Samaveda

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The Sama VedaSamveda, or Samaveda (Sanskrit: सामवेदः, sāmaveda, from sāman "melody" + veda "knowledge" ), is the third of the four Vedas, the ancient core Hindu scriptures, along with the Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda. Its earliest parts are believed to date from 1700 BC (since all of its verses are from the Rigveda) and it ranks next in sanctity and liturgical importance to the Rigveda. It consists of a collection (samhita) of hymns, portions of hymns, and detached verses, all but 75 taken from the Sakala Sakha of the Rigveda, the other 75 belong to the Bashkala Sakha, to be sung, using specifically indicated melodies called Samagana, by Udgatar priests at sacrifices in which the juice of the Soma plant, clarified and mixed with milk and other ingredients, is offered in libation to various deities.

The verses have been transposed and re-arranged, without reference to their original order, to suit the rituals in which they were to be employed. There are frequent variations from the text of the Rigveda that are in some cases glosses but in others offer an older pronunciation than that of the Rigveda(such as [ai] for common [e]). When sung the verses are further altered by prolongation, repetition and insertion of stray syllables (stobha), as well as various modulations, rests and other modifications prescribed in the song-books (Ganas). Samaveda's Upaveda (technical manual) is Gāndharvavedathat deals not only with the topics of music but also of dance and theatre.

 

Recensions

R. T. H. Griffith says that there are three recensions of the text of the Samaveda Samhita:[1]

  • the Kauthuma recension is current in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and since a few decades in Darbhanga, Bihar,
  • the Jaiminiya in the Carnatic, Tamilnadu and Kerala, 
  • and the Rāṇāyanīya in the Maharashtra, Karnataka Gokarna,few parts of Orissa.

While the Kauthuma recension has been published (Samhita, Brahmana, Shrautasutra and ancillary Sutras, mainly by the late B.R. Sharma), parts of the Jaiminiya tradition remain unpublished.[2]There is an edition of the first part of the Samhita by W. Caland[3] and of the Brahmana by Raghu Vira and Lokesh Chandra,[4] as well as the neglected Upanishad,[5] but only parts of the Shrautasutra. The song books remain unpublished[6] and the tradition is rapidly fading. However, an edition is now being prepared by some well-known Samaveda specialists.

 

Courtesy : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samaveda