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The word Sama means pleasant,dear or benign words. Song is also is knows as Sama. The Sama finds mention after the Rig and Yajus in a majority of vaidic scriptures. But one particular mantra in Rigveda(1.5.8) cites the Sama even before the Rigveda. Therefore, it would be a futile endeavour to determine the chronological order of the Vedas. Infact ,all the Vedas are independent and eternal.

In a sacrifice, the Hota recites the mantras to summon the gods. This activity is known as Houtra. The sage who conducts the various activities of Homa in a sacrifice is called ‘Adhvaryu’. The activity of Adhvaryu is known as “Adhvaryava”. The Udgaata is the one who sings the Sama to please the gods. His activity is known as “Oudgaatra”.

Samaveda Murthy

Sayanaachaarya wrote his commentary on the famous “Kauthuma Samhita” of Samaveda. It is more in vogue among the Sreemaali and naagara brahmanaas of Gujarat. This Samhita has two parts-1.Poorvaarchika and 2.Uttaraarchika.The Poorvaarchika is also known as Chandah, Chandasi and Chandashikaa. Based on the content ,the Poorvaarchika is further classified into four parts namely—Aagneya, Indra, Pavamaana and Aaranyaka parvas. The Uttaraarchiaka too is similarly classified, but into seven parvas—Dasharaatra, Samvatsara, Aekah, Aheena, Satra, Praayaschitta and Kshudra.

 There are four parts of  Saamagaana—Geya, Aaranyaka, Ooha and Oohya. The Poorvaarchika contains the former two and the Uttaraarchika the latter two. 

Saamaveda’s Poorvaarchiak and Uttaraarchika contain six and three prapaatakaas respectively. In total there are 29 chapters and 1824 mantraas. But for 75,the rest are found in Rigveda as well. 

The Raanaayaneeya is samller in content in comparision to Kouthuma branch. It contains 1549 mantraas. The Raanaayaneeya followers are found in Maharastra and Dravida Region. The Jaimineeya branch is practiced in Karnataka.

 No clear instructions about singing procedure of the Saamaveda are available. The suktaas of Uttaraarchika do throw some light on it. Even to this date it is not certain if all the seven svaraas – Shadja, Rishabha, Gaandhaara, Madhyama, Panchama, Daivata and Nishaada were employed while singing the saamagaana. Persistent recitation of ‘Om’ lends it a kind of divine tune. The greatness and importance of ‘Om’ is described in great detail in Saamaveda. The Chaandyogopanishad, that belongs to Saamaveda, has ‘Om’ as its prime subject. Even Lord Sri Krishna favours Saamaveda - “Vedaanaam Saamavedosmi” (Bhagavadgeeta).

 To be continued…….



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