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SAAMAVEDA

The mantras are classified into two kinds. The mantras that were envisioned the rishis are known as kantaapta. The mantras that were inferred by recollection are known as kalpya. This classification is based on the puranas. Yaaskaachaarya has classified the mantras into three categories – parokshakruta, pratyakshakruta and aadhyaatmika.




Samaveda Murthy

Historians hold the Vishnupuraana as the most authentic among the eighteen puraanas. According to the Vishnupuraana, kaandarshi Jaimini, disciple of maharshi Vedavyasa, studied the saamaveda and divided it into two parts. Jaimini taught one part to his son sumanthu and the other part to his grandson sukarmaa. Both taught the respective parts they studied to many disciples. Hiranyanaabha, one of sukarmaa’s disciples, divided the part he learnt into fifteen parts and taught one part each to his fifteen disciples. These have come to be known as Udeechya Saamaya. Rishi Poushyanji’s disciples Lokaakshi, Kutumi,Kusidi Tangali and others learnt parts of Saamaveda from Hiranyanaabha. These came to be known as Praachya Saamaga. Krutinaabha, a prominent disciple of Hiranyanaabha, taught his part to twenty-five students and they in turn taught to their numerous disciples.

One thousand branches of saamaveda are mentioned in major works such as Paatanjala Mahaabhaashya, Sutasamhitaa, Muktikopanishad, Skandapuraana,etc. The Vishnu Puraana cites nine parts of the Raanaayaneeya – Saatyaayaneeya, Saatwala, Moudgala, Khalwala, Mahaakhalwala, Taangala, Kouthuma, Goutama and Jaimineeya.

However, a very interesting question and a very valid one at that arises here. When all the vaidic literature, including Muktikopanishad mention that the division of about 1130 branches of the vedas down to the number of mantras, words and letters are eternal, then how can the rishis be attributed the division of the vadas, samhitaas? The Purushasukta of yajurveda mentions that the vedas divided into 4 parts with their divisions became manifest independently at the beginning of the cosmas – “Rehah saamaani jajnnirey, chandaamsi jajnnirey tasmaadyajustasmaadajaayata”. The plural forms rchah and saamaani point to the various branches of the four vedas as well became manifest in the beginning of the creation and are eternal. The rishis dividing the eternal vedas into parts is ridiculous and absolutely ruled out. Perhaps these sages made special study and efforts to propagate these branches and wrongly quoted as the dividers in the puraanas.

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