The Samaveda or Sama Veda (सामवेद), is an antediluvian Vedic Literature of Hinduism. It composed with words “sāman” meaning “song” and Veda “knowledge”. Rigveda contains set to music, thus known as storehouse of knowledge of chants or “Veda of chants. The Samaveda is about melodies and chants. The Samaveda, a liturgical text, is in Sanskrit which contains 1,549 verses, in which 75 verses have been included from the Rigveda. Now, only 3 recensions of the Samaveda are living, some manuscripts of the Veda are available in different places of Nepal and India. There are more than 10 styles of chanting in Samaveda where Jaiminiya is the oldest existing tradition of Samaveda chant.
Date of Origin
According to Michael Witzel, there is no exact date for all the Vedas. Yet, the earliest parts of Samaveda are supposed to date during the Rigvedic period, the abiding intricacy dates between c. 1200 and 1000 BCE, the post-Rigvedic period. It was approximate the time with the Atharvaveda and the Yajurveda.
Matters of Samaveda
The Samaveda contains the origin or the root of arts like music, dance, and song on the earth. Chandogya Upanishad and Kena Upanishads are treated main Upanishads of Samaveda, which are broadly studied. These Upanishad are efficacious on the “six sets of beliefs” of Hindu philosophy, especially the Vedanta ideology.
The Samaveda is a mixture of ancient songs (sāman) and the Rig poesies. Samaveda has too little balladry than Rigveda, still, it is literally chunky since it contains all the chants- and rituals-about recorded variations of the poetic chants. It has notated melodies, and these are probably the world’s oldest surviving ones. The musical note is written normally forthwith above, sometimes within, the verse of Samaveda’s wording, either in syllabic or a quantitative forge in the light of the circumstances of Samavedic School.
The Samaveda also commences with Agni and Indra hymns as Rigveda does, but move to theoretical conjectures and doctrine. The meters in Samaveda also switch in descending order. Witzel says that its following parts have minimal divergence from elements of hymns they educe from Rigveda into songs. One of the objectives of Samaveda is sacramental, and they are the repository of the udgātṛ or “singer” preachers.
It too comprises many coatings of writings, like other Vedas, with Samhita (the earliest coating) and the Upanishads (the latest coating).
Parts of Samaveda
The Samaveda comprehends 2 main sections. The first section has four melodic groups (gāna) and the other section has 3 verses “volumes” (ārcika). Music or melody in the song volumes coincides with a poesy in the arcika volumes. The Gana group is partitioned into Gramageya and Aranyageya, while the Arcika section is bisected into Purvarcika and Uttararcika segments.
The Purvarcika part of the book contains 585 individual strophes and is managed in the grade of demigods, while the Uttararcika volume is constructed by rites. The Gramageya melodies are for the purpose of the public recital, while Aranyageya melodies are for individual meditative and contemplative practice like in the seclusion of a den, forest. Normally, the Purvarcika group were warbled to melodies delineated in the Gramageya-Gānas list and the principles of how the stanzas outlined to couplet is depicted in the Sanskrit writings like the Puspasutra.
The Samaveda states two Vedic principles- Kauthuma-Ranayaniya and Jaiminiya/Talavakara. It has two Brahmana- Pancavimsa Sadvimsa, and Jaiminiya. It comprises two Shrauta Sutras- Latyayana Drahyayana, and Jaiminiya. It has 15 Upanishads are- Chandogya Upanishad and Kena Upanishads are major Upanishads and Jaiminiya Upanishad and others are minors.
Upanishads from Samaveda
The Samaveda embeds two primary Upanishads -the Chandogya Upanishad and the Kena Upanishad. Both are outstanding for the boosting metric melodic form.
Chandogya played a memorable role in the metamorphosis of different principles and philosophy of Hinduism which is a member of Tandya School of the Samaveda. The immersed esoteric postulates in Chandogya Upanishad have worked as the basis for Vedanta school. It is one of the most adduced scriptures in later reviews and critiques by savants from the many Hindu schools. For instance, Chandogya Upanishad was cited 810 times by Adi Shankaracharya in his Vedanta Sutra Bhasya which was more than the rest of the ancient scriptures.
It is a florilegium of texts that must have preceded as distinct contents and were revised into bulkier text by some ancient Nepali and Indian men of letters. The Chandogya Upanishad is the youngest sheet of text in the Samaveda but it is unresolved about its chronology. It has metrics, melodic structure with an expansive range of conjectures and philosophical issues. Its first chapter, in eighth and ninth volumes, delineates the discourses between three men of letters in Udgitha, regarding the inceptions and reinforce of Udgitha and all factual existence. The text sums up their argumentations as,
“What is the evolution of the world?”
The answer given was- Space. Indeed, everything here
engender of space. They dissolve and become extinct back to space, for space alone is larger and more prominent than everything, space is the ultimate destiny. This is the superb Udgitha. This is never-ending. The most outstanding is his, the most magnificent globes do he achieve, who, recognizing it thus, cherishes the most wonderful Udgitha (Om, ॐ).
–Chandogya Upanishad 1.9.1-1.9.2
Max Muller states that the denomination “space” means a figuration for the Vedic perspective of Brahman which was later declared in the Vedanta Sutra balladry 1.1.22. For Paul Deussen, Brahman is the “creative essence which remains comprehended in the entire world”. It talks about ‘Dharma’ and many other subjects:
Dharma, righteous life or duty, is the first part which has 3 limbs-
The first limb contains three elements: Yajna (sacrifice), Svādhyāya (self-study) and Dāna (charity).
Tapah (austerity, penance) is the second, while following a Brahmacharya (celibacy) for education in the teacher’s house is third.
All three are super blessings for the better worlds. But only “the Brahmasamstha” – one who is firmly grounded in Brahman – realizes immortality or eternal life.
— Chandogya Upanishad 2.23.1
The Kena Upanishad is implanted in the final part of the Talavakara Brahmanam review of the Samaveda. It is very short, yet roots into scholarly and metaphysical inquiries as to the Chandogya Upanishad. Its fourth lesson avers, for an instance, that all entities have a congenital yearning for inner and divine wisdom. It is about Tadvanam (supernatural delightfulness, blissfulness) which is knowledge of Atman-Brahman. Its concluding paragraphs maintain ethical and moral life as the base of inner-wisdom and of Atman-Brahman.
Tapas, Damah, Work – is the basis, on which the Vedas are the limbs, the Truth is its heart. –Kena Upanishad, 4.8 (33rd paragraph)
The classical music and dance of Nepal and India are entrenched in the acoustic and musical features of the Sama Veda. It introduces instruments in addition to singing and chanting. The Gandharva-Veda (an Upaveda from the Samaveda) gives rules and suggestions for playing several musical instruments from a separate collection. The formation and principles of singings in the Samaveda have galvanized the cataloging theory for Nepali and Indian classical and traditional arts and presentations. The musicologists have broadly conceded this base according to the history of Indian and Nepali culture and music. Nepali and Indian tradition calls to mind and adores its dawning in the Samaveda, the melodic genre of the Rigveda.
(Sanskrit: अथर्ववेदः, Atharvavedaḥ from priests (atharvāṇas) and Veda, meaning sacred lore or “knowledge”) is the “knowledge depository of atharvāṇas, the stratagem, approach or formula for daily life”. It is the 4th Veda, having 730 psalm or hymns with around 6,000 mantras (chantings), carved up into 20 volumes. Atharvaveda adapts approximately a sixth verses from the Rigveda; excluding Volumes 15 and 16, the text is in verse form setting out a medley and multicity of Vedic constituents.
In modern time, only two different recensions of the Atharvaveda – the Paippalāda and the Śaunakīya – have survived. A well-preserved edition was found among a miscellany of palm leaf manuscripts in Odisha in 1957 AD, but credible documents or palimpsest of the Paippalada version were said to have been vanished.
The Atharvaveda is the “Veda of magical formulas”. Atharvan stands for guidance and mantras especially in an ally to avert evil and asperity along with philosophical discerning. ‘Atharvan‘primitively means ‘priest’ and the Mantras in the Atharvaveda were lightened by Sage Atharva.
On the contrary to the ‘hieratic theology’ of the other three Vedas, the Atharvaveda is believed to exhibit a ‘famous creed of religion’, integrating not merely formulas for occultism, but also the everyday solemnity for inaugural into the study (upanayana), matrimony, and cremations. Atharvaveda also includes royal rituals and the duties of the court priests and not a liturgical Yajurveda-pattern agglomeration.
In addition to the Samhita contents, the Atharvaveda contains a Brahmana text and the closing layer of the text that includes philosophical conjectures. Its latter layer incorporates three basic Upanishads; the Mundaka Upanishad, the Mandukya Upanishad and the Prashna Upanishad, inspiring several schools of Hindu philosophy.
Nomenclature of Atharvaveda
According to Monier Williams, Atharvaveda may be named after the legendary priest named Atharvan who was the initiator to create prayers to fire, present Soma, and who entered in “formulas and spells pinned to halt illness and cataclysms”. Laurie Patton mentions that the term Atharvaveda is for the subject matter being “Veda of the Atharvāṇas”.
According to Atharvaveda’s own verse 10.7.20, its oldest name was Atharvangirasah, an aggregate of “Atharvan” and “Angiras”, both Vedic persons of letters. Each school of Hindu named the text after itself, like Saunakiya Samhita, which means the “acquiesced book of Saunakiya”. Maurice Bloomfield mentions the “Atharvan” and “Angiras” names connote distant concepts, with the prior acknowledged auspicious while the following pointing to antagonistic black magic practices. Over time, the positive propitious aspect arrived commemorated thereafter the term Atharvaveda became common and global.
The Atharvaveda is also sometimes denoted as Bhrgvangirasah (after the sage Bhrigu) and Brahmaveda (after Lord Brahma).
The Atharvaveda is supposed to be composed as a Veda coeval with Samaveda and Yajurveda, or about 1200 BCE – 1000 BCE. The ancient Hindu tradition (exists in Nepal and India) in the beginning acknowledged only three Vedas. The Bhagavad Gita, the Rigveda, the verse 5.32-33 of Aitareya Brahmana, the verse 188.8.131.52 of Taittiriya Brahmana, and other Vedic epoch texts introduce only three Vedas- Rigveda, Samaveda, and Yajurveda. The embracing of the Atharvanas psalms and traditional folk practices was slow-going.
It was treated as the 4th Veda much later than the first three. For instance, the early Buddhist Nikaya scripture also does not admit Atharvaveda as a Veda and make citation of only three Vedas. Olson cites that the final recognition of Atharvaveda as the fourth Veda likely introduce in the 2nd half of the 1st millennium BCE. However, Max Muller records that the hymns of Atharvaveda ekes out an existence by the time Chandogya Upanishad was concluded (~700 BCE), but was then brought up as “alleluia of Atharvangirasah”.
Revisal and recensions
The Atharvaveda contains nine shakhas (branches), or schools: brahmavada, cāraṇavaidyā, devadarśa, jājala, jalada paippalāda, stauda, mauda, and śaunakīya which is mentioned in the Caraṇavyuha, a later epoch Sanskrit literature.
Among these schools, only the Shaunakiya edition and Paippalāda recension are alive. The two recensions are distinct in the way they are sort out, as well as subject matters. For instance, Volume 10 of Paippalada is more elaborated and beheld more conscientiously with no errors at all, more blossomed and more perceptible in elaborating monism, the theory of “oneness of Brahman, all life modes and the existence”.
Formation of Atharvaveda
The Atharvaveda collection initially was arranged into 18 volumes (Kāṇḍas), and the final two were annexed later. These books are arranged by the length of the hymns; not by subject and not by authors as the other Vedas. Each volume basically has psalms of around a matching number of verses, and the existing manuscripts mark the volume with the shortest psalms as the 1st volume, and then in a rising order but some manuscripts do the inverse. Most psalms are poetic, in verities meters, only about a sixth of the volume is prose.
Most of its hymns are distinct to it, exempting for the one-sixth of its hymns (obtained from the Rigveda), mainly from its10th volume. The 19th volume fortifies similar attributes, likely of later arrangements, and was adjoined later. The 143 hymns of the 20th book of Atharvaveda Samhita are almost entirely borrowed from the Rigveda.
The hymns of Atharvaveda contain a variety of contents and topics, across its entire 20 volumes. More or less, the first seven volumes concentrate basically on mystic poems for all types of remedial and wizardry and supposed to be the oldest section. Volumes 8 to 12 are conjectures of various topics, while Volumes 13 to 18 inclined to be about life phenomenal rituals of passage rite.
The Atharvaveda Shaunaka edition contains the Srautasutra texts Vaitāna Sūtra and the Kauśika Sūtra as an additive of Atharvan Prayascitthas, two Pratishakhyas, and a set of Parisisthas. The corresponding texts for the Paippalada version of Atharvaveda were Agastya and Paithinasi Sutras but these are kissed goodbye or yet to be found.
The Atharvaveda Samhita comprises hymns primarily were mesmerizing, sorcery spells, enchantment, and necromancy meant to be enunciated by the person who desires some succor, or by a wizardry practitioner who would call it on his or her representation. The general aim of these hymns’ magic spells was the longer life of a beloved or restoration from some suffering. In such conditions, the victim would be provided things like a plant (leaf, stem, barks, seed, root) and a talisman.
Some incantations were for hyper lovers looking about to discard oppositions or to intrigue the paramour who is less than passion, others for warriors going to war with the mission of conquering the opponents, some for winning at games, in the commercial field, for the bounty of farming, or extirpation of frivolous pest irritating a household. Some hymns were not about magical purposes, but appeal, plea, theosophical speculations, and erudite notions. A notable fragment of the Samhita text is psalms also for household rites unaccompanied magic or spells.
Remedy from medicinal herbs
Along with the healing techniques with mantras in Atharvaveda, many psalms in it such as hymn 8.7, similar to Rigveda’s hymn 10.97, is an appreciation of medicinal herbs and plants, propounding that postulations about the healing property and the health value of plants and herbs were cropping up part of realization in of yore Nepal and India.
Upanishads in Atharvaveda
The Atharvaveda contains three primary Upanishads implanted within it.
The Mundaka Upanishad is in a poetic style, with 64 verses, composed in the form of the mantra, with the purpose of teaching and meditation on metaphysical knowledge. It has 3 Mundakams (branches), each with two divisions. The first Mundakam delineates the erudition and wisdom of “High-level Knowledge” and “Low-level Knowledge”, and then put forward that acts of sacrifices, oblation, and sacred presents are stupidity, and do nothing to decrease miseries in vary life or next, rather it is the knowledge that emancipates.
The second Mundakam states the identity and character of the Brahma (supreme soul), the Atma (Seer, Self, Soul), and the way to realize Brahma (ultimate god). The 3rd Mundakam carries on with the conference and then adduces that the condition of realizing Brahma is one of emancipation, fearlessness, liberation, and rapture. The pantheism theory is also discussed here. Through uninterrupted observation of Satya, Tapas, Samyajñāna, and Brahmacharya, one attains the self (Atman, witness).
It is the shortest of all the Upanishads in the Atharvaveda. The text talks on the syllable Aum presents the concept of four levels of mindfulness, mentions the existence and nature of Atman (Soul, Self). It also cites the chronometrical and philosophical interconnection between Buddhism and Hinduism.
It is from the Paippalada sect of Atharvavedins with 6 Prashna (interrogations), and each is a lesson with a deliberate out of replies. The first three Prashnas are abstruse philosophical queries but do not have any concrete, logical answers, but substantially garnished mythology and symbolism. The fourth part, on the contrary, carries a weighty ideology. The last two parts confer about the symbol Aum and Enlightenment theory. The text is significant for its edifice and sociological cognizance of the learning system in olden Nepal and India.
The Atharvaveda consists of the earliest familiar allusion to the Nepalese and Indic literary genre, the Puranas, in the verse 11.7.24.
The 1st millennium AD Buddhist text appended books of asombroso-holy chanting and spells for safety from wicked dominances of non-humans like hellhounds and specters. These were known as Pirita (Pali: Paritta) and Rakkhamanta (“chanting for safeguarding”), and they provide a hypothesis and pattern of psalm available in Atharvaveda.
The Yajurveda Introduction
The Yajurveda (यजुर्वेदः, yajurvedaḥ) is composed up of two terms- ‘yajus’ meaning “worship, religious reverence, adoration, sacrifice, a sacrificial prayer, formula, especially mantras uttered in an uncanny way at a sacrifice” and Veda meaning “knowledge”. Johnson divulges yajus connotes “(typically) prose formulae or mantras, mustered in the Yajur veda, which are chanted, whispered or spoken out”. Yajurveda, one of the four Vedas in Hindu Philosophy, traces blueprints and mantra-chantings to be enounced during yajna (sacrificial fire rituals). Offerings are normally cow’s ghee, milk, cereal, and aromatic seeds. This Veda essentially contains prose mantras for homage and worship rites. It is an anthology of ceremonial-offering precepts that were spoken by a person while a person carried out ritual exertions like before the yajna (ritual fire), worship, etc.
Two main parts of Yajurveda
The Yajurveda is openly categorized into two parts – Krishna (black/dark) Yajurveda and Shukla (white/ bright) Yajur veda. The word “black” infers “the messy, scattered, fuzzy, varied collection” of poesy in Yajur veda, in the other way round the “white” which means “well ordered, vivid”. The Krishna Yajurveda has abided in 4 amendments, while 2 emendations of Shukla Yajurveda have remained into the current era.
The Shukla Yajur veda (well-ordered, clear Veda) has Samhita which is known as the Vajasaneyi Samhita. The term Vajasaneyi is extracted from ‘Vajasaneya’, the family name of Yajnavalkya, and the prime mover of the Vajasaneyi dynasty. There are two (about alike) living critical revisions of the Vajasaneyi Samhita– Vajasaneyi Madhyandina (with 40 chapters/ adhyaya, 303 Anuvakas, 1975 verses) and Vajasaneyi Kanva (with 40 chapters/ adhyaya, 328 Anuvakas, 2086 verses) . The lost editions of the Shukla Yajurveda, mentioned in other texts of ancient India and Nepal are
The known emendations of Shukla Yajurveda has about 16 in number, while the Krishna Yajur veda may have had about 86 recensions. Now only 2 recensions of the Shukla Yajurveda are available, Madhyandina and Kanva, and rest are acknowledged by name only as they are introduced in other Vedic texts. These 2 emendations are very close to each other, excluding for a few distinctions. On the contrary to Shukla Yajur veda, the four living emendations of Krishna Yajurveda are very different varieties.
Srautasutras are sacred rituals formula based on Vedic Sruti. Shrautasutras and Grhyasutras were linked to the Yajurveda, from 17 schools:
- Vaikhanasa, and
Only nine of these have survived, along with parts of Kaundinya.
Elements and Upanishad in Yajurveda
The first and most primeval veneer of Yajurveda Samhita contains almost 1,875 stanzas, which are discrete and specific, yet takes up and formed upon the base of stanzas in Rigveda. The central veneer contains one of the bulkiest Brahmana books in the Vedic series known as the “Satapatha Brahmana”. The last veneer of Yajur veda book contains the most prodigious anthology of fundamental Upanishads, prominent to several teachings of Hindu Ideology. These incorporate
- The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad: It is found in the Shukla (white) Yajurveda, one of the Mukhya Upanishads, and among the bulkiest and most ancient as well (~700 BCE)
- The Isha Upanishad: The term ‘Isha’ is derived from “unseen in the Lord (Self)”. It is one of the shortest Upanishads, set as the last chapter of the White Yajur veda.
- The Taittiriya Upanishad: It is available in the Krishna Yajur veda. The Taittiriya Upanishad, the teaching of the Veda, by sage Trisanku, is the 7th, 8th, and 9th chapters of Taittiriya Aranyaka, which are respectively known as- the Siksha Valli, the Ananda Valliand the Bhrigu Valli.
- The Katha Upanishad: It is the part of the Black Yajurveda. The Upanishad is the mythical story of a young boy, Nachiketa (sage Vajasravasa’s son), who comes across Yamaraj (the deity of death). Their dialogue opens out to a symposium of the man’s nature, wisdom, Ātma (seer, Soul, Self) and moksha (emancipation).
- The Shvetashvatara Upanishad: It is available in the Krishna Yajur veda. The Shvetashavatara Upanishad begins with transcendental integrations about the basic source of all existence, its alpha and omega, etc.
- The Maitri Upanishad: The other name for Maitrayaniya Upanishad is Maitri Upanishad, set in the Black Yajurveda. It has 7 Prapathakas(lessons). The 1st lesson is introductory, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th are constructed in a question-answer pattern and talks on incorporeal queries about Atman (Seer, Self, Soul), while the 5th, 6th and 7th lessons are supplements.
Two of the earliest alive codex of the Shukla Yajurveda parts have been found in Nepal and Western Tibet, and their date is about 12th-century CE.
Dating and historical context
The time of Yajurveda’s formation is uncertain, but Witzel approximated it to be between 1200 to 800 BCE, coeval with Atharvaveda and Samaveda. Yajur veda is younger than the Rigveda, whose crucial text lies within the classicistic Mantra span of Veda at the end of the 2nd millennium BCE, and about contemporaneous with the Sāmaveda, the Atharvaveda, and the Rigvedic Khilani. The scholastic concord dates the volumes of the Yajurveda and Atharvaveda doxology to the early Eastern (Indian, Nepalese) Iron Age, between c. 1200 and 800 BCE. Yet, Georg Feuerstein states that the dates supposed to most of these books are long overdue.
The Vayu Puran mentions a total of 86 recensions of Krishna Yajurveda exists. The only four recensions of the Krishna Yajurveda are living now. They are:
- Taittirīya saṃhitā: It is the best preserved recensions which have 2 sub-recensions, 7 Kandas, and 42 Prapathaka. Taittiriya Samhita is connected with Taittiriyasect of the Yajur veda, and ascribed to the sage Tittiri’s disciples (literally, partridge birds).
- Maitrayani saṃhitā: It is the oldest living Yajurveda Samhita having consists 6 sub-recensions, 4 Kandas, and 54 Prapathaka. Maitryani Samhita is highly distinct in subject matters from the Taittiriyas, also in some non-identical positioning of chapters. This is greatly detailed in its explanation.
- Kaṭha saṃhitā: Katha, a disciple of Vaisampayana had compiled the Kāṭhaka saṃhitāor the Caraka-Kaṭha saṃhitā It also offers a comprehensive discourse of some of the rituals than the younger Taittiriya Samhita. It contains 12 sub-recensions, 5 Kandas, 40 Prapathaka, and 3093 mantras.
- Kapiṣṭhala saṃhitā: It is also known as Kapiṣṭhala-Kaṭha saṃhitā, both were named after the sage Kapisthala. It includes 5 sub-recensions, 6 Kandas, and 48 Prapathaka. Kapiṣṭhala saṃhitā is rationally a revision of the Kāṭhaka saṃhitā in some large parts and emended without intonation marks.
Structure of the mantras in Yajurveda
The several ritual mantras in the Yajurveda Samhitas are generally put in a meter. They praise and appeal deities like the Savita (Sun), Prajapati, Indra, Rudra, Agni, and others. For an instance, the Taittiriya Samhita in Book 4 contains these balladry for the Agnicayana ritual recitation-
First dedicating the mind, Savita; making thoughts and observing luminosity, introduced Agni (fire) from the earth.
Pay homage to Gods; they who move thought to the sky, to paradise, Savita sets in motion those who will create eminent lustre.
With the mind devoted, we are got under way by god Savita, for vigor to go to the abode of deities.
Whose travel the rest of demigods walk behind, worshiping the potency of the god, who estimated the ablaze terrains of the earth, he is the noble god Savita.
God Savita, oblige the ritual, drive for better fate the earl of ritual!
Deific Gandharva, a refiner of thought, cleanse our thoughts! May the god of speech make our expressions pleasing!
God Savita, motivate us for this ritual,
Admiring the gods, obtaining companions, ever winner, gaining wealth, procuring heaven!
— Taittiriya Samhita 4.1.1