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The Sama Veda is the Yoga of Song. It consists of various hymns of the Rig Veda put to a different and more musical chant. Hence the text of the Sama Veda is a reduced version of the Rig Veda. Its secret is in its musical annotation and rendering. The Sama Veda represents the ecstasy of spiritual knowledge and the power of devotion. The Rig Veda is the word, the Sama Veda is the song or the meaning. The Rig Veda is the knowledge, the Sama Veda its realization. Hence the two always go together like husband and wife. The Rig Veda is the wife and the Sama is the husband.
The Samaveda is shortest of all the four Vedas. It is closely connected with the Rigveda. It is important to note that the Samhita of the Samaveda is an independent collection (Samhita), yet it has taken many verses, a large number indeed, from the Samhita of Rigveda. These verses are chiefly derived from the eighth and the ninth Mandalas of the Rigveda. The Samaveda is compiled exclusively for ritual application, for its verses are all meant to be chanted at the ceremonies of the Soma-yajna. In the ritualistic tradition, these verses are sung at those yajnas in which Soma- juice with other ingredients is offered to various deities. The Samaveda is, therefore, specially intended for the Udagata priest, who chants psalms at the yajnika ritual. Its stanzas assume their proper character of musical samans or chants only in the various song-books called Ganas.
- http://ignca.nic.in/vedic_heritage_intro_samveda.htm Posted by Dr. Shashi Tiwari | Vedic Heritage Portal.