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The Samaveda

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 Upanishad

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

Kena Upanishad

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)

Cultural influence

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.