Mountain. You see that heaven and mountain are mentioned separately, had Soma grew in the mountains of heaven then there was no need to mention mountain and also it should’ve been mentioned that Soma dwelled in the heaven’s mountain if it did mean that. To make it clearer, let me present the Zoroastrian version also. As you may know the Vedic religion (not Puranik) and Zoroastrianism shares many concepts, Soma is one of them. Soma in Zoroastrianism is called Homa or Haoma. According to Zoroastrianism the Haoma grew in the mountains and was brought by birds,

Yasna 10.4 “O H(a)oma, thou growest on the mountains, apart on many paths, and there still may’st thou flourish…[11] And taught (by implanted instinct) on every side, the bounteous birds have carried thee to the Peaks-above-the-eagles, to the mount’s extremest summit, to the gorges and abysses, to the heights of many pathways, to the snow-peaks ever whitened.” Tr. L.H. Mills

One may also have the doubt that Soma was born in the heavens and when it was brought on earth it grew in the mountains, but Rig Veda 1.93.6 clears this doubt also.

 

WHO FIRST GAVE SOMA TO INDRA?

Rig Veda is confused about who gave Soma to Indra, Several verses states that Soma was not available and the falcon brought Soma for Indra and then there are verses which states that “Mountain-abiding” Soma was given to Indra by his parents Aditi and Kashyapa as soon as he was born which suggests that Soma was available to gods even before the birth of Indra which is also in contradiction with Brahmanas and Samhitas stating that gods didn’t have Soma and were worried on how to get it from the Gandharvas.

Aditi & Kashyapa
Rig Veda 3.48.2 “On the day on which thou wast born, thou didst drink at will the mountain-abiding nectar of this Soma plant, for thy youthful parent mother (Aditi), in the dwelling of thy great sire (Kasyapa), gave it to thee before she gave the breast.” Tr. H.H. Wilson
Rig Veda 7.98.3 “As soon as born, Indra, thou hast drunk the Soma for thine invigoration: thy mother (Aditi) proclaimed thy greatness…” Tr. H.H. Wilson

Falcon Suparna
Rig Veda 3.43.7 “Drink of the strong pressed out by strong ones, Indra, that which the Falcon brought thee when thou longedst…” Tr. Ralph T.H. Griffith

 

WHOM DID INDRA KILL AFTER DRINKING SOMA BROUGHT DOWN BY THE FALCON?

Indra killed Vritra

Rig Veda 1.80.2 “That exceedingly exhilarating Soma juice, which was brought by the hawk, (from heaven), when poured forth, has exhilarated thee, so that, in thy vigour, thunderer, thou hast struck Vritra from the sky, manifesting thine own sovereignty.” Tr. H.H. Willson

Indra killed Namuchi

Rig Veda 6.20.6 “And the hawk bore to Indra the exhilarating Soma, when, bruising the head of the oppressor Namuchi…” Tr. H.H. Wilson

 

SOMA WAS BROUGHT DOWN FOR WHOM?

Verses suggesting that the Soma was brought for Indra
Rig Veda 6.20.6 “And the hawk bore to Indra the exhilarating Soma, when, bruising the head of the oppressor Namuchi…” Tr. H.H. Wilson

Rig Veda 3.43.7 “Drink of the strong pressed out by strong ones, Indra, that which the Falcon brought thee when thou longedst…” Tr. Ralph T.H. Griffith

Rig Veda 8.82.9; 1.80.2; 8.100.8; 10.144.5 also states that Soma was brought down for Indra. Following verse states that the eagle brought Soma for Manu (Humans). Translators Acharya Shri Ram Sharma and Pandit Ram Govind Trivedi translates the verse as the falcon brought it for Humans.

Brought for Humans to perform sacrifices

Rig Veda 4.26.4 “May this bird, Maruts, be pre-eminent over (other) hawks, since with a wheelless car the swift-winged bore the Soma, accepted by the gods, to Manu.” Tr. H.H. Wilson

Following verse states that Vedic god Agni commanded the eagle to bring down the Soma and suggests that it was brought for the Aryans for the sacrifice,

Rig Veda 10.11.4 “The hawk sent (by Agni) to the sacrifice has brought the dripping copious all-seeing (Soma) libation. When the Arya people chose the victorious Agni as the ministrant priest, then the sacred rite is celebrated.” Tr. H.H. Wilson
Another translation,

Rig Veda 10.11.4 “And the fleet Falcon brought for sacrifice from afar this flowing Drop most excellent and keen of sight, Then when the Aryan tribes chose as Invoking Priest Agni the Wonder-Worker, and the hymn rose up.” Tr. Ralph T.H. Griffith

One can also check Hindi translation by Pandit Ram Govind Trivedi. Above verse suggests that Agni ordered the falcon to bring down the Soma whereas Black Yajur Veda 6.1.6.1 states that it was Kadru who ordered Suparni to fetch Soma from heaven in order to manumit himself (Suparni). Suparni sends her three children but only Gayatri metre successfully brings Soma.