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The Sama veda is second (in the usual order) of the four Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

, the ancient core Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 scriptures. 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
The Rigveda is an ancient Indian sacred collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns...

. It consists of a collection (samhita
Samhita may refer to"*the basic metrical text of each of the Vedas**specifically, these texts with sandhi applied *post-Vedic texts known as Samhitas:** Ashtavakra Gita...

) of hymns, portions of hymns, and detached verses, all but 75 taken from the Sakala Sakha of the Rigveda
The Rigveda is an ancient Indian sacred collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns...

, the other 75 belong to the Bashkala Sakha, to be sung, using specifically indicated melodies called Samagana
Sām is composition of words in Rigvedic hymns from notes. The hymns of Rigveda form the base of Sāmagān. Sāmagān is not merely a name given to singing hymns of Veda but represents the philosophy and science of uniting thought, sound and music. Sāmagān is purpose of creation of Samaveda.-Sām...

, by Udgatar priests at sacrifices in which the juice of the Soma
Soma , or Haoma , from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sauma-, was a ritual drink of importance among the early Indo-Iranians, and the subsequent Vedic and greater Persian cultures. It is frequently mentioned in the Rigveda, whose Soma Mandala contains 114 hymns, many praising its energizing qualities...

 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
The Rigveda is an ancient Indian sacred collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns...

 (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 Gāndharvaveda that deals not only with the topics of music but also of dance and theatre.


R. T. H. Griffith says that there are three recensions of the text of the Samaveda Samhita:
  • the Kauthuma recension is current in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh
    Uttar Pradesh
    Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

    , Orissa
    Orissa , officially Odisha since Nov 2011, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April...

     and since a few decades in Darbhanga, Bihar
    Bihar is a state in eastern India. It is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size at and 3rd largest by population. Almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, which is the highest proportion in India....

  • the Jaiminiya in the Carnatic
    Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

    , Tamilnadu and Kerala
    or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

  • and the in the Maharastra, Gokarna
    Gokarna is a village in the Uttara Kannada district of the Karnataka state, India. It is a Hindu pilgrimage centre as well as a tourist destination in India. Gokarna is a temple town and is referred to in a number of Hindu historical literature pieces. The main deity is Lord Mahabhaleshwara, a...


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. There is an edition of the first part of the Samhita by W. Caland and of the Brahmana by Raghu Vira and Lokesh Chandra, as well as the neglected Upanishad, but only parts of the Shrautasutra. The song books remain unpublished and the tradition is rapidly fading. However, an edition is now being prepared by some well-known Samaveda specialists.


  • The Samaveda has been edited and published by Theodor Benfey
    Theodor Benfey
    This is about the philologist. For the Theodor Benfey who developed a spiral periodic table of the elements in 1964 -- Otto Theodor Benfey -- see Alternative periodic tables....

     (Leipzig, 1848, with a German translation) and by Satyavrata Samashrami in Bibl. Ind. (Calcutta, 1873). An English translation is due to Griffith (Benares, 1893). A translation in Hindi by Mridul Kirti called "Samveda Ka Hindi Padyanuvad" has also been published recently.

  • Griffith, Ralph T. H. The . Text, Translation, Commentary & Notes in English. Translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith. First published 1893; Revised and enlarged edition, enlarged by Nag Sharan Singh and Surendra Pratap, 1991 (Nag Publishers: Delhi, 1991) ISBN 81-7081-244-5. This edition provides the text in Devanagari
    Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

     with full metrical marks needed for chanting.

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